Intel announced dramatic price cuts for its current line of Celeron microprocessors, leading the way for a new generation of Celeron chips based on Pentium 4 processor technology. The company will probably announce the new Celeron microprocessors, which will debut at speeds of 1.7GHz and 1.8GHz, on Monday; PC makers will start shipping systems based on the new chips early next week.
Even with the move to a Pentium 4 processor-based design, the low-end Celeron family will see less-significant performance boosts than you might expect, thanks to smaller on-chip cache sizes and other technical limitations. But the new Celeron chips will still offer enhancements over the previous generation, which topped out at speeds of 1.3GHz. For example, they'll use a 400MHz system bus, compared to 100MHz for the previous generation. And the new Celeron chips will use the Pentium 4 processor NetBurst architecture, providing such advanced internal features as the Hyper Pipelined Technology and Rapid Execution Engine.
If you're interested in buying the current-generation Celeron, the prices are right. You can buy the 1.2GHz version for $69, a $10 reduction; the 1.3GHz version is selling for $74.