Gecko's CPU Library

Intel Celeron (Willamette-128) processors

Introduction: May 2002


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 Willamette-128 core

These Celerons were for socket 478 and were based on the Willamette Pentium 4 core, being a completely different design compared to the previous Tualatin Celeron. These are often known as the "Celeron 4". Their L2 cache (128KB) is half that of the Pentium 4 Willamette's 256KB of L2 cache, but otherwise the two are very similar. With the transition to the Pentium 4 core the Celeron now featured SSE2 instructions. The ability to share the same socket as the Pentium 4 meant that the Celeron now had the option to use RDRAM, DDR SDRAM, or traditional SDRAM. Willamette Celerons were launched May 15, 2002, initially at 1.7GHz, and offered a noticeable performance improvement over the older Tualatin Celeron 1.3GHz part, being able to finally beat the Duron 1.3GHz, which at the time was AMD's top competing budget processor. On June 12, 2002, Intel launched the last Willamette Celeron, a 1.8GHz model.

In Intel's "Family/Model/Stepping" scheme, Willamette Celerons and Pentium 4s were family 15, model 1, and their Intel product code was 80531.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.