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Indeed, most industry analysts regarded the first Mendocino-based Celerons as too successful—performance was sufficiently high to not only compete strongly with rival parts, but also to attract buyers away from Intel's high-profit flagship, the Pentium II.Overclockers soon discovered that, given a high-end motherboard, many Celeron 300A CPUs could run reliably at 450 MHz.Celeron is a brand name given by Intel to a number of different low-end IA-32 and x86-64 computer microprocessor models targeted at low-cost personal computers.Celeron processors are compatible with IA-32 computer programs, but their performance is typically significantly lower when compared to similar CPUs with higher-priced Intel CPU brands.The first Mendocino-core Celeron was clocked at a then-modest 300 MHz but offered almost twice the performance of the old cacheless Covington Celeron at the same clock rate.To distinguish it from the older Covington 300 MHz, Intel called the Mendocino core Celeron 300A.Although a faster Pentium MMX would have been a lower-risk strategy, the industry standard Socket 7 platform hosted a market of competitor CPUs which could be drop-in replacements for the Pentium MMX.
The new Mendocino-core Celeron was a good performer from the outset.
The San Jose Mercury News described Lexicon's reasoning behind the name they chose: "Celer is Latin for swift.
As in 'accelerate.' And 'on.' As in 'turned on.' Celeron is seven letters and three syllables, like Pentium.
This method of cache placement was expensive and imposed practical cache-size limits, but allowed the Pentium II to be clocked higher and avoided front side bus RAM/L2 cache contention typical with motherboard-placed L2 cache configurations.
Over time, newer Mendocino processors were released at 333, 366, 400, 433, 466, 500, and 533 MHz.
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All other Intel CPUs at that time used motherboard mounted or slot mounted secondary L2 cache, which was very easy to manufacture, cheap, and simple to enlarge to any desired size (typical cache sizes were 512 KB or 1 MB), but they carried the performance penalty of slower cache performance, typically running at FSB frequency of 60 to 100 MHz.