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The value processor market has lately been a place of much interest for the user community as both suppliers of x86 CPUs, AMD and Intel, reformed their series of products for inexpensive computer systems throughout the last summer, making obsolete our comparative review of value CPUs we published on our site in the middle of May. The report on the Celeron D posted in June doesn’t help much, either.

So, we must return to the problem of value processors once again.

The review you’re now reading is dedicated to comparing the performance of new value CPUs from AMD and Intel – the Sempron and the Celeron D, respectively. Intel has equipped its value series with a new and more advanced core achieving a substantial performance improvement. AMD’s new Sempron family has appeared exactly to compete with the rejuvenated Celerons in the bottom tiers of the market. Thus, the situation has changed completely: you had to choose between junior Athlon XP models and Celerons earlier, but now there are other names in the market.

To see the standings of the two manufacturers in this market sector, we carry out this review.

Modern Processors for Inexpensive PCs

Before offering you the results of the tests, I’d like to describe briefly the basic characteristics of the participants.

Intel Celeron D. The Celeron D CPU owes its origin to Intel’s transition to the 90nm tech process. First appearing in the Pentium 4, the Prescott core soon found an application in the value series. Thanks to the new core, the Celeron D features 256KB L2 cache and SSE2 support. Intel also transferred the new Celeron to the 533MHz front-side bus. All these improvements contribute to a much higher performance of the new processor, making it more competitive from the price/performance point of view, compared to the older Celeron family.

The use of the advanced Prescott core manufactured with 90nm tech process also allows raising the frequency bar of the new Celeron D family. Right now, the senior model of the series is clocked at 2.93GHz; models with 3GHz and higher frequencies are soon to appear, too.

Note that with all the considerable improvements in the Celeron D, Intel doesn’t implement Hyper-Threading technology in it yet. Instead, the new Celeron D models (in the LGA755 variant) feature Execute Disable Bit, a technology for securing the OS against various malicious programs. This technology is supported in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, SuSE Linux 9.2 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 3.

 
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