Intel’s recent XX100 CPUs such as the Core i3-10100 and more recent Core i3-12100 have been stalwarts in terms of budget gaming performance, and the latest Core i3-13100 doesn’t disappoint in its continuation of this trend.
Recently released benchmarks by RandomGamingHD show significant gen-on-gen performance improvements, as the Core i3-13100 outperforms the last-generation, higher-denomination Core i3-12300 across the board.
Core i3-13100 and Core i3-13100F Specs Overview
The only Raptor Lake CPU designed without Intel’s efficiency-focused E-cores, the Core i3-13100 features 4 Performance cores for a total of 8 threads. It’s clocked to 3.4GHz out of the box, and reaches speeds of up to 4.5GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost engaged.
Like its predecessor, the i3-13100 is a 60W unit with a maximum turbo power draw of 89W. The integrated graphics-lacking, otherwise identical Core i3-13100F has a marginally lower base TDP of 58W and the same 89W turbo power draw. Both SKUs include the same 5MB L2 and 12MB L3 cache as the Core i3-12100.
The i3-13100 sports the same UHD 730 integrated graphics as the previous generation’s lower-tier CPUs. UHD 730’s performance isn’t much to write home about; it’s only really useful for putting a picture on your screen, and shouldn’t be expected to handle any significant gaming or computing workloads. The i3-13100F, of course, lacks an iGPU.
Intel’s recommended customer price for the Core i3-13100 is $134-$144 (the same as Alder Lake’s i3-12100), while the Core i3-13100F’s suggested MSRP is $109-$119, $2 more than the 12100F.
Actual market price can deviate somewhat from recommended pricing, as shown by the 13100’s current cost of $150 on Newegg and the 13100F’s $125 price tag. We expect to see these creep closer to MSRP as these 13th-gen i3 processors become more widely available.
Core i3-13100 Cinebench R20 Benchmarks
In Cinebench R20, a popular benchmarking software used to test CPU single and multi-core performance, the Core i3-13100F scored 3438 in multi-threaded and 673 in single-thread tests.
This represents a marked improvement over the i3-12100’s scores of 3276 and 642; that’s a 4.9% boost in multi-thread and 4.8% jump in single-thread performance from one generation to the next.
While this isn’t quite as impressive as the Core i3-12100’s rough 43% single and multi-threaded jumps over the Core i3-10100 (there was no Core i3-11100), it’s still a substantial leap considering there were nearly two years of R&D between the 10100 and 12100, versus only a year between the 12100 and 13100.
|Model||Cinebench R23 Single-Thread Score||Cinebench R23 Multi-Thread Score||Core i3-13100(F) Relative Single-Threaded Performance||Core i3-13100(F) Relative Multi-Threaded Performance|
Core i3-13100 In-Game FPS Benchmarks
Most importantly, RandomGaminginHD benchmarked the Core i3-13100F in-game in eight different titles to see how it performs in practice. Unfortunately his test setup makes use of Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti, a mid-range graphics card that doesn’t allow the i3-13100F to fully shine in every game since it acts as the system bottleneck in some titles.
It’s impossible to definitively say when a GPU bottleneck is occurring, but based on usage percentages it seems likely that Cyberpunk 2077, GTA V, Forza Horizon 5, and Mafia Definitive Edition were GPU-bound at the tested settings. This means that the actual framerate the Core i3-13100 is capable of achieving is probably higher in these titles in conjunction with a more capable GPU, or at lower graphical settings.
|Title||Graphical Settings||Average FPS||1% Low||0.1% Low|
|Cyberpunk 2077||1080p High||97||56||45|
|Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Next-Gen||1080p Ultra||85||59||43|
|Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered||1080p Very High||111||75||64|
|GTA V||1080p Highest||113||81||73|
|Forza Horizon 5||1080p Ultra||108||77||65|
|Mafia Definitive Edition||1080p Highest||144||101||57|
|Call Of Duty: MW2||1080p Ultra||142||96||67|
Despite the above shortcomings, these benchmarks still hold a wealth of useful information. Since CS:GO, Cyberpunk 2077, Witcher 3, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Modern Warfare 2 are all CPU-bound, this data gives us an excellent concept of the Core i3-13100’s capabilities.
Across the board, the i3-13100 is an extremely-capable 60FPS gaming processor. This should come as no surprise, since Core i3 CPUs dating back to 2020 and earlier have fit this bill.
With competitive settings enabled or in less-demanding games like CS:GO, Fortnite, Apex Legends, VALORANT, and Rainbow Six Siege the i3-13100 will easily reach the 144FPS threshold, since the Core i3-12100 did so with less processing power.
With its slightly faster single-thread speeds, the Core i3-13100 should keep pace with and even exceed the six-core Core i3-12400’s performance in games that are largely single-threaded. Of course, in titles that rely on multicore processing it will lag behind, but for a ~$110 CPU its potency is impressive.
Core i3-13100 vs. Core i3-13100F
As detailed earlier, the Core i3-13100F is identical to the Core i3-13100, aside from its lack of functional integrated GPU. Thus, at $25 cheaper, the i3-13100F is the better buy as long as your system has a dedicated graphics card.
When building a PC that’s not intended for gaming, the i3-13100 is the best choice as a $25 upcharge is cheaper than virtually any discrete video card (even a low-end one like Nvidia’s GT 710 can cost upwards of $50). Additionally, note that market prices for these two SKUs can often overlap, so the i3-13100 may be cheaper than the i3-13100F at any given time. If this happens you would, of course, be best off opting for the i3-13100.
Where To Buy Intel’s Core i3-13100 and Core i3-13100F
Finally, Amazon has several i3-13100 listings, although it has none for the 1300F as of the time of writing. These listings are overpriced, so Newegg is the best location to buy for the time being.
- Core i3-13100 and Core i3-13100F on Amazon
- Core i3-13100 and Core i3-13100F on Newegg
- Core i3-13100 and Core i3-13100F on eBay
The Core i3-13100 is an astonishingly affordable 144FPS-capable chip. It takes the crown from the Core i3-12100 as the new king of budget gaming, as it easily beats out older-generation competition as well as any Ryzen CPUs (it’s cheaper and outperforms the Ryzen 5 3600), and it trounces lower-end processors like the Ryzen 3 5300G or Ryzen 3 4100 by a wide enough margin that their trivially lower price tags don’t compensate.
As icing on the cake, its compatibility with sub-$100 H610 and B660 boards mean that, unlike AMD’s newest 7000-series CPUs, the i3-13100 doesn’t require an expensive platform. This is the mark of truly budget-friendly chip, as the entire system is built around the CPU so costs for the entire build must be taken into account.
Just bear in mind the fact that most 600-series boards manufactured before the release of Intel’s 13th generation will need their BIOS flashed to be compatible. This is extremely simple with mainboards that include a BIOS flashback button, but it otherwise requires a 12th-gen CPU.
All that to say, be sure to purchase a motherboard with a BIOS flashback button or, better yet, one that already ships with a compatible BIOS. If all else fails, there are B760 boards as cheap as $110, so even with a newer model you won’t have to break the bank.
All in all, then, we are very well-pleased with the Core i3-13100 and 13100F. While they’re not leaps and bounds better than the last generation, they offer adequately increased performance without a corresponding increase in cost, and it’s difficult to ask for much more than that.