Where to go from an i3 8100?


Posts: 7   +1
When my old Ivy Bridge PC died (motherboard broke and it took the CPU down with it) I bought an i3 8100 (simple 4 core CPU, no HT, no turbo boost) clocked at 3.6 GHz back in 2018 as an interim measure that became kind of permanent. Now I am kind of stuck and not sure where to go from there.

Worth mentioning that I have a Z370 motherboard, 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM and a GTX1060.

The PC is mostly used for gaming at 1080p but I would love to move to 1440p soon. I do feel that the PC is underperforming and my aim is to upgrade it and enhance the experience for the lowest possible price.

Is it the CPU or GPU that is the problem here? Or is it both? I have my eyes on a nice second-hand GTX1080 from a friend, so that might solve itself. However, I am quite clueless about the processor.

Is it worth upgrading to an i5 or i7 of the 8th or 9th generation? New? Second-hand? Scratch the platform and move to AM4?


Posts: 2,408   +2,941
Staff member
A GeForce 1080 will make a big difference to being able to play at 1440p and depending on the motherboard, you could replace the i3-8100 with up to an i9-9900K - something that would keep you going for a long time. However, 9th generation i5 CPUs (e.g. 9600K) is more cost effective, and would be a notable improvement over your current i3.

Personally, I would just go with the GPU replacement to begin with and see how well things run. If you're happy with the performance, then stick with the i3 until you're ready for a full platform upgrade; if not, then definitely consider something like the 9600K.

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,276   +2,849
TechSpot Elite
I used an i5-8400 and GTX 1080 (now a 5600XT, about the same) for gaming at 1440p and most of the time, my CPU use is way below 60%.

Which means that as a 6-core 3.8 GHz (all core Turbo) CPU with no HT, your i3-8100 is about 60-65% of the performance of mine and about the same single core speed. I don't play too many 2019+ AAA games but Control is heavily GPU-dependent and light on the CPU so you'd see similar FPS with a 1080, while ShadowOTTR is more CPU-dependent so you'd see a bit lower average fps but likely much lower 1% lows. However most games are more like Control, especially at 1440p. You will see a much higher overall increase in FPS with the 1080 first and then, as neeyik said, consider the 9600K later.