Intel Core i3-13100F Review: Higher Pricing, Smaller Gains

Ryzen comes roaring back.

Intel Core i3-13100F Core i3-13100
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Intel Core i3-13100F Gaming Benchmarks — The TLDR

Here we have the geometric mean of our gaming tests at 1080p and 1440p, with each resolution split into its own chart. We're testing with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 to reduce GPU-imposed bottlenecks as much as possible, and differences between test subjects will shrink with lesser cards, which is especially pertinent in this price range, or higher resolutions and fidelity. You'll find further game-by-game breakdowns below.

The first slides are simplified without the overclocking configs, while the remainder of the slides in the album cover the full roster of tested configurations.

The Core i3-13100 and 13100F offer the same level of gaming performance when paired with a discrete graphics card, but have a $40 price delta. That means we have two different contests in this section.

The $150 Core i3-13100 faces off with the $140 Ryzen 5 5600. The Ryzen 5 5600 is 8% faster than the Core i3-13100 at stock settings, and 6% faster after overclocking. That's an impressive advantage, especially given that the Ryzen 5 5600 regularly retails for $10 less.

The Core i3-12100 remains a viable gaming alternative at $130, especially because it offers basically the same performance as the 13100 at stock and overclocked settings, but for $20 less. However, the Ryzen 5 5600 still holds the performance lead by decent margins, but for a 7% upcharge. Given the Ryzen 5 5600's impressive advantages that we'll see in other areas, like power efficiency and performance in heavily-threaded work, it's the easy winner in the $130 to $150 price class.

Meanwhile, the $110 Core i3-13100F faces the $99 Ryzen 5 5500. The 13100F is 8% faster in 1080p gaming than the 5500 at stock settings, and 5% faster after overclocking. The Ryzen 5 5500 has a PCIe 3.0 connection instead of support for PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 like the 13100F, giving the 13100F the victory over the 5500.

The 13100F's win isn't unchallenged, though: The Core i3-12100F is an even better deal. The Core i3-12100F comes into the conversation at the same pricing as the 5500 and with a 7% advantage in gaming, giving it the win over the Ryzen 5 5500 and the Core i3-13100F. If you can find it in stock, the 12100F is the best value in the $100 price range, with the 13100F being a good alternative if it remains around $110.

Intel's decision to use the same design for the 13100/F and merely increase boost clocks by 200 MHz doesn't do enough to deliver any tangible increase in value — in fact, its higher pricing only reduces the appeal of the Core i3. We see a dead heat between the two Core i3 models in gaming at stock settings and a 2% difference after tuning the memory. That certainly isn't enough to justify the Core i3-13100's higher price tag, especially given that both chips can drop into the same motherboards and have identical features.

We also included the $170 Ryzen 5 5600X in our test pool, but as you can see, it isn't a good value compared to the Ryzen 5 5600. Additionally, the Ryzen 5 5600G, a Cezanne APU, falls into this price category. This chip was a wonderful alternative for budget gaming machines during the GPU shortage, but it's really meant for low-end gaming machines that don't have a discrete graphics card.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Intel Core i3-13100F Gaming Benchmarks - relative fps percentage
Tom's Hardware 1080p Game Benchmarks
$170 — Ryzen 5 5600X100%
$140 — Ryzen 5 560097.5%
$110 / $150 — Core i3-13100F90.3%
$100 / $130— Core i3-1210089.6%
$135 — Ryzen 5 5600G84.1%
$99 —Ryzen 5 550083.5%

The AMD vs Intel contest can vary in different game titles, with some clearly favoring one architecture over the other. As such, you should peruse the individual game benchmark results below for a closer look at the test results. 

Cyberpunk 2077 Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Far Cry 6 Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

F1 2021 Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Hitman 3 Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2021 Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Red Dead Redemption 2 Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Warhammer 3 Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Watch Dogs Legion Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • InvalidError
    Sweet! More price-performance stagnation!

    Making the new stuff only marginally more desirable than previous-gen stuff so more people and companies decide to hang on to whatever they already have for a while longer is a great way to reduce e-waste production.
  • TerryLaze
    Mmmm, ahhh, yes! Very interesting numbers...

    Also replacement low/mid end CPUs are supposed to be released this year so if you are on a tight budget then might as well wait a bit and see if those are more worth it.
  • Amdlova
    That's a good cpu, Multi task is a meh ...
  • Eximo
    As near as I can tell another big win for Intel is the idle power consumption. Which is useful for me as an HTPC CPU.

    Some people have pointed out the cause may be that the I/O die being on a larger node and having to power the communication between dies is more costly for Ryzen, but it is hard to tell when looking in from the outside.
  • shady28
    Eh, these aren't really price comparable chips. The 13100F is $99 on Amazon right now, while the 5600X is $152 and the 5600 is $140.

    The 13400F is $185.

    Before someone tells me about Newegg prices on Intel (higher than Amazon)- the 5600X is $189 there, which makes it uncompetitive vs 13400F at Newegg. Amazon though, it's decently priced at $152.

    So basically the 5600X fits in an in-between slot in pricing. On either side of the 5600X/5600 +/- $40 sits a chip which is either notably slower (13100F), or notably faster (13400F).

    I think this all comes down to budget questions.
  • bolweval
    InvalidError said:
    Sweet! More price-performance stagnation!

    Making the new stuff only marginally more desirable than previous-gen stuff so more people and companies decide to hang on to whatever they already have for a while longer is a great way to reduce e-waste production.
    Glass half full!
  • baboma
    >The $150 Core i3-13100 is simply overpriced for a quad-core in 2023.

    It's amazing how an article can be obsoleted in the space of two days. On 4/29, price on i3-13100 has dropped to $110 on Amazon,
    i5-13400 has dropped to $200,
    i5-13500 has stayed roughly the same (since March) at $248,
    i5-13600K has also stuck with its initial launch price at $319 (probably because it's the most popular and thus in-demand),
    i7-13700 has also dropped in recent days (4/17) to $350
    i7-13700K dropped (4/29) to $400,
    On the high end, i9-13900 has a small drop (4/27) from $$590 to $566,
    while i9-13900K has stabilized at $567 (from high of $740'ish), or same price as 13900,

    Checking in with Alder Lake pricing,

    i3-12100 is $132, with low at $130, which means you can skip this in favor of 13100,
    i5-12400 is $180; again, not worth it when 13400 is only $20 more,
    i5-12600K is $234; worse bang/buck than i5-13500 at $14 more