Yes the P3 will be a lot better than the celeron. Celerons didnt start making good numbers unitl they were competing with the p4. if you got a celeron and put it into that socket it will be like running a low end P2 compared to a Mid-range p3. At my office theres 2 or 3 Celeron based PCs and they really suck. Personally if you got the money get a cheap AMD board and a cheap AMD processor(barton 2500+ is only $90 some odd dollars bucks).
But if this is just a back up system then get the celeron. If not definetly go with the P3, the highest you can get for a reasonable price.
Don't buy a P3 unless you know what you are doing. By this I mean that P3's still have SOME use (low energy/low noise etc) situations, but otherwise take the other guy's advice. Buy a new Athlon motherboard AND AthlonXP for under 100 dollars total. It really can be done, and your system will be MUCH better than a P3 system that also couldn't be further upgraded.
If you can get a 1.26GHz PIII for $100 it's worth the money.
It has a 133MHz FSB with 512KB of L2 cache.
I realize you can get a 1.2GHz Celeron for $50 but it only has a 100MHz FSB with 256KB of L2 cache.
A 1.2GHz Celeron compares in performance to an 866MHz PIII.
If you have a good motherboard (I815 chipset), fast video card, 7200rpm hard drive and PC133 memory don't settle for a Celeron. Get the most out of your system with a PIII. You will not be disappointed.
Buy the PIII 1.26GHz Tulatian. It is fast although it was largely overshadowed by the P4. A 1.4GHz Celeron socket 370 processor is actually pretty fast if you are just doing Office / Wb stuff, but remember it is a 100MHz FSB processor with not much cache, it will suffer in games.
Need to make sure your boards tualatin compatible before buying one. If not you'll be limited to the old p3 which capped out around 1 Ghz - the 1.13 model was a paper release and didn't quite make it out of the gates due to a bug. There's a couple floating around somewhere and it'd be worth getting one just for the money it could be worth in years to come.
Maybe there's an adaptor to use a tualatin in an old board but with the increased cost you may as well get an AMD system. An Athlon XP based system should smoke any P3 and the first generation P4's for a song.
<b>Vorsprung durch Dontwerk</b>.....<i>as they say at VIA</i>
Don't spend 50$ too much on a system that is getting old. That's twice the money for maybe 10% of performance increase. Go for the Celeron and save that money for your next system or take your girlfriend to a romantic dinner.
The Celeron 1.2 GHz has a 256 kB L2 cache which is just as much as the Coppermine Pentium III, plus it's eight-way associative and has hardware prefetching. So basically those Celerons are fast Coppermines. The 512 kB versions are targeted at servers and you can only go to 1133 MHz. The 133 MHz FSB does make a bit of a difference but again it's not worth the money.
There are no boards in existance that support a maximum 1200MHz Socket 370 processor. Your board is either limitted to the fastest Coppermine (the old Celeron 1100 128k, which is much slower than a PIII 1000EB), or the fastest Tualatins (PIII 1400 and Celeron 1400).
Assuming your board supports Tualatins, you would be far better off with the PIII unless you overclock. When you overclock, the true value of Celerons can be exploited. A PIII 1400 cost nearly $200, while a Tualatin Celeron 1100 can be overclocked to 1466MHz and be only 5-15% slower, for $45.
You see, the biggest handicap of the Tualatin Celeron is it's bus speed. So raising that bus speed to 133MHz cancels out that factor.
What board do you have?
<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
I agree fully with Crash. I have a celeron 1.1 (tualatin core), and I bumped the fsb to 133, giving me a speed of 1.4ghz. It is running very cool with the included heatsink/fan. The only real difference between the overclocked celeron and the Pentium is 256 cache, which "can" be overlooked. For your interest, I ran 3dmark 2001, comparing my old p3 800EB, celeron, and overclocked celeron. My specs:
512mb of pc 133
via apollo pro 133T chipset
geforce 4mx 440 (since upgraded to 9600 Pro )
30 gig 7200rpm hd
audigy sound card
Here here !! I also followed Crash's advice and upgraded from a P3-733 to a cell 1.1A overclocked the bus to 133 "1.69volts" Now I basicly much have a 1463mhz p3 !! It kills my 733 and now I can play C&C Generals no prob with the 2nd computer. Dam sweet deal for $69 cdn. Thanks again Crash..