Sunday, October 11th 2020

Intel Launches the sub-$100 Core i3-10100F Quad-Core Processor

Intel launched the Core i3-10100F, an interesting option for entry-level gaming PC builds. This 4-core/8-thread processor lacks an iGPU, unlike the $120 Core i3-10100, but that shaves nearly a quarter off of its price, with the Intel ARK page for the chip reporting a price band of $79-$97 (per chip in 1,000-unit quantities). The lack of an iGPU means that the chip is targeted at gaming PC builds with discrete graphics cards. It otherwise has the same specs as the i3-10100, with four cores based on the 10th Generation "Comet Lake-S" microarchitecture, nominal clock speeds of 3.60 GHz with 4.30 GHz Turbo Boost, 6 MB of shared L3 cache, a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller that natively supports DDR4-2667 memory, and 65 W TDP. Its retail package includes a cooling solution. The i3-10100F should be drop-in compatible with any Socket LGA1200 motherboard. Do catch our review of the i3-10100, which should give you an idea of how the i3-10100F should perform.
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47 Comments on Intel Launches the sub-$100 Core i3-10100F Quad-Core Processor

#1
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
If it actually can be had for <100€ it will rule the budget gaming builds.
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#2
DeathtoGnomes
Frick
If it actually can be had for <100€ it will rule the budget gaming builds.
The future in gaming is heading away from single thread focus, and after looking at the reviews, the only I would upgrade to this is if I had a previous gen entry low budget build from 5 years ago.
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#3
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
DeathtoGnomes
The future in gaming is heading away from single thread focus, and after looking at the reviews, the only I would upgrade to this is if I had a previous gen entry low budget build from 5 years ago.
Hence the word budget.
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#4
MIRTAZAPINE
Frick
Hence the word budget.
Lowspecgamer would love this cpu.
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#5
Tardian
This really makes sense. However, the Intel S1200 Core i3-10100 is $179 AUD.
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#6
Vayra86
Hahah Intel wouldn't be Intel if they didn't find a way to somehow handicap the good old archaic 4c8t Skylake CPU. 'Here, take this without IGP now' For absolutely no reason I reckon but product segmentation.

Dicks
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#7
R0H1T
A locked quad core for gaming? Don't see the appeal for it unless you're on a shoestring of a budget & still want a gaming rig! You could argue that an APU, zen2 or zen3 based when they launch, would arguably be a much better buy.

At or just above $79 is probably acceptable, anything more you really need to take a good hard look at alternatives.
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#8
Chrispy_
Quad core is dead for gaming, and this is a gaming chip because it requires a dGPU.

Almost every modern game is bottlenecked on a quad core - and whilst games still run okay, why would you waste money on a new motherboard and DDR4 if you're only going to put a quad-core in it? At $300 for the CPU/Mobo/RAM combination, spending another $100 to get a much better gaming chip is such an obvious choice that even budget gamers should be looking elsewhere.
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#9
Object55
Intel - the budget choice for those who can't afford AMD.

Welcome to 2021
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#10
Turmania
Chrispy_
Quad core is dead for gaming, and this is a gaming chip because it requires a dGPU.

Almost every modern game is bottlenecked on a quad core - and whilst games still run okay, why would you waste money on a new motherboard and DDR4 if you're only going to put a quad-core in it? At $300 for the CPU/Mobo/RAM combination, spending another $100 to get a much better gaming chip is such an obvious choice that even budget gamers should be looking elsewhere.
Will send a notice to both Intel & AMD to stop producing and selling I3 & R3 chips as his highness Crispy said they are obsolete.
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#11
R0H1T
They are mostly obsolete for anything but absolute budget gaming, at which point an Athlon or Pentium would also suffice & they come with an IGP with the former having the ability to be OCed.
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#12
Chrispy_
Turmania
Will send a notice to both Intel & AMD to stop producing and selling I3 & R3 chips as his highness Crispy said they are obsolete.
They're obsolete if they require a seperate GPU, yes. There's no shortage of evidence proving that quad cores are a serious gaming bottleneck for GPUs now. For non gamers, a lot of people are still going to be fine with 2C/4T because that's enough performance to reach the threshold of "fast enough", as long as they have an IGP to display the requisite web browser and office suite on their single 1080p monitor.

