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Celeron 366 Socket 370 Review
Page 1 of 4
Author: IIia Gavrichenkov
Date of review: 15-December-1998
Type Of Review: CPU

Introduction
Half a year has hardly passed since Mendocino core processors appeared, and Intel has already prepared a new surprise. It could hardly be called a pleasant surprise. I would rather say, it aroused public curiosity. On the 3rd of January 1999 new Socketed Celeron processors (PGA 370) will enter the world computer market proudly marching on their 370 pins. This Christmas gift will be produced in 2 variants – with core frequencies 366 and 400 MHz. However, the front side bus frequency for these processors will remain the same – only 66 MHz. At the same time, the corresponding Celeron Slot 1 modifications will definitely turn up, but by the end of 1999 all the lower cost basic PC processors will be put into socket packages.



What for? Actually, everything done by Intel seems to be for the better. And this time there were really weighty reasons for the core to be moved to a new package. The most important reason is the necessity to win on the low cost PC market. At the beginning, Celeron 400 was supposed to appear only in the second half of 1999, but its recent announcement was speeded up by AMD’s – Intel’s first and most dangerous competitor - successful performance on the market. Creating a new package for the cheap processor allowed to save at least 10 dollars because a processor PCB was no longer needed and manufacturing of the socketed processor turned out to be cheaper than of its vertical predecessor. The only thing that remains absolutely unclear is why Celeron processors were not manufactured as socketed from the very beginning, because in this case it could have saved Intel time and trouble.

"... the two innovations Celeron 366 and Celeron 400, they won’t please us only with their renewed design (which,actually, has a lot in common with Pentium MMX processors). They will also have a Mendocino core, 128Kb L2 cache working on core frequency and will be manufactured with the use of .25 micron technology."


As for the two innovations Celeron 366 and Celeron 400, they won’t please us only with their renewed design (which,actually, has a lot in common with Pentium MMX processors). They will also have a Mendocino core, 128Kb L2 cache working on core frequency and will be manufactured with the use of .25 micron technology. FSB frequency will remain at 66 MHz till the second half of 1999. As we see these parameters still leave room for upgrading, in other words the users of Celeron won’t be able to achieve high performance of their PC because of the 66MHz bus in case the L2 cache is not enough for them. That means that theoretically Pentium II 350 must be faster than Celeron 366. Well, we’ll see.

And now as far as mainboards are concerned. At the same time with the processor all leading motherboard manufacturers introduced their own PGA 370 products. Some of them offered Socket 370 to Slot 1 adapters supposingly intending to seem original. Frankly speaking, there is no contradiction here since the socket and the slot are pin-compatible. However, these adapters are not so badly needed right now because it’s possible to find a common Celeron for Slot 1, though it won’t be out of place to lay one Celeron like that in a store.

Nevertheless if you are planning to buy a new Celeron compatible system, I would advise to fix upon the socket since such systems are much cheaper and more promissing. Various processors for Socket 370 will definitely continue overwhelming the market for quite a long period of time, and using new celerons with a BX chipset doesn’t make any sense without a new .18 micron technology. Only one explicable reason comes to my mind – the possibility of upgrading in the future. However, if this future is pretty remote (and very often one has to wait for quite a long time), it will be much better to save some money and to purchase a good 3D-accelerator or some additional memory. Moreover, Celeron’s performance is enough for any office applications or games.



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