Intel Core i3-10100 + B460 Motherboard Assessment

The Core i3-10100 is the cheapest 4-core 8-thread CPU from Intel. Priced at $ 122, it is in direct competition with AMD's recently launched Ryzen 3 3300X, which costs $ 120. For both processors, however, the offer is currently somewhat limited, and the prices can be slightly higher or the inventory is difficult to find. We expect this to calm down at some point so we don't focus on it and just say that it is $ 120 CPUs that are in direct competition.

Let's talk a little bit about the Core i3-10100. As the successor to the i3-9100, the clock rates are roughly on the level of 3.6 GHz for the base with an increase of 100 MHz for the Turbo to 4.3 GHz. The main difference between the two is the use of Hyper-Threading, which makes the 10100 support 8 threads as opposed to only 4. In terms of specifications, the Core i3-10100 is very similar to the 2017 Core i7-7700, which costs over $ 300 or more than twice as much as this i3 CPU.

Compared to the i7-7700, the Core i3-10100 has less L3 cache at 6MB, although the i3-10300, which costs $ 20 more, gets the full 8MB. The same UHD graphics 630 are used and the TDP power is 65 W.

Intel Core i3-10100 vs. Core i7-7700

Speaking of TDP: When we tested the Core i5-10400 a week ago, we did so without any performance restrictions, since only Asus motherboards seem to enforce these restrictions. This angered some people who claimed that this was not an indication of performance on cheaper B and H series motherboards, and fairly we should have addressed this. As it turns out, this is not the case. The i5-10400 delivers exactly the same results on all H410 and B360 cards as on the Z490 card. This is not because most H410 and B360 cards do not meet the Intel specification, but because the 10400 does not actually exceed the TDP.

Under high AVX workloads you see a packet TDP of 64 watts, so that the 10400 sneaks in there and does not trigger any performance restrictions. To make it clear whether the performance restrictions are enforced or not, the Core i5-10400 offers the same performance on all H410, B460 and Z490 motherboards. The only performance advantage with more expensive Z490 motherboards is therefore overclocking the memory.

Core i3 generations

It goes without saying that the Core i3-10100 also falls under the 65 W TDP case and only achieves 41 watts with an AVX-accelerated core-heavy workload. That doesn't mean the CPU only consumes 41 watts – that's not how TDP ratings work, but we won't go into that here – we discussed how Intel and AMD's TDP ratings were defined in the past. that the motherboard type or quality does not affect the performance of these parts.

This can become a problem for the Core i7 and Core i9 models. However, this is a check for another day.

The Core i3-10100 works with an all-core clock rate of 4.1 GHz and a maximum single-core frequency of 4.3 GHz. With the supplied box cooler, it reached a peak value of only 61 ° C in our blender stress test and ran relatively quietly.

We just want to point out that comparing the operating temperature of the i3-10100 with the R3 3300X is a senseless exercise. You should only look at power consumption, as temperatures can easily make a comparison between apples and oranges. Where the temperature sensor is located in the CPU can strongly influence the measured value. A good example of this is the consideration of AMD GPUs, which contain a hotspot display and often a much lower edge temperature. For those who are not happy with it, the Ryzen 3 3300X with the Wraith Stealth box cooler reached 75 ° C under the same test conditions, while the R3 3100 reached 65 ° C.

The Ryzen processors were tested on the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master, 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors were tested on the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra and the new 10th generation core processors on the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme. For completeness, we also tested the Core i5-10400 and Core i3-10100 on some B360 cards and found that the performance is identical to that of the Z490 card with DDR4-2666 memory.

All settings were completed with an RTX 2080 Ti, 32 GB DDR4-3200 CL14 memory and a 360 mm all-in-one liquid cooler Corsair Hydro H150i Pro. Let's get to the results …


First we got Cinebench R20 multi-core results and here the 10100 managed to score 2172 points, which is a significant 37% performance increase over the 9100F. However, the result is also fully expected. The 10100's all-core clock frequency is 7% lower than that of the 7700K, so it was not surprising that it was 7% slower. The smaller L3 cache also contributes to part of this scope.

The R3 3300X was 20% faster in this test, and this indicates that the Ryzen processor will be slightly faster on core-heavy workloads.

In terms of single-core performance, the 10100 is decent and certainly not particularly strong compared to the competition, but these are the results you would expect from an Intel 4.3 GHz processor.

The results of 7-Zip compression are similar to those of Cinebench Multi-Core. The 10100 is a really nice advance over the 9100F, but is 20% slower than the 3300X in this test. We also see another 5% drop in performance when using the slower DDR4-2666 memory.

As we transition to decompression performance, we see similar results for the 10100, which uses either DDR4-2666 or 3200 memory. We see a big 41% performance improvement over the previous generation Core i3, which is good news, but AMD's brand new Ryzen 3 3300X is still almost 30% faster.

