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Celeron and Xeon: Intel Aims At The High/Low End

Intel's 15 Most Unforgettable x86 CPUs
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At the end of the 1990s, Intel launched two of its best-known processor brands: Celeron and Xeon. The former was aimed at the budget market and the latter at servers, and sometimes workstations. The first Celeron (Covington) was a Pentium II without a Level 2 cache, and suffered extremely poor performance, whereas the Pentium II Xeon had a large cache. Even now, both brands still exist—Celeron for the entry-level market (generally with a reduced cache and a slower FSB) and Xeon for servers (with a fast FSB, sometimes more cache, and high clock speeds).

Intel quickly added a cache to the Celeron with the Mendocino model (128 KB). The Celeron 300A is famous for its overclocking capacities, able to go 50% or more above its rated clock speed much of the time.

Intel Celeron and Intel Xeon
Code name Covington, Mendocino Drake
Date released 1998 1998
Architecture 32 bits 32 bits
Data bus 64 bits 64 bits
Address bus 32 bits 36 bits
Maximum memory 4 GB 64 GB
L1 cache 16 KB + 16 KB 16 KB + 16 KB
L2 cache 0 KB/128 KB (internal, CPU frequency) external, 512 KB-2,408 KB (CPU frequency)
Clock frequency 266-300 MHz/300-533 MHz 400-450 MHz
FSB 66 MHz 100 MHz
FPU built in built in
SIMD MMX MMX
Fabrication process 250 nm 250 nm
Number of transistors 7,500,000/19,000,000 7,500,000 + cache
Power consumption 16–28 W 30-46 W
Voltage 2 V 2 V
Die surface area 131 mm²/154 mm² 131 mm² + cache
Connector Slot1/Socket 370 PPGA Slot 2

Like the Pentium II, Xeon had an external L2 cache inside the processor cartridge. Its capacity was between 512 KB and 2 MB, and the number of transistors between 31 million and 124 million.

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