The benchmarking procedure (the list of software and test conditions) is described here. To make the diagrams easier to read, the results are represented in percent (100% stand for the result of Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 in each test). The detailed results and absolute values are provided in this spreadsheet.
All our test subjects have the necessary and sufficient number of cores for this kind of tasks, so architecture, clock rates, and cache, too, become critical. As you can see, small cache prevents the processor from catching up with even the ancient Athlon X2 though this group of tests has always been loyal to Intel processors more. Competition with Pentium E5300 is out of the question, too. Overclocking makes Celeron E3300 the highest-clocked CPU, but it only gets the second place, being outperformed by Pentium E6500 with 400-megahertz lower clock rate.
We used to say that final rendering procedures in 3D software were indifferent to cache. We said this so often that we started believing it ourselves. But reality turned out to be more complex than that. Final rendering is indifferent to cache to a certain extent. But 1MB of it is still not enough for Core 2 processor. Well, of course, no one will buy a Celeron (or an older Pentium with the same amount of cache) for 3D rendering. Still, it's a fact. The clock rate raised to 3.33 GHz only lets Celeron E3300 catch up with Pentium E5300 working at 2.6 GHz. No need to comment the performance of normal Celeron Å3300.
We mentioned repeatedly that this group of tests resembled 3D visualization, but was less cache-critical. However, this can also be said about cache sizes of 3MB and larger. We have none of that today, so here you go. At least it outperforms the old Athlon II X2 6000+.
Strangely enough the Celeron does a good job processing images. It can compete with any of dual-core processors from AMD in the normal mode, outperforming them all when overclocked. Thus, even a low-end processor will do for some image editing. Not for professional image editing, mind you. Photoshop works twice as fast with high-end processors. Though overclocking lets Celeron E3300 cut down a half of that performance difference.
As we have expected, small cache prevents the Celeron from showing at least some performance. This is especially catastrophic with DDR3 memory. With DDR2 the processor lags behind Pentium E5300 by 10% (with clock rates being less than 5% different). Overclocking does improve the odds, because it also speeds up interaction with memory. Competitors get close to the old Athlon X2 6000+, so we can state that the overclocked Celeron can already challenge almost any older Athlon processor. (The exotic 6400+ was the only CPU faster that what we tested, and there were no processors with large cache in the 65nm series.) What the overclocked Celeron cannot reach is Pentium E6500 which has 400-megahertz lower clock rate. As for the normal Celeron E3300, it does poorly in general.
Life seems boring? Need a sworn enemy to spice it up? Get a programmer a Celeron. Even overclocking doesn't let the E3300 catch up with at least Pentium E5300. The normal mode (especially with DDR3) is completely out of the question. Again, it's obvious that no one with enough funds will buy a Celeron for serious software development. But this can also be said about home PCs. So, dear parents, if your kid is into programming, please throw in another 20-30 bucks and buy a higher-end processor. It will help keep your child mentally healthy.
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