What is the difference between a Celeron and a Pentium processor?


Will software that requires a Pentium work with a Celeron processor.


This question was answered on August 27, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The Celeron processor family is based on the Pentium platform so your software should run fine.

(see below for additional information.)

The Intel family of chips dominates the consumer processor market with AMD coming in a distant second and Cyrix just barely registering on the chart Intel chips generally are the most powerful and the most widely supported by motherboard manufacturers

The Intel family of processors include the Celeron, Celeron 128k and the Pentium II (MMX is in all Pentium II processors) The Celeron is the entry-level processor for Intel It is not a particularly fast processor when compared to the rest of the line, but the intent of this processor is not performance but rather a way of giving the entry level customer a way to start cheap but have some upgrade options For instance, you can start with a Celeron 266 and later upgrade to the Celeron 300, 300a, 333 as well as the Pentium II 300 and 333 just by changing the chip This gives you five levels of processing in which you can simply upgrade as your processing needs increase The Celeron 300a and 333 (often referred to as Celeron/128K in advertisements) uses 128K of cache memory to improve the performance by nearly 25% Te Pentium II line of processor incorporates 512k of cache memory and comes in speeds of 300, 333, 350, 400 and 450Mhz To illustrate the difference between the different levels of processors lets look at the iComp rating (Intels method of measuring performance) of the Celeron 300, 300a and Pentium II 300 which are all rated at 300Mhz The iComp ratings are as follows (the larger, the better): Celeron 300 = 226, Celeron 300a = 296 and the Pentium II 300 = 332 The main difference in the 3 processors is the caching circuit Based on the iComp rating the Celeron 300a gives you the best bang for the buck because it is nearly 25% fster than the Celeron 300 and only 10% sower than the Pentium II 300 The complete iComp chart can be viewed at www.intel.com/procs/perf/icomp/index.htm Intel has spent millions to let the world know to look for the Intel Inside logo and in my opinion its a good idea It is too easy for an unscrupulous computer dealer or salesperson to confuse or mislead uneducated buyers by saying this is just as fast as an Intel system That is, unless you understand all the nuances of cache circuits, floating point calculations, speculative and superscalar execution, bus speeds and other geek terms like them!

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on August 27, 1999