1999: Year of the Celeron?

The celery jokes have ended. With the introduction Monday of new 366 and 400 MHz Celeron processors, Intel's low-end microprocessor takes a serious step up in performance while retaining the pricing edge of its predecessors. And on the heels of this announcement are plans by virtually every major PC maker--including Dell, Compaq, and HP--to make computers based around these exciting new chips.

The Intel Celeron is designed for systems costing $1200 or less, while offering the same P6 core used in the Pentium II and Pentium II Xeon processors. And unlike early Celerons, which didn't include any L2 cache, newer (300 MHz+) models feature 128K of L2 cache which runs at the full speed of the processor: This allows cheap Celeron-based computers to run almost as fast as comparable Pentium II systems.

Current Celeron processors use the Slot 1 "cartridge" now employed by the Pentium II though future Celerons will switch back to a cheaper pin-based chip, making such systems even cheaper. The first non-Slot 1 Celeron chips are expected later this year

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