Intel Celeron vs i3: Which Affordable CPU Should You Buy?

Brief overview of Intel Celeron vs i3 processors

The Intel Celeron is a budget-oriented processor suitable for basic computing tasks like web browsing, word processing, and media playback. It features lower clock speeds, core counts, and cache sizes compared to higher-end Intel processors. The Celeron focuses on power efficiency and affordability.

intel celeron vs core i3

The Intel Core i3, on the other hand, is a mid-range processor capable of general-purpose computing. It has faster performance than Celeron, with higher clock speeds and more advanced features like hyperthreading. The Core i3 can handle office applications, light gaming, and media editing better than a Celeron.

Purpose of the comparison

This article compares the Intel Celeron and Core i3 processors across various factors like performance, specifications, price, and use cases. The goal is to understand the key differences between these two budget and mid-range CPUs and determine which one is more suitable depending on the user’s needs and budget.

Processor Specifications

Core count and thread count

Intel Celeron22
Intel Core i324
  • The Intel Celeron has a dual-core design with 2 cores and 2 threads.
  • The Intel Core i3 also has 2 physical cores but supports hyperthreading to handle 4 threads simultaneously.

Clock speed

  • Intel Celeron processors range from 1.1 GHz to 2.8 GHz base clock speeds.
  • Intel Core i3 processors have higher base clocks from 2.4 GHz to 4.1 GHz.


  • The Celeron uses older architectures like Skylake while the Core i3 uses newer ones like Coffee Lake.
  • This allows the Core i3 to have better IPC (instructions per cycle) performance.

Power efficiency

  • The Celeron has lower TDP ratings from 6W to 58W.
  • The Core i3 is less power efficient with TDPs ranging from 35W to 95W.
  • The Celeron is better suited for laptops and mini PCs that need to conserve power.

Performance Comparison

Since there were no search results provided for subheading 3 on performance comparison, I will provide a detailed sample section on this topic using my existing knowledge:

General computing tasks

  • For basic tasks like web browsing, word processing, and media playback, both Celeron and Core i3 are adequate.
  • The Core i3 has much better performance in office applications, multitasking, and handling multiple browser tabs thanks to its higher clock speeds and hyperthreading support.
  • The Celeron may struggle with heavy multitasking workloads.

Gaming capabilities

  • The Intel Celeron lacks the power for serious gaming. It can handle very basic games at low settings.
  • The Intel Core i3 has modest gaming capabilities. It can play e-sports titles and some AAA games at low-medium settings.
  • For a good gaming experience, a discrete GPU is recommended even with the Core i3.

Real-world performance tests

  • In CPU benchmarks like Geekbench and Cinebench, the Core i3 significantly outperforms the Celeron.
  • The Core i3 is around 2x faster in single-core tests and 3-4x faster in multi-core tests compared to Celeron chips.
  • Real-world tests confirm the Core i3’s advantage in productivity apps, media editing, gaming, etc. It justifies the higher price over a Celeron.

Please let me know if you need me to expand or modify this sample section in any way. I can incorporate more keywords and details as needed.

Use Cases and Suitability

Since there are no search results provided for this section, I will provide a detailed sample based on my own knowledge:

Intel Celeron: Budget-oriented tasks

The Intel Celeron processor is best suited for basic home and office tasks:

  • Web browsing – The Celeron can handle multiple browser tabs and stream video smoothly.
  • Word processing – It has adequate performance for typing documents, and creating presentations in Office apps.
  • Email and messaging – The Celeron can efficiently run email clients and messaging apps.
  • Media playback – It can play local media files and stream 1080p video without issues.
  • Light gaming – Older or less demanding games like Minecraft may be playable on Intel-integrated graphics.

The Celeron is not recommended for intensive creative workloads like video editing, 3D modeling, heavy multitasking, etc.

Intel Core i3: General-purpose computing

The Intel Core i3 delivers good performance for most home and office needs:

  • Office applications – It can smoothly run office suites like MS Office and Google Docs even with multiple apps open.
  • Image editing – Light photo editing in Photoshop or GIMP is possible.
  • Casual gaming – Esports titles like CS: GO, DOTA 2 and some AAA games work reasonably well.
  • Media editing – It can handle video editing in 1080p resolution and audio production with multiple tracks.
  • Multitasking – Hyperthreading enables better multitasking capabilities under heavy workloads.

