The Core i3-12100 beats the Ryzen 5 3600 in gaming benchmarks

midian182

Posts: 8,134   +95
Staff member
What just happened? Intel confirmed the long-rumored non-K Alder Lake desktop chips at CES last week, including the Core i3-12100. It may be classed as an entry-level CPU, but one of the first reviews of the processor has shown it can hold its own against the Ryzen 5 3600, outperforming AMD’s offering in gaming benchmarks.

As with the Core i3-12300, the Core i3-12100 features four Golden Cove Performance cores and no Gracemont Efficiency cores. It also has eight threads, 12MB of L3 cache, a base frequency of 3.3GHz, and can single-core turbo to 4.3GHz.

The Core i3-12100 retails for about $122 - $129, or around $100 for the F version that lacks integrated graphics. Art of PC put team blue’s chip up against AMD’s previous-gen Ryzen 5 3600, which features six cores, twelve threads, a 3.6GHz base, and a 4.2GHz boost. It still sells for around $290 - $299.

The publication used a test setup consisting of 32GB of 3600MHz DDR4, a ROG Strix Z690-A D4, Dark Rock Pro 4, and GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. The Ryzen 5 3600 benchmarks swapped the motherboard for an Asus ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero.

The Alder Lake chip outperformed the 7nm Zen 2 CPU in all the tested games, including Microsoft Flight Simulator, Forza Horizon 5, and Cyberpunk 2077. On average, Intel’s CPU beat AMD’s chip by 7.85% across all the titles.

Additionally, Art of PC notes that only three games were unable to offer at least 144 FPS@1080p with Alder Lake: Warzone, Flight Simulator, and Cyberpunk 2077, all of which are very CPU-intensive.

The results will likely make the Core i3-12100 an enticing option for gamers looking to save money on a new processor, especially with the F version priced around $100. It seems like we could have a new budget CPU king on our hands.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,217   +4,269
I am going to be 100% irrational here and declare that no matter how much performance the 12100 has over the 3600 I would never pick a 4/8 core CPU over a 6/12 one as a matter of principle.

In fact I'd be happy if AMD decides to make the previous gen 6/12 chips the default entry level ones at least while that supply lasts like they have done this generation.
 

JamesBlond

Posts: 181   +128
I am going to be 100% irrational here and declare that no matter how much performance the 12100 has over the 3600 I would never pick a 4/8 core CPU over a 6/12 one as a matter of principle.

In fact I'd be happy if AMD decides to make the previous gen 6/12 chips the default entry level ones at least while that supply lasts like they have done this generation.
Agreed, and not only that, they are comparing a 2019 chip to a 2021 chip... hmmmm, logic
 

RedBear

Posts: 55   +46
Agreed, and not only that, they are comparing a 2019 chip to a 2021 chip... hmmmm, logic
The logic is exactly the one mentioned in the post that you've quoted, AMD is currently treating their old hardware as their entry level offer and indeed it remains a popular CPU that is still selling well (3rd most sold CPU according to the latest Amazon chart on Anandtech).

Whether one would buy or not a quad core as a matter of principle is a personal opinion, personally I don't see much of a market for similar (cheap) parts simply because there's no decent and cheap GPUs available to match it right now. 3300X appeared to be fairly popular in its days, despite its four cores.
 

Irata

Posts: 2,183   +3,768
I am going to be 100% irrational here and declare that no matter how much performance the 12100 has over the 3600 I would never pick a 4/8 core CPU over a 6/12 one as a matter of principle.

In fact I'd be happy if AMD decides to make the previous gen 6/12 chips the default entry level ones at least while that supply lasts like they have done this generation.

I‘m really hoping AMD will keep Zen 3 / AM4 around as budget platform a long time after Zen 4‘s launch.

The problem right now is that both Zen 2 and 3 are made on the same process, so there‘s no way Ryzen 3000 can fill the dirt cheap budget role Ryzen 2000 series could after Zen 2 was launched.

With Zen 3 on 7nm and Zen 4 on 5nm this should again be an option.

