Celeron 420 vs A64 vs Sempron

Just curious as to what single core A64 or Sempron you would compare the Celeron 420 to (at stock speeds)? Can it beat an A64 3000+ for games? BTW, I'm not looking for alternatives like the e2140.
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  1. open the CPU Chart, then on the right click Chart 2005, and you'll see those processors. Celeron 420 seems to land right next to the P4 521 (2.8 GHz). They would perform generally in this order:

    Athlon 64 3000
    Celeron 420
    Sempron below 3000.
  2. i think a64 wins hands down
  3. If you don't mind overclocking the Celeron seems to clock like the Core2s do, and Xbit-Labs got theirs up to 3GHz. Another review got it up to 3.2GHz and even at 3GHz stock voltage.
    If you aren't overclocking I'd have to say it would be close between the 3000+ and Celeron, so go with whatever one is cheaper if there will be no overclocking.
  4. with the ability to Get an X2 3800 for under $50, you do what you gotta do. Theres no limit to the number of combinations you can make that will do exactly what you want in a budget scenario or not.
  5. Thx for all the replies.

    I actually bought a cheap cpu/mobo combo just for fun to try, and if it's stable I may throw it in an occasionally used HTPC. I was just curious how it compared to other chips. Currently that HTPC has an NF7-S rev 2 in it and a mobile XP2500+. But because of heat/noise I don't typically OC that chip and at stock speeds it is very slow for newer games. Isn't even playable for test drive unlimited 800x600 low details. (paired with iceQ x1650XT). So I know how a stock A64 3000+ compares to the Athlon XP as I have compared them in the past(1.8Ghz A64 3000+ easily beats the mobile XP @ 2.6GHz even). But I had no idea where this celeron fits in.

    I want to run it stock speeds and voltage for as low temps as possible. That's also why I didn't want dual core on this one...I was attracted to the claimed 35 watts.

    Anyway, thx for the replies. I was hoping it could match the A64 3000+, but if not I know it should still beat even a 2.2GHz Athlon XP with easy. SHoot, I don't even know how the cheap PCCHips mobo will be, I may find after testing it that I never want to install it in a case even. I have a S939 mobo and X2 3800+ I could have used and may still if this thing doesn't work out. Just wanted a matx instead and coudn;t resist a $60 mobo/cpu combo as it's not an important system to me.
  6. For laughs, Here's the $20 mobo.

    And not trusting it I wanted the cheapest chip, and wanted the coolest running cpu for it too, so I chose the 420 combo over the e2140 combo (Yeah, I can imagine your thoughts) BTW, I already had all other needed components, so this was very cheap to try.
  7. hey Paul, after you get the 420 and mobo combo, if you could be so cool as to update this thread with the following information, I'd really appreciate it.

    1. Does the Celeron 420 have speedstep enabled? Supposedly it should not, but there have been a few people with Celeron 420s that would clock down to 6x multiplier when idling in windows (1200 MHz idle).

    2. Does this PC Chips board support Suspend-to-ram (S3) standby? It's absolutely necessary to have this function for any HTPC application, and places like Tom's and Anandtech won't touch this cheap stuff with a ten foot pole.


  8. Alright, will do on #1. And #2, Yeah, it does support STR as S3 is the bios default ACPI suspend type.

    And I usually won't touch the cheap stuff either. Not since a few K7S5A problems. But for $60 for the combo, and no pressure for it to be trouble free(spare rig to keep myself), I couldn't resist. Plus been stocking up on so much DDR2, I needed an excuse to use some of it.
  9. No speedstep on this one. And just an update...been stress testing this setup in games and benchmark loops and it's been rock solid stable at default speeds. So if it lasts, it was well worth it for a $20 mobo. It's not an overclocker though. Probably no PCI/PCI-e lock at all. Best I could do in quick attempts was 215 bus (failed at 220). That makes for 1.72 GHz. Also, when I try to set it at 266 (1066) and save bios settings, it just reverts back to 200 when it posts. No crash or delay, the FSB setting just doesn't take. I was hoping this little 420L would run 266 and avoid the locking issues on this mobo. The chip should have no problem at 2.128GHz, but I can't seem to get the mobo to cooperate. Oh well it's stable, but a stock Celeron 420 has limited uses for sure.
  10. It's a PC Chips board, you can't ask for more then pure stock running to be honest, especially at $20.
  11. thanks for the speed step update. Perhaps the board will take to a little pin mod on the Celeron?

