AMD Brazos platform has become very popular mostly due to its decent graphics core that supports hardware decoding of popular video formats and in addition to DirectX 10 support copes with simple gaming loads. The graphics core inside Intel Atom processors, on the contrary, has been so severely simplified, that it doesn’t even support hardware HD video decoding, not to mention the embarrassing performance in 3D. Therefore, Atom is often bundled with Nvidia graphics, which makes systems using it more suitable for home.
Taking into account everything we have just said, Celeron G440 has all the chances to become a much more attractive Intel solution for home nettops and media centers. Its Intel HD Graphics core (a modification of HD Graphics 2000 with disabled Quick Sync technology) supports DirectX 10 and has a hardware decoder supporting all popular HD video formats. As a result, it can be easily installed into HTPC as is, although when it comes to 3D performance, things are not so rosy anymore.
Celeron G440 performs quite well in the synthetic 3DMark Vantage suite. It is a little behind AMD E-350, but at the same time is fundamentally better than Atom, which cannot pass this test at all.
However, when it comes to real games, the single-core design doesn’t do Celeron G440 any good. Some games, like Dirt 3, simply refuse to load at all; others, like Far Cry 2, freeze in the process. In other words, Celeron G440 is hardly a good option for a low-cost gaming system. Besides, even if Celeron G440 works fine in some tests, AMD E-350 with the Radeon HD 6310 graphics core still beats it.
So, Celeron G440 is a pretty interesting product for compact energy-efficient nettops and media centers, which boasts impressive performance for solutions of this class and has hardware tools for HD video decoding. Moreover, a platform based on this LGA1155 processor is not only selling at the same price as AMD E-350 based systems, but also offers comparable power consumption and heat dissipation. Among obvious strengths of the new Celeron G440 I should point out possibility for future processor upgrade and the use of dual-channel memory controller. However, AMD Brazos platform still works better in 3D mode and under distinct multi-threaded load. Nevertheless, the new Celeron G440 should be considered an interesting alternative to contemporary Zacate processors, and especially Atom.