Here's a look at the multithreaded performance of AES-256. In order to encrypt / decrypt a file using the AES algorithm, the file has to go through a series of complex computing steps that can be significantly accelerated with multi-core CPUs. Nevertheless, the 10100 in the SiSoft Sandra benchmark is not much faster than the 9100F, although it supports hyper-threading. As a result, the 3300X is up to 45% faster.

Where the 10100 is buried, the 9100F is in the Blender Open Data benchmark, where the newer Intel processor was 40% faster. That's a great result and overall performance is pretty good, although the 10100 arrives at the bottom of our graph.

We are again seeing impressive gains for the Core i3-10100 over the 9100F, this time with a 33% improvement in performance in the V-Ray benchmark. This improvement is overshadowed by the fact that the 3300X is still over 20% faster.

This time, Ryzen 3 was only 11% faster in the Corona benchmark, so Intel did better in our productivity benchmarks. We also see a crazy 56% performance increase over the 9100F, making it appear that Intel's simultaneous multithreading is well used in this benchmark.

Here's a look at the performance of code compilation. This time we see a 37% performance improvement for the Core i3-10100 over the 9100F.

The Core i3-10100 was able to match the Core i7-7700K in the DaVinci Resolve Studio 16 benchmark. Compared to Ryzen, the R3 3100 was 3% faster and the 3300X more convincing 7% faster. No big margins like before, but the trend that Ryzen 3 wins on the productivity side continues.

This time we look at the performance of the Core i5-9400F in the Adobe Premiere Pro benchmark. That means the R3 3100 was 6% faster than the 3300X 18% faster.

The 10100 performs quite well in the Adobe Photoshop benchmark, fits the Ryzen 3 3100 and is right behind the Core i7-7700K. Surprisingly, the 3300X was still 17% faster.

Our last application benchmark is Adobe After Effects, where the 10100 was slightly slower than the R3 3100 and 3300X, which is a pretty competitive performance in this test.

When it comes to power consumption, we see that the Core i3-10100 uses slightly less power than the Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300X for this task. However, you have to keep in mind that the 3300X was 17% faster in this test, so performance per watt is still in favor of AMD. Regardless, with a total system consumption of less than 150 watts for a desktop PC, it doesn't matter.

Gaming benchmarks

Now it's time for the gaming benchmarks with Battlefield V at 1080p with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. There's no need to explain again why we're using a graphics card over $ 1,000 to match the gaming performance of budget Test CPUs. We have explained why this has been the case in the past. So keep reading if you're wondering. TL; DR: We don't believe in testing CPUs without a strong GPU bottleneck.

In combination with the DDR4-3200 memory, the 10100 can roughly correspond to the 7700K. Comparing the average frame rates, it was only 2% behind the 3300X, but the 1% low performance was 12% lower. Still, overall performance was pretty good and a massive improvement over the 9100F, which offers inconsistent performance in this title.

Interestingly, increasing the resolution, which can increase CPU usage in games, results in the 10100 lagging behind the 3300X by 19% compared to 1% less performance. Although both have a 4-core / 8-thread configuration, the 3300X manages to deliver the more consistent experience in Battlefield V, and this is likely the result of more than twice as much L3 cache.

Next up is Far Cry New Dawn. The 1080p data shows that the 10100 works a bit slower than the 3300X when using DDR4-3200 memory, even though the 1% lows suffer the most and the 3300X was 15% faster here. The faster 3200 memory increased the average frame rate by 7%, but only improved the low value of 1% by only 3%.

If you switch to 1440p, you will see that the 10100 can only match the 9100F. Both work at similar clock speeds, but we've seen many cases where hyper-threading can affect gaming performance. That said, the 7700K was 16% faster in average frame rate, which would suggest that the smaller L3 cache capacity is largely to blame.

The results of Gears Tactics, the i3-10100 again works slower than the 7700K. In fact, it can only roughly keep up with the 9100F, with 10% better 1% less power. Still, let's take a look at the gaming performance where the 3300X is about 16% faster.

This margin is greatly reduced at 1440p and now the 3300X is only a few frames faster, but still not a good result for the 10100.

The edges shown in Rainbow Six Siege don't paint a nice picture for the i3-10100 either. Here the 3300X was 21% faster when comparing 1% low data. Admittedly, the Core i3 processor managed over 160 fps at all times, so the edges may be somewhat irrelevant.

Even at 1440p, the 3300X was 7% faster compared to 1% low data. While you may not notice the small difference, it is shocking to see Intel at a disadvantage while playing.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint is not particularly CPU demanding and here the i3-10100 had no problem finding the 3300X to get right behind the more expensive high-end processors.

