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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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  • -5 Hide
    Arkz , August 4, 2008 7:19 AM
    great article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)

    Looking forward to the AMD article.
  • 6 Hide
    aleluja , August 4, 2008 7:36 AM
    To correct you. Core 2 Duo has ONLY 2 cores, not more, not less.
    Core 2 Quad, has 4 cores and Core Solo has 1 core.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 4, 2008 7:42 AM
    @Arkz

    Yes there is a singal core,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_2_microprocessors#Single-Core_Mobile_processors

    Ok it is not under the same branding but it is part of the same microarchitecture
  • 1 Hide
    Yuka , August 4, 2008 7:45 AM
    I might be wrong, but i resemble that the Pentium 166 (32bits adress bus and all) had support for 4Gb of memory. I remember IBM sold it's top line (at that time) with 64Mb support (even with SDR PC100/66 support). Correct me if i'm wrong please.
  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , August 4, 2008 8:39 AM
    The core 2 does supply 1-4 cores - 2 cores per die, where one might be disabled, and one or two dies on a socket. It's no less right to call a core2duo a cpu with 1-4 cores, than it is to put the pentium d on the same page as a single core prescot, as it's the very same principle.
  • -1 Hide
    cangelini , August 4, 2008 9:18 AM
    Arkzgreat article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coree ... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)Looking forward to the AMD article.


    Thanks for the heads-up! I tweaked that passage to better represent the Core 2 architecture's available configurations!
  • 1 Hide
    randomizer , August 4, 2008 11:03 AM
    vosesterOk it is not under the same branding but it is part of the same microarchitecture

    Exactly. The article says:

    ArticleThere are many versions of the architecture, resulting in configurations with a different number of cores


    There is no mention of the branding, so there is no actual error there, just misinterpretation.
  • 0 Hide
    ImSpartacus , August 4, 2008 11:11 AM
    Arkzgreat article with only a few slight errors (like saying the core2duo has 1-4 cores... i don't think there's a 1 cored version lol)Looking forward to the AMD article.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116039

    Yes, it isn't called a "Core 2 Duo," but it uses the Core architecture and only has a single core enabled.

    But I will have to say, there aren't any 3 core models...
  • 4 Hide
    magicandy , August 4, 2008 11:32 AM
    Good to hear you're not only doing an AMD article, but an ATI one as well (in response to the Nvidia article you did earlier, assuming). A sign of class from the new Tom's is a welcome one.
  • 6 Hide
    harrycat88 , August 4, 2008 12:15 PM
    I wish they would get rid of those stupid SNAP Linkbubless and Inteltex misguiding links. Who ever invented those stupid annoying double lined text popups should have been burned at the stake
  • 0 Hide
    JonathanDeane , August 4, 2008 12:39 PM
    What Intelitext do you speak of ? lol (I use a good Hosts file from MVP) blocks most of that crud.

    Anyway great article was like a trip down memory lane for me, first Intel CPU I got to use was a 8086 and wow it was slow (I was a kid with ADD give me a break lol) well maybe it was not slow and it was the floppy drive that killed me... Either way best game on it was Qbasic uugghh I think I remember it having CGA with a mighty 4 colors !! I had some paint program for it too.
  • 0 Hide
    johnlove , August 4, 2008 1:13 PM
    Compared to Athlon, Pentium 4 is a big loser.
    So why is the Pentium 4 "unforgettable"?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 4, 2008 1:38 PM
    My AMD machine (K6 233MHz) smoked all my college buddies Pentium 233s. MatLab, Visio, Quattro Pro, PSPICE, Duke Nukem - everything ran faster on my machine. And it cost me $400 less than the comparable Intel setup.
  • 0 Hide
    warezme , August 4, 2008 1:39 PM
    Just 15? I figure its anything with SX after it, anything Celeron and most of anything HT (hyperthreading heat trap)
  • 0 Hide
    warezme , August 4, 2008 1:41 PM
    oops, my dyslexia read the thing as Most Forgettable.., ignore post above. Maybe thats the next article
  • -1 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 4, 2008 2:02 PM
    johnloveCompared to Athlon, Pentium 4 is a big loser. So why is the Pentium 4 "unforgettable"?


    Because it was a huge part of CPU history? IDK. Considering that it was not that bad until Prescott, which I am sad they didn't mention.

    But the Pentium 4 will always be remembered in my eyes thanks to the Blue Man Group. Them and their crazy stuff.

    theDagdaMy AMD machine (K6 233MHz) smoked all my college buddies Pentium 233s. MatLab, Visio, Quattro Pro, PSPICE, Duke Nukem - everything ran faster on my machine. And it cost me $400 less than the comparable Intel setup.


    Thats nice. Because this is obviously a competition.

    No wait its not. Its just a nice walk down memory lane and they are going to do AMD next so no need for that.

    I for one am suprised that they didn't include the Pentium 805. I remember reading how well that one OCed and when OCed it smoked the highest end available and it only cost $150 bucks.

    Seriously why bring AMD into this? Its just nice memories not a comparison.
  • 0 Hide
    ovaltineplease , August 4, 2008 2:41 PM
    Enjoyed the article, it was a nice walk down memory lane to my teenage nerdhood.
  • 0 Hide
    snarfies1 , August 4, 2008 2:47 PM
    jimmysmittyConsidering that it was not that bad until Prescott, which I am sad they didn't mention.


    If the best you can say about it is "that it was not that bad," that would seem to indicate it wasn't particularly worth remembering.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 4, 2008 2:51 PM
    You forgot the 486DX5 133. Allowed me to up a 486/50 to Pentium 75 performance with just a chip. Worked well till programs started to check for a true Pentium chip before running/installing.
  • 0 Hide
    theLaminator , August 4, 2008 3:20 PM
    I've got a working luch box with a 386 in it complete with network cards, Working pentium box, a PIII box, the laptop I still use is a P4 3.0Ghz (an hour and half battery life lol), and my new rig has A core 2 duo E8400 OC'd to 4.0Ghz. Good times for me with Intel
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