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 Productivity Benchmarks — The TLDR

The first slides are simplified without the overclocking configs, while the remainder of the slides in the album covers the full roster of tested configurations. We boil productivity application performance down into two broad categories: single- and multi-threaded. These slides show the geometric mean of performance in several of our most important tests in each category, but be sure to look at the individual benchmark results below.

Again, due to the $40 price gap between them, the $150 Core i3-13100 and $110 13100F each have a different competitor in our test suite. With six Zen 3 cores and 12 threads, the $140 Ryzen 5 5600 easily leads our threaded benchmark suite with 30% more performance than the Core i3-13100. The six-core, 12-thread $99 Ryzen 5 5600 is also plenty impressive with a 20% lead over the 13100 in threaded workloads. 

The Intel 13100/F takes the lead in single-threaded work, with a 20% lead over the Ryzen 5 5600 and a 25% lead over the Ryzen 5 5500. That will result in snappier responsiveness in lighter fare, but the 13100/F's slow-downs in threaded work will be far more noticeable than its performance advantage in single-threaded work. Overall, the Ryzen 5 5600 and 5500 deliver a better blend of performance at their respective price points. 

The Core i3-13100/F exhibits a more meaningful lead over the 12100/F in the productivity benchmarks than we saw in the gaming benchmarks, delivering 6% more performance in both single- and multi-threaded applications. However, this doesn't really justify a ~15% price hike, again making the 12100 the more reasonable choice if you're specifically looking to buy an Intel chip. 

Notably, none of these chips benefit much from overclocking, with low-single-percentage-point gains. The benchmarks below are pretty predictable, with the Ryzen processors dominating the threaded benchmarks while Intel takes smaller leads in lightly-threaded applications. As such, we'll limit our commentary.

Rendering Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Here we have a quad-core attempting to fend off two six-core 12-thread chips in heavily threaded rendering applications. As you would expect, that doesn't go too well, with the Ryzen 5 5600 and 5500 both taking substantial leads in all manner of threaded workloads. The Core i3-13100/F does carve out a few wins in the single-threaded rendering tasks.

Encoding Benchmarks on Intel Core i3-13100F

Most encoders tend to be either heavily threaded or almost exclusively single-threaded — it takes an agile chip to master both disciplines. Handbrake, SVT-HEVC, and SVT-AV1 serve as our threaded encoders, while LAME, FLAC, and WebP are indicative of how the chips handle lightly-threaded engines.

Adobe, Web Browsing, Office, and Productivity on Intel Core i3-13100F

Compilation, Compression, AI Chess Engines, AVX-512 Performance on Intel Core i3-13100F

Aside from the compression/decompression tests, most of these benchmarks aren't as important for this class of processors, but we include them for the sake of completeness. As you can see, AMD easily wins the compression and decompression benchmarks due to both the advantage of having more cores and specific architectural optimizations that benefit this type of work. 

The remainder of the benchmarks run the gamut from the exceedingly branchy code in the LLVM compilation workload to the massively parallel molecular dynamics simulation code in NAMD to encryption and compression/decompression performance. The demanding Y-cruncher benchmark computes Pi with the AVX instruction set and has optimizations for both Intel and AMD’s architectures.  

The Core i3-13100/F pulls off a few wins in single-threaded tests, but the rest of the benchmarks are nearly entirely in AMD's favor. 

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