Home » CPU » CPU FAQ » Is Intel i3-12100F good for gaming?

Is Intel i3-12100F good for gaming?

What gaming performance can you expect from the i3-12100F?

Updated: Feb 20, 2023 2:26 pm
Is Intel i3 12100F good for gaming

The Intel Core i3-12100F is an entry-level Alder lake processor introduced to us in early 2022. Even though this CPU has modest specs, it offers users amazing value because of its low price and is hence a favorite for use in budget builds. Today, we’re talking about how well the i3-12100F performs in gaming

Intel Core i3-12100F specifications

INTEL CORE I3 12100F Desktop

Intel Core i3-12100F

Core (threads)
Boost clock
4.3 GHz
Lga 1700

Let’s first have a look at the processor’s specs:

  • Cores: 4 (Hyperthreading enabled)
  • Threads: 8
  • Base clock: 3.3 GHz
  • Boost clock: 4.3 GHz
  • Cache: 12MB Intel Smart Cache
  • Base TDP: 65 W
  • Max TDP: 89 W
  • Socket: FCLGA1700

The i3-12100F is a quad-core processor with hyperthreading enabled, allowing it to serve 8 threads simultaneously. Now, that’s not great by modern standards, especially considering we have Core i5 processors offering up to 20 threads these days. 

However, 8 threads is still a decent amount to have for a processor meant to be used exclusively for gaming and everyday desktop work. 

Is the Intel Core i3-12100F good for gaming?

The Core i3-12100F is a decent gaming processor overall. As mentioned, a thread count of 8 is rather low today but works for gaming because games don’t utilize many threads effectively.

The bulk of a game’s processing is carried out on only a few threads, while the rest pitch in to help with secondary processing and background work. This is why it’s much more important for a gaming processor to have a high boost clock than it is for it to have a high core/thread count.

You want the few game-operating threads to run as fast as possible for maximum performance. The 12100F has a boost clock of 4.3GHz, which is decent. It doesn’t quite compare with the 5GHz processors released recently, but it’s also a cut above the 4GHz processors we had a few years ago, such as the Ryzen 5 3600 – one of the most popular Ryzen processors that has a comparatively lower boost clock of 4.2GHz.

The Intel Core i3-12100F remains an excellent option for 1080p gaming at a steady 60FPS when paired up with a mid-range GPU such as an RX 6600. 1440p gaming is also doable with a strong GPU since upscaling resolution doesn’t increase CPU usage significantly.

Why the Intel Core i3-12100F is good for gaming

Here’s why you should consider the i3-12100F if you’re looking for an entry-level gaming processor. 

Excellent price-to-performance ratio

The Core i3-12100F boasts an excellent price-to-performance ratio. The processor costs roughly $100 these days. And for $100, you get seamless Triple-A performance at 60FPS and higher. The cost per frame is just amazingly low with the 12100F. If you’re out to get the most bang for your buck, there are very few other processors that can compete with the 12100F.

Good power efficiency and thermals

The 12100F has a default 65-watt TDP but can consume up to 89 watts of power under full load. This 89-watt usage only exists in momentary bursts, though, so the actual power usage under full load is somewhere between 65 and 89. Overall, it’s a power-efficient processor that runs cool and won’t require an aftermarket cooling solution or a powerful PSU.

How does the 12100F compare to other i3 processors?

You have some other options within the Core i3 lineup as well – namely the Core i3-10100 and i3-13100. All three of these processors are hyperthreaded quad-cores with about the same specs.

Intel Core i3 10100F

Intel Core i3-10100F

CPU Model
Core i3
Cores (Threads)
4 (8)
CPU Speed
3.6 GHz
CPU Socket
LGA 1200
Intel Core i3 13100F

Intel Core i3-13100F

CPU Model
Core i3
Cores (Threads)
4 (8)
CPU Speed
4.5 GHz
CPU Socket
LGA 1151

However, the 12100 and 13100 offer noticeably improved performance over the 10100 as they’re built on more recent architecture and can support DDR5 memory.

Between the 12100 and 13100? There’s not much of a difference. The 13100 is slightly better but also slightly more expensive. Practically speaking, both CPUs will offer similar in-game performance.

Leave a Comment

WePC is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Trusted Source

WePC’s mission is to be the most trusted site in tech. Our editorial content is 100% independent and we put every product we review through a rigorous testing process before telling you exactly what we think. We won’t recommend anything we wouldn’t use ourselves. Read more