Obsolete doesn't mean they don't work any more, just that they've been superseded by other products in their category - and this category is "budget gaming CPU as part of a new motherboard purchase". As one of the lowest-tier chips you can put into a Socket 1200 motherboard, nobody is buying this as an upgrade CPU only, it's a platform cost that includes the B460 board and potentially the DDR4 too if someone is upgrading an older DDR3 platform.
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#13
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
DeathtoGnomes
The future in gaming is heading away from single thread focus
Chrispy_
Quad core is dead for gaming
We've been hearing this for what? 5+ years now? Since at least the FX days at least. The fact is these quad-core chips barely hurt gaming compared to parts with more cores and the performance difference is probably due to lower boost clocks and not missing cores.

The 10100 matches a 3800X and its only ~4% behind the best chips on the market:
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#15
blu3dragon
Exactly as newtekie1 mentioned above. Even at 720p the average difference to a 10900k is only 20%.

Pair this with a budget motherboard (since power requirements are not high), 2x8gb of DDR4 and something like a 1650 super and this will be a great build for the money.
R0H1T
And how realistic is it to pair a $1200 GPU with the 10100F) not to mention at lower resolutions there will be an even bigger CPU bottleneck?
It's not, but the point was even with a high end gpu so it's going to be more dependant on cpu, the difference at 1440p is very small.

Admittedly that chart doesn't show minimum frames (or 1% lows), where I would expect the difference to be bigger.
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#16
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
R0H1T
And how realistic is it to pair a $1200 GPU with the 10100F(ail) not to mention at lower resolutions there will be an even bigger CPU bottleneck?
www.techpowerup.com/review/intel-core-i9-10850k/4.html
No one is pairing a $1,200 GPU with a $100 CPU. That's the point, to remove as much GPU bottleneck as possible and allow the CPUs to become the bottleneck. The point is, paired with the best gaming GPU at the time, not even at max resolution, the gaming performance difference is next to nothing. But people aren't running lower resolutions than their GPU can support, with the exception of maybe e-sports gamers. If you use a weaker GPU, the gap just gets smaller, not bigger.

And even if you drop down to 1080p, pretty much the lowest resolution people game at these days, the 10300 is only 1% behind the 3900X. The 10100 is 1% behind the 3800XT. All those extra cores aren't doing crap to help performance.
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#17
Vendor
Chrispy_
Quad core is dead for gaming, and this is a gaming chip because it requires a dGPU.

Almost every modern game is bottlenecked on a quad core - and whilst games still run okay, why would you waste money on a new motherboard and DDR4 if you're only going to put a quad-core in it? At $300 for the CPU/Mobo/RAM combination, spending another $100 to get a much better gaming chip is such an obvious choice that even budget gamers should be looking elsewhere.
Quad cores are still fine for gaming, 3300x even beats 3600 in gaming performance because of lower latency due to single ccx
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#18
R0H1T
newtekie1
And even if you drop down to 1080p, pretty much the lowest resolution people game at these days, the 10300 is only 1% behind the 3900X
Except it's not the 10300 you said was going to be fine, it's the 10100F not to mention what board are we talking about & memory speeds? AFAIK TPU does their bench on the same motherboard & presumably the same memory speeds for all CPUs? The delta is going to be bigger, or possibly smaller depending on the GPU, with memory speeds also playing a key role in there. I get the point but really how many people buy such low end CPUs for gaming but not with an IGP?
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#19
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
R0H1T
Except it's not the 10300 you said was going to be fine, it's the 10100F not to mention what board are we talking about & memory speeds? AFAIK TPU does their bench on the same motherboard & presumably the same memory speeds for all CPUs? The delta is going to be bigger, or possibly smaller depending on the GPU, with memory speeds also playing a key role in there. I get the point but really how many people buy such low end CPUs for gaming but not with an IGP?
I talked about the 10300 because we are talking about quad-core CPUs. Try reading the rest of my post, I discuss the 10100 as well and how it is still within 1% of the 3800XT.

