Just like the high-end CPU category, the contenders are again AMD and Intel.
The budget AMD Duron CPU was one of the more popular budget CPUs available for
the low-end market today. Intel's newer Celeron based on the Coppermine core
was nominated to compete with AMD in this category. The new Celeron comes in
a new flip-chip (FC-PGA) packaging and features a Pentium III core (including
SSE) with a lower L2 cache of only 128KB. The AMD Duron processor only comes
with a small 64KB L2 cache, but its huge 128KB of L1 cache more than makes up
The other CPUs we considered were AMD's older K6-2 series and VIA's Cyrix III
processors. The AMD K6-2 (or K6-III) series did not make it into the final list
as it is already an outdated product. On the other hand, the VIA Cyrix III performance
was so poor that making it a finalist in this category would do injustice to
both the Duron and Celeron processors. Thus, we decided to remove the Cyrix
III from this category. Perhaps their new C3 processor would be a more worthy
contestant in next year's awards.
We used the 600MHz version of both processors in this comparison. The Celeron
600MHz CPU runs at 66MHz bus speed while the AMD Duron runs at 200MHz (EV6)
bus speed. We know that Intel released a 100MHz bus version of their Celeron
CPUs but that was launched only early this year and that did not meet our criteria
of a year 2000 product. Furthermore, we have made comparisons of Celeron processors
running at 100MHz bus with the AMD Duron in previous articles. You could refer
to one such article here
for more information.
We tested the Duron on the new Asus A7V133 motherboard based on the VIA KT133A
chipset while the Celeron processor was benchmarked using Intel's latest 815EP
chipset. Both systems were equipped with similar components, e.g. PC-133 SDRAM,
graphics card and hard disks.