Because the entry-level Core chip in Intel’s tenth Era 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-focused CPUs out of the sky on worth, in addition to in efficiency with calmly 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 four-core CPU that punches above its weight in standard video games, making it a scorching choose for cost-conscious PC builders and patrons. Until you want onboard graphics or should be on Intel’s LGA 1200 socket, the Ryzen 3 3300X is categorically a better option (and in the event you do want onboard graphics, the $99 AMD Ryzen 3 3200G would possibly end the combat). In any other case, in these restricted situations, the Core i3-10100 fulfills its position 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 Retains the Strain On
To begin off our dialogue of the Intel Core i3-10100 and the place it sits towards AMD’s lineup of entry-level CPUs, let us take a look at a few of primary specs of each…
The four-core/eight-thread Intel Core i3-10100 lands within the tenth Gen stack as Intel’s entry-level Core CPU, the following step up from a Celeron or a Pentium. And a minimum of on paper, it appears to be like like an improve in each means from the Intel Core i3-9100 for a similar worth. On the road the processor is each broadly accessible on the time of publish (not one thing we are able to say for the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X), and in addition 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 function that was lacking from a number of ninth Era 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 function in tenth Era (particularly at this tier of CPU), it is probably not the welcome-back reward we have been hoping for.
Now it is time to speak in regards to the LGA 1200-pound gorilla within the room. Certain, Intel’s insistence on demanding but one other platform improve out of its customers as part of its transfer to tenth Era in 2020 would possibly make sense on the stage of the $488 ($549 avenue) Intel Core i9-10900K, and even the midrange (around-$275) Intel Core i5-10600K, relying on the options you want. However 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 simply appropriate 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 eleventh Era “Rocket Lake” processors.) There are a selection of budget-chipset choices accessible in that lineup, however price range or in any other case, it is exhausting to face as much as what AMD is providing on platform compatibility nowadays.
Only for starters, the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G, Ryzen 3 3200G, and Ryzen 3 3300X are all appropriate with the identical socket: Socket AM4. That very same courtesy stretches up and down via many members of the Zen household, however for the sake of processors beneath $150, the distinction between “upgrading right now” and “not but” 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 among the price 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 aspect, with their Radeon RX Vega 8 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 contains its acquainted, primary inventory cooler in each Core i3-10100 field, which is smart at this CPU tier. Oftentimes, patrons of processors beneath $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 position, Intel’s inventory cooler handles the job simply fantastic. Players would possibly nonetheless need to saddle up with one thing barely beefier, however it should do the job.
Testing the Intel Core i3-10100: A Step Up in Platforms, A Step Again in Efficiency
We examined the Core i3-10100 on an Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) motherboard, with 16GB of G.Ability reminiscence clocked to three,000MHz (for comparability with our earlier CPU critiques), 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 exams, we used an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, at Founders Version clocks, as now we have on all current mainstream and high-end CPU critiques.
We take a look at CPUs utilizing quite a lot of artificial benchmarks that provide proprietary scores, in addition to real-world exams utilizing client apps like 7-Zip, and 3D video games akin to 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 under is quite a lot of like-priced competing and sibling AMD and Intel CPUs, in addition to some a lot higher-end ones for context.
CPU-Centric Assessments: 4 Cores Ought to Do Extra
The Intel Core i3-10100 is not meant to be a multi-threaded rock star on this specific stage, however a couple of of the exams are nonetheless vital metrics for customers who carry out single-threaded duties usually.
On single-threaded duties the Intel Core i3-10100 carried out nicely, however oddly appeared to battle towards its predecessor, the Intel Core i3-9100, relying on the benchmark. Regardless of 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 frequently sufficient to stroll out as a unanimous victor.
That is to say nothing of the beating that the i3-10100 takes from the Ryzen 3 3300X. (Within the Core i3’s favor, you’ll be able to truly purchase one with out hiring a search social gathering to search out it.) Nevertheless, it does handle to maintain tempo with (or set a brand new one towards) the Radeon Vega-IGP-equipped AMD Ryzen 3 3200G, relying on the run, and that chip is likely to be thought of a fairer comparability.
