Intel Celeron is perhaps the weakest line of CPUs in the market. It is even inferior to the entry level Intel Pentium and the AMD Athlon series and compared to an Intel Core i3 it is many factors slower.
However, regardless of where it stands in terms of performance, the Intel Celeron series still has an ace up its sleeve, it is very affordable. Hence it is quite relevant for the budget oriented users – such as students.
Additionally, the reason Intel Celeron hasn’t gone obsolete despite being on the bottom rung of the performance spectrum is because it has cut out a market segment for itself – a segment that caters to users with light usage and for day to day work.
With that said, let us address the question in hand: Is Intel Celeron good for school work? Well, that depends entirely upon the use case.
In short, for an average school work there are two most important applications relevant to a student:
- Internet browser (Chome, FireFox etc) for researching on the net and for email correspondence
- MS Office for anything that has to do with word processing like writing reports, essay writing etc.
Besides this, the grade of the student also matters. For elementary school students a Celeron should be more than sufficient. As the student progresses through the Middle School and to High School, a beefier CPU may be required (again depending on the tasks performed).
How Do the Intel Celeron Processors Perform?
As mentioned earlier, Intel Celeron processors are the slowest of the CPUs that you can find in any given generation.
They are essentially dual core processor WITHOUT hyperthreading enable. Albeit, the newer Intel Celeron N5100 has finally upgraded to four cores (not popular yet).
There are few things that you need to note when considering the Celeron processors (or any processor for that matter).
Desktop Variants are Superior to Laptop Variants
A Celeron CPU for a desktop would easily outperform the laptop-grade Celeron CPU (given they are from the same generation).
Also, desktop and laptop grade Intel Celeron CPUs use different suffixes for their model names to differentiate themselves.
- N Suffix: The N suffix is used on Laptop-based Celeron CPUs i.e the Intel Celeron N4020.
- G Suffix: The G suffix is used on desktop-based Celeron CPUs i.e the Intel Celeron G5905.
Also Read: What is a Good Processor Speed for a Laptop?
The Generation Matters Greatly
Each newer generation of Celeron CPUs drastically improves over the performance of the previous generation. Hence, given a chance, always go with the latest generation.
Here are the newest and popular Intel Celeron series at the moment:
- Intel N4000 Series: Popular series for laptop-based Celeron CPUs
- Intel N5000 Series: This has recently hit the market. It offers better performance and specs but isn’t popular yet.
- Intel G5900 Series: Popular and flagship desktop-based Celeron series.
Always Benchmark the CPUs
Benchmark Scores for Popular Intel Celeron Models for Desktop and Laptops
The following are the PassMark scores for some of the Popular and Flaghship Intel Celeron CPUs.
I have also added in the Intel Pentium and Intel Core i3 CPUs for comparison.
|Intel Celeron N4020
(2c/2t) | 1.10-2.80 GHz
|1606||Laptop||A popular Celeron CPU found on many laptops; released in 2019|
|Intel Celeron N4500
(2c/2t) | 1.10-2.80 GHz
|2060||Laptop||Latest value based Celeron CPU; Not very popular
|Intel Celeron N5100
(4c/4t) | 1.10-2.80 GHz
|2540||Laptop||Flagship; Rare and latest Celeron CPU with 4 core ; Not very popular
|Intel Celeron G5905
(2c/2t) | 3.50 GHz
|2846||Desktop||Flagship and Popular desktop based Celeron CPU
|Intel Pentium Gold 6405U
(2c/4t) | 2.4 GHz
|2359||Laptop||Flagship and Popular laptop based Intel Pentium CPU – weaker than Intel Celeron N5100|
|Intel Pentium G6400
(2c/4t) | 4.0 GHz
|4155||Desktop||Popular; desktop based Pentium CPU.|
|Intel Core i3-10110U
(2c/4t) | 2.1-4.1 GHz
|4064||Laptop||Flagship and Popular laptop based Intel Core i3 CPU|
|Intel Core i3 10100
(4c/8t) | 3.6-4.3 GHz
|8825||Desktop||Popular; desktop based Core i3 CPU.|
Do note that the processors above are just a handful of CPUs from their respective series. There are many more CPUs in each series.
Also, it is worth highlighting that a flagship (best performing) CPU does NOT mean it is the most popular. For instance, the Intel N5100 is currently the flagship Celeron CPU for laptops given its performance score. However, it is not popular as of yet.
The popular Celeron CPUs that you can readily find on laptops in the market are still from the N4000 series released back in 2019.
- Results taken from cpubenchmark.net
One of the most popular Intel Celeron CPU for laptops at the moment i.e the Intel Celeron N4020, is profoundly weak with a score of a mere 1606 on the PassMark benchmark.
While the newer Celeron N4500 and the Celeron N5100 for laptops are powerful enough to match the performance of the laptop-based Intel Pentium CPUs, however, since they are not popular yet, they are kind of irrelevant to the average customer.
