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E1400 Review: Celeron in a Gaming Machine?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by newtekie1, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    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.

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    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

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    Counter Strike: Source-Max Settings

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    3DMark06:

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    SuperPi 1M:

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    MP3 Encoding:Here I converted 12 WAV files in 12 Variable Bitrate MP3s

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    7zip:

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2008
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  2. LifeOnMars

    LifeOnMars New Member

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    Good luck mate, sounds like an interesting little experiment. For example, there really should be more experiments of lower chips overclocked with todays graphic cards as a resource for people who can only afford older hardware but still want an enjoyable experience....I shall be watching your thread :)
     
  3. wolf2009 Guest

    interesting.....

    i have always wanted to do that too
     
  4. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

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    dude this is going to be awseome!! put it under TEC!
     
  5. wahdangun

    wahdangun New Member

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    yeah it's like old days when celeron 500 mhz was realy overclockable.
     
  6. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Please please see if you can get 3.6Ghz out of it. :) I have its little brother and I LOVE it. FYI, Hope you can get 1066 CL4 on your ram, if so that thing is going to shine for the price you paid.

    PS: With these chips its all in the ram timings. Clock it like an AMD cpu, the higher the bandwith the better but they really love tight timings due to low L2 cache.
     
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  7. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Here is the overclocking I plan to do/try.

    Obviously, I did everything at stock. I then dropped the multipler to 9 and upped the speed to 2.4GHz, which it did easily on stock voltages. Right now I am testing it at 3.0GHz(9x333) which only required a minor voltage bump to 1.36v(1.4v in the BIOS). The RAM is running at 800MHz 5-5-5-15 for these tests.

    My next move will be to try and push the CPU to 3.6GHz(9x400) with the RAM running at 1066 5-5-5-15. I know my E6600 will match the clock speeds up to 3.6GHz, so I will be comparing the two processors at 2.4GHz(stock for the E6600), 3.0GHz, and 3.6GHz(assuming the E1400 can do 3.6GHz).

    My final test, if I have the time will be to push the CPU as high as it will go. I'm hoping for a stable 4.0GHz out of it, but I doubt I will make it. I'm only going to go up to 1.5v since the CPU isn't technically mine to destroy.
     
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  8. vrm4 Guest

    looking forward to the tests.
     
  9. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Ok, 3.6GHz is out of the question, so obviously so is 4.0GHz. This CPU simply will not boot at 3.6GHz, it gets close, but it won't do it. I even went past my 1.5v limit that I set for myself and tried all the way up to 1.65v and it just would not boot. So I have dropped the multipler once again, and tried at 3.2GHz(8x400) and it has booted with 1.5v, but wasn't stable. I upped the voltage to 1.525v and it seems stable at 3.2GHz, I'm still testing to make sure. I was really hoping for 3.6GHz at least, but 3.2GHz is not bad. A 60% overclock out of a $60 CPU is good in my book.
     
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  10. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Wow! I was expecting much better results with the higher multi, but still great results as is. :eek: I guess it all depends on the batch as I got my e12 from the first batch ever released in Jan '07.

    So far what's your impressions newtekie?

    PS: 60% OC would be 2.4Ghz. ;) Your closer to 90%.
     
  11. suraswami

    suraswami

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    Hey newtekie, if possible download Sony Vegas demo version and try to convert a 1 hr video raw to DVD format. Sony puts maximum pressure on the cpu like Orthos does and it will be good test and would be a good comparison with its bigger brother too.
     
  12. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    2.4GHz would only be a 20% overclock, the default clock on the E1400 is 2.0GHz.

    I would, but where would I get the Raw video?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
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  13. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    Hmm, I had an E1200 and it was TERRIBLE for gaming and overclocking. I got 3.2GHZ out of it and I swear that my old X2 3600 Brisbane was faster. Even running multiple firefox pages bogged it down alot.
     
  14. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    It was pretty sluggish at the stock speeds. When I overclocked it to 2.4GHz, it was pretty responsive for normal tasks. At 3.0GHz, I honestly couldn't tell the difference in normal operations between the Celeron and my Q6600, gaming was...well I don't want to spoil it. :)
     
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  15. SimFreak47

    SimFreak47 New Member

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    I tend to shun Celerons, but this may be a good chip to get!
     
  16. Xazax

    Xazax

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    Hey newtekie think you sell me that CPU? i'd love to play with it on my 790i FTW Also have you tried doing the Vdroop mod for the 780i? that may help as well as better Nbridge fan
     
  17. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Sorry, I can't sell it, as it isn't technically mine. My cousin's parents wanted me to build my cousin a computer capable of playing games for his birthday, I had a budget of $550, and this is the CPU I picked to put in it. The case got held up in shipping, so I figured I would play with the CPU for a few days while I waited. Saddly, I have to take it out of my rig tonight and actually build his computer, so I can give it to him tomorrow night.

    The vDroop mod might work, but even with vDroop the voltages on the CPU were in the 1.55v range, which is really past where I wanted to be anyway. The northbridge isn't a problem, the board can handle the 400MHz FSB just fine, the chip just can't handle the clock speeds.
     
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  18. Xazax

    Xazax

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    Aww darn.. ill just have to buy one myself to play with lol
     
  19. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Lol, they are only $60.
     
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  20. Xazax

    Xazax

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    Each chip is different.. i had an E7200 ES sample to play with awhile back on a 780i wouldnt go past 3.6~ while others like Fits can do 4.0Ghz+ you just might of gotten a bad cpu :(
     
  21. xazraelx New Member

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    Don't give it to him until you get done testing ;)
     
  22. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Really? I thought the e1400 had a 9x multi for stock. My bad. :eek:
     
  23. suraswami

    suraswami

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    hmm good question. If you have a camcorder then you can do this.
     
  24. suraswami

    suraswami

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    why didn't you buy the E2180 Allendale? You saved $7?:mad:
     
  25. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    All the scores have been posted.

    Several reasons actually. I had a very strick budget, and some specs I had to meet, and the $7 extra would have put me over budget. I know he is going to want to upgrade to a Quad in the next year. And most importantly I already have an E2180 that I played with, I wanted to play around with an E1400. :)

    Nah, it has a stock multiplier of 10. I just lowered it to 9 so I could run a higher FSB and so I could directly compare it with my E6600 with the same FSB and memory speeds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2008
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