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Intel Celeron 420 3.0 GHz VS Intel Core 2 Duo 1.0 GHz

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August 17, 2013 8:39:15 AM

Just to point out that my main system has Core i7-3770K! OK, so I have another PC with Celeron 420 overclocked to 3.0 GHz (Conroe-L, 65 nm, 512 KB Level 2 Cache)! My question is how would it match up to a Core 2 Duo underclocked to 1.0 GHz (Conroe or Conroe-CL, 65 nm, 2 MB Level 2 Cache)! I do know that most programs nowadays are written to run better and are more optimized for multiple core CPUs and that the 2 MB Level 2 Cache will make a huge difference from the 512 KB one, but still, which CPU do you think will have a higher overall performance?
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August 17, 2013 8:56:44 AM

The C2D will be marginally faster at that clock. Why do you have it @1ghz BTW? Are you using it for a HTPC?
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August 17, 2013 8:56:48 AM

Probably a wash between the two. I'd argue for the celerons efficiency but goes out the window with such a ridiculous overclock. I'd go core2duo , just cause it has 2 cores. Mean both (assuming 2007) have the same cache and FSB so performance will be very similar on paper at least.
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August 17, 2013 11:13:58 AM

bjaminnyc said:
The C2D will be marginally faster at that clock. Why do you have it @1ghz BTW? Are you using it for a HTPC?

Where did I say that I own a Core 2 Duo?
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August 17, 2013 11:19:02 AM

Supermuncher85 said:
Probably a wash between the two. I'd argue for the celerons efficiency but goes out the window with such a ridiculous overclock. I'd go core2duo , just cause it has 2 cores. Mean both (assuming 2007) have the same cache and FSB so performance will be very similar on paper at least.

It doesn't go out of the window, because I am typing from it clocked at 3.0 GHz right now and it's absolutely stable and can perform a Cinebench R11.5 rendering benchmark without any problems what so ever. Some people even overclock their Celeron 420 CPUs beyond 3.2 GHz and still haven't gotten any problems! I wrote in my question that the Celeron 420 has a 512 KB L2 Cache and that I want to compare it to a Core 2 Duo with a 2 MB L2 Cache (there isn't a Core 2 Duo with a 512 KB L2 Cache anyway). Better read more carefully next time.
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August 17, 2013 12:24:29 PM

jnjnilson6 said:
Just to point out that my main system has Core i7-3770K! OK, so I have another PC with Celeron 420 overclocked to 3.0 GHz (Conroe-L, 65 nm, 512 KB Level 2 Cache)! My question is how would it match up to a Core 2 Duo underclocked to 1.0 GHz (Conroe or Conroe-CL, 65 nm, 2 MB Level 2 Cache)! I do know that most programs nowadays are written to run better and are more optimized for multiple core CPUs and that the 2 MB Level 2 Cache will make a huge difference from the 512 KB one, but still, which CPU do you think will have a higher overall performance?


The Celeron 420 will undeniably be quite a bit faster.

It is running at three times the clock speed of the underclocked Core 2 Duo but uses the same microarchitecture. There is a moderate improvement in desktop application performance with increasing cache size- I am guessing roughly 10-15% tops based on performance of the 1 MB L2 Pentium Dual Cores vs. the 2 MB Core 2 Duos. Multithreaded tasks generally only scale up to 75-85% anyway so at the best case, the 1.0 GHz Allendale (native 2 MB L2 65 nm desktop Core 2 Duo = Allendale) will be as fast as a 2.0 GHz Conroe-L.

Also consider how you arrive at those clock speeds. An Allendale generally runs a 200 MHz (800 MHz FSB) or a 266 MHz (1066 MHz FSB) clock speed and it has unlocked multipliers from 6x on up to the maximum one for its rated clock speed for SpeedStep to work. Celerons have locked multipliers and no SpeedStep. The Celeron 420 has 200 MHz clock and an x8 multiplier. Normal FSB clock speeds on desktop Core 2-derived chips are 133 MHz (533 FSB), 200 MHz (800 FSB), 266 MHz (1066 FSB), and 333 MHz (333 MHz.) Normal supported RAM clock speeds for that generation are 133 MHz (DDR2-533 and DDR3-1066), 166 MHz (DDR3-667), and 200 MHz (DDR2-800.) Some performance 30-series units might support DDR3-1333 (166 MHz) or DDR2-1066 (266 MHz).