Also, as expected, the popular desktop-based Celeron G5905 has a clear advantage with it being almost twice as better as compared to the popular laptop-based Celeron N4020.
But still, the bottom line here is that the Intel Celeron CPUs are WEAK. There is absolutely no question about that.
An entry level Intel Core series processor i.e the i3, is multiple folds faster than the Celeron.
So Is Intel Celeron Good for School Work?
Well the answer to that question depends upon what you work on.
Let us look at scenarios in which a Celeron can be opted for by a student.
For Day to Day School Work, Celeron is Good
If your school work involves researching on the net, writing reports, correspondence with your friends and teachers, attending an online teaching session, then a Celeron can work quite fine AS LONG AS you are only performing a single task at a time.
Multitasking of any kind can put a strain on the Celeron CPUs ESPECIALLY on the laptop-based Celeron CPUs i.e the N4020.
The CPU demands for browsers and the MS office is quite low fortunately which is what most students need for their school work anways.
Celeron Can Easily Meet Web-Browser and MS Office Requirement
A web-browser and MS Office are the tools of the trade for any student from kindergarten all the way to high school.
Let’s see if the Celeron CPUs have the juice to meet the requirements of these popular apps.
FireFox web browser, for instance, requires a Pentium 4 processor that supports SSE2 instruction set at the minimum. In other words, it requires a single core Intel Pentium 4 processor released more than two decades ago (code-named Williamette)!
For reference, the Williamette Pentium 4 2.00GHz has a PassMark score of 133 (vs 1606 PassMark score of Intel Celeron N4020).
Chrome Browser requires a slightly improved version of the Pentium 4 processor compared to Firefox. It requires an Intel Pentium 4 processor with SSE3 instructions released back in 2004 (code-named Prescott).
For reference, Prescott Pentium 4 516 3.06 GHz has a PassMark score of 249.
Microsoft Office Suit 2019 and Microsoft 365 require a dual core CPU with 1.6 GHz or higher clock speed. Fortunately, even the weakest of the lot i.e the Celeron N4020 meets the requirements.
It is also what you do on a Microsoft Office app that would determine if a Celeron CPU is good enough for you.
If you design complex graphics, posters, banners etc for your school on Microsoft Publisher, for instance, then a better CPU would be warranted.
If you just write reports and essays on Microsoft Word or perform basic calculations on Microsoft Excel, then a Celeron CPU would suffice.
Celeron is Sufficient for Video Conferencing Apps
For your online study sessions on Zoom or Skype, Celeron can be quite sufficient.
Take Skype, for instance, this app requires a dual core 1.5 GHz or better. A Celeron CPU, fortunately, meets this.
Abysmal Multitasking – Lags Can be Frustrating
The biggest criticism for Intel Celeron stems from the fact that it simply cannot multitask.
For instance, if you have multiple browser windows open at the same time, then this CPU can start to show its limits.
Stick to singular tasks with this CPUs.
Also, try not to have too many background application running.
Also Read: What is a Good Processor Speed for a Laptop?
Gaming – Heck NO!
Besides the terribly low CPU performance for gaming, the integrated graphics cards found on Intel Celeron are also among the weakest.
The latest Intel Celeron G5920 offers the Intel UHD 610 integrated graphics. This has a G3DMark score of 733. On the other hand, an Intel UHD 630 integrated graphics found on 10th Gen Intel Core i3 CPUs have a G3DMark score of 1371.
For reference, compare this to an entry level ($80 MSRP) AMD Radeon RX 550 dedicated GPU that has a G3DMark score of 2764. Incidentally, this GPU is JUST right for supporting Fortnite at 1080P and 60 FPS at LOW settings. So you can only imagine how the Intel UHD 610 with a score of 733 would perform.
For gaming, aim for at least an Intel Core i3 from the latest Gen.
The following video shows how the Intel Celeron G5920, a relatively more powerful CPU compared to the laptop based Celeron CPU, performs when gaming. (TL;DW It is HORRIBLE!)
For Video Editing and Graphic Designing; Stay Away from Celerons
If your school work demands learning editing software, then steer clear of Intel Celeron CPUs.
When video editing, you will be lucky to even work on the likes of Adobe Premiere and Davinci Resolve without the system crashing or the software freezing EVEN if you are only using very simple effects and transitions on small clips.
Photo editing and graphic designing can be possible but ONLY if you are using small media files.
So is Intel Celeron Good for School Work? Well, all in all, for average students I do think that an Intel Celeron can suffice for their day-t0day school work.
If you are prudent in the way you use the Celeron based PC and if you are mindful of the fact that Celerons are among the WEAKEST CPUs in the market, then it can be a handy tool for most students.
However, just do not expect your Celeron based laptop or desktop to win any kind of speed records. Keep your expectations fair.
Celeron based systems are affordable and that is their biggest selling point. They give everyday computing capability to students with budget constraints.