Today I recieve a brand new Celeron Dual-Core E1400 via UPS from Newegg and I am really excited about it. Now most would look at my rigs and ask why a simple Celeron would excite me. I'll give you a little background about myself. I obvously love computer hardware, but what I love even more is taking extremely low end hardware and putting it in situations that it was never intended for, and seeing how it does. And I especially love to overclock said low end hardware. The reason I love overclocking low end hardware so much is because that is where the real performance gains are. Overclocking high end hardware yields only marginally noticeable performance gains. However, if you push low end hardware, you can often get a very noticeable gain in performance. Lets face it, if you push your 3.0GHz E8400 to 4.0GHz, are you really going to notice a major performance improvement? No, probably not, it will certainly be measurable but not noticeable. However, if you push a 2.0GHz E1400 to 3.0GHz, will you see a noticeable performance improvement? Well, I hope so, and that is what I intend to find out. Test System: Motherboard: eVGA 780i A1 RAM: 4GB G.Skill Pi PC2-8800 Video Cards: 2x eVGA 9800GTX in SLi(756/1890/1150) Hard Drive: 500GB Seagate 7200.10 + 3x 400GB Western Digital RE2(Page file is on these 3) Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 750w Modular CPU Cooler: Lapped Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme Case: Lian-Li Lancool K7 First Impressions: When I first unboxed the processor, I didn't like how small the stock heatsink was. This didn't matter much to me, since I was going to put it under an Ultra-120 Extreme anyway. After installing it in my machine, the performance hit moving from my Core 2 Quad Q6600 at 3.2GHz to the Celeron E1400 at 2.0GHz. Even normal tasks seems to lag, openning programs took noticeably longer. Openning Steam, for example, would usually be almost instant on the Q6600 and the New page would come up and load within seconds. With the E1400 at stock Steam took noticably longer to start and the Steam News page would come up after a few more seconds but would be blank and take another 10-20 seconds to load. Overclocking:I'm comparing the E1400 with an E6600. Both processors are running identical Multipliers, FSB, and Memory timings. The only difference is voltage, as the E1400 required more voltage to be stable at these speeds than the E6600 did. The only exception is the 2.0GHz test, I didn't compare the E1400 to the E6600 on this test, because the E6600 does not have a 10x multiplier. Next I moved on to overclocking this little bugger. I had high hopes for it, since lower-end hardware has always treated me well in the past. Saddly, I was a little disappointed with this processor's overclocking abilities. I was hoping for at least 3.6GHz, but saddly 3.2GHz was as high as I could get it. I probably could have gotten a little more out of it if I had more time to fiddle with it, but I doubt it would have made a noticeable difference. Also, this processor doesn't seem to scale well with voltage. It needed no voltage increase to go from 2.0GHz to 2.4GHz, and only a minor voltage increase to go from 2.4GHz to 3.0GHz. However, to go from 3.0GHz to 3.2GHz, it required a huge voltage bump to remain stable. Even though CPU-z is picking up a voltage increase between 2.0 and 2.4GHz, the setting the BIOS was not changed. I tried this on both the Auto setting and setting it to 1.32v in the BIOS. Both times, CPU-z showed the Voltage as 1.28v at 2.0GHz, and 1.3v at 2.4GHz. Either way though, it is still below VID of this processor(1.325v) or the rated maximum of 1.35v. Benchmarks: Crysis-Jmanbob's Extreme Quality 8xAA Counter Strike: Source-Max Settings 3DMark06: SuperPi 1M: MP3 Encoding:Here I converted 12 WAV files in 12 Variable Bitrate MP3s 7zip: Conclusion: Obviously, the E1400 is no match for a true Core 2 Duo with the full 4MB of L2 cache. Eight times the L2 cache really improves performance. This isn't surprising really, considering the two cores on these processors use the L2 cache to comunicate with each other instead of the Front Side Bus. At stock speeds, this processor performed terribly. It would be fine for basic tasks, but it certainly can't handle gaming. So, I can say, this processor is perfectly suited for what it is designed for. The processor really came alive when I pushed it to the 3.0GHz mark. Even at 2.4GHz, the computer seems much more responsive, Crysis was still pretty unplayable at Extreme settings, but every other task was fine. I even played some BioShock with it at 3.0GHz at it handled it just fine. Even at 3.2GHz though, it still wasn't a match for the E6600 in games. Though games, including Crysis, were certainly playable and enjoyable. Crysis had to be set to 1024x768 to get playable framerates with Extreme settings, and even then there was lag from time to time. However, lowering a some setting did achieve a lag free gaming experience with little visual quality reduction. I would definitely recommend this processor to anyone wanting a very cheap processor to do basic tasks. I would not recommend it to anyone looking to play heavy games and looking for a processor to last them a while. If you are willing to overclock this thing though, it might be a good cheap processor to put into a budget build, with the intention of just replacing it in the near future. It is a great budget stop gap processor, though with the E2180 prices so close, if you can afford the slight price increase, I would skip the Celeron. I do hope that people realize, though, that the Celeron name is nothing more than a name. Yes, it means lower performance, but it also means extremely low prices too. And they are actually very capable processors now.