    That's one way to get to 1066 fsb.
  12. Hey thanks. I didn't know that. Not sure if I'll try it or not, but I'll definately read up on it and then decide. Any links discussing this? Is it common to not be able to not run 1066 without doing this? Or just on crap non-overclockable mobos like mine? :)
  13. it's common on crap overclocking board to do a pin mod to jump to the next higher fsb. You can even do it on Dells. It essentially fools the mobo into thinking that a 1066 fsb cpu is in the socket, so the mobo sets the correct fsb/ram and fsb/pci ratios, giving you stable 1066 fsb operation. Not every mobo out there will take to a pin mod, as some use different methods to determine the cpu fsb frequency, but they are the exception and not the rule.

    Very long discussion on the topic here:
    Note my ridicule of the proposed method about a dozen posts from the top. The mod works as is, but it's not the easiest way to do it. Also, on page 4, I list all possible pin mod combinations. 0=has voltage, or connected (zero resistance), while 1=no voltage, or not connected (infinite resistance). To change a 0 to a 1, put tape over the pad. To change a 1 to a 0, you must pull up voltage either from a standard voltage pin (as shown in the pic above), or from another BSEL pin that has voltage to it already (the simpler, faster, easier way), using conductive ink.

    Hope that helps.
  14. Thank You. I'll look that over for sure.

    One other question. I bought an e4500 to put on the PC CHips board for now anyway. Is there a fairly cheap (under $100 anyway) S775 DDR2 mobo you would recommend for OC'in? Can be ATX or MATX. Plan is to push this Celeron as high as I can on air. Then later on do the same with say an e8400 or 8500.

    edit: I had the MSI P35 Platinum or P35 Neo2 FR in mind, but wouldn't mind finding one alot cheaper.
  15. Paul,

    I wish I could help you there. I haven't looked into bang for the buck mobos since the Asrock dualcore VSTA was all the rage over a year ago. I'm stuck on my Asrock 775i65g, b/c I have more than enough AGP cards and DDR ram to use before finally getting with the times and moving on to DDR2 and PCIe. It used to be that if your budget board could do 350 mhz fsb, you were doing well, but with CPUs that have defualt 333 fsb nowadays, I'm as lost as you when it comes to finding a decent budget board that offers good overclocking headroom and support for modern 45nm CPUs. Since I got nothing I want to do tonight, I might stumble around New Egg and see what's for sale, but I hope someone else chimes in on a good under $100 board for overclocking Intel CPUs.
  16. Alright thanks. Don't worry about looking into it as I can reasearch some myself. Just thought I'd ask as I'm a bit out of the loop OC'in these current chips. My Q6600 does 3.0GHz with ease on my system, but I'm just using the stock cooler so have not pushed it to see where it can go as temps are high enough for me as is in a quiet SOnata II case. My last pure overclocking system was an Abit NF7-S and Mobile XP2500+. Noisy beast, but it did 2.6GHz on air vs 1.86GHz stock. But that's puny compared to what people are doing with these S775 chips. Thanks again.
  17. pauldh said:
    Just curious as to what single core A64 or Sempron you would compare the Celeron 420 to (at stock speeds)? Can it beat an A64 3000+ for games? BTW, I'm not looking for alternatives like the e2140.
    For what it is worth, on basic tasks such as web surfing, e-mail, word processing, etc., the 420 responded much slower than my old Athlon 2600+ Barton, or my old Athlon 64 3200+ Newcastle. This test was done using Windows XP SP1 on all the same hardware, except MB. I used the 420 on an ECS transition board with the same ATA133 HDD, AGP video, and DDR400 ram that was used in the other boards. Gaming, such s Far Cry and Quake4 was far superior on the 3200+. The AMD 2600+ and the Celeron were pretty much a dead heat. I did not try any modern games.

