As the entry-degree Core chip in Intel’s 10th Generation lineup of desktop CPUs, the Core i3-10100 ($122) finds itself parachuting right into a market battlefield. AMD’s Ryzen 3 3300X ($120) has been busy swatting members of Intel’s present lineup of gaming-centered CPUs out of the sky on worth, in addition to in efficiency with evenly threaded video games. So, how does the Core i3-10100 do within the face of such firepower? It takes cowl…principally.
The Core i3-10100 is typically slower than its predecessor, the Core i3-9100, and the 3300X has confirmed itself to be a 4-core CPU that punches above its weight in in style video games, making it a scorching decide for value-acutely aware PC builders and consumers. Unless you want onboard graphics or should be on Intel’s LGA 1200 socket, the Ryzen 3 3300X is categorically a better option (and in case you do want onboard graphics, the $99 AMD Ryzen 3 3200G may end the battle). Otherwise, in these restricted eventualities, the Core i3-10100 fulfills its function inside Intel’s stack dutifully sufficient. The Ryzen 3 3300X and 3200G simply do it higher, for the cash, in AMD’s.
Intel Core i3-10100 Specs: AMD Keeps the Pressure On
To begin off our dialogue of the Intel Core i3-10100 and the place it sits in opposition to AMD’s lineup of entry-degree CPUs, let’s take a look at a few of fundamental specs of each…
The 4-core/eight-thread Intel Core i3-10100 lands within the 10th Gen stack as Intel’s entry-degree Core CPU, the following step up from a Celeron or a Pentium. And a minimum of on paper, it seems like an improve in each method from the Intel Core i3-9100 for a similar worth. On the road the processor is each broadly out there on the time of publish (not one thing we are able to say for the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X), and likewise going for cheaper than Intel’s authentic really useful $122 promoting worth (between $110 and $120, relying the place you store).
The chip additionally provides again in a important characteristic that was lacking from a number of ninth Generation Intel desktop chips, together with the Core i3-9100: Hyper-Threading. The Intel Core i3-10100 now helps as much as eight threads throughout its 4 cores, however, as we found in our benchmarking the return of that characteristic in 10th Generation (particularly at this tier of CPU), it is probably not the welcome-again reward we had been hoping for.
Now it is time to speak in regards to the LGA 1200-pound gorilla within the room. Sure, Intel’s insistence on demanding but one other platform improve out of its customers as part of its transfer to 10th Generation in 2020 may make sense on the degree of the $488 ($549 road) Intel Core i9-10900K, and even the midrange (around-$275) Intel Core i5-10600K, relying on the options you want. But for the Core i3 worth tier? A brand new motherboard may find yourself costing greater than the chip itself!
As part of the transfer from LGA 1151 to LGA 1200, the Intel Core i3-10100 is barely suitable with motherboards that use one of many following new-for-2020 chipsets: Intel B460, H410, H470, or Z490. (It also needs to work with the LGA 1200-based boards for the approaching 11th Generation “Rocket Lake” processors.) There are a variety of funds-chipset choices out there in that lineup, however funds or in any other case, it is onerous to face as much as what AMD is providing on platform compatibility lately.
Just for starters, the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G, Ryzen 3 3200G, and Ryzen 3 3300X are all suitable with the identical socket: Socket AM4. That identical courtesy stretches up and down by many members of the Zen household, however for the sake of processors underneath $150, the distinction between “upgrading today” and “not yet” can usually hinge on the price of a brand new motherboard between generations…or whether or not you want one in any respect.
To offset a few of the value advantages both the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 or Ryzen 3 3300X might need over Intel at this worth, the Core i3-10100 hits again with the inclusion of its UHD Graphics 630 built-in graphics processor (IGP), eliminating the necessity for a separate video card. This extra pretty places the Core i3-10100 in competitors with the $99 “Zen+”-based AMD Ryzen 3 3200G or the around-$150 AMD Ryzen 5 3400G on both facet, with their Radeon RX Vega eight and RX Vega 11 IGPs, respectively. (These AMD chips, thoughts you, are skinny on the bottom at these costs in early 2021 because of provide points.)