As for 4 cores: Sadly, reviews are still single task focused. I guess if that‘s someone‘s use case a 4 core CPU might be an option but I would bet once you have several tasks running in the background it‘s game over. Even earlier reviews comparing a 7700x to a 1700x in multi-tasking (gaming plus streaming) showed that this killed performance on quad core CPU.

But as always, it depends on the use case.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,818   +7,739
In fact I'd be happy if AMD decides to make the previous gen 6/12 chips the default entry level ones at least while that supply lasts like they have done this generation.
The number of cores only matters in intended use.

Besides, wouldn't AMD have to drop their pants on the price of the older offerings? Say by almost two thirds?
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,818   +7,739
For budget gaming this CPU is great, but unless I'm seriously budget constrained I would not buy a 4 core CPU. it might be good in a child's PC.
Not true. For example, look how much trouble I can create here at Techspot with only a dual core Pentium E-6300.

I'd like to think I'm an adult. Although obviously, other people may have a different opinion on that.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,726   +4,667
TechSpot Elite
Not true. For example, look how much trouble I can create here at Techspot with only a dual core Pentium E-6300.

I'd like to think I'm an adult. Although obviously, other people may have a different opinion on that.
You are just a big kid, just like me.
 
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Adhmuz

Posts: 2,261   +1,088
Somehow I'd imagine if AMD released a CPU at one third the cost of Intel's and beat them in any single benchmark the foot would be on the other shoe for a lot of these commenters...
 

Xausejo

Posts: 15   +3
It's a matter of perspective only, if they think they provide you enough performance, then ask more money for a little gain in previous years.
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 796   +1,086
The number of cores only matters in intended use.
For budget gaming this CPU is great, but unless I'm seriously budget constrained I would not buy a 4 core CPU. it might be good in a child's PC.

I believe it was the Greek philosopher Steven Kommonsenses who wrote

"Some people also like to confuse how games and cores work. Making statements like games will require 8 cores or something to that effect. Games don’t require a certain number of cores, they never have and they never will. Games require a certain level of CPU performance, it’s really that simple."
 
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Fastturtle

Posts: 81   +41
Switch to a pair of "E" and "P" cores while adding in full ECC DDR4 support. Would be a solid budget Server/Nas CPU then. Of course, they'd then limit the thing to 32GB of memory instead of something usable like 64 or even 128GB.
 

dragosmp

Posts: 75   +77
Great news! I wonder if the future of desktop CPUs will be something like on mobile SoCs, 1-2 performance cores (for THAT thread) and a load of efficiency cores for the heavy lifting.

A few years ago this was fantasy, as Win had no idea how to properly multitask, but now, who knows. If AMD can dev an efficiency core (like Intel took Skylake, AMD may take the Phenom2 cores?) we might be on the brink of 2-300$ 16-core CPUs.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,726   +4,667
TechSpot Elite
I believe it was the Greek philosopher Steven Kommonsenses who wrote

"Some people also like to confuse how games and cores work. Making statements like games will require 8 cores or something to that effect. Games don’t require a certain number of cores, they never have and they never will. Games require a certain level of CPU performance, it’s really that simple."
In my case I use the CPU fairly heavily so its not just games. But even for games I would still go for 6 cores minimum. I rarely have just the game open and 6 cores just have more breathing room. The 12400F is 180$ so it's not that hard to upgrade to it.

And lets not forget. The benchmarks are usually done on fairly clean systems. Time usually fills your OS with crap and even games become bloated.
 

Peter Farkas

Posts: 606   +469
For budget gaming this CPU is great, but unless I'm seriously budget constrained I would not buy a 4 core CPU. it might be good in a child's PC.
exactly. I am seriously thinking of acheap 12100F build for my son as his first gaming PC (paired with my 3060Ti).
 

Strawman

Posts: 577   +294
Agreed, and not only that, they are comparing a 2019 chip to a 2021 chip... hmmmm, logic
What's illogical is to care when the CPU was released. It's sold, brand new, at over 200€. If it's slow cause it's old then it's price should reflect that. When I buy a CPU I don't care the slightest about when it was released, I care about the performance and the price. The 3600 is expensive and slow. Regardless of when it was released.