Gecko's CPU Library

Intel Celeron (Covington) processors

Introduction: April 1998


The Celeron brand refered to a range of Intel's x86 CPUs for budget/value personal computers. Considered Intel's "economic" processor, the Celeron branded processors had complemented Intel's higher-performance (and more expensive) brands. Intel had given the brand the motto, "delivering great quality at an exceptional value." Celeron processors was able to run all IA-32 computer programs, but their performance was somewhat lower when compared to similar, but higher priced, Intel CPU brands. For example, the Celeron brand often had less cache memory, or had advanced features purposely disabled. These missing features had a variable impact on performance. In some cases, the effect was significant and in other cases the differences were relatively minor. Many of the Celeron designs had achieved a very high "bang to the buck," while at other times, the performance difference had been noticeable. For example, some intense application software, such as cutting edge PC games, programs for video compression, video editing, or solid modeling (CAD, engineering analysis, computer graphics and animation, rapid prototyping, medical testing, product visualization, and visualization of scientific research), etc. may not performed as well on the Celeron family. This had been the primary justification for the higher cost of other Intel CPU brands vs. the Celeron.

The Covington core

The first Celeron (codenamed Covington) was essentially a 266MHz Deschutes Pentium II manufactured without any secondary cache at all. Covington also shared the 80523 product code of Deschutes. Although clocked at 266 or 300MHz (frequencies 33 or 66MHz higher than the desktop version of the Pentium w/MMX), 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 and with sales at a very low level, Intel felt obliged to develop a substantially faster replacement as soon as possible. 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.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.