    The one area the Celeron did excel was video encoding using Avidemux. I guess it had something to do with the clock cycles of the newer core. It was on average 30% faster than the 3200+. The 2600+ was slooooooooow.
  18. Quote:
    All I could get with my Athlon Xp 2400+ was 2.16GHZ from 1.99GHZ

    yeah, I had an XP2400+ that didn't go far either. In contrast, every XP2500+ I tried could do 2.2GHz. Some had unlocked multipliers too.

    But the mobile XP's OC'ed even better and all had unlocked multipliers. I ended up with two mobile XP chips, the first hit 2.4GHz, and the second did 2.6GHz. Here is a thread I started in 2004 about mobile XP's. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/59743-28-mobile-xp2500

    :ouch: shoot, I can't believe it's been over 4 years already. :ouch:
  19. tlmck, thanks for sharing that. Interesting about it feeling slow in daily tasks yet so good in Video encoding. And farcry usually shows good cpu scaling so that was interesting to see. I haven't done much with the 420L except stress it and bench/play a few newer games. For NFS:Carbon and Test Drive Unlimited, Mine is a bit below the XP3200+ but easily ahead of the XP2500+ at stock. I used an X1650XT AGP vs 2600 pro PCI-e in the two rigs, but tested 800x600 res so things should be CPU bound. Anyway, at stock speeds, the 420L is too slow for the gaming I hoped it could do. TDU is still basically on the verge of unplayable ... in the un-enjoyable range anyway even at 800x600 low details. The game just has so few video options to tweak. Carbon is playable with high details. But yeah, I'd have to say from what I have seen too, an A64 3000+ is easily better than Celeron 420L in gaming.
  20. Hey Paul

    It seems you have the entire spectrum of Core CPUs. Could you give some subjective analysis on what it feels like to use the Celeron, vs the Core 2 Duo, vs the Quad? Does the Celeron still feel like a Core CPU during mundane Windows tasks like web browsing, word, etc, or is it too crippled?
  21. pauldh said:
    yeah, I had an XP2400+ that didn't go far either. In contrast, every XP2500+ I tried could do 2.2GHz. Some had unlocked multipliers too.

    But the mobile XP's OC'ed even better and all had unlocked multipliers. I ended up with two mobile XP chips, the first hit 2.4GHz, and the second did 2.6GHz. Here is a thread I started in 2004 about mobile XP's. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/59743-28-mobile-xp2500

    :ouch: shoot, I can't believe it's been over 4 years already. :ouch:

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. That was a fun thread.
  22. Quote:
    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. That was a fun thread.

    Yeah, Fun days for sure. I was surprised a quick search brought that old thread up. Do you still have yours? Too bad they are so pathetic now.
  23. joefriday said:
    Hey Paul

    It seems you have the entire spectrum of Core CPUs. Could you give some subjective analysis on what it feels like to use the Celeron, vs the Core 2 Duo, vs the Quad? Does the Celeron still feel like a Core CPU during mundane Windows tasks like web browsing, word, etc, or is it too crippled?

    Well, In all honesty, the lil 420L has felt pretty good so far except for gaming. But I have far from put it to any extensive testing. I'll need some time on the celeron first before being able to say. I also don't have the e4500 yet as I ordered from ZZF and their free shipping takes a week to me. But no tax and slightly cheaper price saved me $10 over Newegg. I'll try messing with it and maybe even side by side with an X2 4200+ doing the same tasks. Once the e4500 comes, I'll bench both for fun like I usually do before upgrades. I'm also determined now to try this pin mod on the 420L and am so hoping for an easy 1066 bus.
  24. joefriday said:
    thanks for the speed step update. Perhaps the board will take to a little pin mod on the Celeron?


    That's one way to get to 1066 fsb.