We see even lower margins at 1440p where the 10100 could offer the same gaming experience as the 10600K.

Conversely, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is very CPU demanding and shows when the 4-thread core i3-9100F cannot deliver smooth frame rates. With the addition of Hyper-Threading, the Core i3-10100 can deliver up to 61% better performance of 1% at low performance, making it equivalent to the Ryzen 5 1600, even if it is behind the Ryzen 3 3300X with an average of 102 fps .

The i3-10100 was still behind the 3300X at 1440p. Here the Ryzen chip was 9% faster when comparing the DDR4-3200 configurations.

Red Dead Redemption 2 shows below average performance for the Core i3-10100 compared to the R3 3300X. Even at 1440p, the i3-10100 remains behind, but with frame rates of at least 60 fps with the DDR4-3200 memory configuration, the gaming experience is still acceptable.

At a quick glance at the average frame rate performance in the seven games we tested for this test, the Core i3-10100 was only 5% slower on average than the Ryzen 3 3300X, and we usually keep everything within a 5% range for a tie. However, the 1% low power is just as important. Here the 3300X showed a more consistent gaming performance compared to the Core i3-10100, which was 11% slower in this metric.

The faster memory doesn't make much difference for the Core i3 processor, although we expect a 6% improvement for the 1% low. If we look at the DDR4-3200 configuration, we see that the 10100 is comparable to the Core i5-9400F, which is not unexpected, and also not that it was 6% slower on average than the 7700K.

A word about B460 motherboards, what we learned

You might want to know that the last part of the Core i3-10100 test was done with the MSI B460 mortar, but we didn't bother to graph this data as you just saw it. On this card, the 10100 works just like the DDR4-2666 configuration just shown. As mentioned earlier, this B460 card doesn't limit the 10100, and the same goes for the Core i5-10400.

Given what we've seen when the 10400 is well below the 65-watt TDP limit, parts like the i5-10500 on boards with a 65-watt limit will put power limits into play, even though the drop in performance will be extremely small will use this example. You will likely not see a sharp drop in all-core performance on a TDP limited board until you reach the Core i5-10600K and beyond. With the 10600K, for example, the packet TDP in an AVX workload will reach up to 110 watts.

In the case of the MSI B460 mortar, this board has a sustained boost limit of 255 W, so even the 10900K can run without power limitation and maintain an all-core frequency of 4.8 GHz, which is extremely impressive, though we have not yet correctly measured VRM thermals.

Some readers who emerged from the i5-10400 test commented that benchmarking reviews should use the box cooler. The Core i5-10400 and the i3-10100 are in no way thermally restricted by the Intel box cooler. The performance is the same whether you use the box cooler or the most exotic custom loop setup you can think of. Not thermally limited will not make any difference to the benchmarks.

What do we think of the Core i3-10100?

At $ 120, that's the price of the 3300X. They are pretty similar in terms of gaming performance. The i3-10100 seems to have an edge on less demanding titles, while the 3300X has seen solid gains in games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, suggesting that it could be the better game CPU, but at least for the time being, they can hit To deceive.

Not surprisingly, after many tests against Zen 2 later, the problem for the i3-10100 occurs when looking at productivity performance, where this CPU is significantly slower. Some Intel fans will claim that nobody really works with a Core i3 or a budget processor, but that's just not true. The list of people who need a cheap but effective CPU for productivity tasks is almost endless, engineering students, amateur content creators, programmers, and the list goes on.

For those with just over $ 100, the Ryzen 3 3300X is more attractive and often performs at least 20% better. When it comes to general performance, surfing the web, emails, Word documents and the like, it really doesn't matter. Any CPU will destroy these tasks and the advantage of the Core i3-10100 for these users is its integrated GPU.

When it comes to general performance, surfing the web, emails, Word documents and the like, it really doesn't matter. Any CPU will destroy these tasks and the advantage of the Core i3-10100 for these users is its integrated GPU.

From a performance point of view, it is of course a weak GPU implementation. For desktop work, however, up to three monitors and a resolution of up to 4K at 60 Hz can be processed (the exact combination depends on a number of factors such as motherboard / output support). Therefore, the 10100 makes sense and may be a cheaper option for some.

If you look at other costs like the motherboard, the MSI B460 Mortar should be available at about the same price as the B450 Tomahawk. However, this limits you to the DDR4-2666 memory, which makes the i3-10100 a little slower. As we said in our Core i5-10400 review, to be really competitive at these lower prices, Intel should definitely allow memory overclocking on the B and H series motherboards.

The Core i3-10100 is a huge advance over the previous 9th generation Core i3, but has to compete with the Ryzen 3 3300X, and that's a problem. The Ryzen CPU is just as fast for gaming, has faster application performance, and can be overclocked for even better results. It also supports high frequency memory on affordable B450 motherboards.

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