Articles: CPU

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Better Safe Than Sorry

Intel stuck to its traditional tactics when launching the new Celeron processor on Core micro-architecture. As always, they did three things when designing a budget CPU from a fully-fledged processor core: reduced the clock frequency, lowered the bus frequency and made the L2 cache smaller. Moreover, the new Celeron processor turned out deprived of even more features than the one step higher Pentium Dual Core, which can also be regarded as a cut-down Core 2 Duo. The clock frequency of the only currently available representative of the dual-core Celeron processor family – Celeron E1200 – is set at 1.6GHz, the bus frequency – at 800MHz and the shared L2 cache is 512KB big.

Since there are a lot of processors on Core micro-architecture these days, we put together a table with the primary specs of the Intel’s dual-core CPU types that should help to avoid confusion:

Note that Intel is actually shipping only four types of processor semiconductor dies these days: Wolfdale, Conroe, Allendale and single-core Conroe-L. They manage to ensure greater variety of processor modifications by combining different pairs of dies, just like with quad-core CPUs, or by disabling part of the cache memory on the existing semiconductor die. Dual-core Celeron processor is an excellent example of this approach. It is based on Allendale core that theoretically features 2MB L2 cache, however, only one quarter of this capacity is available to the user. From the economical prospective unification turned out more efficient than die size reduction.

However, there is nothing surprising about it, because Intel doesn’t expect this inexpensive dual-core solution to become popular very rapidly, as it will not terminate the life span of the single-core Celeron processor family on Conroe-L core. Old single-core budget solutions will be available at least until 2009, and until Q3 2008 they will continue to dominate over their dual-core counterparts.

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