    Just wanted to say thanks. I did this 1066 pin mod with defogger repair liquid and it worked first try. And I now have a functioning speedstep too. :)

  25. wow. Functional speed step after pin mod. Weird.


    Time for a re-review of gaming prowess, no?
  26. I can't explain the speedstep either; mobo related I guess. Just happy it's all working so well. I spent quite a few hours using and gaming with this rig last night, and all is well. I may even buy a spare one of these mobo's while they are still $20 AR. (new rebate now). Although it would be a spare for me... I'd never sell a system with this in it of course. I'd be better off going with higher quality matx though. Maybe a 780G mobo.

    Time for a re-review of gaming prowess, no?

    Yeah, I'm kicking myself for not documenting more testing at 1.6GHz. I really didn't expect the pin mod to work with this mobo. I enjoy comparisons and it would have been nice to have done before/after testing. I would like to have compared it to the Athlon XP @ 2500+ and 3200+ also. And I may someday compare this to a single core A64 system to see how it compares now (if/when time allows). I will say, TDU is now playable at least. NFS Carbon no sweat at 10x7 max details without motion blur.
  27. My dad has a Celeron 420 as a temporary CPU until the Q9450 comes out, I can affirm with a P35-DS4 it does indeed have functional speedstep. It's lapped and has a lapped TRU on top of it. How rediculous.
  28. :) KyleSTL, is he overclocking with that lapped setup? Is that gigabyte mobo one that won't work at 1066 with the bsel pin mod?
  29. Not sure. He's OC'd it to 2.2Ghz IIRC. I think it tops out with Orthos 1Hr at ~32°C. I cannot attest to the BSEL mod, though. He's using it as an uber-HTPC rig (edit: when the Q9450 comes in). All the fans [in the Antec 900 case] are 800rpm Slipstreams (5) with the 200mm fan on low. It's totally inaudible with 2 WD GP drives (500 and 1TB). He has a BD/HD combo drive, so I imagine that's what he'll be spending the majority of his time doing in the coming months. With the [slightly] overclocked C420 and a Sapphire 2600XT with an Accelero S1 it plays BD movies flawlessly, but for some reason has trouble with BD/HD concerts (audio flooding the processor?). FYI, since you might be using yours as an HTPC.

    Edit: He also has an X-Fi card and runs Vista Ultimate 32 with 4GB DDR2 800 ram.
  30. That Sounds very nice. Part of the reason I stopped pushing chips to their limit on air was I grew tired of noisy fans. I almost bought the 900 myself for the rig in my sig, but then decided to just use a Sonata II I had in stock.

    Yeah, no need for the mod if the mobo OC's it without. If he needed the mod, he would top out at 220 bus or so (1.76 GHZ). He's at about 275 Mhz bus to hit 2.2 GHz. With the right ram settings and maybe a little more voltage, he should get way past 2.2GHz if he wanted to.
  31. He's obviously not pushing it hard, it was basically "Dad, set your FSB to [275]". Ok, now save and exit. No need to squeeze every last mhz out of the chip since it's only temporary. I think next time I'm home I may dig into it with him and see if we can hit 3.0 without a voltage bump. He's never overclocked before and this is his first home-built. I talked him out of giving Dell $2000 and he's extremely happy with the computer (even with that wimpy processor). He said he'd never buy a pre-built ever again. Kyle 1 Dell 0.
  32. Well Paul....I simply couldn't resist. I caved and bought a DIRT CHEAP Celeron 420, complimented by an open box Biostar board, and 1 GB of cheap DDR2. Total cost with shipping is a bit under $90. I know open box is a bit risky, so we shall see. I've got an older 120 GB Seagate sata1 hdd, and a PATA DVD burner, along with a 250 watt psu and a Dell 4600 case to shove it all into (the K6-2 is going bye bye). Should make for a nice little rig, but damn if I know what I'm going to do with it! Let's see this Celeron dance at 333fsb!


