When we first heard that Intel would be continuing the Celeron tradition with a Prescott based "D" line, we were a little skeptical. When we further heard that the Celeron D would only be getting a quarter of the cache its underperforming Pentium 4 parent has, our eyes widened with doubt. Sure, a bump up to a 533MHz FSB would help, but it couldn't possibly make up for the kind of performance issues that we saw with the Pentium 4 E; could it?

Looking back over the past of couple months, we can almost imagine Intel knowing what everyone was thinking and going along quietly with a little smirk on its face. That's right, our first inclinations that Celeron D performance would be worse than Intel's already atrocious budget performance were utterly and completely wrong.

In fact, the new Celeron D is a big step up in performance over the Northwood-based Celeron.

We've gone from thinking that this would be a quick article on the hastening demise of the lowest value "value" chip on the market to an article about how Intel is taking a step in the right direction, while we are once again reminded that knowing the ins and outs of an architecture is no substitute for performance numbers. Of course, that was the point of requiring scaling graphs and analysis along with our simulators back in Microprocessor Architecture class.

Before getting to the numbers, we'll take a brief look back at what's inside the new Prescott based Celeron, and we'll try to understand exactly what makes Celeron D so special.

UPDATE: When this article was first published, the L2 cache size of Northwood based Celeron processors was incorrect. The information has been corrected, and the article updated accordingly. Thanks to everyone who pointed out our error. We appologize for any inconvenience we may have caused.
Under The Hood of Celeron D


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  • Marlin1975 - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    Don't forget they were comapring a AMD chip that sells for 20% or more less. And also the the Sempron is AMDs new low line.
    Lets see how Celeron handles the sempron :)
  • SDA - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    The hell? An XP 2200+ beating a 2500+ in compilation? I think you might need to rerun that one.. the 2500+ is clocked higher (only 33MHz higher, sure, but higher), it has more cache, and its FSB is faster. AFAIK, there is NO way in which it is worse than a 2200+, so it should not post worse numbers. Reply
  • Minot - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    When are these going to be available? I'm sure I'd still pick an Athlon XP over the Celeron D line, but for competetions sake, it will be good to see a worthy value competetor from Intel in the marketplace. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    Yes, Northwood Celerons have only 128K L2 cache while these Prescott Celeron 'D's have 256K.

    You could compare a Celeron D at 20x100 with an original Willamette core P4 2GHz (as they also had 256K L2 and 400FSB) if you wanted to do the comparison between core architecture excluding L2 cache and FSB. The gap would probably be a lot narrower.
  • Zebo - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    Typo above: I meant AMD still owns price and performance with a two year old part.:) Reply
  • Illissius - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    Second Yomicron. I was under the impression that Northwood Celeron's have only 128KB cache. (Makes sense, considering each has a fourth of its P4 counterpart.)
    Also, iirc there was something of a price parity between Celerons and equivalently rated AXP's, so while these are certainly improvements (and not small ones either), they still fall clearly behind in price/performance (the 2.8GHz usually lost to the 2600+ as well as a few lower models).
  • Zebo - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    AMD will still owns price to performance with thier 2 year old parts and even more so with Semiporn. But this is still wonderful news for 2004 beleaguered Intel. Let's see pricing..should be worth $60-$90 starting. Reply
  • Yomicron - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    I think there is a mistake about L2 cache sizes. It says that both the Prescott and Northwood based Celerons have the same amount of L2 cache. However, the Prescott version has 256KB while the desktop Celerons based on the Northwood core only have 128KB. Reply
  • blackarc - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    hmm... if only i could use them in a dual system :D Reply
  • Budman - Thursday, June 24, 2004 - link

    How much does it overclock to?? Reply

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