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Is Intel i3 good for students?

Is Intel i3 good for students? Let's find out.

Updated: Jan 23, 2023 1:18 pm
is intel i3 good for students

If you’re a student looking to equip yourself with a new laptop or desktop computer, you’ve probably come across processors from Intel’s i3 series. We ant to know Is Intel i3 good for students?

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Intel core i3 processors are the cheapest of the bunch; they’re designed to provide value to budget-conscious users. As a student, a compromise between price and performance is probably desirable to you, so you’ll find i3 processors very suitable. 

While their specs aren’t comparable to i5 and i7 CPUs, i3 processors offer respectable performance at an entry-level price point. 

Why is Intel i3 good for students?

Overall, Intel i3 is an excellent option for students, especially those on a budget. Here are the primary reasons why we believe the Intel i3 lineup is good for students. 

Decent performance

Core i3 CPUs actually offer better performance than you may think. Core i3 processors generation 10 and above have four cores and eight threads.

While 8 threads are below average by modern standards (most consumer-grade processors have 12 to 16 threads today), it’s still good enough to get the job done. 

8 threads are more than enough for browsing, video-streaming, video-calling, attending online classes, taking lectures, and other applications related to education and learning. You’ll also find i3 processors sufficient for programming and writing code.  

The only activities where an i3 processor will cost you time and productivity are multithread heavy workloads such as video editing and 3d rendering. If that’s something you tend to do, I’d recommend opting for an i5 processor instead. 

If you’re interested in a bit of gaming on the side (as many students are!), Intel i3 can do that for you as well. 

As long as you get a CPU that’s 10th generation and above, you’ll be able to play most modern games at 60 FPS, thanks to the 4GHz+ boost clock delivered by modern i3 processors. 

Going below the 10th generation will help you save some extra cash, but you’ll also see a noticeable drop off in performance. 


If we set aside Celebron and Pentium for a moment, the Core i3 lineup features Intel’s cheapest consumer-grade processors. 

Celeron and Pentium are indeed cheaper, but they offer lackluster performance, and I wouldn’t recommend them if you’re interested in doing anything other than browsing and light productivity work. 

Core i3 CPUs, however, can do much more for you at a slightly higher cost. 

Intel’s motherboards are also cheaper than the competition, generally speaking. And with an i3, you won’t need any fancy features like overclocking support, so the CPU will pair just fine with an entry-level motherboard. 

The Intel core i3-12100F, for example, retails just above $100 on Amazon and offers you amazing bang for your buck. If you’re looking to spend the minimum to get a CPU that can efficiently handle the demands of a student workload, I’d recommend this processor. 

Low power consumption

In addition to being budget-friendly, Core i3 CPUs also consume little power. We’re seeing the new high-end CPUs from both Intel and AMD consume upwards of 200 watts of power. And, with energy costs rising, power efficiency is more important than ever. 

Thankfully, Core i3 CPUs are still relatively power-efficient. The most recent addition to the i3 lineup, the i3-13100, has a 60-watt base TDP and an 89-watt boost TDP.

The 89-watt TDP is just the momentary max the CPU can consume. The processor’s actual average power consumption under full load is much closer to 60 watts.  

The low power consumption means i3 CPUs also run cool. You won’t need a powerful aftermarket cooler to keep temperatures in check – the stock cooler will serve you just fine. 

Final thoughts

Intel i3 is a great processor lineup for students. Core i3 processors offer decent performance and are fast enough to take care of your everyday computer usage. 

You can also pair them up with a mid-range GPU, such as the RTX 3050, to enjoy 60FPS gaming at 1080P. Students on a budget will find the i3 lineup perfect for their needs. The low power consumption is a nice bonus. 

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