Intel Atom versus Celeron: Finding The Best Processor for Your PC

There is no way to know about a processor’s speed or performance by comparing the names. You have the Pentium G series processors, Core series, Intel Atom series, Celeron series, etc.

None of the names are related to one other, so there is no way to tell how powerful a processor is from just the name.

Manufacturers probably use a very complex naming process that includes research and development. We should not waste time scratching our heads over that.

If you’re not sure about which one to choose in the battle of Intel Atom versus Celeron, you’re in the right place. Let’s see who wins between the two.

How Good is the Intel Atom Processor? 

Atom and Celeron are both entry-level processors made for budget computers. Intel Atom processors were first used on now-extinct netbooks.

In 2007, Intel started to entertain the idea of mobile internet devices hitting the market. Intel introduced the Atom processors with those mobile internet devices in mind. Unfortunately, they did not take off as expected.

The manufacturers did not get a chance to explore the possibilities of Intel Atom processors. By the time it started to gain recognition, Android companies were moving more toward ARM processors for their devices.

The underwhelming response toward Atom processors for mobile devices discouraged the company from further development. Around a couple of years after the launch, Intel had to bench two Intel Atom chips to focus on restructuring plans.

Intel Atom was a fairly good processor for tablet devices. It worked better in such mobile devices than Intel’s signature Core processors. Some people would argue that Atom was faster than ARM processors as well.

But, a significant disadvantage of Intel Atom after its initial launch was the graphics. Even years after Intel Atom processors hit the market, there were hardly any improvements in the graphics department.

Intel has been promoting its Core processors so extensively that it is easy to forget that they have other processors under its belt. Intel Atom vs. Intel Core processors differs in popularity. Atom employs its architecture, which was created with efficiency, affordability, and physical size in mind.

Speed was not the main priority with Atom. An Intel Atom processor is around five times slower than a third-generation Core i7 processor in several benchmarks.

Intel integrated the Atom processors in computers as well, but that only increased the disappointment among users. The computer gaming industry was already soaring by the time Atom came onto the market.

The ultimate goal of consumers was to get a suitable gaming device, and Atom failed miserably at that. Intel Atom processors are still not recommended for gaming as the issue with graphics remains, and the speed is considerably slow.

The processor would fail to launch high-end games, let alone run them smoothly. Desktops with Intel Atom processors are suitable for casual use and web surfing.

How Good is the Intel Celeron Processor?

After dealing with the disappointment of Intel Atom, the production was more or less discontinued back in 2016. Intel decided to instead work on another budget-friendly processor and called it Celeron. This processor has similar elements to the Intel Atom processor.

The common assumption is that Intel Celeron Processors are designed for low-demand tasks like record-keeping, web browsing, emails, social media activity, etc. The Intel Celeron processor is a dual-core CPU that does not come with hyper-threading.

It is slow compared to other competing processors. For example, Intel has its Core processors that offer better performance than any Celeron processor.

The key selling point of Intel Celeron is that it is incredibly budget-friendly. Celeron CPUs also offers excellent battery life. Intel Celeron can be a decent choice if you need something on a tight budget, but do not expect something extraordinary from Intel Celeron CPUs.

Gaming is one of the most demanding tasks you can perform on a computer. Dual-core processors are not the best choice for gaming. Gameplay has different levels. AAA gaming requires a powerful CPU. You need a higher clock speed to tackle the exertion caused by gaming.

You need at least an Intel Core i3 processor or something similar even to entertain the idea of computer gaming. As for professional gamers, they should not look at anything below a Core i5. However, if you are a casual gamer, you may be able to get away with using an Intel Celeron processor.

We recommend getting one of the flagship Intel Celeron processors to avoid facing lags during gameplay. Laptops with Intel Celeron CPUs are a terrible choice for gaming.

If you have a desktop, you can insert a dedicated graphics card with the Intel Celeron processor in the computer. That should provide much better gameplay compared to any Celeron laptop you might buy.

