Which Intel Celeron Processor is The Best: Picking your ultra low budget laptop

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Budget laptops based on Intel Celeron processors are truly dirt cheap and the market is full of them so how does one go about picking the best performing laptop on an ultra low budget.

It is easy to just assume that the bigger the model number or the higher the clock speed means your budget laptop will be the fastest. As you are about to find out, the model numbers and clock speed do not paint a true picture of the processors’ performance.

We scoured the Internet and online retailers to find the latest ultra low budget laptops, list out the common Intel Celeron processors used and attempt to break it all down for you in simple terms – how to pick the best ultra low budget laptop.

Start with the Memory and Storage

These budget laptops typically come with 2GB or 4GB of memory and 16GB or 32GB of eMMC storage. You might find the odd Intel Celeron laptop with 1TB of Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or 64GB eMMC storage.

Naturally, you want more memory and the fastest storage you can afford. To give you an idea of performance, 4GB memory is better than 2GB and eMMC storage while limited in size is better than Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage. Unfortunately, you won’t find any of the ultra low budget laptops with the high performing Solid State Drive (SSD) as these are still costly.

The rule of thumb here is to go for 4GB vs 2GB of memory and the biggest eMMC storage you can afford if you don’t need huge amount of storage space. If you have lots of videos and photos you can always use an external USB hard drive or microSD memory card. But if you must have it on your laptop, go for one with 1TB of HDD storage.

Ultra Low Budget Laptops with Intel Celeron Processors

Now that we got the easy bit out of the way, it’s time to consider the heart of the laptop, its processor. There are currently four different Intel Celeron processors powering the budget laptops in the market right now from the N3000 and the N4000 series, these are as follows:

  • Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core processor 1.60 GHz with Burst Frequency up to 2.48 GHz
  • Intel Celeron N3160 quad-core processor 1.60 GHz with Burst Frequency up to 2.24 GHz
  • Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor 1.10 GHz with Burst Frequency up to 2.40 GHz
  • Intel Celeron N4000 dual-core processor 1.10GHz with Burst Frequency up to 2.60 GHz
  • Intel Celeron N3450 quad-core processor 1.10 GHz with Burst Frequency up to 2.20 GHz

Source: https://ark.intel.com/products/series/87282/Intel-Celeron-Processor-N-Series

Intel Celeron Processor N3450

Let’s start with the best of them all, the Intel Celeron Processor N3450. The quad core processor has a based frequency of 1.10 GHz with a turbo speed of up to 2.20 GHz when pushed. With a low average power consumption of 6W and an even lower real world usage power of 4W, the mobile laptop is able to balance both performance and power requirements of the system and the workloads demands. Being an entry level processor, it will only support up to 8GB of memory so keep that in mind when you decide to upgrade your laptop’s memory. The processor achieves the highest PassMark score, an average CPU rating from a sample of benchmarks.

PassMark Average CPU Rating

Intel Celeron N3450 @1.10GHz 1849 [HIGHEST]

Source: www.cpubenchmark.net

Budget laptops using the Intel Celeron N3450 Apollo Lake processor are not as common as those based on Intel Celeron N3060 or N3350. This would be our Intel processor of choice given its high CPU rating. The Dell Chromebook 5190 Laptop and 5190 2-in-1 are devices that use the Intel Celeron N3450.


Dell Chromebook 5190 on Amazon

Other Budget Laptops powered by Intel Celeron N3450 processor

Intel Celeron Processor N4000

Next, we have the Intel Celeron Processor N4000, a dual-core processor with a base frequency of 1.10 GHz with a turbo speed of up to 2.60 GHz when pushed. Here is where things get interesting. One might assume that with a high Burst Frequency of 2.60 GHz that the processor will be faster but the fact is the processor has only half the core compared to the N3450’s quad-core.

The saving grace is that the N4000 has a large 4MB cache, twice the amount of cache on the N3450 (2MB L2 cache). It also has a low average power consumption to sustain the base frequency of 6W and can be lowered further to 4.8W in real-world environment scenarios. Still, the processor scores an impressive 1452 on PassMark, 21% lower than the Celeron N3450.

