Intel releases three new desktop Celeron chips

Just a week after introducing five new mobile processors, Intel Corporation filled out its value line of Celeron desktop processors with models that run at 700, 667, and 633 MHz. The new chips, which are designed to run in so-called "value" PCs that cost less than $1000, are quickly catching up with their high-end Pentium III brethren, offering speeds almost double of those available at the beginning of this year. But unlike the Pentium III, the Celeron chips are priced to sell: They all cost less than $200 apiece. Similar Pentium III chips cost about $100 more. But best of all, the new Celerons work with existing Celeron-based system designs, so PC makers won't need to reengineer them to work.

"All these products fit into today's existing infrastructure," an Intel spokesperson said this weekend. "The infrastructure is there. The motherboards are there, so this can ramp very quickly in the marketplace."

Intel's Celeron line is the second best selling processor available on the market today, coming up right behind the Pentium III. The announcement this week was the first time the company had ever released three Celerons at one time; analysts suggest that this is a move designed to counter AMD's Duron processor, which comes at a similar price and offers similar capabilities. But the 633 and 667 MHz versions were originally due in April: They were delayed because the company was having trouble meeting demand for its processors.

Intel says that Dell Computer and Micron Electronics will release new systems based on the chips Monday with other major computer manufacturers following in the next few weeks. The 700, 667 and 633 MHz Celerons are volume priced at $192, $170 and $138, respectively

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