Mobile P-II 333 vs Celeron 400?
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Dear CPU Scorekeeper

For non-gaming applications on a portable, would a PII-333 significantly outperform a Celeron-400, or in fact would it even be the other way around. I know that desktop Celerons (running at factory clock) usually get dogged by PII's that are as much as 100MHz slower, but I have been led to believe that the different bus and cache set-ups in the mobile chips level the playing field a lot.

What's the story here?

- - Taylor, August 1999

See the questionCPU Scorekeeper Responds

A direct comparison between Intel's Pentium-II 333 and their Celeron-400 is available at our CPU Comparator. In general, the performance of the mobile Celeron will outpace the mobile Pentium-II at these speeds.

As shown on our Celeron statistics page, the architecture of the mobile & desktop Celerons are pretty much the same, albeit the mobiles have slightly lower power requirements. The newest mobile Pentium-II's, as you have noted, replaced their backside 512kb L2 cache (from the original desktop version) with an on-chip 256kb L2 cache. To reduce power requirements, however, the mobile bus speed remains at 66MHz rather than 100MHz as on the desktop.

Clock speed for clock speed then, the mobile Pentium-II will speed past corresponding Celerons, for its on-die L2 cache is twice the size. But as explained in our L2 question, the effectiveness of an L2 cache increases with CPU clock speed. Therefore, the 400MHz Celeron should outperform the 333MHz P2, even with its smaller cache size.

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