The Core i3 hits a nice balance between price and performance for general computing. It’s more capable than the Celeron for both productivity and entertainment.

Price and Value

Intel Celeron: Lower cost and power efficiency

  • The Intel Celeron offers the most affordable entry into Intel’s processor lineup.
  • Celeron CPUs typically cost between $30 to $70.
  • The low price makes Celeron chips ideal for budget builds, especially laptops and mini PCs where power efficiency is important.
  • Celeron’s lower clock speeds and core counts help minimize power consumption and heat output. This improves the battery life of laptops.
  • For basic computing tasks, the Celeron provides decent performance per dollar. It’s a good value CPU for non-demanding workloads.

Intel Core i3: Better performance and value

  • The Intel Core i3 costs more than Celeron, with prices ranging from $100 to $150.
  • You get superior performance from the Core i3’s higher clocks, improved architecture, and hyperthreading support.
  • The Core i3 is better suited for mainstream home and office tasks, providing a good balance of price versus performance.
  • It has much better multitasking abilities and can handle heavier workloads.
  • The Core i3 gives a bigger performance boost per dollar spent compared to the incremental upgrade from Celeron to Pentium.
  • Overall, the Core i3 offers better value than Celeron for general-purpose computing. The higher cost is justified by meaningful performance gains.

The Intel Celeron and Core i3 processors cater to different segments of the budget CPU market.

  • The Celeron is an ultra-low-cost chip focused on affordability and power efficiency. It works well for basic computing like web browsing, office apps, and media playback.
  • The Core i3 delivers much better all-round performance with its higher clock speeds, improved architecture, and hyperthreading support. It can handle mainstream home and office workloads, multitasking, and light gaming/content creation reasonably well.

Key advantages of Intel Celeron:

  • Very affordable, prices starting from $30
  • Lower power draw and heat output
  • Good for basic computing needs

Key advantages of Intel Core i3:

  • Faster processing and responsiveness
  • Significantly better multitasking capabilities
  • Handles moderate workloads like gaming, media editing
  • Great balance of price and performance

For most mainstream users, the Core i3 is worth the extra cost over the Celeron and provides better value. But the Celeron remains a good choice for light computing needs on a tight budget.


In summary, the Celeron focuses on price and efficiency while the Core i3 emphasizes performance and capabilities. Choose Celeron for basic needs or Core i3 for moderate everyday workloads.

FAQs of Intel Celeron vs i3

What is the difference between Intel Celeron and Core i3?

The Intel Celeron is an entry-level budget processor meant for basic computing. The Core i3 is a mid-range CPU with better performance from higher clock speeds, more cores, and hyperthreading support. The Core i3 is more powerful and capable than the Celeron.

Is Intel Celeron good for gaming?

No, the Intel Celeron lacks the performance for any serious gaming. Its integrated graphics can only handle very old or basic 2D indie games. For gaming, a Core i3 or discrete GPU is recommended.

Can Intel Celeron run Photoshop or video editing software?

The Celeron can run Photoshop but will struggle with larger files, filters, and effects. It is not ideal for intensive creative workloads. Similarly, it can handle very basic video editing but will be slow with HD or 4K videos.

What is hyperthreading in Intel Core i3?

Hyperthreading is a technology that enables each CPU core to run two threads simultaneously. This improves performance in multi-threaded workloads as the OS sees twice as many logical cores. The dual-core Core i3 gets 4 threads with hyperthreading.

Is Intel Celeron better than Core i3 for office work?

No, the Core i3 is significantly faster for office productivity from its higher clocks and hyperthreading. It can handle heavy multitasking much better than Celeron when running many office apps together.

Which has better battery life – Celeron or Core i3 laptops?

Celeron-based laptops generally have better battery life as Celeron is more power efficient. But this also depends on the specific laptop model. Some Core i3 laptops can match or exceed Celeron battery life with optimized power management.

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