IntroductionIntel i945G chipset
In recent times, Intel has consistently segregated its Pentium 4 chipsets into performance and mainstream lines. The performance series used northbridges equipped with the best silicon and, consequently, optimised memory accesses between system RAM and processor. The 'lesser' model(s) made do with slightly higher latencies but was far more versatile, sporting integrated graphics and, often, a micro-ATX form factor. That's been true of the i875P/i865, i925XE/i915 series, and now, with the launch of the performance i955X Express chipset a month or so back, there just had to be a cheaper, versatile chipset for the masses. The numbering and naming system stays intact once more, as Intel launches the i945-series.
Again, falling back into regular Intel branding, the i945 chipset is further segregated into i945P and i945G varities; the latter adding in onboard graphics from the GMA 950 (82945G) accelerator. Is this cheaper chipset just a poor man's i955X Express?, or does it have enough going for it to warrant purchase in its own right?. Let's find out.