Not long after the introduction of the cacheless Celerons, Intel produced the "A" version of the chip with 128K of L2 cache residing directly on the die of the CPU. It came first in 300Mhz (300A) and then in 333Mhz (333A). The second of these is not worth buying. More on that later. Once again, Anand was right on top of this release with his excellent report.


Celeron 300A

This was a performance-enhancing feature both for the fact that the chip now had cache and the fact that this cache was operating at full chip-speed. But, many in the "Geek" community assumed that this would reduce, or even, eliminate the overclockability. Add to this the fact that Intel has clock-locked these chips, and many of assumed the run was over.

Boy, were we wrong.

Suddenly, we had a dirt-cheap alternative that, in many cases, performed on par with its big brother, the Pentium 2, 450Mhz. Think about it, when set up at the clocked locked multiplier of 4.5 on a 100Mhz FSB, for a fifth of the price (currently) one could have 450Mhz performance!

As you can see from these graphs, this performance/price ratio is simply the best bargain we have ever seen in the PC world:

Celeron 450 business performance
Courtesy AnandTech, 1998
Celeron 450 game performance
Courtesy AnandTech, 1998

Index 14 Distinct sSpec numbers

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