AMD Ryzen 3 4100 and Ryzen 5 4500 Gaming Benchmarks — The TLDR
As usual, we're testing with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 to reduce GPU-imposed bottlenecks as much as possible, and differences between test subjects will shrink with lesser cards or higher resolutions. You would never see these low-end chips paired with an RTX 3090, but this allows us to highlight unrestrained chip performance.
The quad-core Zen 2-powered Ryzen 3 4100 is easily the slowest chip in the test pool. But that isn't too surprising given its tame 4.0 GHz boost clock and scant 4MB of L3 cache. The six-core Ryzen 5 4500 only boosts to 4.1 GHz, but the doubled L3 cache and extra cores weigh in as it delivers 13% more performance at stock settings than the 4100.
The Core i3-12100 costs $122 for the full-fledged version with an iGPU, competing with the Ryzen 5 4500, and also comes as the graphics-less Core i3-12100F for $99, competing with the Ryzen 5 4100. Both of these models provide identical performance. The Intel Core i3-12100's Golden Cove P-cores give even the Zen 3-powered Ryzen 5000G chips a stiff challenge, so it's no surprise that the Zen 2 Renoir struggles mightily in comparison.
For similar or slightly lower pricing, the Core i3-12100/F is a whopping 49% faster than the Ryzen 3 4100 and 21.7% faster than the Ryzen 5 4500 in 1080p gaming, making it clear that budget gamers should opt for Intel's chip over the Ryzen competition.
Intel still restricts Core i3 overclocking to the memory, limiting gains to a few percentage points. In contrast, AMD allows full overclocking of both Ryzen 4000 models, but it isn't too useful. The overclocked Ryzen 3 4100 is a mere 3% faster than the stock config, while the tuned 4500 is about 6% faster than the stock setup.
As an interesting comparison point, we also included the Ryzen 5 4600G in the test pool. However, this is a full-fledged Renoir APU with a working RX Vega 7 integrated graphics engine, so it isn't meant to be used with a discrete GPU. Look to these pages for a full review soon with iGPU performance benchmarks.
Overall the Core i3-12100/F underlines its status as the best budget gaming CPU on the market — the Zen 2-powered Ryzen 4 4500 and Ryzen 3 4100 can't compete.
|Tom's Hardware||1080p Game Benchmarks - fps %age|
|Ryzen 5 5600||97.4%|
|Ryzen 5 5500||82.3%|
|Ryzen 5 4500||67.1%|
|Ryzen 3 4100||59.4%|
Moving over to 1440p brings a GPU bottleneck into the equation, so the performance deltas between the chips shrink tremendously. Be aware that large performance deltas in a few of the game titles can heavily impact these types of overall measurements. It's always best to make an informed decision based on the types of titles you frequently play, so be sure to check out the individual game benchmarks below. That said, we don't see much variance in the results below — the Ryzen 5 4500 and Ryzen 3 4100 get beaten by the Core i3-12100 across the board. As such, we'll skip the commentary in the individual titles below.
3DMark, VRMark, Chess Engines on AMD Ryzen 3 4100 and Ryzen 5 4500
Synthetic benchmarks don't tend to translate well to real-world gaming, but they do show us the raw amount of compute power exposed to game engines. It's too bad most games don't fully exploit it. That tendency is evident here as we see the Ryzen 5 4500 beat the Core i3-12100 by significant margins in both the DX11 and DX12 synthetic CPU tests, but it doesn't win in a single real-world gaming benchmark below.