Intel consists of its acquainted, fundamental inventory cooler in each Core i3-10100 field, which is sensible at this CPU tier. Oftentimes, consumers of processors underneath $200 (and particularly these buying CPUs with an IGP) simply need one thing they’ll set up in a single shot and never have to consider. In that function, Intel’s inventory cooler handles the job simply high quality. Gamers may nonetheless wish to saddle up with one thing barely beefier, however it is going to do the job.
Testing the Intel Core i3-10100: A Step Up in Platforms, A Step Back in Performance
We examined the Core i3-10100 on an Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) motherboard, with 16GB of G.Skill reminiscence clocked to three,000MHz (for comparability with our earlier CPU opinions), and an Intel SATA boot SSD paired with an ADATA SATA M.2 secondary drive.
All this was packed in ADATA’s XPG Invader chassis, fitted with a Deepcool GamerStorm Captain 240 EX 240mm liquid cooler and a 750-watt Corsair energy provide. For our gaming checks, we used an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, at Founders Edition clocks, as we’ve on all current mainstream and excessive-finish CPU opinions.
We check CPUs utilizing quite a lot of artificial benchmarks that provide proprietary scores, in addition to actual-world checks utilizing shopper apps like 7-Zip, and 3D video games resembling Far Cry 5. For chips on the tier of the Intel Core i3-10100, we additionally run a number of video games on the IGP. Included within the charts beneath is quite a lot of like-priced competing and sibling AMD and Intel CPUs, in addition to some a lot greater-finish ones for context.
CPU-Centric Tests: Four Cores Should Do More
The Intel Core i3-10100 is not meant to be a multi-threaded rock star on this explicit stage, however a couple of of the checks are nonetheless vital metrics for customers who carry out single-threaded duties usually.
On single-threaded duties the Intel Core i3-10100 carried out effectively, however oddly appeared to battle in opposition to its predecessor, the Intel Core i3-9100, relying on the benchmark. Despite having 4 extra threads to work with in comparison with the i3-9100, the i3-10100 could not beat the chip it is meant to interchange often sufficient to stroll out as a unanimous victor.
That’s to say nothing of the beating that the i3-10100 takes from the Ryzen 3 3300X. (In the Core i3’s favor, you’ll be able to truly purchase one with out hiring a search occasion to search out it.) However, it does handle to maintain tempo with (or set a brand new one in opposition to) the Radeon Vega-IGP-geared up AMD Ryzen 3 3200G, relying on the run, and that chip is likely to be thought of a fairer comparability.
Gaming With a Low-End Core: Intel Core i3-10100 Frame Rates
Here’s what we noticed in our financial institution of gaming checks with our GeForce RTX 2080 Ti card operating the present. This prime-finish shopper graphics card is the first arbiter of efficiency at 4K with the entire CPUs that we’ve laid out beneath. At 1080p, although, the cardboard will get out of the best way a bit extra and lets the CPU variations shine.
Does the Intel Core i3-10100 do its job right here (which is to say, powering video games in 1080p and 4K at fairly excessive body charges)? Sure!
Does the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X do it higher at virtually each flip? Also positive. And whereas a few of the wins usually come right down to the indistinguishable wire on frames, factoring within the virtually actually necessary value of upgrading to an LGA 1200 motherboard (versus a few of the least expensive B350 or B450 boards which can be out there), the worth-to-efficiency ratio inevitably skews again to AMD’s favor.
Gaming on Integrated Graphics: Intel Core i3-10100 IGP Results
As a low-finish chip, the Intel Core i3-10100 is commonly checked out as each a chip that may energy video games alongside a discrete graphics card, in addition to a chip that may run the present all by itself with the assistance of its onboard Intel UHD Graphics 630. We run decrease finish CPUs which have IGPs by a collection of video games tuned to both close to-lowest, or the lowest, settings at 1,280 by 720 pixel decision (720p), in addition to at 1,920 by 1,080 pixels (1080p).
