Sunday, June 22, 2008

Intel Celeron vs Dual Core vs Core 2 Duo

If you are just an average computer user like me, then I think you will agree that Intel processors name are becoming too confusing. These days, when you shop for a notebook, most of them will have either Celeron, Dual Core or Core 2 Duo processor.

While most people are aware that Celeron is somewhat different with Dual Core and Core 2 Duo, but many like me will not know whether Dual Core and Core 2 Duo are actually different.

Without going to describe in detail the technical spec differences, I just want to share that basically now Intel has 3 processor families, namely :

  1. Intel Celeron: Celeron, Celeron M, Celeron D, Celeron Dual Core
  2. Intel Pentium : Pentium M, Pentium Dual Core
  3. Intel Core : Core Solo, Core 2 Solo, Core Duo, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Duo Extreme

Celeron Family

logo_celeron This processor is basically designed to serve basic computing needs such as, writing documents using a word processor, making spreadsheet or presentation, browsing Internet, chatting, blogging, light games etc. The letter "M" and "D" denotes that it was specifically designed for Mobile (laptop) and Desktop computer. Due to its limited performance, the price of Celeron processor is much cheaper than the other families, however it doesn't mean that it's outdated. Intel keeps developing Celeron for its entry level - low cost segment, as a proof, Intel will soon release Celeron Dual Core processor.


Pentium Family

Logo_Pentium_DualCore3 If Celeron processors are for basic user, Pentium processors are for intermediate users with more advanced computing needs such as video editing, video rendering, mathematical modeling (CAD, graphics design, rapid prototyping), 3D animation design, heavy graphics games etc. The word "Dual Core" simply means that there are 2 unit processors in one chipset, resulting in higher multitasking ability with less power consumption.




Core Family

core2duo_logo_large Intel Core are the top end processors specifically designed for mobile (laptop) computing. It was the further development of Pentium M processor. There are 2 types of Core processor, Solo and Duo. Core Solo means it has only one processor in its chipset, while Core Duo means it has  2 processors in one chipset similar to Pentium Dual Core and Centrino Dual core. The most sophisticated processor at the moment is the Core 2 Duo Extreme with up to 3.2GHz clock speed which uses the 64bit architecture (the rest are still using 32bit architecture).


Which one to choose?

Well, if money is not an issue  then off course you should opt for the top end processor like Core 2 Duo. However, since the price gap is quite significant, then my suggestions is to think about what you need. If you ask a computer salesmen, surely he or she will persuade you to buy the most expensive items as possible to give him or her the highest commission, but this is not wise, right?

So if you are a light user, with browsing, chatting, blogging kind of activities, then Celeron is suitable for you. If you need to do serious work, big spread sheets with lots of pivot table, databases, then you should at least consider Pentium processor. However, if you are a graphic 3D animation designer, or a maniac PC gamer, or an engineer with CAD, prototyping, mathematical modeling, then Core 2 Duo is for you.

My wife owns a UMPC with Celeron processor, my personal laptop has a Centrino (Pentium M) processor (which soon will be upgraded to Pentium Dual Core... wink-wink), and my office laptop has a Core 2 Duo processor. Honestly, I don't see any differences in the performance because actually I'm a light to medium user. I don't play PC games, I don't create any graphic animation. My biggest spreadsheet files are only 2MB max, my average presentation file is only 10 pages. My word documents are less than 50 pages and less than 5MB each. So I don't have to buy a Core 2 Duo processor, even I think a Celeron processor will suits me fine.


أبو أحمد said...

Thanks you pal for the precise info you add and willing to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information. I was thinking of buying my son a Toshiba with Celeron but i think i will opt for Pentium, since he will probably play some games on there, being 15 and all. Maybe Intel should look at giving you a job so you can break down the mumbo jumbo into layman's terms. Thanks again for the insight.

Ossama said...

so what about "centrino"..what is it ?

WWK said...

@Ossama : The term "Centrino" used to show that the laptop is using both INTEL Chipset and Wireless network adapter. It does not refer to a specific processor type.

Anonymous said...

Very clear straight to the point info. Very useful. I feel like I "know" now. Brilliant. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

i wish i could have other processors comparison analysis with intel in plain english.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is for the guy whos thinking of a toshiba and its daul and it flys its 4gb of ram but its got a celeron daul core celerons are fine but get a daul core

Anonymous said...

Now i know.. thanks for this information.

Anonymous said...

Brilliantly and simply explained! I was in a bit a quandry as my son wants laptop for his birthday to enable him to post videos and I really didn't have a clue what to get. This has explained it really easily and concisely - Pentium for him if I can afford it.
You need to show Intel your blog and get them to pick it up for the laymen out there.
Thanks again!


Sprite said...

Good information, will come in handy with my Black Friday shopping! :)