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. 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 pretty relevant for budget-oriented users – such as students.
Additionally, Intel Celeron hasn’t gone obsolete despite being on the bottom rung of the performance spectrum. It has cut out a market segment that caters to users with light usage and day-to-day work.
With that said, let us address the question: Is Intel Celeron good for schoolwork? Well, that depends entirely upon the use case.
In short, for average school work, there are two most essential applications relevant to a student:
- Internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) for research on the net and email correspondence.
- MS Office for anything related to word processing, like writing reports, essays, 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 Middle School and to High School, a beefier CPU may be required (again, depending on the tasks performed).
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How Do the Intel Celeron Processors Perform?
As mentioned earlier, Intel Celeron processors are the slowest CPUs in any given generation.
They are essentially dual-core processors WITHOUT hyperthreading enabled. The newer Intel Celeron N5100 has finally upgraded to four cores (not popular yet).
You need to note a few things 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 most 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 famous 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 PassMark scores for some of the Popular and Flaghship Intel Celeron CPUs are the following.
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 four cores; 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.|
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, given its performance score, the Intel N5100 is currently the flagship Celeron CPU for laptops. However, it is not popular as of yet.
The popular Celeron CPUs you can readily find on laptops in the market are still from the N4000 series released in 2019.
- Results are taken from cpubenchmark.net
One of the most popular Intel Celeron CPUs for laptops, 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 famous yet, they are kind of irrelevant to the average customer.
Also, as expected, the popular desktop-based Celeron G5905 has a clear advantage, almost twice as good as the popular laptop-based Celeron N4020.
But still, the bottom line is that the Intel Celeron CPUs are WEAK. There is 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
Suppose your school work involves researching on the net, writing reports, correspondence with friends and teachers, and attending an online teaching session. In that case, a Celeron can work quite OK AS LONG AS you are only performing one task at a time.
Multitasking can strain the Celeron CPUs, ESPECIALLY on the laptop-based Celeron CPUs, i.e., the N4020.
Fortunately, the CPU demands for browsers and MS office are pretty low, which most students need for school work.
Celeron Can Easily Meet Web-Browser and MS Office Requirements
A web browser and MS Office are the tools of the trade for any student from kindergarten 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 over two decades ago (code-named Willamette)!
For reference, the Willamette 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 in 2004 (code-named Prescott).
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.
A Celeron CPU would suffice if you just wrote reports and essays on Microsoft Word or performed basic calculations on Microsoft Excel.
Celeron is Sufficient for Video Conferencing Apps
Celeron can be sufficient for your online study sessions on Zoom or Skype.
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 most significant criticism of Intel Celeron is that it simply cannot multitask.
For instance, if you have multiple browser windows open simultaneously, then this CPU can start to show its limits.
Stick to singular tasks with these 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 low CPU performance for gaming, the integrated graphics cards found on Intel Celeron are 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 with a G3DMark score of 2764. Incidentally, this GPU supports 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.
Aim for at least an Intel Core i3 from the latest Gen for gaming.
The following video shows how the Intel Celeron G5920, a relatively more powerful CPU than 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, steer clear of Intel Celeron CPUs.
When video editing, you will be lucky to even work on Adobe Premiere Pro or Davinci Resolve without the system crashing or the software freezing, EVEN if you only use direct effects and transitions on small clips.
Photo editing and graphic designing can be possible only if you use small media files.
- Budget Desktops for Video Editing – Build Guide
- Intel Core i5 vs. i7 for Video Editing – Which is Better?
So is Intel Celeron Good for School Work? For average students, I think that an Intel Celeron can suffice for their day-to-day school work.
If you are prudent in using the Celeron-based PC and mindful that Celerons are among the WEAKEST CPUs in the market, then it can be a handy tool for most students.
However, do not expect your Celeron-based laptop or desktop to win any speed record. Keep your expectations fair.
Celeron-based systems are affordable, and that is their most significant selling point. They give everyday computing capability to students with budget constraints.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How does the performance of an Intel Celeron processor compare to an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor?
Intel Celeron processors are generally considered to be entry-level processors, and they offer lower performance compared to Intel Core i3 or i5 processors. This means that tasks like video editing or gaming may not run as smoothly on a Celeron processor. However, for basic school work like word processing and web browsing, a Celeron processor can be sufficient.
2. Is an Intel Celeron processor suitable for multitasking while doing school work?
Intel Celeron processors can handle basic multitasking, but their performance may suffer if too many applications are running simultaneously. For example, opening multiple tabs in a web browser while running a word processor may cause some lag. For more demanding multitasking needs, a processor with more cores or higher clock speed, like an Intel Core i3 or i5, may be a better option.
3. Can an Intel Celeron processor handle online classes or video conferencing for school?
Yes, an Intel Celeron processor can handle online classes or video conferencing for school, as long as the software being used is not too demanding. Popular video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype can run on a Celeron processor, but performance may be limited in terms of video quality and stability.
4. What are the limitations of using an Intel Celeron processor for school work?
The limitations of using an Intel Celeron processor for school work depend on the specific tasks being performed.
While a Celeron processor can handle basic school work like word processing and web browsing, more demanding tasks like video editing or running multiple applications simultaneously may not run as smoothly. In addition, some educational software and apps may require a more powerful processor to run properly.