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MSI 845Pro2 i845 SDRAM Motherboard Review

MSI 845Pro2 i845 SDRAM Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The i845 chipset is known to be one of the slowest P4 chipsets out there.
 65% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Apr 01 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI 845Pro2

Game Benchmarks and Conclusions

3DMark2001 SE Source: MadOnion

3DMark2001 SE is the latest installment in the 3DMark series by MadOnion. By combining DirectX8 support with completely new graphics, it continues to provide good overall system benchmarks. 3DMark2001 SE has been created in cooperation with the major 3D accelerator and processor manufacturers to provide a reliable set of diagnostic tools. The suite demonstrates 3D gaming performance by using real-world gaming technology to test a system's true performance abilities. Tests include: DirectX8 Vertex Shaders, Pixel Shaders and Point Sprites, DOT3 and Environment Mapped Bump Mapping, support for Full Scene Anti-aliasing and Texture Compression and two game tests using Ipion real-time physics. Higher 3DMark scores denote better performance.

3DMark2001 SE Benchmark Results
Motherboard 3DMarks Ranking
1. 845Pro2 6608
2 845Pro2 (oc'ed) 7195

The limiting factor here is the SDRAM. With a theoretical total bandwidth of 1 GB/s, it just can't keep a Pentium 4 processor which needs 3.2GB/s worth of bandwidth happy. Overclocking the system seems to bring a big performance boost. Stability was unreliable at best, several times even at stock speeds the benchmark would lock up during the Dragothic or Nature demo's - I'm thinking this may have been the OCZ memory though.

Quake III Arena

Source: ID Software

Quake III Arena is a First Person Shooter (FPS) that revolutionized gaming as we know it. Using multiple light sources and having graphics textures that can fill videocards, even after 3 years it's still able to bring a cutting edge system to its knees.

Quake III Arena Fastest demo001
Motherboard FPS Ranking
1. 845Pro2 167.8
2. 845Pro2 (oc'ed) 171.5

Quake III Arena Fastest nv15demo
Motherboard FPS Ranking
1. 845Pro2 51.5
2. 845Pro2 (oc'ed) 52.3

Again we can see the SDRAM severely limits. These are among the worst Quake III scores we've seen since the P3 days! Stability here like 3DMark2001SE was bad. The benchmark would crash back to the Quake III console while running the timed demos.

Conclusion:

The MSI 845Pro2 did not behave like a typical MSI board. It had many stability problems and could not complete a number of benchmarks fully. We did try updating drivers or changing them around, but to no avail. To make matters worse, the 845Pro2 didn't perform very well either. If it's not immediately obvious, a Pentium4 + SDRAM is bad news if you're talking about performance!

With a retail price of $140 CDN, it's one of the cheapest Pentium 4 motherboards around however since it's using the older Socket 423 and SDRAM it's pretty much assured that this will be a shelf warmer. Still it's nice to see that the board has five PCI slots, one AGP albeit with the 1.5V lock, three DIMM slots and onboard audio, it is one of the better equipped i845 motherboards out there.

Overall, if you're considering purchasing a Pentium 4 system, a few things to keep in mind. Number 1, make sure it's not using the Socket 423 form factor since it's a dead end. And number 2, don't team up your P4 with SDRAM! As you could see the performance is abysmal. SDRAM just can't feed a Pentium 4 with enough data bandwidth. Bottom line, stick to the MSI boards that are good performers and avoid ones doomed to obsolete formfactors.

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5. Pentium 4 2.0 GHz

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: MSI 845Pro2
 Pg 1.  MSI 845Pro2 i845 SDRAM Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Productivity Benchmarks
 Pg 3.  — Game Benchmarks and Conclusions

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