Skip to main content

Intel Slips Out Apollo Lake Celeron And Pentium Chips

Intel's Kaby Lake debut came with the usual amount of fanfare, but surprisingly, Intel slipped the low-power Apollo Lake SoCs out to market without an official press release (at least, one that we can find) or briefing. The taciturn launch features the latest 6W and 10W Atom-based Pentium and Celeron processors that address the low end of the market.

There is precious little information to go on, though we do know the six Apollo Lake SKUs feature 14nm Goldmont cores (no word if it is 14nm+), which supplant the previous-generation Braswell cores. The revamped line also features beefier Gen9 graphics cores, but there is no indication if the graphics feature the Gen9+ enhancements we covered during the recent Kaby Lake launch.

Pentium J4205Pentium J3455Celeron J3355Pentium N4200Celeron N3350Celeron N3450
TDP10W10W10W6W6W6W
Cores/Threads4 / 44 / 42 / 24 /42 /24 / 4
Base/Burst Frequency (GHz)1.5 / 2.61.5 / 2.32 / 2.51.1 / 2.51.1 / 2.41.1 / 2.2
Cache2 MB2 MB2 MB2 MB L22 MB L22 MB L2
GraphicsHD Graphics 505HD Graphics 500HD Graphics 500HD Graphics 505HD Graphics 500HD Graphics 500
Graphics Base/Boost (MHz)250 / 800250 / 750250 / 700200 / 750200 / 650200 / 700
Max Graphics Memory8 GB8 GB8 GB8 GB8 GB8 GB
Memory SupportDDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/sDDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/sDDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/sDDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/sDDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/sDDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/s
Hyper-ThreadingNoNoNoNoNoNo

The 10W processors actually experience a substantial TDP increase; the previous-generation weighed in at 6.5W. The increased headroom is logical in the broader sense, as there wasn't much breathing room between the 6W and 6.5W SKUs in the previous alignment. However, the higher TDP boosts the 10W products into the space between the 4.5W Y-Series and 15W U-Series. The Y and U Series have configurable TDPs (cTDP). The U-Series can adjust to a "Down" TDP rating of 7.5W, which lands below the 10W Apollo Lake SKUs.

The specs are less than sexy, but that is to be expected with this class of product. The 10W parts are bound for low-end desktops, and the 6W processors will attack the low end of the mobility segment. The primary advantages stem from the increase in graphics capabilities (including 16 EU to 18 EU) and the addition of two extra PCIe lanes (total of 6).

Intel is in the midst of a restructuring effort, and the company is focusing resources on core strategic segments, which might explain the muted Apollo Lake launch. Intel recently killed its Broxton and Willow Trail Atom cores for mobile and laptops, primarily because the company reduced investment in the mobile market. The company re-purposed Broxton for its IoT-centric Joule platform.

The "standard" 14nm process isn't quite as impressive as the new 14nm+ process found with Kaby Lake, but it should serve the intended market segments well. We should expect end-user devices to come to market soon, but Intel has not provided an official launch schedule.

  • The Pentium J4205 is a $161 chip?!? DAMN we need some competition!
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    I got myself one of those cheap blue HP laptops with Intel Celeron N chips. Worst $200 ever. That PC was so week it had issues opening Google Chrome.

    I would not buy anything lower than i3.
    Reply
  • What a mess Intel created
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    18538763 said:
    The Pentium J4205 is a $161 chip?!? DAMN we need some competition!

    Laptop chips are bought in volume. And these Pentiums actually have more physical cores than most I7 CPUs in laptops.
    Reply
  • 1991ATServerTower
    Wow, four Pentium III class CPUs on a single die. Sounds perfect for 2008!

    Wait... Isn't this 2016?

    You're better off to get laptop with an AMD APU. At least the APU won't have garbage video performance...

    Yeah, we consumers NEED Zen to shake things up. i5 performance for i3 / Pentium prices would do it. Why pay more!
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Pentium N4200: 4x Atom cores / 4 threads; 1.1 / 2.5 GHz base / burst; $161
    Core i3-6300: 2x Skylake cores / 4 threads; 3.8 GHz base; $138

    The i3 also has 33% more GPU shaders and a higher GPU clock, not to mention 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes vs. 6 PCIe 2.0 lanes, on the Pentium.

    So, yeah, I'd say they're a bit overpriced. The only thing the N4200 has going for it is lower TDP, but at a much lower performance level. Probably better performance per Watt than desktop Skylake, but certainly worse than the new Kaby Lake mobile SKUs. I realize the Pentium N4200 is a full SoC, but it still feels like buyers are getting ripped off, compared to what the i3 has to offer.

    True, I did pick on the high-end SKU, but the cheapest is still $107. These Apollo Lake chips should cost no more than about half their current prices.
    Reply
  • captaincharisma
    18538794 said:
    I got myself one of those cheap blue HP laptops with Intel Celeron N chips. Worst $200 ever. That PC was so week it had issues opening Google Chrome.

    I would not buy anything lower than i3.

    its was made by HP so no surprise there

    Reply
  • adamboy64
    18538794 said:
    I got myself one of those cheap blue HP laptops with Intel Celeron N chips. Worst $200 ever. That PC was so week it had issues opening Google Chrome.

    I would not buy anything lower than i3.
    I've got a HP Stream Mini with a Celeron 2957U.. and that's a great little performer.
    Mind you, that's a 15w chip. Probably a great deal of difference between that and the N2840.

    Reply
  • LordConrad
    Those two 10W Pentiums should do well in Chromebooks.
    Reply
  • wifiburger
    wait if those take after Atom chips then they are garbage, Atom chips are most worthless chip you can run on PC those things don't even stream 1080p !
    Reply