Want 4-cores/8-threads for under $100? Intel's Core i3-10100F has you covered

midian182

Posts: 6,170   +51
Staff member
TL;DR: AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series announcement has got many PC fans excited, but not everyone is willing or able to spend $300 - $800 on a new processor. Those on a budget might want to turn their attention to Intel, which has quietly launched the 4-core/8-thread Core i3-10100F for under $100.

Intel already has several versions of this 10th-generation Comet Lake chip. This new incarnation looks to target anyone after a sub-$100 CPU—because it lacks integrated graphics, as denoted by the “F” suffix, the processor has an MSRP of $79 - $97.

The Core i3-10100F is based on the same 14nm process as the rest of the Comet Lake series, offering a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost of 4.3 GHz. It also features 6MB of L3 cache and a generous 65W TDP (thermal power design).

It appears that with the Core i3-10100F, Intel is releasing a chip to compete against AMD’s Ryzen 3 3300X. Team red’s option features the same boost clock, TDP, lack of integrated graphics, and core/thread count, though its base is slightly faster (3.8 GHz), and it has more L3 cache (16MB). The Ryzen chip is also more expensive at $120.

We really liked the Ryzen 3300X, awarding it—and the Ryzen 3 3100—a score of 91 in our review and calling them “the new undisputed budget champions.” But purchasing the former has been difficult for quite a few months now, with most retailers listing it as out of stock. So while Intel might find the Ryzen 5000 series eating (more) into its mainstream CPU market, the Core i3-10100F could become a favorite among budget buyers.

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Aryassen

Posts: 104   +138
Well, this is certainly an option, basically a 7700 in disguise (which is still a good solid base in my opinion). I don't think though that it would be a distruptor against the 3100/3300X duo (even if the latter is difficult to get hold of)

BTW, availability: let's wait and see how that turns out for the 10100F (Intel also has a history of limited availability in the not too distant past). And I just hope that they won't play that game with chipset/memory speed limitations (e.g. forcing you to buy a high-tier motherboard if you want decent DDR4 speeds)
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,582   +6,101
And demand will no doubt drive availability so we'll have to see how well it is received and by whom ......
 
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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,051   +2,599
Not really a competitor IMO. Intel's big advantage is frequency, without a frequency advantage the AMD part will be just as fast if not faster across the board, especially when you consider that budget AMD chipsets can still OC memory whereas budget intel chipset sare stuck with 2400/2666 memory.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,051   +2,599
This was the CPU I wanted back in the "i7" days. A fast 4/8 with no integrated GPU and as cheap as they come. But no, Intel had to milk us for a decade before this happened.
Everyone has this attitude of entitlement. "Intel MILKED US" no they didnt. There was literally nothing stopping you from buying your iGPU less 6 core, it was totally worthless for games and was expensive, but you could have bought it. Instead the sheep whine and prattle about how intel is "so mean :( " because they dont give you a quad core for $100 in 2010.

Give me a break. AMD was charging more then $100 for quad cores and they were almost two gens behind in performance, yet I bet you dont cry about AMD "milking" anyone.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 270   +251
This was the CPU I wanted back in the "i7" days. A fast 4/8 with no integrated GPU and as cheap as they come. But no, Intel had to milk us for a decade before this happened.
I still have a half built desktop from that era, just need processor, ram, and an nvme drive.
 
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tomkaten

Posts: 289   +239
Everyone has this attitude of entitlement. "Intel MILKED US" no they didnt. There was literally nothing stopping you from buying your iGPU less 6 core, it was totally worthless for games and was expensive, but you could have bought it. Instead the sheep whine and prattle about how intel is "so mean :( " because they dont give you a quad core for $100 in 2010.

Give me a break. AMD was charging more then $100 for quad cores and they were almost two gens behind in performance, yet I bet you dont cry about AMD "milking" anyone.
You've somehow managed to turn me into an AMD fanboy, but I actually hate it just as much when AMD's ripping me off. Which is about to happen with the soon to be launched Ryzen. You, on the other hand, seem to have some anger management issues when someone attacks your beloved blues. See ? It works both ways.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,051   +2,599
You've somehow managed to turn me into an AMD fanboy, but I actually hate it just as much when AMD's ripping me off. Which is about to happen with the soon to be launched Ryzen. You, on the other hand, seem to have some anger management issues when someone attacks your beloved blues. See ? It works both ways.
There was no "ripping off" 10 years ago. Quad cores on mainstream were still pushing the envelope, with faster dual cores beating quad cores in games. Technology gets cheaper over time, yet you find it perfectly acceptable to claim intel was "milking" people during this time, which is plainly ludicrous.

Your whataboutism arguments dont change the fact you are claiming that sandy bridge/nehalem, often considered two amazing generations of CPU, were ripping off consumers because you think they should have been cheaper. That's not what ripping off means. You would have had a point talking of kaby lake and the utter lack of any improvement gen to gen.

And again, how is modern ryzen "ripping you off"? Is a 20% increase in performance just not good enough?

There's a pattern here, that is whenever performance is not offered below cost you claim it is a "ripoff", and anyone who calls you out on it has "anger management issues". Projection much?
 

Irata

Posts: 980   +1,444
TechSpot Elite
For low budget gamers I expect this to be a great offer, especially considering that the 3300x is nowhere to be found.

How it will perform on low end chipset manboards with limited memory speed is another question. I do expect it to beat the 3100 (afair even the 4C4T 9100F beats it), not sure about the 3300X. But the latter is a moot point if the 3300x is not available.

