The new desktop chips include the fastest Celeron to date, a 1.1GHz version, along with offerings at 1GHz and 950MHz.
As previously reported, PC makers Dell Computer and Compaq Computer have already begun offering the new 1.1GHz chip in desktop PCs, for prices starting around $850. Meanwhile, Gateway is offering an Essential 950c model with the 950MHz Celeron, 128MB of SDRAM, a 20GB hard drive, a CD-RW drive and a 17-inch monitor, starting at $799.
The faster chips also serve to help Intel fill the gap between the Celeron and its Pentium 4 as the company phases out its Pentium III. Intel executives have said the company will make the complete transition from the Pentium III to the Pentium 4 on the desktop this year. The earlier chip will live on in notebook PCs, however.
Meanwhile, Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices has also joined the low-money 1GHz fray, having announced a 1GHz desktop Duron chip last week. The new processor will be widely available starting in October, the company said.
List prices for the new Celeron chips are $103 for the 1.1GHz, $89 for the 1GHz and $74 for the 950 MHz, Intel said. The chips offer a 100MHz front-side bus (the data pipeline between the processor and system memory) and 128KB of level 2 cache.
Intel is expected to follow with a 1.2GHz Celeron in the fourth quarter.