The Artist's New Clothes: Celeron 2 GHz Put to the Test
It was only six months ago that Intel extended its processor family with the addition of the Celeron for socket 478. This move means that the Pentium 4 and Celeron processors are once more based on the same architecture. There is already a general overhaul underway since all future models, starting with the current 2 GHz model, will be based on the Northwood processor core. Its benefits lie in lower power consumption and higher attainable clock speeds.
As a result, the Celeron is once more taking up a position that every previous generation has made really popular: thanks to the use of the latest processor technology, the current model is extremely easy to overclock - so far, this property has been missing for Celeron models running at 1.7 and 1.8 GHz. In addition, the Celerons are a lot cheaper than Pentium 4 models running at the same speed.
But the 2 GHz Celeron also fulfills its purpose within normal operating parameters: this low-cost model now makes it possible to produce extremely cheap systems, boasting an impressive clock speed of 2 GHz, even if the performance of such systems still falls far short of that of a Pentium 4 or an Athlon XP.
In technical terms the new Celeron does not represent an extraordinary leap forward. The real change that has taken place compared with the previous model comes down to the replacement of the processor core: here, instead of the Willamette, the Northwood is now used, which also lies at the heart of all Pentium 4 CPUs of 2 GHz and over.
In order to evaluate the new processor we compared it with both its predecessors and with several Athlon models. AMD has already given up the Duron processor for reasons of cost, so the slower Athlon models are the new competitors for the Celeron.