Celeron is a brand name given by Intel Corp. to a number of different low end IA-32 and x86-64 computer microprocessor models targeted at budget personal computers. Celeron processors can run all IA-32 computer programs, but their performance is significantly lower when compared to similar CPUs with higher-priced Intel CPU brands. For example, the Celeron brand will often have less cache memory and these missing features can have a variable impact on performance, but is often very substantial. While a few of the Celeron designs have achieved surprising performance and this has been the primary justification for the higher cost of other Intel CPU brands versus the Celeron range. Introduced in April 1998, the first Celeron branded CPU was based on the Pentium II branded core, subsequent Celeron branded CPUs were based on the Pentium III, Pentium 4, Pentium M, and Intel Core branded processors. The latest Celeron design is based on the sixth generation Core i3/i5/i7 series and this design features independent processing cores, but with only 66% as much cache memory as the comparable Core i3 offering. As a product concept, the Celeron was introduced in response to Intels loss of the market, in particular to the Cyrix 6x86, the AMD K6. Intels existing low-end product, the Pentium MMX, was no longer performance competitive at 233 MHz, instead, Intel pursued a budget part that was pin-compatible with their high-end Pentium II product, using the Pentium IIs Slot 1 interface. Intel hired marketing firm Lexicon Branding, which had come up with the name Pentium. The San Jose Mercury News described Lexicons reasoning behind the name they chose, Celeron is seven letters and three syllables, like Pentium. The Cel of Celeron rhymes with tel of Intel, the first Covington Celeron was essentially a 266 MHz Pentium II manufactured without any secondary cache at all. Covington also shared the 80523 product code of Deschutes, although clocked at 266 or 300 MHz, the cacheless Celerons were a good deal slower than the parts they were designed to replace. Substantial numbers were sold on first release, largely on the strength of the Intel name, but the Celeron quickly achieved a poor reputation both in the trade press and among computer professionals. The initial market interest faded rapidly in the face of its poor performance, nevertheless, the first Celerons were quite popular among some overclockers, for their flexible overclockability and reasonable price. Covington was only manufactured in Slot 1 SEPP format, the Mendocino Celeron, launched 24 August 1998, was the first retail CPU to use on-die L2 cache. Whereas Covington had no secondary cache at all, Mendocino included 128 KB of L2 cache running at full clock rate, the first Mendocino-core Celeron was clocked at a then-modest 300 MHz but offered almost twice the performance of the old cacheless Covington Celeron at the same clock rate. To distinguish it from the older Covington 300 MHz, Intel called the Mendocino core Celeron 300A, although the other Mendocino Celerons did not have an A appended, some people call all Mendocino processors Celeron-A regardless of clock rate. The new Mendocino-core Celeron was a performer from the outset
Intel Celeron Covington.
Intel Celeron Mendocino 300 MHz in SEPP package.
Top of a Mendocino-core Socket 370 Celeron (PPGA package)
Underside of a Mendocino-core Socket 370 Celeron, 333 MHz.