Intel Core i3-8100 CPU Review

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Civilization VI AI Test

The Civilization VI AI test measures CPU performance in a turn-based strategy game. An overclocked Core i3-8350K establishes a compelling lead over its locked Coffee Lake counterparts, while the Core i5-8400's Turbo Boost frequencies provide an edge over the -8100's 3.6 GHz ceiling.

AMD's Ryzen 3 processors are also competitive. The tuned Ryzen 3 1300X, an Editor's Choice award-winner, leads the Core i3-8100. Meanwhile, the overclocked Ryzen 5 models don't fare as well. Then again, those more expensive models feature simultaneous multi-threading, which this test historically punishes.

Civilization VI Graphics Test

Even with two extra cores, there are situations where the -8100's locked multiplier is a liability. Both overclocked Ryzen 3 models outperform the Core i3-8100 during this benchmark, while the -8100 fends off those same processors at stock settings by a similar margin.

There's a huge 24.2 FPS delta between the Ryzen 3 1200's stock 3.1 GHz base frequency and overclocked 3.9 GHz configuration. Overclocking the 1200's memory to 3200 MT/s helps quite a bit.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

Warhammer 40,000: DoW III's benchmark scales well with execution resources, but aggressive clock rates also provide a big benefit.

The overclocked Core i3-8350K continues to impress, though the fact it requires an overclocking-friendly heat sink and Z370 motherboard hurts the value calculation compared to less expensive Core i3 and Ryzen 3 models.

Intel's Core i3-8100 takes a comfortable lead over the Ryzen 3 models, even after we overclock them. The -8100 also beats both stock Ryzen 5 CPUs, though AMD's 1500X jumps ahead once we overclock it.

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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.

  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Great CPU for the $$$!
  • shrapnel_indie
    It's impressive.... and makes a harder sell on the Ryzen 1200 and 1300X.
  • InvalidError
    Still missing affordable motherboards...
  • JQB45
    When are the lower cost "B" and I assume "H" series motherboards supposed to arrive?
  • MCMunroe
    Why does the little green button to buy the product always have a wildly higher price than the assumptions made in the article?

    Just a glaring sign that the articles value comparison is off, in real life.
  • marcelo_vidal
    I don't see the point of this review? This get the UPDATE ? Bios UPDATE Microcode Update ? Where is the meltdown TRAIN ?
  • JQB45
    Tesetilaro - Passmark benchmark results comparing the i3-8100, i5-4570 and the i5-3570.
  • ghettogamer
    $100 upwards for a motherboard ,g4560 is still the budget king!
  • John Philips
    Does it comes with the Meltdown and Spectre improvements?
  • Martell1977
    I have to agree, knowing that these reviews can take some time, I'm curious (as the others) if these tests include the S&M fixes?

    The performance loss might change the results here significantly. I know it's a lot of work, but I think we need new benchmarks for pretty much all Intel's new models. The current numbers are no longer accurate. Maybe retest some of AMD's to see if there is much, if any effect on their performance as well.