Things get pretty complicated with Intel when you start looking at their entry-level processors. I mean you have the Atom, Celeron AND Pentium processors all claiming to be budget processors.
The real issue, however, is comparing Atom Quad-Core vs Celeron Dual-Core processors. They both claim to be the ultimate entry-level processors.
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Before we begin looking at their differences, it is worth knowing that they are both ultra-budget processors. They are found on ultra-budget laptops that are built for trivial tasks like word processing, casual multitasking or research work (See some options below).
These processors are not built for heavy-duty work like editing or gaming.
Let us look at what each processor series intends to do:
Intel Atom Series
Intel Atom processors were built as a low voltage solution for small devices and embedded systems like smartphones or the, now defunct, netbooks.
It should be noted that Atom processors are rarely featured in newer devices since 2016. Atom processor have practically become obsolete since the Celeron and Pentium Silver processors have become fairly small with low TDP.
The Atom series follows a similar naming convention as the Core series but instead uses the “x” prefix instead of the “i” prefix. Therefore, the processors in Atom series include x3, x5 and x7. On top of that, they also have designations i.e E, C or Z (read below).
Here is brief look at the famous ones that were either released on laptops or or other mobile devices.
In this article, we will only cover the atoms processors built for consumer products. As such we will cover, Z and C series processors.
For your information these are the designations
We will not cover processors for servers and embedded systems since they are very specialized processors not really built for consumer grade applications.
Intel Atom x3
Within the x3 series, the following are the latest processors with x3-C3445 being the most powerful
However, they are just too weak to even consider for comparison. Even the top of the line here is quite weak.
In this series we have the following processors the most powerful being x5-Z8550.
Intel Atom x7
The following are the Atom processors from x7 series.
Intel Atom Summary
There are plenty of 4 core processors in the Atom series. However, for the purpose of this article, we will have a look at the most powerful from the x5 and x7 series i.e x5-Z8500 and x7-Z8750 and compare them to dual core Intel Celeron Processors.
The one from the x3 series i.e x3-C3445 is way too weak to warrant any comparison at this point.
Intel Celeron Series
Intel Celeron is a fairly peculiar series. Some of the processor in this series are as weak as the Atom series processors whereas others are as powerful as some of the Pentium processors.
Therefore, your question to compare Intel Atom vs Intel Celeron is fairly justifiable.
Intel Celeron is built for low end laptops and desktops. The main distinction in terms of purpose here is that Atom processors are built for mobile devices and embedded systems, Intel Celeron processors are built for conventional low budget laptops.
The Celeron Series has only ONE Current-Gen Dual Core processor for NOTEBOOKS:
Furthermore, Celeron also has two Dual Core processors for DESKTOP.
Intel Celeron Summary
It is worth noting that the Intel Celeron G4900 is a fairly powerful processor overall. However, this is a high voltage processor that is built for powerful Desktops (relatively) within the budget spectrum.
On the other hand, Intel Celeron J4005 is also a Desktop based processor, but it is focused more on the entry level Desktops.
When it comes to LAPTOP-based Celeron processors, N4000 is the only dual core processor from the current gen. There IS another Celeron processor i.e N4100 for LAPTOPs but it is a quad core processor. It is fairly more powerful than the dual core N4000 but we will not use it for comparison here.
Comparing Atom Quad Core vs Celeron Dual Core (Mobile/Notebook)
First, we will compare the Atom Quad Core vs Celeron Dual Core for mobile based devices like laptops, tablets etc.
From the Intel Atom Series we have picked x5-Z8550 and x7-Z8750. These are both Quad Core processors. Top of the line from their respective series.
From the Intel Celeron Series, we have picked Intel Celeron N4000. This is a laptop based Dual core processor. Top of the line from its respective series for mobile based devices.
For the purpose of comparing the processors here, we will use the benchmarks from http://cpu.userbenchmark.com.
Intel Atom x5-Z8550
As you can see, despite being a Quad Core processor, this is a an extremely weak processor. It does not seem to do quite well in the benchmarks for any category of work.
However, it is one of the cheapest processor available for trivial tasks. Therefore, if you are tight on budget and you are getting a good overall deal on the system, then there is absolutely no reason why you should not consider it.
Intel Atom x7-Z8750
As you can see here, despite being the FLAGHSHIP Intel Atom processor for mobile devices, this processor has an exceptionable performance. It is practically on the weaker side of the spectrum overall. In terms of performance, it is only 4% better than the Intel Atom x5-Z8550.
Therefore, while it is okay to use it for the simplest of tasks possible, this Quad Core processor will show its limitations in anything else.
In terms of price, this isn’t too expensive either.
Intel Celeron N4000
This is THE weakest Intel Celeron processor from the current generation that you can get.
However, despite being a cheap dual core processor, it out performs the Intel Atom x7-Z8750. In fact, it is about 26% better in terms of performance than the Intel Atom x7-Z8750.
Unfortunately, this is WAY MORE EXPENSIVE compared to the Atom processors.
Here we compared the MOBILE/LAPTOP based Intel Atom Quad Core vs Celeron Dual Core processors. Here are the key points to note.
Despite the fact that Intel Celeron N4000 is a dual core processor and the Intel Atom x7-8750 is a Quad Core processor, the Intel Celeron is 26% more powerful in terms of performance. So more cores doesn't always mean better performance.
Now Intel Atom x7-8750 is the flagship processor in the Atom mobile based processor series. Therefore, anything lower than this i.e from the Atom x5 or the x3 series will obviously be weaker than the Celeron Dual Core processor.
Also note that here we have taken only the latest processors from Celeron and Atom series. We haven’t taken into account the older processors into account such as N3050.
Intel Atom processors excel in this aspect.
Intel Atom x7-8750 costs about $37. On the other hand, Intel Celeron N4000 costs $107!
We also established that Intel Celeron performs 26% better than the Intel Atom x7-8750. However, it costs about 289% more!
Paying 289% for a mere 26% performance improvement isn’t the best of deals.
Therefore, in terms of value for money and performance per dollar value, Intel Atom processors take the cake.
Intel Celeron Dual Core processors ARE better than Intel Atom Quad Core processors IN OVERALL PERFORMANCE
Intel Atom Quad Core processors ARE better than Intel Celeron Dual Core processors IN VALUE FOR MONEY.
When comparing the results of Atom Quad Core vs Celeron Dual Core, we neither recommend any Atom processors nor do we recommend the Dual Core Intel Celeron N4000 for your Laptops.
Instead, if you want a budget laptop, we recommend that you get yourself a machine that has at least the Quad Core Intel Celeron N4100 processor.
Well, it costs the same as the Intel Celeron N4000 (don’t ask me why), yet it is 41% better in benchmarks.
So, Quad Core Intel Celeron processor IS the obvious choice.
There is literally no catch here. Even the TDP ratings are the same.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.