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Core-i3-8100-CPU-Review

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Intel OEM Core i3 i3-8100 Quad-core

Core i3 8100

Intel Core i3-8300 Desktop Processor 6 Cores

Core i3 8100

Intel 3.70 GHz Core i3-6100 

Core i3 8100

Core i3-8100 CPU Review

The Core i3-8100 is a quad-core CPU with four threads and 3.6 GHz clock, being one of the entry models from the eighth-gen Core i CPUs from Intel. Let's check how fast is it.

The new eighth generation of Core i7 CPUs from Intel, codename Coffee Lake, was recently launched with the new Z370 chipset. In this new generation, the microarchitecture is very similar to the previous one (Kaby Lake), with the same graphics engines, same supported technologies, and the same 14 nm manufacturing technology. The biggest difference is the CPU core count: while, on previous generations,

Core i7 CPUs had four cores and eight threads (thanks to the Hyper-Threading technology), Core i5 had four cores and four threads, and the Core i3 had two cores and four threads, on the eighth generation Core i7 CPUs have six cores (and 12 threads), Core i5 processors have six cores (and six threads), and Core i3 CPUs now have four cores (and four threads, as they lose HT technology).

Keep in mind that, even if the socket used by the eighth generation CPUs is physically the same used in the sixth and seventh generations (LGA1151), the pin disposition is not exactly the same, allegedly to meet the higher power demand of the new CPUs with more cores. Because of this, sixth and seventh generation CPUs do not work in motherboards designed for the eighth generation ones (that use 300-series chipsets), and vice-versa.

The Core i3-8100 is the most basic CPU of the new Core i3 family, being aimed at value desktop computers for gaming or working. It has a clock of 3.6 8 GHz, and doesn't support Turbo Boost technology. It has 6 MiB of L3 cache, TDP of 65 W, and brings Intel UHD 630 integrated video running up to 1.10 GHz. It has a locked multiplier, so you can't overclock it by changing the multiplier.

Figure 1 shows the package of the Core i3-8100.

Figure 1 shows the package of the Core i3-8100.

Core i3-8100 CPU

Figure 1: package

In Figure 2 we have the package contents: the cooler, the CPU itself, a manual, and a case sticker.

Core i3-8100 CPU

Figure 2: package contents

Figure 3 unveils the Core i3-8100 processor.

 Celeron G3930

Figure 3: the Celeron G3930 CPU

In terms of price, the Core i3-8100 lies between the Ryzen 3 1300X and the Ryzen 5 1400. In our roundup, we compared the Core i3-8100 to the Ryzen 5 1400, and also to its predecessor, the Core i3-7100, to the Core i5-8400, and to the Ryzen 5 1500X.

We also included the Core i5-7400, which has similar features to the tested CPU (four cores), and the Ryzen 3 1200, which is a less expensive model.We used a GeForce GTX 1080, which is a high-end video card, in all tests.Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs on the next page.

In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.

CPU
Cores
HT/
SMT
IGP
Internal Clock
Turbo Clock
Core
Tech.
TDP
Socket
Price

Core i3-8100

4

No

Yes

3.6 GHz

-

Coffee Lake

14 nm

65W

LGA1151

USD 130

Ryzen 5 1400

4

Yes

No

3.2 GHz

3.4 GHz

Summit Ridge

14 nm

65W

AM4

USD 150

Core i3-7100

2

Yes

Yes

3.9 GHz

-

Kaby Lake

14 nm

51W

LGA1151

USD 120

Core i5-7400

4

No

Yes

3.0 GHz

3.5 GHz

Kaby Lake

14 nm

65W

LGA1151

USD 190

Core i5-8400

6

No

No

2.8 GHz

4.0 GHz

Coffee Lake

14 nm

65W

LGA1151

USD 190

Ryzen 3 1200

4

No

No

3.1 GHz

3.4 GHz

Summit Ridge

14 nm

65W

AM4

USD 110

Ryzen 5 1500X

4

Yes

No

3.5GHz

3.47

Summit Ridge

14 nm

65W

AM4

USD 180

Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.

CPU
L2 Cache
L3 Cache
Memory Support
Memory Channels

Core i3-8100

4 x 256 KiB

6 MiB

Up to DDR4-2400

2

Ryzen 5 1400

4 x 512 MiB

2 x 4 MiB

Up to DDR4-2666

2

Core i3-7100

2 x 256 KiB

3 MiB

Up to DDR4-2400

2

Core i5-7400

4 x 256 MiB

6 MiB

Up to DDR4-2400

2

Core i5-8400

6 x 256 KiB

9 MiB

Up to DDR4-2666

2

Ryzen 3 1200

4 x 512 KiB

2 x 4 MiB

Up to DDR4-2666

2

Ryzen 5 1500X

4 x 512 MiB

2 x 8 MiB

Up to DDR4-2666

2

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. The only variable was the CPU being tested, besides the motherboard, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.

Hardware Configuration

  • Motherboard (Coffee Lake): Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming
  • Motherboard (Kaby Lake): Gigabyte AORUS Z270X-Gaming 7
  • Motherboard (AM4): ASRock X370 Taichi
  • Memory: 16 GiB, two DDR4-3200 8 GiB Geil modules configured at 2666 MHz
  • Boot drive: Samsung 960 EVO 500 GiB SSD
  • Video Card: GeForce GTX 1080
  • Video Monitor: Philips 236VL
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX600

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • NTFS
  • Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • NVIDIA driver version: 387.92

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 4% error margin. Thus, differences below 4% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 4% should be considered as having similar performance.

