Intel Core i3 10100F Review

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The Intel Core i3 10100F, a processor that wasn’t included in Intel’s first 10th Generation Comet Lake-S launch, has now been added on its ARK website. Even while the chip isn’t yet included in the company’s master price list, it is well-suited to compete with AMD’s Ryzen 3 3300X, which has been virtually absent from retail outlets since its release five months ago.

The Intel Core i3 10100F is in line to unseat older low-cost gaming leaders. The four cores and eight threads on the 14nm Comet Lake chip have a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.3 GHz. Budget builders may like the quad-core part’s relatively modest cooling requirements of 65W TDP (thermal power design).

The Intel Core i3 10100F does not have integrated graphics, as the “F” prefix in the model name suggests. Since it is designed for gamers who would most likely connect the processor with a discrete gaming graphics card, the processor won’t miss it in any case. The Core i3-10100F is expected to cost between $79 and $97 at retail, although Intel doesn’t specify when the quad-core processor will be available.

Intel Core i3 10100F Specs

The Intel Core i3 10100F under examination is based on Intel’s “Comet Lake” microarchitecture and was constructed using their current 14 nm++ silicon production process. These chips have the same per-core performance (IPC) as “Skylake” from 2016. With its four cores and HyperThreading, the Core i3-10100 may operate as eight logical processors. Only 6 MB of L3 cache, however, is used to cushion these four cores. Historically, Intel used 6 MB of cache on 4-core/4-thread Core i5 SKUs while saving 8 MB for the 8-thread Core i7 components (7th generation and earlier). With the tenth generation, Intel is experimenting. The Core i3-10300 and Core i3-10320 are somewhat more expensive models that have 8 MB of cache and marginally faster clock speeds compared to the Core i3-6 10100’s MB.

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The i3-10100 runs at a frequency of 3.60 GHz and can boost to a maximum of 4.30 GHz. The Intel UHD 630, which is based on Gen 9.5 and has a maximum clock speed of 1.10 GHz, is also included as an integrated graphics option. The Core i3-10100 competes against the recently released AMD Ryzen 3 3100 CPU, which costs $100, and the Ryzen 3 3300X, which costs $120. Both are “Zen 2” microarchitecture-based 4-core/8-thread components with big 16 MB L3 caches and useful upgrades like PCIe gen 4.0 and an unlocked multiplier.

Both chips received praise from experts for their outstanding performance for the money when used for gaming. In our Core i3-10100 evaluation, we will pay particular attention to the two SKUs because of this. It will be fascinating to see if Intel’s $130 offering will sway the e-sports and budget gaming PC crowd away from AMD. It’s also worthwhile to investigate whether purchasing a Core i5 processor still makes sense for business computers that are mostly used for web browsing, MS Office, etc.

The 4-core “Comet Lake-S” silicon used in the Core i3-10100 was constructed using the same 14 nm++ process as the previous two versions. It is estimated that the die area is 125 mm2. This die resembles the 4-core “Kaby Lake” die in appearance. The 6-core “Comet Lake-S” die might also have certain steps removed by turning off two of the cores and half of the L3 cache.

Similar to the previous four generations of Intel mainstream processors, the “Comet Lake-S” silicon is organized into two rows of CPU cores, with an integrated northbridge (system agent) on one side and an integrated graphics processor (iGPU) on the other. A Ringbus Interconnect acts as a hub for communication between the various parts. The last-level cache is distributed across the system in the form of slices, totaling 6 MB of unified L3 cache that all cores can access.

The System Agent, which houses the memory controller, PCI-Express gen 3.0 root-complex, DMI interface, and memory PHY, contains the majority of the processor’s non-core components. Despite being built into the silicon, Intel has permanently blocked the iGPU solution.

The Gen 9.5 integrated graphics, which has essentially been used for the last three generations, is on the other end of the ringbus and has 24 execution units in GT2 trim. The top GT2 trim appears to be present on all SKUs in the desktop 10th-generation processor series. The “UHD” label just denotes that the IGP can support 4K Ultra HD screens, has contemporary connecting choices like DP 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, and can playback 4K video in new formats with 10-bpc color and HDR10/Dolby Vision standards. Don’t expect to play PUBG at 4K on this.

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Essential information

Product Collection10th Generation Intel® Core™ i3 Processors
Code NameProducts formerly Comet Lake
Vertical SegmentDesktop
Processor Numberi3-10100F
Launch DateQ4’20
Lithography14 nm
Recommended Customer Price$107.00 – $117.00
Use ConditionsPC/Client/Tablet

Intel Core i3 10100F specifications

Total Cores4
Total Threads8
Max Turbo Frequency4.30 GHz
Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 Frequency4.30 GHz
Processor Base Frequency3.60 GHz
Cache6 MB Intel® Smart Cache
Bus Speed8 GT/s

Memory specs

Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type)128 GB
Memory TypesDDR4-2666
Max # of Memory Channels2
Max Memory Bandwidth41.6 GB/s

Intel Core i3 10100F performance & gaming

Despite the fact that the Intel Core i3 10100F isn’t intended to be a multi-threaded rock star on this specific stage, some of the tests are nevertheless significant performance indicators for users who frequently complete single-threaded jobs.

Depending on the benchmark, the Intel Core i3 10100F looked to struggle versus its predecessor, the Intel Core i3-9100, on single-threaded tasks, which was strange. Despite having four additional threads to work with than the i3-9100, the i3-10100 wasn’t able to consistently outperform the chip it is intended to replace.

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And that’s without mentioning the thrashing the Ryzen 3 3300X gives the i3 10100F. (The fact that you can actually purchase a Core i3 without paying a search party to find one works in its favor.) Nevertheless, depending on the run, it is able to match or surpass the performance of the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G with Radeon Vega IGP, making that processor a more fair comparison.

Final thoughts on Intel Core i3 10100F 

The Core i3-10100F, which replaces the Core i3-9100 and retails for about $130, is a good upgrade, but AMD’s recent Ryzen 3 shipments are putting a lot of pressure on it. The Ryzen 3 3100 is not significantly slower and only costs $100. Better application performance is available from the $120 Ryzen 3 3300X, and gaming FPS is “near enough.” The Core i3-2666 10100’s MHz RAM penalty affects gaming performance to lag even the Ryzen 3 3300X when it is put on a less expensive motherboard. AMD Ryzen is the superior choice unless Intel can reduce the cost of the Core i3-10100F to under $100.

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Intel Core i3 10100F
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