Final Words

We have said it for a seemingly endless period of time, the Celeron needed this 100MHz FSB upgrade much earlier.  But sometimes, when you're making products for an incredibly large population a sacrifice has to be made in favor of preserving profits and that sacrifice often is performance.  This is the sacrifice Intel made by keeping the Celeron as a 66MHz FSB part, however it doesn't really cost any more for them to produce a 100MHz FSB Celeron, the main reason for doing this was to keep the Celeron as far away from the Pentium III's performance level as to not threaten Intel's flagship product. 

For those of you that are building new systems from scratch, even the new 100MHz FSB Celeron 800 isn't able to come closer than offering 90% of the performance of the Duron 800.  Not to mention that it is a more expensive chip, making it a less attractive option than a Duron, especially considering the maturity of current KT133 based motherboards. 

While we concluded our first review of the Duron with the statement that it had restored the idea of a low-cost processor performing like a high-end speed demon, the Celeron 800 unfortunately doesn't meet that characterization.  As the SPECviewperf performance analysis illustrated, the Celeron 800 is still classified, at best, as an entry level desktop PC processor whereas the Duron could very easily pass as a workstation solution.

But those that were planning on using a processor for such tasks already knew that the Celeron wouldn't be the answer.  We proved early on that an 850MHz Celeron with a 100MHz FSB wouldn't be able to offer the same type of performance as a similarly clocked Duron in most high-end applications, so there's no reason to continue to argue the point. 

In terms of business and home/office application performance, the Celeron 800 is definitely much more competitive than any other Celeron ever was, simply because of its 100MHz FSB.  In these types of applications, the Celeron 800 is slightly faster than a Duron 600, and often approximately 10% slower than an equivalently clocked Duron.  In games, the Celeron 800 performs identically to the Duron 600, and again approximately 10% slower than the Duron 800. 

For OEMs and System Integrators, provided that we are talking about using processors on their appropriate value platforms (KM133/730S for the Duron, i810E2/815E for the Celeron), the Celeron 800's performance is indiscernible from the Duron 800.  If you happen to be walking down the isles of a retail computer sales store, chances are that the value positioned Duron systems will be using one of the two aforementioned chipsets, bringing the Duron's performance down to the level of the Celeron, making the only reasons to go one way or another with your purchase: price, system configuration, and upgrade path. 

Stepping back again to take a look at the big picture, Intel just gave the Celeron exactly what it needed to remain competitive, a 100MHz FSB.  It's definitely not too little too late, although we would have definitely liked to have seen it a bit earlier.  The Celeron has the retail advantage of have a much more mature value chipset that it can be paired up with, it's AMD's job to nullify that advantage if they are going to break into the market that the Celeron has a very tight grasp on. 

System Performance Test - DVD Playback
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