Either way, it's good when budget options exist.
 

jgraham11

Posts: 30   +63
Everyone has this attitude of entitlement. "Intel MILKED US" no they didnt. There was literally nothing stopping you from buying your iGPU less 6 core, it was totally worthless for games and was expensive, but you could have bought it. Instead the sheep whine and prattle about how intel is "so mean :( " because they dont give you a quad core for $100 in 2010.

Give me a break. AMD was charging more then $100 for quad cores and they were almost two gens behind in performance, yet I bet you dont cry about AMD "milking" anyone.
Intel laid back and stopped innovating. The 7700k was only 122mm^2, if you know anything about die sizes, that's small and hence cheap to make. They charged $350 for it, again because it was the best thing going at the time. They could have charged much less and still made a healthy profit. Have you looked at Intel's financials over the last decade, they've been rolling in cash without any competition.

And they have started to complain about AMD milking, every headline I've seen recently say's that the prices are up... what makes AMD look ok is that those price increases are justified against the competition and the previous generation.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,479   +3,575
And they have started to complain about AMD milking, every headline I've seen recently say's that the prices are up... what makes AMD look ok is that those price increases are justified against the competition and the previous generation.
As I see it, Intel opened the door to ridiculous pricing, so they need to squarely point the finger at themselves for the high price problem. If they don't, then they are just being hypocritical.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,624   +1,684
TechSpot Elite
For low budget gamers I expect this to be a great offer, especially considering that the 3300x is nowhere to be found.

How it will perform on low end chipset manboards with limited memory speed is another question. I do expect it to beat the 3100 (afair even the 4C4T 9100F beats it), not sure about the 3300X. But the latter is a moot point if the 3300x is not available.

Either way, it's good when budget options exist.
The 3100 beats the 9100F with 3200 RAM and an OC, neither of which is either available or realistic for the 9100F. But only by a tiny bit in gaming (720p, TPU). And the 3300X isn't available, so really the choice is 10100F (if it actually has availability) vs the 3100.

In fact the 10100 with 2666 RAM is only a tiny bit faster in gaming (720p, TPU) than the 3100 with 3200 RAM and OC. The real difference here is that AMD's inexpensive B450 allows CPU and RAM OC which gives even the lowly 3100 a leg up to match the 9100 and 10100, which require a more expensive Z390 or Z490 to unlock the RAM OC only.

The 10100F is still cheaper though, more choices are always good.
 

Irata

Posts: 980   +1,444
TechSpot Elite
With no future except for upgrades within the same generation, no thanks.
Can‘t both the i3-10100 and the Ryzen 3-3300X be upgraded to the next gen ? Even within the same gen, an upgrade from the bottom end 4C to an 8C or better seems like a pretty good upgrade to me, especially if you can get the top end for cheap while the upgrade still makes sense.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,624   +1,684
TechSpot Elite
Can‘t both the i3-10100 and the Ryzen 3-3300X be upgraded to the next gen ? Even within the same gen, an upgrade from the bottom end 4C to an 8C or better seems like a pretty good upgrade to me, especially if you can get the top end for cheap while the upgrade still makes sense.
Yes I believe the Intel 10xxx series will also get a next-gen Rocket Lake upgrade which is reputed to have a significant performance improvement. And AMD B450 MoBos (most likely pairing for R3 class processors) are supposed to get beta support for Zen 3 in January though it's possible that not all B450s will receive this support. Just a guess.
 

Stark

Posts: 158   +141
I don't get the point for this, i3 10100 is already good for office based PC due to integrated GPU, but for budget gaming builds AMD simply wins because its has higher base clock, and supports RAM overclocking on mid range boards.
Intel's decision to limit RAM overclocking simply hurts its performance, they could have at least added support for 3200 MHz, but they choose 2666 MHz, which really holds its performance back in comparison to AMD.
 
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DZillaXx

Posts: 106   +157
Yes I believe the Intel 10xxx series will also get a next-gen Rocket Lake upgrade which is reputed to have a significant performance improvement. And AMD B450 MoBos (most likely pairing for R3 class processors) are supposed to get beta support for Zen 3 in January though it's possible that not all B450s will receive this support. Just a guess.
Well Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake are both using the same arch, willow cove. Tiger Lake being the 10nm version and Rocket Lake being the 14nm.

We have Tiger Lake chips in laptops, and honestly don't expect Rocket Lake to close the gap. Even if 14nm allows for higher core clocks. The chips will have a sizable increase in transistor count, these are going to be power hungry chips at high core clocks. Their single core performance is still behind AMD, and we know this from Tiger Lake. And when Rocket Lake does come, it will come in with low volume. Low end offerings coming well after the higher end models.

At this point in time Intel and AMD are both using motherboards that will not see any new future chip.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 302   +218
Well, this is certainly an option, basically a 7700 in disguise (which is still a good solid base in my opinion). I don't think though that it would be a distruptor against the 3100/3300X duo (even if the latter is difficult to get hold of)

BTW, availability: let's wait and see how that turns out for the 10100F (Intel also has a history of limited availability in the not too distant past). And I just hope that they won't play that game with chipset/memory speed limitations (e.g. forcing you to buy a high-tier motherboard if you want decent DDR4 speeds)
of course they will, for some time they have been doing it. If you want memory overclock (anything above 2667MHz) you need Z chipset. For now.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 366   +384
I think that this would be a great thing for kids who want to build their first gaming computers. It doesn't have an IGP (but who uses an Intel IGP for gaming anyway) and doesn't overclock but who cares? At that price point, nobody's going to get a Z-series motherboard and this CPU should be fast enough at gaming to keep up with a GTX 1660 Ti or RX 5600 XT at stock clocks. Those are about as expensive as most people are willing to pay for a video card so this would be perfect for them.

This could be a win for Intel at the bottom-end and I think it's great because, let's be honest, when's the last time that happened? The Pentium G4560?