Gaming With a Low-Finish Core: Intel Core i3-10100 Body Charges
Here is what we noticed in our financial institution of gaming exams with our GeForce RTX 2080 Ti card working the present. This top-end client graphics card is the first arbiter of efficiency at 4K with all the CPUs that now we have laid out under. At 1080p, although, the cardboard will get out of the way in which 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)? Certain!
Does the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X do it higher at virtually each flip? Additionally certain. And whereas among the wins usually come all the way down to the indistinguishable wire on frames, factoring within the virtually definitely necessary price of upgrading to an LGA 1200 motherboard (versus among the most cost-effective B350 or B450 boards which are accessible), the price-to-performance ratio inevitably skews again to AMD’s favor.
Gaming on Built-in Graphics: Intel Core i3-10100 IGP Outcomes
As a low-end chip, the Intel Core i3-10100 is usually 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 via a collection of video games tuned to both near-lowest, or the lowest, settings at 1,280 by 720 pixel decision (720p), in addition to at 1,920 by 1,080 pixels (1080p).
Effectively…that is not nice for Intel’s Core i3. The Ryzen 3 3200G, whereas not comparatively the most effective deal towards its older brother, the Ryzen 5 3400G, appears to be like like a downright steal in comparison with the Core i3-10100, in the event you’ll be counting on the AMD chip’s Radeon Graphics IGP for gaming.
The Ryzen 3 3200G, as its personal price range gaming engine, frequently comes inside spitting distance of hitting 60fps in 1080p, and it even manages to cross the boundary in Counter-Strike: World Offensive, versus the Intel Core i3-10100’s results of simply 35fps in the identical benchmark.
The Evening Raid 3DMark run exhibits simply how a lot work AMD has put into elevating its APUs up to now a number of years from afterthoughts into critical contenders. Each the Ryzen 3200G and 3400G smash via this artificial run, and supply one of many starkest examples of the bounds of Intel’s older UHD Graphics choices in right now’s local weather.
A Transient Have a look at Thermals and (Not) Overclocking
Whereas 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 answer was extremely overkill for the job. We did not run any exams on the inventory cooler, since utilizing that’s outdoors of our normal testing routine. Nevertheless, as a four-core processor it is unlikely that the Core i3-10100 will probably be setting off alarms in your system anytime quickly in the event you enable for even modest airflow.
Because the Core i3-10100 is a non-“Okay” 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 stage, the Ryzen 3 3300X and its unlocked clock velocity would be the strategy to go.
Verdict: Ryzens Win at This Stage…If You Can Discover Them
As a chip meant to fill what’s debatably one of many largest volume-seller roles in each chip launch—the entry-level choice—the Intel Core i3-10100 exhibits simply the powerful spot that its tenth Era desktop silicon has left Intel in worth, worth, and efficiency.
The outcomes above showcase 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 nicely beneath the brand new normal set by AMD and its Zen-based CPUs and APUs.
Granted, these chips have been additionally examined on beefy AM4 motherboards hooked up to liquid cooling programs that price as a lot as or greater than the CPU—however we digress. If you’d like 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 sooner competitors in practically each metric we take a look at 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. When you’ve got an older-generation board, pair it with an Intel Core i3-9100 as an alternative, which in our exams was usually simply nearly as good (and typically higher) than the Core i3-10100 in multi-core runs. Or look additional up the stack at a Core i5.
As an IGP-equipped CPU for on a regular basis work, the Core i3-10100 will serve its duties simply fantastic, however as a “gaming” answer, it left us wanting. The Ryzen 3 3200G with its Radeon RX Vega 8 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.
Maybe Intel’s eleventh Era Core “Rocket Lake” desktop CPUs, seemingly showing in March 2021, will see a low-end renaissance for Intel and its new processors. However 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 definitely worth the hunt.