Intel confirmed their new non-K Alder Lake desktop chips at CES last week, including the Intel Core i3-12100. This is Intel’s entry-level CPU, but one of the first reviews of the processor which beats the Ryzen 5 3600 in gaming benchmarks.
Intel Core i3-12100 Specifications
Core i3 12100 is a 4-core and 8-thread processor that features four Golden Cove Performance Cores. It means there are no efficient cores present in this processor, unlike higher-end Alder Lake SKUs. The base frequency of 12100 is clocked at 3.3GHz, but the i3-12100 can achieve single-core speeds of up to 4.3GHz. It comes with 12 MB Intel® Smart Cache.
Like all other 12th-gen CPUs, the 12100 is based on 10nm technology and also requires an LGA1700-compatible motherboard. It consumed 60W of Processor Base Power as compared to 65W for the older model and 89W of Maximum Turbo Power. This means it will not stress budget coolers.
Like all 12th-gen CPUs, the baseline i3-12100 supports both DDR4 and DDR5 memory. This processor supports Dual Memory Channels with 128GB max memory size. It supports up to DDR5 4800 MT/s and up to DDR4 3200 MT/s Memory types with 76.8 GB/s Max Memory Bandwidth.
The i3-12100 comes equipped with Intel® UHD Graphics 730, which comes with 300MHz Base Frequency and 1.40Ghz Max Dynamic Frequency. The abbreviated version is that they aren’t ideal for gaming, as even framerates of 60FPS aren’t attainable in most titles.
Intel Core i3-12100 Cinebench R23 Benchmarks
In Cinebench R23, the Intel Core i3-12100 scored an impressive 1687 in single-thread and 8569 in multi-thread tests. For comparison, the i3-10100 scores around 1141 in single-thread and 5612 in multi. This marks a respective 45% and 52% gain in single and multi-thread performance for the 12100 over its predecessor.
Core i3-12100 In-Game Benchmarks
Art of PC with Testing Gaming put the Intel Core i3-12100 up against AMD’s previous-gen Ryzen 5 3600, which features 6-cores and 12-threads, with a base clock speed of 3.6GHz base, and a boost clock speed of 4.2GHz.
The publication used a test bench with Asus ROG STRIX Z690-A D4 motherboard, G.SKILL Trident Z RGB Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4-3600 RAM, be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. On the Other hand for the AMD bench, they used Asus ROG X570 Crosshair VIII motherboard and other components remain the same. All benchmarks were recorded in 1080p at medium-to-high graphical settings.
The games tested are:
- Forza Horizon 5
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- Hitman 3
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Death Stranding
- PUBG (Players Unknown Battle Ground)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Mafia Definitive Edition
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The Intel Core i3-12100 outperformed the 7nm Ryzen 5 3600 CPU in all the tested games, including Microsoft Flight Simulator, Forza Horizon 5, and Cyberpunk 2077. On average, Intel’s CPU beat AMD’s chip by 7.85% across all the titles.
Also, Art of PC notes that only three games were unable to offer at least 144 FPS at 1080p with Core i3-12100: COD: Warzone, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Cyberpunk 2077, all of which are very CPU-intensive.
Intel Core i3-12100 Price and Availability
At the moment the Core i3-12100 isn’t widely available in the US, although this will most likely change within the next week or so with the price of about $122 – $129. The i3-12100F is listed on Newegg for $110, and there are also some available on eBay.