    Nice eh? I should have it all by the start of next week.
  33. Let us know how the 200->333 [pad] mod goes. That FSB is a bit high for stock cooling, but if you have a Hyper TX2 or something (just to be on the cheap), should be doable.
  34. Hey good deal. I'd like to know your 333bus results too. At 266, it's still not much of a gaming chip, but it's been 100% stable on the puny lil Intel low profile cooler even.
  35. 2.166Ghz is relatively easy on stock with any sample of the 420. I think you'd need a 1:1000 (odds) chip to have stability at 2.66Ghz on stock cooling regardless of voltage.
  36. ^ True. But you have to remember, I have a $20 motherboard too. :)
  37. I wasn't putting your efforts down. I was simply stating it's not likely to get FSB1333 with a simple pad mod.
  38. Yup, gotcha. I agree on the 333 bus and am eager to hear how it goes.

    I thought it was a comment about me saying 266 is 100% stable, which I wanted to clarify that I am happy about because of the el cheapo mobo, not because it's anything amazing for the cpu.
  39. So what's the word, joe? I'm wondering if you got that puppy to fire up at 2.66ghz.

    As the side story that I brought up about my dad's computer:
    He got the Q9450 and has been running for a couple weeks now, and this weekend I showed him how to overclock so now he's got 4 cores @ 3.2ghz in his dead-silent rig. His temps at stock volts with two Orthos running are 63, 55, 55, 57 - so I believe his IHS is quite convex, but not worth the risk of lapping a $360 CPU. It's way more processing power than I think he'll ever need, but hey, that's what I think we all said when 1Ghz processors were announced (or many things well before that - on-die cache, MMX, DX2 etc).

    I contemplated stealing the C420 from him to make a new HTPC (currently AXP2400+, 1GB, FX5200), but decided against it because the AMD 780 chipset is so tempting, and I wanna do it right.
  40. Nice overclock on that quad. I bet your dad will love it.

    I agree about going AMD for an HTPC. They seem to have all the nice features right now. Personally though, wait till the new AMD IGP debuts with even better hybrid graphics support. Also, that Nvidia 8200 igp seems pretty decent too.

    Now, as for my stuff. I just got the mobo in today. The ram arrived last Thursady. I'm still waiting on the Celeron. Should be here tomorrow. I used the old D 805 to test, and it seems good to go. I just checked for basic functionality though: fan control, S3 standby, Ethernet, USB, both ram slots, IGP, all the sata ports and the IDE, and audio. I could have tried a 133 to 166 fsb overclock on the Pentium D, but I wasn't going to push my luck on this board. I consider the fact that I didn't encounter any major problems a minor victory in itself. One thing though, the mobo didn't come with anything, not even the I/O shield. I know Newegg makes no guarantee about those items, but I also know that sometimes such things are included. I'll just make my own I/O shield. Everything else isn't needed anyway. Anyway, not bad so far for a 1333 fsb capable board for $31 shipped. Apparently it also supports 45nm CPUs. One thing I noticed was that the IGP was incredibly warm with that tiny heatsink. I'm definitely looking into putting a small fan on that thing.

    I may not have time to test this board with the Celeron 420 tomorrow. But if I do, I'll let your know how it goes.
  41. Pin mod was successful. Luckily the Celeron came with a relatively high stock vcore of 1.28. I'm glad the Biostar board took to pin mods, as the bios overclocks could only carry the cpu to 1066 fsb. Overclocking past 2.66 GHz/333 fsb was limited, with a max of 2960 MHz/370 fsb at 1.4 vcore (boot to windows, did not test for stability).

    Idle temp (core) at stock 1.6 GHz was 40C, the same as when overclocked to 2.66 GHz. Load temp at 2.66 GHz was 56C, tested using Windows Movie Maker. System Idle power consumption at 1.6 GHz was 51 watts. System idle power consumption at 2.66 GHz was 53 watts. System load power consumption at 2.66 GHz was 68 watts using Windows Movie Maker. Unfortunately, I could not get speed step working with this combo. :(

    Although the pin mod is a success, I plan to put this cpu back to 1.6 GHz, and severly undervolt the processor to around 1.1 vcore, which should put the idle power consumption in the 40s with cpu load consumption in the 50s, probably with a core temp in the low 30s. I definitely don't need the power, and the D 805 still trumps this CPU in terms of encoding and multitasking. This combo will live out its days performing mundane tasks.

