Intel has discounted claims that its Celeron low end processor, released last week, offers disappointing price/performance.
Its claims came as retail chain PC World released a $1,000 system based on the 266MHz technology. But so far, Intel has failed to get significant third party support for the product. Major vendors, including Compaq and IBM, have not announced plans to sell systems based on the low end chip, but have turned instead to clonemakers AMD and Cyrix for processors for their entry level products.
Chris Hogg, marketing development manager at Intel UK, said: "I'm confident there will be widespread market acceptance of the Celeron. There will be clear blue water between the basic PC and the high end PC."
Hogg added that benchmarks Intel had conducted showed that the Celeron performed well on both the integer and the floating point level. End users had to be careful that, when buying entry level systems, they compared like with like, he said. For example, he claimed the IBM Aptiva E26, which uses an AMD K6/233 processor, is sold without level two cache, as is the Compaq 4505 PC, which uses a Cyrix processor.
The Celeron itself does not come with level two cache, but persistent reports have suggested that Taiwanese companies are designing motherboards to provide that facility, while capitalising on the low ($155) cost of Intel's Celeron.
Hogg said that the Celeron will also be sold through the channel, while it was packaged in such a way to cut down on cost. But he refused to be drawn on what proportion of chip sales the Celeron will represent for Intel this year. "We don't have those figures," he said.
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