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 the ultimate entry-level processors.
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
- “E”, i.e E3950: for Embedded systems
- “C” for server and mobile devices i.e C3758 is for servers, x3-C3445 is for Mobile Devices
- “Z”, i.e x7-z8700, is for mobile devices
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
- x3-C3130: 1 GHz, 2 Cores, 2 Threads, 512KB Cache
- x3-C3200RK: 1.10 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 1MB Cache
- x3-C3230RK: 1.10 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 1MB Cache
- x3-C3445: 1.20 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 1MB Cache
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.
- x5-Z8300: 1.44 – 1.82 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 2 MB Cache
- x5-Z8330: 1.44 – 1.92 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 2 MB Cache
- x5-Z8500: 1.44 – 2.24 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 2MB Cache
- x5-Z8550: 1.44 – 2.4 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 2MB Cache
Intel Atom x7
The following are the Atom processors from x7 series.
- x7-Z8700: 1.60 – 2.40 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 2 MB Cache
- x7-Z8750: 1.60 – 2.56 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads, 2 MB Cache
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:
- Intel Celeron N4000: 1.10-2.60 GHz, 2 Core, 2 Threads, 4 MB Cache
Furthermore, Celeron also has two Dual Core processors for DESKTOP.
- Intel Celeron J4005: 2.00 – 2.70 GHz, 2 Cores, 2 Threads, 4 MB Cache
- Intel Celeron G4900: 3.10 GHz, 2 Cores, 2 Threads, 2MB Cache
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.
Also Read: Physical Processors vs Logical Processors
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.
You may also be interested in: Does each core have it own L1 and L2 cache?