So, your Celeron 420 running at 3.0 GHz requires a 375 MHz FSB clock (1500 FSB.) At 3.2 GHz it would run at an even 400 MHz. A 375 MHz FSB clock would likely be using straps suitable a 333 MHz stock FSB unit, so your RAM would be slightly overclocked, giving better performance. At 3.2 GHz this will be even more pronounced. Overclocked RAM tends to perform a little better than standard clocked RAM until you get to the hairy edge of stability and have to loosen up timings a lot.

You also can't underclock your Allendale to 1.0 GHz without cutting your FSB clock. The minimum clock speed with a stock FSB on a C2D E6000 series would be 1.60 GHz (266x6) and on an E4000 series would be 1.20 GHz (200x6.) You need a 166 MHz clock to be at 1.00 GHz. A 166 MHz FSB clock has never been used on an Intel desktop chip and you would either have to use memory straps for a 533 FSB chip and overclock the RAM (slightly better performance) or use straps for an 800 FSB and underclock the RAM (lower performance.)

So, it's a little more complex than what it originally appears, but the Celeron is clearly faster.
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August 17, 2013 1:22:31 PM

MU_Engineer said:
jnjnilson6 said:
Just to point out that my main system has Core i7-3770K! OK, so I have another PC with Celeron 420 overclocked to 3.0 GHz (Conroe-L, 65 nm, 512 KB Level 2 Cache)! My question is how would it match up to a Core 2 Duo underclocked to 1.0 GHz (Conroe or Conroe-CL, 65 nm, 2 MB Level 2 Cache)! I do know that most programs nowadays are written to run better and are more optimized for multiple core CPUs and that the 2 MB Level 2 Cache will make a huge difference from the 512 KB one, but still, which CPU do you think will have a higher overall performance?


The Celeron 420 will undeniably be quite a bit faster.

It is running at three times the clock speed of the underclocked Core 2 Duo but uses the same microarchitecture. There is a moderate improvement in desktop application performance with increasing cache size- I am guessing roughly 10-15% tops based on performance of the 1 MB L2 Pentium Dual Cores vs. the 2 MB Core 2 Duos. Multithreaded tasks generally only scale up to 75-85% anyway so at the best case, the 1.0 GHz Allendale (native 2 MB L2 65 nm desktop Core 2 Duo = Allendale) will be as fast as a 2.0 GHz Conroe-L.

Also consider how you arrive at those clock speeds. An Allendale generally runs a 200 MHz (800 MHz FSB) or a 266 MHz (1066 MHz FSB) clock speed and it has unlocked multipliers from 6x on up to the maximum one for its rated clock speed for SpeedStep to work. Celerons have locked multipliers and no SpeedStep. The Celeron 420 has 200 MHz clock and an x8 multiplier. Normal FSB clock speeds on desktop Core 2-derived chips are 133 MHz (533 FSB), 200 MHz (800 FSB), 266 MHz (1066 FSB), and 333 MHz (333 MHz.) Normal supported RAM clock speeds for that generation are 133 MHz (DDR2-533 and DDR3-1066), 166 MHz (DDR3-667), and 200 MHz (DDR2-800.) Some performance 30-series units might support DDR3-1333 (166 MHz) or DDR2-1066 (266 MHz).

So, your Celeron 420 running at 3.0 GHz requires a 375 MHz FSB clock (1500 FSB.) At 3.2 GHz it would run at an even 400 MHz. A 375 MHz FSB clock would likely be using straps suitable a 333 MHz stock FSB unit, so your RAM would be slightly overclocked, giving better performance. At 3.2 GHz this will be even more pronounced. Overclocked RAM tends to perform a little better than standard clocked RAM until you get to the hairy edge of stability and have to loosen up timings a lot.