PassMark Average CPU Rating

Intel Celeron N4000 @1.10GHz 1432

Source: www.cpubenchmark.net

LENOVO IdeaPad S340 14inch Chromebook

LENOVO IdeaPad S340 14-inch Chromebook

Intel Celeron N3350 Processor

Launched in the third quarter of 2016, the Intel Celeron N3350. The Apollo Lake mobile processor is design for thin clients, tablets and PCs. The dual core processor has dual thread, a base frequency of 1.10 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 2.40 GHz. So far, all the Celeron processors we have seen from our list shares the same base frequency of 1.10 GHz but that does not mean that they are equal. The Celeron N3350 has 2MB of Level 2 cache and like other Celeron processors, has a low average power of 6W. It can also be design to go even lower at 4W to save even more power.

Based on the PassMark score, the Celeron N3350 24% slower than the Celeron N4000 processor above, coming in at 1113. It is still a popular CPU among manufacturers as it was used on the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S 11.6-inch and 14-inch laptops, the HP 14 Chromebook and Acer Aspire 1 running Chrome OS or the cut down Window 10 S.

PassMark Average CPU Rating

Intel Celeron N3350 @1.10GHz 1113

Source: www.cpubenchmark.net

ASUS C523 156 Chromebook

ASUS C523 15.6-inch Chromebook

Intel Celeron N3060 Processor

Popular with Chromebooks, the Intel Celeron N3060 is chosen mainly to keep the cost down. It is a much older processor, launched at the beginning of 2016. Another dual-core processor from the Braswell family, it was also launched at the beginning of 2016. It is designed for embedded commercial application, thin client, tablet and PC. While it has a faster base frequency of 1.60 GHz and a burst frequency of 2.48 GHz, one might mistake this to be a more powerful CPU. In reality even with the same 2MB Level 2 cache and average power of 6W, it scores lowest in our Celeron processor line-up.

The Celeron N3060 powers the budget HP Stream 11 x360 convertible, HP Stream 14-inch and 11-inch Laptops, Acer CB3 14-inch and 11-inch Chromebook, Acer CB5 11-inch convertible Chromebook, ASUS C300 13-inch Chromebook, ASUS C202 11-inch Chromebook and HP 11 Chromebook. Based on PassMark score, the Celeron N3060 is 12% slower than the Celeron N3350 above.

PassMark Average CPU Rating

Intel Celeron N3060 @1.10GHz 983

Source: www.cpubenchmark.net

HP 11-v051na Chromebook

HP 11 Chromebook

ASUS C202 11.6-inch Chromebook

Final Thoughts

To recap, here is the list of all the mobile Celeron processors powering the budget laptops, both Chromebooks and Windows out there right now. The fastest of these processors is the quad-core Intel Celeron N3450. Using the Celeron N3060 as the baseline, the Celeron N3450 is 88% faster.

Intel Celeron N3060 @1.6GHz 983
Intel Celeron N3160 @1.6GHz 1666
Intel Celeron N3350 @1.10GHz 1113
Intel Celeron N4000 @1.10GHz 1432
Intel Celeron N3450 @1.10GHz 1849 – FASTEST

Source: www.cpubenchmark.net

The second fastest processor, the Celeron N3160 with a gain of 69% followed by N4000 with a gain of 45.7%. The fourth fastest Celeron N3350 is only marginally faster, 13% faster than the Celeron N3060. There is no real gain choosing between the Celeron N3350 or Celeron N3060. Coincidentally, these are also the most common processors used in ultra low budget laptops. The Celeron N3160, a quad core CPU breaths life into the ultra low budget laptop segment with an amazing step up in performance but laptops using the chip is rare.

To give you a clearer picture we have prepared a chart comparing the performance of the different Celeron processors. The real performance gain is in going for the Celeron N4000 or even more so with the Celeron N3450. Both processors sees a gain of 47.4% or 86.3% respectively as you can see from the chart below.

Intel Celeron Processors Compared Dec2019
Intel Celeron Processors Compared Dec 2019
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