All the information about the test setup is in the TPU review. All the CPUs that can be tested on the same motherboard are. The Comet Lake CPUs were tested on a Z490 Maximus XII Extreme, the Zen2 CPUs were tested on a x570 Taichi. The memory was the same for both, 16GB(2x8GB) DDR4 running at 3200MHz 14-14-14-34. I don't know where you are getting that they don't use the same motherboards and memory speeds, but they most definitely do.

Higher memory speeds might help the Zen CPUs a small amount, but beyond 3200, its marginal gains. So it really isn't going to make any noticeable difference in real world use.

Plenty of budget gamers will buy this CPU without an iGPU, that's the point. It is a budget gaming CPU, that does really well at gaming. This CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 3060 or 3050 would make a very good budget gaming rig, and the 10100F isn't going to hold either GPU back.
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#20
dirtyferret
newtekie1
We've been hearing this for what? 5+ years now? Since at least the FX days at least. The fact is these quad-core chips barely hurt gaming compared to parts with more cores and the performance difference is probably due to lower boost clocks and not missing cores.

The 10100 matches a 3800X and its only ~4% behind the best chips on the market:

please don't post facts in the discussion, you will upset the fan boys
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#21
Fourstaff
I am still gaming on my 3570K @ 1080p, anyone building a budget PC can use this 10100F no problem at all. Not sure why all the hate, not everyone can/want to buy fancier stuff. This will give a lot of pressure to the 1600AF/3100/3300X budget crowd.
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#22
R0H1T
newtekie1
I talked about the 10300 because we are talking about quad-core CPUs. Try reading the rest of my post, I discuss the 10100 as well and how it is still within 1% of the 3800XT.

All the information about the test setup is in the TPU review. All the CPUs that can be tested on the same motherboard are. The Comet Lake CPUs were tested on a Z490 Maximus XII Extreme, the Zen2 CPUs were tested on a x570 Taichi. The memory was the same for both, 16GB(2x8GB) DDR4 running at 3200MHz 14-14-14-34. I don't know where you are getting that they don't use the same motherboards and memory speeds, but they most definitely do.

Higher memory speeds might help the Zen CPUs a small amount, but beyond 3200, its marginal gains. So it really isn't going to make any noticeable difference in real world use.

Plenty of budget gamers will buy this CPU without an iGPU, that's the point. It is a budget gaming CPU, that does really well at gaming. This CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 3060 or 3050 would make a very good budget gaming rig, and the 10100F isn't going to hold either GPU back.
I'm saying how many people will buy the 10100F with the same z board as TPU & DDR4 3200 memory, is that clear now? Without the high speed memory & the higher specced motherboard, which Intel gimps intentionally, the delta is going to be higher. Now tell me is the 10100F also a drop in replacement on say a H110 board? So you're telling me someone, hopefully informed enough, picks a new Intel board, new RAM, new CPU & has a sub $300 budget for gaming (not counting the dGPU) & still goes Intel ~ because of reasons?
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#23
dirtyferret
Fourstaff
I am still gaming on my 3570K @ 1080p, anyone building a budget PC can use this 10100F no problem at all. Not sure why all the hate, not everyone can/want to buy fancier stuff. This will give a lot of pressure to the 1600AF/3100/3300X budget crowd.
because if people can game on a 4c or 4c/8t CPU then how can I feel special about my 8c/16t CPU?...how?!
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#24
hat
Enthusiast
I'd agree that you can still get away with a quad core for gaming, if you already have one (hopefully it's at least 4c/8t)... but I don't think it's a great idea to build a new desktop today for gaming with only a quad core.

It's too bad it's still a locked chip, though. It might be a better performer at a higher clockspeed. I don't think you would need a super expensive cooler to cool a modern quad core at high speeds.
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#25
dirtyferret
hat
I'd agree that you can still get away with a quad core for gaming, if you already have one (hopefully it's at least 4c/8t)... but I don't think it's a great idea to build a new desktop today for gaming with only a quad core.

It's too bad it's still a locked chip, though. It might be a better performer at a higher clockspeed. I don't think you would need a super expensive cooler to cool a modern quad core at high speeds.
are there any options at 4c/4t anymore? Inel pentium is still 2c/4t and celeron is 2c. I don't recall any zen 2 desktop CPUs being just 4c. I think you would need to either get a laptop or find a old/used CPU to just build a gaming 4c system.
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