Art of PC (opens in new tab) has released one of the Internet's first reviews of Intel's new Alder Lake Core i3-12100 CPU, giving us a sneak peek of the gaming performance for Intel's new entry-level Core i3 product stack. The site compared the quad-core Alder Lake chip's performance against a Ryzen 5 3600 and shows very competitive results -- making it a contender in our Best CPUs for Gaming 2022 list.
Specs-wise, the Core i3-12100 is very different from its higher-tiered Core i5 and Core i7 brethren. Packing only four cores and eight threads, this CPU lacks E-cores and sports four Golden Cove performance cores. Base frequency starts at 3.3 GHz, with single-core turbo speeds maxing out at 4.3 GHz.
But, thanks to Golden Cove's significant boost in IPC performance, the Core i3 is no slouch, and according to Art of PC's coverage can go toe to toe with any of Intel or AMD's hexa-core CPUs from just a couple of years ago.
Art of PC tested gaming performances against a Ryzen 5 3600, with a testbed including 32GB of 3600 MHz DDR4, ROG Strix Z690-A D4, Dark Rock Pro 4, and GeForce RTX 3080 GPU for the Core i3 setup. The Ryzen 5 3600 testbed is identical to the Core i3 except for the motherboard, an Asus ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero.
The site revealed the average FPS for several games, including Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Cyberpunk 2077, Forza Horizon 5, and more.
The Core i3-12100 cumulatively outperforms the hexa-core Ryzen 5 3600 by 7.85%. A rather impressive result considering the Ryzen 5 3600 has two more cores and four more threads.
Looking at the Ryzen 5 3600's general performance against other CPUs, we suspect that the Core i3-12100 will outperform or be just as fast as other CPUs such as the Ryzen 3 3300X and Core i5-10600K from a few years ago as well. If these results are accurate, the Core i3-12100 could make a powerful entry-level CPU for gaming.