Differences Between Pentium and Celeron Chips & and Which is Best for Gaming on a Budget?

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2018

The Intel Pentium and Intel Celeron processors are two of the best selling processors of all time. Let's take a quick look at the difference between these two CPUs to help you decide which you should spend your hard-earned money on when building or upgrading a budget system.

Pentium processors come in different types and have evolved over the years, from the very old Pentium 1, through to the Pentium 4, and now the latest Pentiums today such as the G4400 and the G4560 Kaby-Lake generation processors which are currently at the time of writing two of the best bang for your buck gaming processors on a budget right now.

Celerons have also evolved over time and the current latest models are the G3920 and G3930. Both Intel Pentiums and Celerons are potential options for a computer build on a budget.

Difference Between Pentium and Celeron CPUs

The Celeron can be pretty much summed up as being Intel's lower-cost alternative to the Pentium. The Pentiums are the better, faster processors, and this is reflected in their generally higher prices. 

The main differences between Pentiums and Celerons are as follows:

  • Clock Speed: The clock speed is one determining factor in how fast a processor is, and Pentium chips are made to run at a faster clock speed than the Celeron. For example, the popular Pentium G4560 has a clock speed of 3.5GHz, whilst the Celeron G3950's speed is 3.0GHz.
  • Cache Memory: The amount of cache in a CPU can have a decent effect on its overall performance, and Celerons have less cache than Pentiums.
  • Bus Speed: Pentium's also generally have faster bus speeds than Celerons.
  • Hyperthreading: The latest Kaby-Lake Pentium in the G4560 introduced the performance-boosting feature called Hyperthreading for the first time in the Pentium's history. No Celerons have this feature.

Should You Buy a Pentium or Celeron for Gaming?

If you look at the price differences between the various Celeron and Pentium chips on the market - it's quite minimal. Therefore, you'd be silly not to go for a Pentium like the G4400 or G4560 which are hugely popular budget gaming CPUs (for good reason).

The G4560 is without a doubt the best value dual-core gaming CPU on a tight budget and can hold its own in the latest games (assuming you have a good gaming video card too).

There's no real reason to go for a Celeron unless the small price difference matters to you, and/or you don't care about modern gaming and you'll be playing older, less demanding games only. For a non-gaming computer that's meant for simple, basic tasks, a Celeron may be all you need. 

But for gaming, stick with a Pentium as like I said the price difference is very low but the performance difference will be noticeable in the latest PC titles. Good luck.

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About the Author

Former hobbyist game programmer turned tech enthusiast, Julz is the founder of BGC and has kept a keen eye on the latest in DIY gaming since starting the site in his spare time over a decade ago as an almost-laughably basic, unimpressive little site with a simple aim to try and make building a PC more accessible to the average gamer since most resources were far from noob friendly.

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