Intel Will Ship 433MHz Celerons In March

Intel is cranking up the speed on its budget-minded Celeron processors sooner than expected--releasing a 433-MHz version of the Celeron chip in mid-March, industry sources say. The Celeron-433 systems should be priced similarly to today's Celeron-400 PCs, which go for $1499 well loaded, including a monitor.

In PC World tests, Celeron-400 based systems have performed well--much like Pentium II-400 systems on Microsoft Office-type apps. The Celeron CPUs have an on-chip 128KB L2 cache that runs at the chip's full core speed, speeding application performance. The Pentium II-400 chips, in contrast, use an off-chip 512KB L2 cache that runs at just half the chip's core speed.

"Whitney" PCs Arriving Soon as Well
Intel's bid to integrate graphics processing into a future Celeron chip set, code-named Whitney, will also arrive sooner than previously thought. Look for Celeron systems using the Whitney chip set sometime around May, sources say. The Whitney chip set, designed to save PC vendors money, eliminates the need for a separate graphics card. That should mean lower prices or bigger configurations compared to today's Celeron systems. However, it's too early to judge how well these systems will run demanding graphics applications such as image editing and 3D games.

AMD, Intel's biggest chip-making rival in the budget and midrange PC market, will have 400- and 450-MHz K6-3 chips on the market before the Celeron-433 arrives. It's not clear how the K6-3 pricing will shake out compared to Intel chips. But AMD is positioning the K6-3 as fast enough to compete with Pentium II and Pentium III. The continued, heated competition between AMD and Intel to power fast budget and midrange systems is good news for shoppers this spring.

Source: PC World


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