Difference Between Intel Celeron vs. i7

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

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

Difference Between Intel Celeron vs. i7

To thoroughly gauge the two CPUs series, we must 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, we would like to first talk about the key specs of the Celeron and i7 CPUs.

1. Basic 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 CPU released this year.

As far as Intel’s performance hierarchy goes, the Intel Celeron CPUs are at the bottommost 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

On the other hand, the Intel Core i7 CPUs are among the most powerful Intel CPUs you can access.

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

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

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

CPU Specs Type Remarks
Intel Celeron N4020 1.1 GHz 2c/2tLaptop released Laptop Released in 2019, 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 clear from the specs above that it is compared parison 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 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 CPU specs can be confusing, and you need help t,o 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 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 an excellent vis of the two series affirmance difference series.

Intel Celeron vs i7
Image: Intel Celeron vs. i7 Passmark Scores

Have a look a the flagship Celeron 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 eight times as powerful as the Celeron G6900).

In short, only buy Intel Celeron if you seek performance. Intel Core i3s are considered the gateway to performance CPUs and are far weaker than 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.

So that you know, the official MSRP is only available for Intel desktop CPUs in USD.

CCPU PassMark 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 has an excellent performance/dollar value compared to a Celeron.

The “K” series processor (12700K) has a lower performance/dollar value primarily because it is unlocked and thus overclockable. Overclocking this CPU would result in higher Passmark scores, which can increase the CPU’s value by a good margin.

The Celeron CPUs, particularly the older Celeron 5920, have horrible performance/dollar value. While inexpensive, even the current flagship CPU has a lower value than 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 represents the sits performance category AND 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

Due to the higher number of cores and clock speed, the Core i7s have a far greater TDP than the flagship Intel Celeron CPUs.

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

This is a 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 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 fundamental computing, the Core i7s are the workhorses of professional 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 is the most basic CPU from Intel. They are intended for average day-to-day computing, for school-going kids, video conferencing, basic word processing, and essentially as a stepping stone into the computing world.

Core i7s are for Workstations 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 designed 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 unaware of the different Intel CPU series and where they stand in the performance hierarchy. If you came here ignorant of the difference between Intel Celeron vs. i7, this article was clear enough to highlight that the two are worlds 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 perform.

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the cache size of Celeron the same as i7?

No, the cache size of Celeron processors is significantly smaller than i7 processors. Celeron processors generally have 1-4 MB of cache, while i7 processors have 8-16 MB of cache.

2. Which processor is more power-efficient, Celeron or i7?

Celeron processors are generally more power-efficient than i7 processors due to their lower power consumption and thermal design power (TDP) ratings.

3. How much does a computer with a Celeron processor cost compared to one with an i7?

Computers with Celeron processors are generally less expensive than those with i7 processors. The price difference can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the specific models being compared.

4. Is the integrated graphics card in a Celeron processor as good as the one in an i7?

No, the integrated graphics card in a Celeron processor is not as powerful as the one in an i7 processor. Celeron processors typically use Intel UHD Graphics, which are sufficient for basic tasks like web browsing and video playback, but not suitable for more demanding applications like gaming or video editing.

5. Can a computer with a Celeron processor be upgraded to an i7?

It depends on the specific computer and its components. In some cases, it may be possible to upgrade the processor, but it may require a new motherboard or other components as well. It’s best to consult with a professional or the manufacturer to determine if an upgrade is possible and what the process would entail.

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