AMD Ryzen 3 3100 CPU Review


We have now reviewed both the new AMD Ryzen 3 3300X and in this review the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 up against the competition’s best offerings.  The AMD Ryzen 3 3300X offers a great value at $120 with incredible performance that beats the competition.  In today’s review, we explored how the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 $99 CPU compares to Intel’s Core i3-9100F.  The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is slightly more expensive but offers 4 cores/4 threads and higher IPC.  Our review today revealed just how much more powerful it really is for just $99.

The Competition

In this review today we have specifically focused on the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 performance up against Intel’s Core i3-9100F CPU.  The Intel Core i3-9100F is the cheaper of the Core i3-9100 variants and lacks iGPU.  It is a 4c/4t CPU that can boost to 4.2GHz.  This typically gives it very good single-thread performance, before the Ryzen 3 3100 that is. 

In terms of pricing, we know the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 will be $99.  The Intel Core i3-9100F is actually cheaper today than it was at launch.  You can typically find it for around $75 online like it is at Amazon.  This means that the new AMD Ryzen 3 3100 does cost about $25 more.  The question we have to ask is if this extra $25 is worth spending to get the Ryzen 3 3100 over the i3-9100F.

Application and System Performance

In application and system performance the new AMD Ryzen 3 3100 dominated performance over the Intel Core i3-9100F.  We saw faster performance in PCMark 10, Geekbench 5 tests, and SiSoftware Sandra tests.  We experienced performance improvements from 8-61% faster with the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 over the Intel Core i3-9100F.  The CPU did extremely well in floating-point benchmarks, Aida64 Queen, and Single-Threaded performance.

The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 was even beating the Intel Core i5-9500 in application tests like wPrime and WinRAR and SiSoftware Sandra.  So it wasn’t just the Intel Core i3-9100F the Ryzen 3 3100 was competing with, it was also the more expensive Intel i5-9400!

Content Creation Rendering and Encoding

The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 also did extremely well in rendering and content creation applications.  It reduced the rendering time in Blender quite a bit over the Intel Core i3-9100F and also the Intel i5-9400.  It was also on par with the Intel Core i5-9400 in Multi-Thread Cinebench but faster in Single-Threaded testing than both Intel CPUs.  The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 did well in HandBrake reducing time to encode video compared to the Intel Core i3-9100F.  It blew the doors off the i3-9100F in V-Ray.

Memory Bandwidth

The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 at $99 also has a big advantage with memory bandwidth.  You can go for the cheaper B450 or new B550 chipset platform, and still use DDR-3600 and higher RAM frequencies, on just a $99 CPU.  The AMD platform allows the flexibility of high RAM speeds on budget chipsets up to the more expensive X570 chipset, and this little $99 CPU can work with all of it.

Gaming Performance

The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 was faster in every game at 1080p with “Low” settings compared to the Intel Core i3-9100F.  This shows that in severely CPU bottlenecked scenarios, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is faster.  When you increase the game settings this is mostly true as well. 

The fact is that the i3-9100F is bottlenecked with only 4 cores and 4 threads.  With the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 having 4 cores and 8 threads it has the capability to overcome some bottlenecks that the i3-9100F can only dream off.  If I were gaming, I’d definitely go with the Ryzen 3 3100 over the i3-9100F.  It will allow a better gameplay experience.

Power and Temp

When it comes to power and temp the Ryzen 3 CPUs demand more compared to the Intel CPUs.  However, the Ryzen 3 3100 also offers more performance, so you aren’t getting that increase in power and temp for nothing.  You are getting a better computing experience in every regard.  This is the type of CPU you can run just fine on air cooling.  If you want to try and push hardcore overclocking on it though, we suggest a more robust setup. 


AMD Ryzen 3 3100 HWiNFO Overclocking

Speaking of overclocking, we did not have time to tweak manual overclocking to find the highest it will go.  However, we did play with AMD Precision Overdrive and enabled it at the highest setting with the ability to overclock up to 200MHz.  It worked perfectly by just enabling it and provided a stable overclock that pushed the CPU 200MHz faster with no issues at all and no need to tweak other settings.

In the screenshot of HWiNFO above you can see we are hitting a maximum of 4.1GHz on the CPU with Precision Overdrive enabled.  This was a very easy way to overclock it from 3.9GHz, a couple of hundred MHz faster with no time spent is an easy overclock with better performance instantly.  We do feel this CPU can be pushed harder with some tender loving care, there’s headroom here. 

Final Points

Similar to the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X, the new AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is also an appealing CPU.  At $99 it offers a lot of performance for many workloads and use case scenarios.  With 4 cores/8 threads it has the multi-threading capability to give any office user, Internet user, media consumption user, and any desktop user the performance they need without bottlenecking. 

With 4c/8t this CPU can also benefit the content creator and 3D rendering and video transcoding person.  It has the threads to provide the best performance you can get at $99 in those applications, which is very hardcore.  It also offers gamers more than entry-level performance for gaming. 

This CPU is what use to be a high-end gaming CPU only a few years ago.  Now that kind of performance for gaming can be had at only $99.  This CPU whoops the competition quite thoroughly.  It is certainly the better option compared to the Intel Core i3-9100F.  That extra $25 is well spent on this CPU. 

When you consider the new AMD B550 chipset into the equation, you find what could turn out to be the absolute best value/budget combination ever.  The B550 is loaded with new features that will give you PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage performance, supports PCIe 4.0 video cards, and you can run high-speed RAM.  Equip this money friendly chipset and motherboard with the money friendly $99 AMD Ryzen 3 3100 you have one of the best combos in computing we’ve seen lately. 

A B550 chipset-based motherboard, combined with the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 will give you an awesome setup for very little money.  What can we say really that we haven’t said, the AMD B550 chipset and AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is value defined.


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AMD Ryzen 3 3100
Brent Justice
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice

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