Intel Atom Vs Celeron Processors: Noticeable Differences

In the battle between Intel Atom vs. Celeron, you ought to know everything about these processors. Let’s explore their differences now.

  • Intel introduced the Atom series in 2008. The Intel Celeron series was introduced much earlier than the Atom series, back in 1998.
  • Intel Atom processors were designed primarily for mobile and small devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Intel Celeron was targeted toward entry-level computers with performance in mind.
  • Intel Atom processors are typically smaller than Celeron.
  • The maximum amount of memory support in Atom is low, while it is high with Celeron processors.
  • Intel Atom CPUs are ultra-low-voltage processors with incredibly low power consumption. Intel Celeron CPUs operate at standard processor voltage and have higher power consumption.

Intel Atom versus Celeron: Which One is the Best?

If we compare Intel’s Atom processor with Intel’s Celeron processor, we will surely notice some significant differences. We should know about these differences first to pick a winner here.

What are They Built For?

Intel Atom is a single-core processor made for mobile devices. This series was created with small devices and tablets in mind. It was time to compete against mobile companies, which were offering ultra-low powered processors at that time.

Unfortunately, this series couldn’t compete well with other competitors on the market. The only successful experience they had was with netbooks. This low-end processor was enough for those inexpensive, small and compact netbooks, the mini version of laptops! 

On the contrary, Celeron processors were made for budget-friendly computers and entry-level laptops. If performance is not your primary concern, any dual-core processor series, such as the Celeron series, will suit you perfectly.

Celeron processors are meant for the most basic computing actions you can do on desktops. As for the Pentium processor, it is a diluted version of the Core i3 processor.


None of these processors is ideal for playing games or multitasking. A single-core processor like Atom is not that commendable when it comes to performance. Most Intel Celeron processors are dual-core CPUs that are good for research work.

However, you cannot expect optimum performance or hope for good multitasking with anything less than quad-core processors.

Power Consumption

In terms of power consumption, Intel’s Atom processors are really low, as they require pretty low voltage to run, and even their chips are pretty small in size. On the other hand, Celeron processors are high-end processors compared to Atom ones, and they usually require more power consumption.

Which One to Choose?

The difference might seem slightly unfair when you look at Intel Atom vs.Celeron since one is manufactured for the mobile device industry and the other one for computers. 

But, when you have to choose one out of these two options, it’s recommended that you go with the Intel Celeron processor since it is a cost-effective option that can provide basic computing functions.  

On the other hand, if you need optimum performance with less power consumption, getting AMD processors or looking for Core i3 and higher is preferred.

You can optimize the CPUs with a good graphics card to achieve better gaming performance if you have a desktop. But, it is hard to achieve that with laptops.

Using a high-end processor with the latest version of Windows installed, your computer can tackle almost anything you throw its way.

Some Questions You May Have

Is Intel Atom better than i7?

No, Intel Atom is not better than i7. Atom was designed to be low power and leaves a smaller footprint hence i7 has up to 40 times better processing performance.

Is Intel Atom good for gaming?

No, the Intel Atom is not good for gaming. It’s a low-power processor that isn’t designed for high-performance tasks like gaming. You’ll get better performance from a higher-powered processor like an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7.

Is Celeron slower than Pentium?

Yes, Celeron processors are usually slower than Pentium processors. Celeron has different models that are up to 3.6 GHz and Pentiums have a few models that allow up to 4.3 GHz of clock speed.

Final Thoughts

There is no clear-cut winner between Intel Atom versus Celeron processors. There are some subtle differences, but the chances are that average users will not even notice them while using these processors. Only a tech enthusiast might be able to differentiate between them.

Thanks to budget processors like Intel Atom and Celeron, budget-friendly or entry-level computers are not the worst. Although Atom is more suited for mobile devices, it still helped pave the way for affordable desktop processors.

These processors are inexpensive, quick, and extremely easy to use. Users can choose any one of them among Intel Atom vs. Celeron without worrying about affecting their PC’s overall performance.