We saw in our original Celeron 566 Overclocking
article that the 900MHz Celeron didn't outperform the P3-650E as much as we hoped it would. In fact, the 900MHz Celeron was only marginally better than the P3-650E. We were a bit disappointed, but the Celeron is still a very good chip when you consider that it costs about half as much as the Pentium 3.
The Celeron's 66MHz bus speed made overclocking very easy. Overclocking P3 chips above their 100MHz and 133MHz default bus speeds requires high quality PC133 memory. You only need to bump up the bus speed of new Celerons up to 100MHz to get a decent overclock, and that means you can get away with bringing that dusty, old PC100 DIMM through another upgrade. Check out our BH6 and Celeron 2 upgrading article if you want to find out more about throwing a Celeron 2 into an old BX system.
Why so slow?
It looks like the Celeron 2 is shaping up to be a good quick and dirty upgrade for many BX motherboard owners out there, but quite a few people will still choose to upgrade to a more expensive Pentium 3 processor along with a new PC133 DIMM. The Pentium 3's clock-for-clock performance advantage is too big to ignore.
We decided to take a closer look at the new Celeron to find out why it's slower than the Pentium 3. All fingers currently point to the Celeron's L2 cache. We'll detail the L2 cache differences between the Coppermine P3 and the new Celeron on the next page. Then we'll take a look at a few benchmarks we ran with a P3 and Celeron running at the exact same bus speed and multiplier (8.5 x 100MHz).