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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [10.08.02]
Manufactured by: Intel

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SYSMark Scores

SYSMark is an important benchmark because it uses the latest content creation and office productivity software available to come up with its scores.

Many claim that SYSMark is broken, and biased to Intel's advantages such as greater memory bandwidth, but that's fine because we're only looking at Intel today.  Of course that also means that the RDRAM scores may be slightly inflated.  Keep that in mind when looking at the scores.  For now, SYSMark is all we have - we're going to start using ZDMedia's tests in future reviews, until the whole SYSMark mess is cleaned up.

And there you have the final SYSMark score - DDR333 and RDRAM both tied for top spot.  Remember though, that SYSMark tends to be biased towards high memory bandwidth systems such as RDRAM, so in the real world, I tend to think DDR333 would have the edge here.

The 845PE chipset, while not a huge leap, is definitely a step in the right direction for Intel - a direction pointing away from Rambus.

Right now DDR333 is about tied with RDRAM 800.  RDRAM 1066 will still be faster, but what happens when DDR400 is finally officially available? What about DDRII or Dual Channel DDR? By then VIA and SiS will have finalized chipsets available supporting it, and we can expect Intel to follow suit a few months after that.

At that time, we'll be using Pentium 4's higher than 3.0 GHz, and will be enjoying HyperThreadness in all its MultiGoodness.

I can confidently say that if you are looking for a DDR platform to sit your new P4 in, an 845PE chipset solution is the way to go.  If OCing is important to you, you might want to skip on the boards we looked at today, however manufacturers like Asus will have boards out on this chipset available in stores within weeks.

The conclusions below refer to the 845PE and 845GE chipsets, not the Intel motherboards themselves:

  • SUPER fast compared to DDR266
  • Right up there with RDRAM
  • Will be ready for HyperThreading when the CPU's are out

  • Slightly behind VIA and SiS's solutions in technology (no AGP8X or ATA/133)
  • Besides 'official' DDR333 support and HT, not much else to talk about