Intel Celeron N4020
The Intel Celeron N4020 is a slow dual-core processor (SoC) of the Gemini Lake Refresh product family; as such, it is designed for use in laptops and mini-PCs of the most affordable flavor. The Celeron was launched in Q4 2019. Its CPU cores run at 1.1 GHz to 2.8 GHz, the latter being a moderate 200 MHz upgrade over the preceding N4000 chip. Other key specs include a DDR4/LPDDR4 memory controller (up to 2,400 MHz and up to 8 GB, with independent reports claiming as much as 32 GB will work just fine) and the integrated UHD Graphics 600 graphics adapter.
Just like Apollo Lake family products, the ever-popular N3350 included, Celeron N4020 is manufactured by Intel on a 14 nm process. What makes these newer Celerons different are the slightly improved processor cores with double the L2 cache and also, somewhat counterintuitively, their smaller chip area.
The Goldmont Plus microarchitecture is not much different from what was used in Gemini Lake processors like the N4000. A moderately large 4 MB L2 cache features prominently on the rather short list of N4020's strong sides, allowing for a marginal increase in performance-per-MHz figures compared to processors of previous generations. Still, Gemini Lake Refresh processors are a clear step-down from Core i3/i5/i7/i9 series processors, both in performance and in features.
N4020 has six PCI-Express 2.0 lanes at its disposal. While very few N4020-based SBCs, nettops and laptops feature an NVMe M.2 slot, you can use an NVMe SSD as a boot drive with this processor (read/write rates will be limited to 2 GB/s though). Furthermore, partial Wi-Fi 5 support is built into the CPU. The Celeron also supports up to eight USB 3.0 ports and two SATA III storage devices.
Please note this is not a user-replaceable CPU. They solder it straight on to the motherboard for good (FCBGA1090 socket interface).
While slightly faster than the outgoing Celeron N4000, this is a very unimpressive CPU no matter how you slice it. As far as multi-thread performance is concerned, the average Celeron N4020 in our database barely manages to outgun the i5-4210Y, a processor of nearly the same energy efficiency that was launched so many years ago (in 2013, to be exact). Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c and Intel Celeron N4500 are close nearby as well. All in all, per-thread and per-MHz performance of Gemini Lake Refresh processors are nothing to write home about, rendering them usable for basic tasks only such as word processing and web browsing with just two or three tabs open.
It is worth noting that Intel Celeron N4120, a quad-core processor with a similar name, has little trouble leaving the dual-core N4020 behind in most workloads - which is not to say it is a fast CPU.
The UHD Graphics 600 is based on Intel's Generation 9 architecture, much like HD Graphics 520 or UHD Graphics 615 or so many other widespread Intel iGPUs found in Gen 7, 8, 9 & 10 Core i3/i5/i7/i9 processors.
Just like the HD Graphics 500, UHD Graphics 600 is DX12 compatible and has 12 EUs clocked at up to 650 MHz. The Iris Plus G7 iGPU that certain 10th Gen Ice Lake processors have packs 64 EUs, for reference. As a low-end solution, UHD Graphics 600 will let you play some seriously old titles, but that's about it.
Perhaps more importantly, this graphics solution will let you run up to 3 monitors with resolutions as high as [email protected] Furthermore, it will have no trouble HW-decoding AVC, HEVC and VP9 videos. The newer AV1 codec will be decoded via software, with the limited CPU horsepower imposing a hard limit on video resolution that can be played back without stuttering. 1080p60 YouTube videos are out of reach while 720p25 videos run fine, to give you an example.
The low 6 W TDP (also known as the Power Limit 1) makes it easy for laptop manufacturers to ditch the fan. While the Celeron can indeed be cooled passively with almost no issues, its performance sustainability will be anything but decent unless the long-term Power Limit is set to a value higher than the default 6 W and a fan is available to aid in heat dissipation.
Celeron N4020 is built with an old, as of early 2023, 14 nm Intel process for lower-than-average energy efficiency.
|Series||Intel Gemini Lake|
|Codename||Gemini Lake Refresh|
Series: Gemini Lake Gemini Lake Refresh
|Clock Rate||1100 - 2800 MHz|
|Level 2 Cache||4 MB|
|Number of Cores / Threads||2 / 2|
|Power Consumption (TDP = Thermal Design Power)||6 Watt|
|Manufacturing Technology||14 nm|
|Features||Intel UHD Graphics 600 (12 EUs, 200 - 650 MHz), Quick Sync, AES-NI, max. 8 GB Dual-Channel DDR4/LPDDR4-2400|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics 600 (200 - 650 MHz)|
|64 Bit||64 Bit support|