Performance Guide: Intel Celeron

Celeron Vs. Pentium III, Continued

The following table shows the differences between the Pentium III Coppermine and the Celeron.

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Header Cell - Column 0 CeleronPentium III
SocketSocket 370Socket 370 or Slot-1
System Bus Speeds66 MHz100 MHz, 133 MHz
Processor Speeds366, 400, 433, 466, 500, 533, 566, 600, 633, 667 MHz500, 533, 550, 600, 650, 667, 700, 733, 750, 800, 850, 866, 933, 1000 MHz
L2 Cache Size128 kBytes256 kBytes
L2 Cache SpeedFull CPU clock speedFull CPU clock speed
L2 Cache Bus Width256 Bits256 Bits
Operating Voltage2.0V (366-533 MHz)1.5V (533A-600 MHz)1.60/1.65V/1.70V
L2 Cacheable Area4 GBytes64 GBytes
L2 Associativity4-way set8-way set
ScalabilityUniprocessor systemsDual-Processor systems
Price of slowest model$70 for 366 MHz$175 for 500 MHz
Price of top model$130 for 600 MHz$795 for 933 MHz

As you can see in this table, the practical differences can be reduced to the following:

  • The Pentium III as well as the Celeron 533A and up use the same core
  • The Pentium III runs at 100 or 133 MHz system speed, while all Celerons are officially restricted to 66 MHz only . As the multipliers have only been defined up to x8.0, smaller multipliers had to be 'recycled':

  • x4.5 will work as x8.5 (Pentium III 850, Celeron 566)
    x5.0 will work as x9.0 (Celeron 600)
    x5.5 will work as x9.5 (Celeron 633)
    x6.0 will work as x10.0 (Celeron 667)
  • The Celeron is equipped with only 128 kByte L2 Cache
  • All new Celeron CPUs require 1.5V core voltage, while Pentium III models run at 1.60 or 1.65V (1.70V in case of the 933 and 1000 MHz version).

What both FC-PGA processors have in common is that they are very fragile. First, the plastic package makes the whole CPU lightweight. Second, the die is now exposed directly at the top of the processor. Thanks to this flip-chip technique, the heat sink will have direct contact to the die without the formerly used heat plate. This byproduct of high clock speeds is of course extremely important with respect to proper cooling.

Upgrading from the old to a new Celeron may be an interesting issue as well. In theory, every new Celeron should work in most Socket 370 motherboards. But as many motherboard companies did not implement low voltage support (down to 1.5V), lots of older boards can only be equipped with the Celeron 533 max (requiring 2.0V). The CPU multiplier cannot be changed for some years now, so the only two issues for upgrading are, first, the availability of a new BIOS, supporting the new Celeron and second, the support of 1.5 V core voltage . Information on both should be available at the website of your motherboard manufacturer.


Naturally, Intel wants to address both the performance and the low end market. In order to reduce system costs, customers with low performance demands are suggested to combine the Celeron processor with an i810 motherboard. The i810 chipset comes with all features required by a standard business computer: Intel's fancy hub architecture, Integrated 2D/3D graphics, UltraDMA/66 IDE interface, AC97 sound system, two USB ports and support for 66, 100 (i810) and 133 MHz FSB (i810E).

As you can imagine, the integrated graphics controller is both a benefit and a big handicap. On the one hand, you basically do not need a graphics card any more, as the chipset takes over all graphics functions. In addition, the graphics logic of the chipset is able to make use of the main memory. This solution is very inexpensive indeed. However, we can only recommend i810 for computers that will never be used for demanding graphic applications or 3D games! As you will see later, the performance of Intel's integrated graphics really beggars belief.

Test Configuration

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Test System
CPUIntel Celeron, Intel Pentium III
MotherboardAsus CUBX, Intel 440BX chipsetAsus CUWE-RM, Intel i810 chipset
RAM128 MB PC133 SDRAM, 7ns (Wichmann Workx or Memory Solution ) CL2
Hard DiskSeagate Barracuda ATA ST320430A20 GBytes, 7200 rpm
Graphics CardAsus V6600, nVIDIA GeForce 25632 MByte SDRAMnVIDIA Drivers 5.08 for Windows 98nVIDIA TNT2/Ultra Reference Card32 MByte SDRAMnVIDIA Drivers 5.08 for Windows 98Intel i810 Integrated GraphicsDriver Version 4.1
Operating SystemWindows 98 SE 4.10.2222 A
Benchmarks and Setup
Office Applications BenchmarkBAPCo SYSmark2000
OpenGL Game BenchmarkQuake III ArenaRetail Versioncommand line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0Graphics detail set to 'Normal', 640x480x16Benchmark using 'Q3DEMO1'
Direct3D Game BenchmarkExpendableDownloadable Demo Versioncommand line = -timedemo640x480x16
Screen Resolution1024x768x85, 16 Bit
DirectX Version7.0