Testing For testing purposes, I compared the Intel Celeron 2GHZ against the Intel Pentium 4 2.0A (based on the Northwood core) and the AMD Athlon XP2000+. According to AMD, the XP2000+ is rated to compete with the performance of 2GHZ processors.
SiSoft 2003: CPU Arithmetic, CPU Multimedia, Cache & Memory
I used a Radeon 7200 instead of a high end video card was to make the 3DMark score completely dependent on the CPU and not the video card. During testing, all memory settings are set to as low as possible--to obtain highest overclock. The great performing Swiftech MCX4000 with a Y.S. Tech TMD fan was used on the socket 478. The good performing GlobalWIN CAK4 with the clear thermal fan was used on the socket A.
Tests were done under Windows XP Professional w/ SP1.
Celeron @ 2GHZ Celeron @ 2.86GHZ
Intel Pentium 4:
Pentium 4 @ 2GHZ Pentium 4 @ 2.86GHZ
AMD Athlon XP2000+:
Athlon XP2000+ Athlon XP2000+ @ XP2200+
As you can see from the results that the lack of L2 cache is causing the Celeron a performance hit in PCMark2002. In overclocking the Celeron to 2.86GHZ, it was barely able to catch up to the Athlon XP2000+. One thing to note however is that the Celeron was able to perform rather well during integer and floating point calculations. In fact, it outperformed the Northwood 2A. This should be because of the new core stepping--C1. Also notice the memory scores dropped when the Celeron was clocked in @3.06GHz. This was because we had to lower the FSB Ratio to accommodate the higher overclock. A higher clock will certainly help CPU scores, but dropping the FSB hurts bandwidth and lowers the Memory score.
Overclocking The Celeron overclocked extremely well. Using the Swiftech MCX4000 with the Y.S. Tech TMD fan, I was able to achieve a maximum stable overclock of 3.06GHZ (20 x 153). This is a very nice 53% increase. This was done with maximum voltage at 1.75v on the CPU, H/W strap set to Low, and DDR ratio was set to 1:1. Cas setting was set to 2.5-6-3-3.
wCPUid Celeron 3.06GHZ
When the Celeron is operating at 3.06GHZ, it is running at blazing speeds. CPU intensive scores show that it gives highest benchmark. 3DMark, however, shows otherwise. If you suspected 3DMark2k1 was FSB hungry, this will definitely confirm your suspicions, as you'll see below.
Conclusion What can be said about the Celeron other than that it packs a hefty punch for a budget processor. A quick check on Pricewatch.com shows a rough estimate of about $89. The Northwood 2A comes in at nearly double the price of around $164. The cheapest of all 3 CPU's is the Athlon XP2000+ which is about $74. Users are sure to pick up the XP2000+ because it gives lots of power for such a low price. I, however, would choose the Celeron 2GHz if I was on a tight budget. The overclockability and performance is admirable and the stability of the Intel chipsets combined with this CPU would be a great choice for any enthusiast. AMD users have to deal with VIA's compatibility issues and the tedious task of unlocking their CPU's. I, for one, try to avoid it. Although the Celery may lack slightly in gaming performance, it gives users a good bang for the buck in CPU intensive applications such as encoding and file compressions. Not all hardcore gamers have the need to get a top end CPU to edit photos and mess around with videos. The Celeron has certainly come back and showed us a little surprise.
* Great Price
* Smaller Die size lets it run cool
* Overclocks like a CHAMP!
* Good performance for CPU intensive programs such as compressing files
* Only has 128kb of L2 cache
* Lack of L2 cache hurts gaming performance
Final Rating: 8/10
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