What just happened? Intel will begin phasing out the long-standing Pentium and Celeron brands next year. Entry-level notebooks shipping in 2023 and beyond will feature CPUs under the new “Intel Processor” umbrella. Josh Newman, Intel VP and interim GM of mobile client platforms, said the revised branding will simplify their offerings so customers can “focus on choosing the right processor for their needs.”
PC enthusiasts of yesteryear likely have fond memories of both brands. The original Pentium debuted in 1993 and served as Intel’s flagship for more than a decade. For many years, the world’s fastest personal computers featured Intel Inside. AMD’s original Athlon would put up a good fight, but that is a story for another time.
Intel shifted gears to the Core branding for flagships in the latter half of the 2000s.
Intel’s original budget chip, the Celeron, experienced its heyday in the late 90s. The Celeron 300A, codenamed Mendocino, proved to be a monster in the overclocking department.
By changing the bus speed from 66MHz to 100MHz on a higher-end motherboard, enthusiasts found they could reliably run the budget chip at 450MHz. The extra clock cycles and the inclusion of on-die L2 cache helped the processor rival the performance of the fastest and most expensive x86 chips available at the time. With a voltage bump and a bit more FBS manipulation, some even succeeded in breaking the 500MHz barrier.
When the Core branding took over as Intel’s flagship, the Pentium name was demoted to a value brand. Neither it nor the Celeron caused much excitement from that point forward.
Intel Processor will serve as the brand name for multiple processor families, Intel said. I am not sure how using the same name across multiple processor families will simplify the lineup or make it less confusing as Intel promises but we shall see.
Chipzilla said the streamlining will additionally allow them to remain focused on their flagship brands, Intel Core, Intel Evo and Intel vPro.
Few products enjoy as long of a run as the Pentium and Celeron brands did and that’s something to be proud of.