- Celeron (Pentium II light)

- AMD K6-2 (3D)

- Conclusion

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Juan Herrerías Rey

Celeron "A" Mendocino

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Celeron (Pentium II light) and AMD K6-2 (3D)

IT NOTICES: this information is partially out of date, since he does not contemplate the mikes Celeron with cache memory (Mendocinos). To know more on this question, consult in the margin the related topics.


One treats as two new chips that it seems that they will give much about that to speak. They appear on the market almost the same date, between May and June, and there are a continuation of the contest Intel-AMD in the field of the microprocessors.

As for another important contender, Cyrix, also it is preparing a chip similar to the AMD K6-2, although we do not know when they will extract it to the market.

Celeron (Pentium II light)

It is a chip of Intel based on Pentium II, which at his first version is employed to 266 MHz. Very well, it is not that it is based on him; it is a Pentium II, but without one of his characteristics: he lacks cache memory of the second level inside the cartridge SEC. With pardon to the concourse, it is a castrated Pentium II, hence the by-name (not official) of Pentium II light.


His function is not different that to replace the Pentium MMX on the market of cheap mikes (the entry level or basic level that the Americans say). His yield is almost identical to that of the Pentium MMX (according to tests of the same Intel), but this is that thing about less, so it is not a progress with a view to the user, but to the proper Intel.

Thanks to this chip there eliminate the badges market with socket 7, that is to say, those who use the MMX and all his competition (AMD, Cyrix-IBM). Also, they remain with absolutely the whole cake of the chipsets for basic badges, since in the field of badges for Pentium II Intel it is the only company that counts on a global scale.

We go, that look for a monopoly to the egg whites; I remind to them that the connector of Pentium II, and therefore that of the Celeron, the slot 1, is a property of Intel, who does not think to license it to anybody who causes him economic problems. So without an important profit for the user, they try to be placed alone on the market (in head they are already).

My advice: do not buy it as it is not very cheap. Not for that thing about the monopoly (nobody me was going to pay attention), but because it is much worse than a "finished" Pentium II that it goes at minor clock speed, less MHz. For the believers in the mystical and debatable index iCOMP of Intel, an image costs more than thousand words:

Graph iCOMP of general yield of microprocessors Intel - Source Intel, based on the index iCOMP, that sums diverse tests up and whose copyright belongs to Intel Corporation

Really, it is not so much like that one 42 % slower for the same MHz, but the test serves to us to state two things: that not everything is in the MHz, and that any Celeron does not have anything that to do against a Pentium II; it be born in mind that the Celeron to 300 MHz will cost so much or more than a Pentium II to 233 ó 266...

Also, LX usually goes with the chipset or with the new one called EX-that only give a speed of 66 MHz badge, while another new chipset, the BX, offers 100 MHz. Or, that if it does economies now, is limiting also the future yield of his computer.

So he knows already: better Pentium II to 233 MHz that Celeron to 266, and even to 300 (when it comes to Spain). If you want to economize, buy a Pentium MMX or an AMD K6, unless they offer him the very cheap Celeron and in badge BX and be going to use it especially for games, where yes it can overcome a Pentium MMX.

AMD K6-2 (3D)

This AMD chip yes is an advance, not like castrated Pentium II of Intel. It is a question of a K6 (a chip of AMD superior to the Pentium MMX) to which capacities have added him 3D to that the software (typically the games) can gain access, increasing the yield, in addition to optimizing it in general.

Also, and almost more important, at badge level 66 works to 100 MHz instead of to the outstanding figures, what gives an increase of exceptional yield, as they know well the overclockers, those persons who were already doing this in mikes not prepared for it, even at the cost of burning them. The K6-2 is prepared to work with a bus to 100 MHz safely, thanks to his low electrical consumption. The first version works to 300 MHz, and they wait for versions of 350 ó more.

To my way of seeing, this chip will be a fantastic election, since it is supposed that it will go out cheaper enough than a Pentium II (not a Celeron) of the same speed; according to AMD up to 25 % less, but it will depend on the success that it has in Spain, country in which unfortunately that thing about "Intel Inside" us loves (mark emulation or pijismo, who knows). More it would cost that Intel was not gaining the pulse and was throwing definitely AMD and Cyrix of the market, thing that we all would end up by paying in what more hurts: the pocket.

His yield is very good, as they indicate these graphs:

Yield graph in ofimáticas applications - Source AMD, based on the test Winstone 98 which copyright belongs to Ziff-Davis Inc.

Since we see, practically the same yield as that of a Pentium II at the same clock speed in office operations (Word, Excel, accounting...) and similar, thank you especially to the 100 MHz bus.

Yield graph in applications 3D - Source AMD, based on the test 3D Winbench 98 which copyright belongs to Ziff-Davis Inc.

And much better when it is a question of games, although here reservations exist: only in new games optimized for this chip, or that the DirectX uses for Windows; in the rest it can lower enough, although always over a Pentium MMX.

On the support of the new instructions 3D (the technology 3D Now!), many manufacturers will give it, between others:

  • Microsoft with the DirectX 6.0 for Windows, which are waited for June or July;
  • Silicon Graphics with support for OpenGL;
  • 3Dfx, NVidia, Matrox, Trident and others with drivers optimized;
  • Epic, Rage, LucasArts and other manufacturers of games.


Summing up, of the new chips the most versatile is the AMD K6-2. For office works the K6-2 it overcomes for heavy defeat the Celeron, being to the same height of Pentium II.

In questions of games the K6-2 and the Celeron they go at the same time if the game is not prepared to make use of the characteristics of the K6-2, both to not too much distance of Pentium II. If the game is optimized for the K6-2 or uses the DirectX 6.0, the yield of the K6-2 is much over that of the Celeron, better or at least at a height of a Pentium II.

You decide, but I recommend to him not to choose a Celeron, unless BX offers it to themselves in a badge with chipset and to want it to play, or simply to be at a laugh price. And it is not a mania to Intel, it is a question of the relation money / service; if he can pay the difererencia, perhaps the best is Pentium II in badge BX... but also it is much more expensive than the AMD K6-2.


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