Difference Between Intel Celeron vs i7

Often those who are uninitiated with the Intel’s CPU market or with CPUs in general ask about the difference between Intel Celeron vs i7. The fact of the matter is that there is a world of difference between the two and if you are slightly aware of the two series, you would never draw this comparison.

The Intel Core i7 CPUs are light years ahead in terms of performance as compared to the Intel Celeron CPUs. Whereas the Intel Celeron CPUs are used only for the most basics of tasks, the Intel Core i7 CPUs are used for professionals, enthusiast gamers, and for workstations.

And of course, this difference is also represented in the price point. Intel Core i7 CPUs are 6-10 times as expensive (depending upon the generation and the model) as compared to an Intel Celeron CPU.

In the following text, I will compare Intel Celeron vs i7 CPUs in detail. Specifically, I will compare their performance as well as their performance / dollar ratio.

Difference Between Intel Celeron vs i7

In order to thoroughly gauge the two CPUs series, we have to look at some primary metrics. These include:

  1. Basic Specs i.e Speed, Cores, Threads 
  2. Performance Benchmarks (Passmark scores)
  3. Performance Per USD Value
  4. TDP i.e Power Consumption (and the cooling required)
  5. Purpose

So without further ado, let us begin by first talking about the key specs of the Celeron and i7 CPUs.

1. Basics Specs of Celeron and i7

When comparing the two series of CPUs, you have to take the CPUs from the same generation.

In other words, you cannot take an Intel Core i7 that is a decade old and compare it with a Celeron CPUs released this year.

As far as the Intel’s performance hierarchy goes, the Intel Celeron CPUs are at the bottom most rung:

  1. Intel Core i9 – Most PowerfulMost Expensive
  2. Intel Core i7
  3. Intel Core i5
  4. Intel Core i3
  5. Intel Pentium
  6. Intel Celeron – Least PowerfulMost Affordable

The Intel Core i7 CPUs, on the other hand, are among the most powerful Intel CPUs that you can get your hands on.

Take for instance the basic specs of the flagship (top of the line) 12th Gen Intel Core i7 12700K. This CPU features a 12 cores with max speed of 5.0 GHz per core and 20 threads.

The flagship Intel Celeron G6900 for desktop merely offers 2 cores with max speed of 2.4 GHz per core and 2 threads.

The following table lists the popular and flagship Core i7 and Celeron CPUs from the latest generation. 

CPU Specs
Type
Remarks
Intel Celeron
N4020
1.1 GHz
2c/2t
Laptop Released in 2019; Still a popular and most widespread laptop based Celeron CPU.
Intel
Celeron N5105
2.9 GHz
4c/4t
Laptop Flagship; laptop based Celeron CPU.
Intel Celeron G5920 3.5 GHz
2c/2t
Desktop Popular; desktop based Celeron CPU.
Intel  Celeron
G6900
3.4 GHz
2c/2t
Desktop Flagship; desktop based Pentium CPU. Recently released. 
Intel Core
i7 12800H
2.4 GHz – 4.8 GHz
14c/20t
Laptop Commercial High Performance CPU
Intel Core
i7 12800HX
2.0 GHz – 4.8 GHz
16c/24t
Laptop Flagship; Workstation Grade CPU for laptop
Intel Core
i7 12700K
3.8 GHz – 4.6 GHz
12c/20t
Desktop Popular/Flagship; desktop based Core i7 CPU.

It should be quite clear from the specs above that it is quite ridiculous to even draw the comparison between Intel Celeron vs i7.

If the basic specs of the CPUs are not a tell-take sign enough for you, the following performance benchmark comparison should explain how much the two differ,

Performance Benchmarks Comparison Between Intel Celeron and i7

For the purpose of performance comparison, I will take the Passmark scores of the CPUs. Passmark is a popular benchmark that highlights the overall performance score of a CPU. 

Often the specs of a CPU can be confusing and you cannot draw a definitive conclusion regarding its performance from specs alone. This is where the popular third-party benchmarks help. 

Also Read: How is Processor Speed Measured?

CPU PassMark
Score
Intel
Celeron
N4020
1593
Intel
Celeron N5105
4037
Intel
Celeron G5920
2482
Intel  Celeron
G6900
4333
Intel Core
i7 12800H
24247
Intel Core
i7 12800HX
35483
Intel Core
i7 12700K
34596

The following chart should give you a good visual idea about the performance difference between the two series.

Intel Celeron vs i7
Intel Celeron vs i7 Passmark Scores

Have a look a the flagship Celeron G6900 with its score of 4,333 on Passmark. It is just a fraction of the score of the flagship desktop basked Core i7 12700K CPU i.e 34,596 (the i7 12700K is around 8 times as powerful as the Celeron G6900).

