Frankly speaking, we have already tested all sorts of Sandy Bridge processors inside out by now. Therefore, at this point it is difficult to find anything new to add to what we have already mentioned in numerous reviews of dual-core processors on this microarchitecture. Especially, if we take into account the fact that new dual-core Celeron processors, which we have discussed in our today’s article are, in fact, hardly any different from LGA1155 Pentium processors launched a few months earlier.
Of course, if we look at the specifications, we will see that the new Celeron CPUs have lower clock frequencies and smaller L3 cache compared to Pentium. But the results of our tests show that it has very little effect on actual performance. There is no huge gap between LGA1155 Celeron and Pentium processors like the one we previously saw between Core i3 and Pentium CPUs. In other words, these two processor families are really close.
So, there is nothing surprising about the fact that the transition to LGA1155 platform has significantly boosted its performance compared with LGA775 predecessors. Sandy Bridge microarchitecture dramatically improved the performance of entry-level systems: by 50% on average and sometimes even twice as much. Moreover, new Celeron processors acquired a pretty decent HD Graphics core, so if you are choosing between different Celeron families, then there should be absolutely no doubts which one to prefer.
However, everything I have just said refers primarily to Celeron G540 and Celeron G530. However, there is also a very interesting Celeron G440 model that stands out from the rest of the line-up. This is a single-core processor with minimal clock speed, which, in fact, shouldn’t be called Celeron to begin with. But if we disregard this inconsistency and look at it as a nettop product, like Atom, for example, it will look way better. While its power consumption is at comparable level with the rivals’, it offers slightly better computational performance and radically better graphics, which is also capable of hardware HD video decoding. As a result, Celeron G440 based platforms can successfully compete with AMD Brazos in many aspects, including price. And even though E-350 processors appeal to users with their more advanced graphics, Celeron G440 CPUs boast higher average performance in regular applications and flexibility for future upgrades.
In conclusion I have to say that numerous launches of Sandy Bridge processors made LGA1155 platform so universally overwhelming that is became capable of handling the needs of a wide range of users. LGA1155 processors may be installed into high-performance systems as well as mainstream and entry-level ones. And with the launch of LGA1155 Celerons it will penetrate even the lowest-price systems and nettops. In other words, Intel has clearly accomplished their plan to limit the number of current platforms, which no longer include LGA775 or LGA1156. And in a little while Sandy Bridge microarchitecture will be able to oust from the market Nehalem’s last representative – LGA1366 socket.