An excellent benchmark for comparing the integer and floating point units of various processors, Sandra 99 also measures memory throughput and iterations per second of the CPU.
As we can see, the Celeron has the highest Drystone and Whetstone scores. Its faster clock speed allows it to dominate the multimedia MMX scores, however the SSE instructions of the Pentium III 450MHz processor push the PIII's floating point unit into the lead. Unfortunately memory bandwidth is a big bottleneck for the 66MHz front side bus based CPU's, and even the Celeron 300A running on a 100MHz bus is able to take a commanding lead over the 533MHz CPU. Whether this has an effect on gaming performance, we'll see later.
CPU Mark 99 is part of Ziff Davis's WinBench suite, measuring overall CPU performance in its tests.
Once again the Celeron 533 takes the crown, dominating over the CPU's we consider price conscious.
It would be unfair to judge a CPU based only on what synthetic programs reported, so what better application to use than Quake III: Arena. We tested a few resolutions in 'High Quality' mode to get an idea of how big of an impact a processor can have on the gaming experience.
Here is the performance hit that the synthetic benchmarks didn't pick up. Running on the 66MHz front side bus, the Celeron 533 can only do so much to compete against the processors above this limitation. At low resolutions, the Celeron sees the most degradation, and as the resolution is increased, the gap shrinks to a non-existent margin. While this may not be too concerning for many people, those who like to squeeze every available frame out of their system may want to keep this in mind.