In short, do not buy Intel Celeron if you seek performance. In fact, Intel Core i3s are considered to be the gateway to performance CPUs and they too are far weaker in comparison to Core i7.

3. Performance / Dollar Value of Intel Celeron and i7

We can figure out the performance / dollar value of a CPU by taking its Passmarks scores and MSRP.

Note that official MSRP is only available for Intel desktops CPUs in USD.

CPU PassMark
Score
Cost Performance/
Dollar Value
Intel Celeron
N4020
1593
Intel Celeron
G5920
2482 $52 47
Intel Celeron
G6900
4333 $52 83
Intel Core
i7 12700
31253 $342 91
Intel Core
i7 12700K
34596 $409 84

You can see here clearly, that the Intel Core i7 have an excellent performance / dollar value as compared to a Celeron.

The “K” series processor (12700K) has a lower performance / dollar value primarily due to the fact that is unlocked and thus overclockable. Overclocking this CPU would result in a higher Passmark scores which can in turn increase the value of this CPU by a good margin.

The Celeron CPUs, particularly the older Celeron 5920, has a horrible performance / dollar value. Even the current flagship CPU, while inexpensive, has a lower value compared to the Core i7s.

Of course, the issue with the i7s is the higher upfront cost. This is something that not everybody can afford.

Also Read: Intel K vs KF vs F Series CPUs

4. TDP and Wattage Comparison

TDP (Thermal Power Design) of a CPU is a characteristic that defines how much power a CPU uses. It essentially defines its performance category AND also defines how much of a robust cooling solution the CPU will need.

The following table shows the TDP (in watts) of Celeron and Core i7 CPUs. 

CPU TDP (W) Platform
Intel Celeron
N4020
6 Laptop
Intel
Celeron G5920
58 Desktop
Intel 
Celeron
G6900
46 Desktop
Intel Core
i7 12800H
45-115 Laptop
Intel Core
i7 12800HX
55-157 Laptop
Intel Core
i7 12700
65-180 Laptop
Intel Core
i7 12700K
125-190 Desktop

You can clearly see that owing to the higher number of cores and clockspeed, the Core i7s have a far great TDP as compared to even the flagship Intel Celeron CPUs.

As such, not only would the Core i7s consume more power but also generate more heat. 

This is particular concern in laptops. If you prefer longer battery life over performance, then you must aim for a CPU with a lower TDP.

While there are more power efficient i7s CPUs out there for laptops, the workstation grade i7 12800H or the 12800HX are certainly not for ensuring long battery life.

5. Purpose of Intel Celeron vs i7 CPUs

This brings us to my final point: the purpose of the two CPU lines.

The Intel Celeron and Core i7 are designed to serve two very different market segments.

Whereas the Intel Celeron caters to those looking for very basic computing, the Core i7s are the workhorses of professionals workstations and high performance gaming rings.

Celeron is Designed for Budget Users

Intel defines their Celeron CPUs as:

Intel’s Entry level PCs can help users collaborate, create, learn and play like never before. – Intel.com

As such, the Celeron are the most basic CPUs from Intel. They are intended for average day to day computing, for school going kids, video conferencing, for basic word processing and essentially as a stepping stone into the world of computing.

Core i7s are for Workstation and Gaming Rigs

Whether you are an engineer working on 3D simulation, a professional video/graphic editor working on your next big project, a data scientist crunching big data or an enthusiast gamer who plays the latest AAA games all the while streaming them online, you need a processor the likes of Core i7 to handle the workload.

Intel defines Core i7 as:

These processors power high-end PCs with industry-leading CPU performance for discrete-level graphics, and AI acceleration. – Intel.com

In short, Intel Core i7 CPUs are intended for creators, enthusiasts, gamers and engineers. They are NOT intended if all you ever do is watch Netflix or surf on your social media accounts.

Also Read: Intel Pentium vs i5

Final Words

It is ok if you are not aware of the different Intel CPU series and where they stand in the performance hierarchy. If you came here unaware of the difference between Intel Celeron vs i7 then I hope this article was clear enough to highlight that the two are world apart in price and performance.

But of course, when making a purchasing decision between Intel Celeron and i7, it would all boil down to purpose and what kind of work you intend to performance.

If you plan to work on any editing/designing Adobe software, for instance, on an Intel Celeron CPU, then you will be thoroughly disappointed. 

On the other hand, if all you ever do is write reports, watch YouTube videos, then an Intel Core i7 would be complete waste of money.

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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