    Pics for your enjoyment:

    Interesting thing about the temps: I used the stock Celeron cooler. Core temps of 56C would have you believe the heatsink would at least be a little warm. This is not true. Heatsink felt cool the whole time. In fact the CPU itself was cool to the touch when I removed it from the mobo immediately after running it for a couple hours. Definitely not the same observations I get with the D 805.

    BTW, all testing was done in an open air environment. Expect temps to rise about 5C idle and load when once inside a case.
  42. Some more observations:
    The Nvidia IGP is really good. It performs THE SAME as my GF3 ti200. Nice.

    The idle power consumption of the Nvidia IGP is very close to that of Intel's 865G (extreme Graphics 2). That's amazing, considering how much more powerful the Nvidia IGP is.

    Undervolting the Celeron 420 is a waste of time. At 1.0 vcore 1.6 GHz, I dropped a measily 6 watts off the idle power consumption as compared to 2.66 GHz overclock at stock 1.28 vcore. Running the CPU at stock speeds seems to affect the IGP more than I thought it would. Appearantly, the IGP likes either higher bus speeds or more CPU clocks, as an overclock back up to 2.13 Ghz yields a consistent 2-3 fps increase in games.

    The IGP loves memory bandwith. This I assumed going in, as the poor thing is only a single channel design. Overclocking the ram to DDR 800 gets another 1-2 fps in games.

    The Biostar Bios is highly tweakable, and even allows for overclocking of the IGP's core clock. Default for the Intel version of the 7050 is 500 MHz. I brought it up to 630 MHz (the stock clock speed for the high end 7150 version of this IGP), which netted an additional 1-2 fps.

    The stock hsf of the Celeron is perfect, as it's just a bit taller than the heatsink for the 7050/610i chipset directly below, so the cpu fan is able to cool both the CPU and the chipset quite effectively. Prior testing using the D 805 showed the chipset running hot, because the taller hfs prevented adequate airflow from reaching the chipset. The Celeron hsf comes with a non-pwm fan (only a 3 pin), which runs at a constant 2000 rpm. That's actually a good thing, as a slow spinning pwm fan doesn't push enough air to keep the chipset cool (I used the d 805's pwm fan on the Celeron heatsink to test).
  43. Thx for sharing your findings. Decent results for a bargain chip. I'm kinda surprised that low profile cooler did so well.
  44. I just wanted to update that I finally got "speedstep" working on this Celeron CPU, using my old Asrock 775i65g. I guess the Biostar mobo was the limitation in that regard. The ironic thing is, speedstep is actually wasting energy, as it ups the vcore whenever it drops to the 6x multi (1.1-1.2vcore, instead of the 1.0vcore I've pinmodded). If I hadn't messed with the cpu, then this feature would have been beneficial, but as it stands right now, I can save more energy by turning it off. I've since learned that this speedstep-like feature is known as "Enhanced Halt State", or C1E. How it differs from EIST, is in the fact the EIST is demand-based, using multiple levels of multis and VIDs based on CPU load, while C1E is more like an on/off switch, switching to low multi/low VID only when the CPU is absolutely at idle. The moment the CPU gets even a bit of activity, it switches up to default multi/VID. I guess you could call it "speedstep-lite".
  45. I build a simillar sistem from spare and second hand parts(the mobo) just for fun:
    asus p5pl2, 2X512 ddr2, nvidia 7200 gs, ibm deskstar 40gb, 250 w power suply
    and i used it for several days. It's so quiet, a nice change from the 3 fan case and the 8800.
    It scored 2700 in 3dmark 2003(more than my 5 year old a64 2800+ati 9000pro, wich was noisy).
    Did i mention how cheap it was.
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