Intel pump up the megahertz in Celerons

Intel have announced that they will be releasing new Celeron chips based on their Pentium 4 technology this Wednesday. These will be running at 1.7 or 1.8 Ghz, the latter being a higher speed in terms of megahertz than any current processor from rival AMD. This doesn't necessarily reflect the performance of the chips, as Celerons have been known as cheap processors with poor performance.

The reason Celerons have been disappointing for power users is due to their small data caches and the new chips are going to have just 128 KB secondary caches, half that in current Celeron chips. This will mean there will be less memory for rapid data access and therefore a loss in performance.

This doesn't reflect how successful the chip will be, as Intel has proven with their last series of Celerons. They are priced well below other processors at between $64 and $100 (US). This has allowed the building of computers on much tighter budgets without having to sacrifice other parts of the machine, as PC retailers have been doing in attempts to push down the price of Pentium 4 systems. The new Celerons will also be a great hit with corporate consumers, as they aren't as concerned with performance as home users, mainly due to the way computers are used in the workspace and the need to keep to budgets.

The image of the megahertz rating being a true measure of a computer's performance still has a great influence on consumers who don't have much specialist knowledge or who haven't researched the performance of chips. Many average consumers will see systems with chips like the AMD Athlon XP 1800+ and will compare the price to a Celeron 1.8 Ghz, and when confronted with the cost the Intel chip will be bought by many budget conscious people, despite the Athlon being the better performer. This is a hard situation for AMD as Intel push towards the 3 Ghz barrier this year – but the new 0.13 micron manufacturing process being undertaken by AMD should ensure they will be able to keep producing top performing chips.

News source: ZDNet UK

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