Well…that is not nice for Intel’s Core i3. The Ryzen 3 3200G, whereas not comparatively one of the best deal in opposition to its older brother, the Ryzen 5 3400G, seems like a downright steal in comparison with the Core i3-10100, in case you’ll be counting on the AMD chip’s Radeon Graphics IGP for gaming.
The Ryzen 3 3200G, as its personal funds gaming engine, often comes inside spitting distance of hitting 60fps in 1080p, and it even manages to cross the boundary in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, versus the Intel Core i3-10100’s results of simply 35fps in the identical benchmark.
The Night Raid 3DMark run reveals simply how a lot work AMD has put into elevating its APUs prior to now a number of years from afterthoughts into severe contenders. Both the Ryzen 3200G and 3400G smash by this artificial run, and supply one of many starkest examples of the boundaries of Intel’s older UHD Graphics choices in right now’s local weather.
A Brief Look at Thermals and (Not) Overclocking
While the Intel Core i3-10100 by no means crested above a balmy 46 levels C throughout our testing, we should always emphasize that our cooling resolution was extremely overkill for the job. We did not run any checks on the inventory cooler, since utilizing that’s outdoors of our customary testing routine. However, as a 4-core processor it is unlikely that the Core i3-10100 shall be setting off alarms in your system anytime quickly in case you permit for even modest airflow.
As the Core i3-10100 is a non-“K” chip—which is to say, “not overclockable”—we did not get an opportunity to see what the Core i3-10100 may do with out Intel’s anti-overclocking shackles on its wrists. If you wish to overclock a processor at this degree, the Ryzen 3 3300X and its unlocked clock pace would be the option to go.
Verdict: Ryzens Win at This Level…If You Can Find Them
As a chip meant to fill what’s debatably one of many largest quantity-vendor roles in each chip launch—the entry-degree choice—the Intel Core i3-10100 reveals simply the powerful spot that its 10th Generation desktop silicon has left Intel in worth, worth, and efficiency.
The outcomes above exhibit the pinnacle of what the Core i3-10100 must be able to at inventory, given the deluxe testbed it was slotted into, and it nonetheless got here in effectively underneath the brand new customary set by AMD and its Zen-based CPUs and APUs.
Granted, these chips had been additionally examined on beefy AM4 motherboards hooked up to liquid cooling methods that value as a lot as or greater than the CPU—however we digress. If you need a chip that may far outstrip the Core i3-10100 in gaming outcomes with a devoted GPU, the Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3300X present constantly quicker competitors in practically each metric we check on.
If cash is the one factor in your thoughts (however you additionally gotta have Intel), we would suggest placing your financial savings savvy to work earlier than choosing the Core i3-10100 improve. If you’ve got an older-era board, pair it with an Intel Core i3-9100 as a substitute, which in our checks was usually simply nearly as good (and generally higher) than the Core i3-10100 in multi-core runs. Or look additional up the stack at a Core i5.
As an IGP-geared up CPU for on a regular basis work, the Core i3-10100 will serve its duties simply high quality, however as a “gaming” resolution, it left us wanting. The Ryzen 3 3200G with its Radeon RX Vega eight graphics far outstripped the capabilities of the Core i3-10100’s UHD Graphics in IGP testing, and that is to say nothing of the smackdown we noticed out of Vega 11 with the Ryzen 5 3400G.
Perhaps Intel’s 11th Generation Core “Rocket Lake” desktop CPUs, doubtless showing in March 2021, will see a low-finish renaissance for Intel and its new processors. But till then, we would suggest staying the course with AMD at this worth level, and going with any of the choices talked about above earlier than sticking on the Intel Core i3-10100. They’re well worth the hunt.