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 is benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure computer performance. We ran the standard test, which included opening applications, web browsing, writing, photo editing, video chat, video conversion, and rendering. Let's see the results.

On the 3DMark 10 benchmark, the Core i3-8100 was 21% faster than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 7% faster than the Core i3-7100.

3DMark

3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. Time Spy runs a Direct X12 simulation; Fire Strike runs a “heavy” DirectX 11 simulation, and Sky Diver also measures DirectX 11 performance but is aimed at average computers.

On Time Spy, the Core i3-8100 performed similarly to the Ryzen 5 1400 and was 9% faster than the Core i3-7100.

On the Fire Strike benchmark, the Core i3-8100 was also similar to the Ryzen 5 1400, being 22% faster than the Core i3-7100.

On the Sky Diver benchmark, the Core i3-8100 was 7% faster than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 21% faster than the Core i3-7100.

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 is based on the Cinema 4D software. It's useful to measure the performance gain obtained by the presence of several processing cores while rendering heavy 3D images. Rendering is an area where a bigger number of cores helps a lot because usually, this kind of software recognizes several processors (Cinebench R15, for example, can use up to 256 processing cores).

We ran the CPU benchmark, which renders a complex image using all the processing cores (real and virtual) to speed up the process. The result is given as a score.

On Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark, the Core i3-8100 was 14% slower than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 44% faster than the Core i3-7100.

Blender

Blender is an image and movie rendering software that uses all the threads of the CPU. We used the program to render a heavy image of a project named Gooseberry Benchmark. The graph below shows the time the CPU used to finish the image, so the less, the better.

On Blender, the Core i3-8100 was 9% slower than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 32% faster than the Core i3-7100.

CPU-Z

On its current version, the well-known hardware identification software CPU-Z comes with a benchmarking tool, which measures CPU performance for one core and for all available cores.

On the single thread benchmark, the Core i3-8100 was 12% faster than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 6% faster than the Core i3-7100.

On the multiple thread benchmark, the Core i3-8100 was 16% slower than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 43% faster than the Core i3-7100.

Handbrake

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320x200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

Here the Core i3-8100 was 5% slower than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 46% faster than the Core i3-7100.

WinRAR

Another task where the CPU is very demanded is on file compacting. We ran a test compacting a folder with 8 GiB on 6.813 files to a file, using WinRAR 4.2. The graph below shows the time taken for each test.

In WinRAR, the Core i3-8100 was 31% faster than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 7% faster than the Core i3-7100.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action RPG with FPS elements, launched in August 2016, that uses the Dawn engine, being compatible with DirectX 12. We tested it using the benchmark included in the game, with DirectX 12 enabled, Full HD, and graphics options as “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

On this game, the Core i3-8100 was 47% faster than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 25% faster than the Core i3-7100.

Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally is an off-road racing game released in April 2015, using Ego engine. To measure performance using this game, we ran the performance test included in the game, in 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and image quality configured as “medium” and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps).

In this game, the Core i3-8100 was 40% faster than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 13% faster than the Core i3-7100.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is an open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015, using the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V at Full HD, with all image quality set as "normal" and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

In GTA V, the Core i3-8100 performed similarly to the Ryzen 5 1400 and to the Core i3-7100.

Hitman

Hitman is an action/stealth game, launched in March 2016, that uses a DirectX 12 compatible version of the Glacier 2 engine. To measure performance in this game, we ran the benchmark in it, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran this game in Full HD, with DirectX 12 enabled, with image quality set as “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Also on Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Core i3-8100 was 37% faster than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 19% faster than the Core i3-7100.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world RPG, released in May of 2015 and based on the REDengine 3 engine. In order to measure the performance in this game, we walk around at the first scene of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game at Full HD (1920 x 1080), with image quality set to “medium”.

The results below are expressed in frames per second and represent the arithmetical mean of the three collected results.

In this game, the Core i3-8100 was 15% faster than the Ryzen 5 1400 and 11% faster than the Core i3-7100.

The Core i3-8100 is the natural evolution of the entry/mainstream CPUs from Intel, that bring on older models (Core i3-6100, Core i3-7100) an excellent cost/performance ratio, capable of running recent games with good performance.

Now, replacing the "2/4" configuration (two cores, four threads) for a "4/4" (four cores, four threads) on the Core i3 family, Intel scores a hit. While more demanding (and wealthy) users will look for the Core i5-8400 and its six cores, users with a limited budget will be well-served with the Core i3-8100.

Intel Core i3-8100 Desktop Processor 4 Cores up to 3.6 GHz Turbo...
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel 300 Series Chipsets
  • Cores: 4, Threads: 4

Compared with its predecessor, the Core i3-7100, the Core i3-8100 is a lot faster on games and applications that use four cores. Compared to one of its direct competitors, the Ryzen 5 1400, we see that the model from AMD is faster in some applications (the ones that take advantage of several threads) and the Intel one is faster in others, and also in most games.

But one thing was clear on our tests: the Core i3-8100 was consistently faster than the Core i5-7400. It is not a surprise, since both CPUs are almost identical in term of architecture and specs, with a slightly higher clock rate on the Core i3-8100.

So, the Core i3-8100 is an excellent CPU for gaming and work, with a great cost/benefit ratio. Only applications that use a high thread count justify the investiment on a more expensive processor, like the Core i5-8400 or a Ryzen 5.