You also can't underclock your Allendale to 1.0 GHz without cutting your FSB clock. The minimum clock speed with a stock FSB on a C2D E6000 series would be 1.60 GHz (266x6) and on an E4000 series would be 1.20 GHz (200x6.) You need a 166 MHz clock to be at 1.00 GHz. A 166 MHz FSB clock has never been used on an Intel desktop chip and you would either have to use memory straps for a 533 FSB chip and overclock the RAM (slightly better performance) or use straps for an 800 FSB and underclock the RAM (lower performance.)

So, it's a little more complex than what it originally appears, but the Celeron is clearly faster.

You simply provided me with an overclocking guide.. And trust me, I know how to OC CPUs, I've even managed to overclock my 3770K to 5.0 GHz - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUoZDjGM9LM! I said that I want a comparison between the Celeron 420 and a Conroe or a Conroe-CL Core 2 Duo, not between the 420 and an Allendale! I've already overclocked my Celeron 420 to 3.0 GHz, so I don't think that you should tell me how to do it. My 420 PC has 800 MHz DDR2 RAM, so I had to set the memory multiplier from 4 to 2 in order to overclock the CPU to 3.0 GHz!
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August 18, 2013 11:40:13 AM

jnjnilson6 said:

You simply provided me with an overclocking guide.. And trust me, I know how to OC CPUs, I've even managed to overclock my 3770K to 5.0 GHz - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUoZDjGM9LM! I said that I want a comparison between the Celeron 420 and a Conroe or a Conroe-CL Core 2 Duo, not between the 420 and an Allendale! I've already overclocked my Celeron 420 to 3.0 GHz, so I don't think that you should tell me how to do it. My 420 PC has 800 MHz DDR2 RAM, so I had to set the memory multiplier from 4 to 2 in order to overclock the CPU to 3.0 GHz!


The first thing I wrote was your answer- the Celeron will be considerably faster, likely in the neighborhood of about a third faster in well multithreaded tasks and around 3x as fast in single-threaded stuff. It will be program dependent. Why don't you pick up a C2D E4300 or E4400 off eBay and bench it yourself at 1.0 GHz, they are only about $10 apiece. That would be a cheap way to decisively end the debate.
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August 19, 2013 12:06:59 AM

MU_Engineer said:
jnjnilson6 said:

You simply provided me with an overclocking guide.. And trust me, I know how to OC CPUs, I've even managed to overclock my 3770K to 5.0 GHz - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUoZDjGM9LM! I said that I want a comparison between the Celeron 420 and a Conroe or a Conroe-CL Core 2 Duo, not between the 420 and an Allendale! I've already overclocked my Celeron 420 to 3.0 GHz, so I don't think that you should tell me how to do it. My 420 PC has 800 MHz DDR2 RAM, so I had to set the memory multiplier from 4 to 2 in order to overclock the CPU to 3.0 GHz!


The first thing I wrote was your answer- the Celeron will be considerably faster, likely in the neighborhood of about a third faster in well multithreaded tasks and around 3x as fast in single-threaded stuff. It will be program dependent. Why don't you pick up a C2D E4300 or E4400 off eBay and bench it yourself at 1.0 GHz, they are only about $10 apiece. That would be a cheap way to decisively end the debate.

Because I live in Bulgaria and that price would be $110 if I get it from amazon! How do I know that? Well, I bought my Corsair H110 for my 3770K from there and it ended up costing 200 euro which is insane!
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August 19, 2013 6:25:50 AM

jnjnilson6 said:

Because I live in Bulgaria and that price would be $110 if I get it from amazon! How do I know that? Well, I bought my Corsair H110 for my 3770K from there and it ended up costing 200 euro which is insane!


Ouch! I would bench a Core 2 Duo based Xeon for you but mine is a 6 MB Wolfdale and the slowest it will go is 2.00 GHz. I can't underclock it since it it on a server board.
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