Review Index:
Feedback

Sempron vs Celeron: Budget CPU Comparison

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD
Tagged:

Testing Methods

Comparing a System...and a Processor


One of the things that often comes up when comparing processors from different platforms is that the platform itself is just as important as the processor.  While the problems for comparison aren't as complex as they were when we looked at the new PCI Express launch, it was still something that we struggled with.  There are really two methods to testing a processor like this, and we decided to do both. 


First, we are going to look at each processor, in conjunction with the best it's platform has to offer in the budget segment.  This includes motherboards with on-board video, low end hard drives and cheap or on-board sound cards.  We tried to build a system for under $500 based each on the AMD Sempron 2800+ and the Intel Celeron D 335 and then compare them in application performance, gaming performance and overall performance.  This can give you a good idea of what is the better deal when price/performance comes into play for a system that is this cheap and exactly what you can do with it.


The second way to test is to see how the processor's compare when using discrete graphics and audio.  This takes the performance differences off of the on-board video and audio platforms and allows us to look at which processor is better for gaming when using a low-cost, but still much better than anything integrated, graphics card. 


The Sempron System


The backbone of the Sempron system lies in the Asus A7N8X-VM/400 motherboard based on NVIDIA's nForce2 IGP and MCP technology.



It is a micro-ATX motherboard with dual-channel memory support, but as the Sempron 2800+ runs on a 333 MHz FSB, the memory ran at DDR333 as well.  There are only two memory slots, two IDE channels and no Serial ATA or other fancy features, as this board is about as low cost as they come.  It can be found for about $80 online



It still has USB 2.0 support, a 10/100 network adapter and 6 channel audio that should appease any budget system user. 


We coupled with the Sempron 2800+ 512 MB of DDR333 memory from the Corsair Value Select line that was under $100.  A 40 GB hard drive from Western Digital that was under $50 and low cost CD-ROM drive.  We'll add the case in later as well. 


The Celeron D System


For our Celeron D system, we decided to go with an ATI IGP-based motherboard instead of the Intel 865G chipset for better graphics performance.  We used the P4R800-V motherboard, but in reality we wanted to use the P4R800-VM that was more consistent with the layout and features of the AMD board above.  The VM model is about the same price and is also mirco-ATX.  Basically, cut off the bottom two PCI slots on the version we tested and you have the VM model.



This board also supports dual channel memory, but because the Celeron is running at a 533 MHz bus, DDR400 memory was what we used instead, for just a slight price increase.  The VM model doesn't have the same feature set that this version pictured has, so we'll pretend they don't exist for arguments sake in this article.



There are slightly more advanced features here including Firewire and SPDIF output, but otherwise, this is a close replica to the Asus A7N8X-VM/400 motherboard. 


The rest of the components remained the same for this test system as well including the hard drive and CD-ROM.


System Setups and Total Prices




































AMD Sempron Test System Setup


CPU


AMD Sempron 2800+ @ 2.0 GHz ($109)


Motherboard


Asus A7N8X-VM/400 (NVIDIA nForce2 IGP) ($80)


Power Supply 


Antec 460 watt (est $50 for 400w and case)


Memory


2x256MB Corsair PC2700 DDR ($100)


Hard Drive


40GB 7200RPM Western Digital EIDE ($50)


Sound Card


Creative Labs Live! ($20)


Video Card


GeForce 4 MX (on-board)


Video Drivers


NVIDIA 61.45


DirectX Version


DX 9.0b


Operating System


Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1


Total system cost with CD-ROM and Case added: $439




































Intel Celeron D Test System Setup


CPU


Intel Celeron D 335 @ 2.8 GHz ($125)


Motherboard


Asus P4R800-V (ATI 9100 IGP) ($80)


Power Supply 


Antec 460 watt (est $50 for 400w and case)


Memory


2x256MB Corsair PC3200 DDR ($90)


Hard Drive


40GB 7200RPM Western Digital EIDE ($50)


Sound Card


Creative Labs Live! ($20)


Video Card


ATI 9100 IGP (on-board)


Video Drivers


Catalyst 4.7


DirectX Version


DX 9.0b


Operating System


Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1


Total system cost with CD-ROM and Case added: $445


These are estimates of course, and don't include shipping or taxes, but that is about as close as we are going to get.  Now that we see how competitively these systems are priced, lets see how they perform!

No comments posted yet.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.