Intel readies budget dual-core Celerons
End of the road for single-core CPUs?
Intel's Celeron line of budget processors will go dual-core in the new year, a prelude to a plan that will see the chip giant phase out single-core products, it has been claimed.
The first low-cost desktop chip will be branded Celeron Dual-Core, as per this year's Pentium Dual-Core releases. The first of the line will be the E1200, a presentation slide posted by Chinese-language site HKEPC reveals, and its official launch window is Q1 2008.
Other sources reveal the E1200, which is based on Intel's 65nm Core architcture, will be clocked at 1.6GHz, contain 512KB of L2 cache and sit on a 800MHz frontside bus (FSB). As the slide notes, it will be able to work with any chipset that can already play host to a 65nm Intel desktop CPU. It is expected to be priced at $53 when sold in batches of 1000 chips.
The launch of the E1200 will at last see Intel begin to clear single-core chips from its product lines, PC maker sources cited by DigiTimes alleged today.
That makes sense: with 45nm dual- and quad-core parts imminent and dual-core now on the verge of becoming a budget technology, who needs low-cost single-core chips for desktop machines?
What about the E21XX series?
I have a pretty new budget £55 E2180 which runs at 2.0GHz on an 800MHz fsb with 1Mb cache and it runs pretty sweet. If I OC it to 2.3Ghz it runs fine on stock voltage and cooling at comparable benchmarks to a non-budget AMD / Intel processor twice its cost (PassMark rating 1279).
It looks to me like the E12XX series is just the E21XX series with the cache knocked down from 1Mb to 512Mb. The price is a little cheaper for the new chips, but not noticably so.
So what was the deal with the E21XX series? Was this Intel dipping their toe in the water to see if the market was ready for budget processors?
If anyone is looking for a budget CPU to overclock I suggest you get one of the E21XX processors before they are discontinued. I bet the new line won't be anywhere near as overclocking friendly!