Intel Core i3-8100 CPU Review

Grand Theft Auto V, Hitman & Shadow of Mordor

Grand Theft Auto V

Overclocking has a big impact on the -8350K's performance, allowing it to jump ahead of our test pool. 

The Core i3-8100 averages an impressive 83.3 FPS, which is way ahead of the Core i3-7100's 58.4 FPS. That ~43% generational leap is typically unheard of. But the -8100 still trails Intel's Core i3-8350K at stock settings, which has a much higher base frequency. The Ryzen processors lag Intel's Coffee Lake-based models, even after tuning. 

Hitman (2016)

The Core i3-8350K redefines what we expect from a Core i3. Given its higher overall cost, though, this is really more like a Core i5.

Core i3-8100 yields surprisingly good performance in Hitman, even if it isn't as formidable as the K-series model. The average FPS line chart, which only includes price-equivalent CPUs, highlights two performance tiers: the Kaby Lake and Ryzen processors offer significantly less performance than the Coffee Lake-based chips.

Intel's Core i3-7100 encounters several frame time outliers during the benchmark, while the -8100's additional cores provide a smoother experience.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

This title is about as single-threaded as it gets, so clock rates and IPC throughput affect frame rates most.

We expected the Core i3-7100's higher clock rate to provide an advantage over the Core i3-8100 in this benchmark, similar to how a stock -7350K beats the -8350K. Surprisingly, the -8100 leads, albeit by a slim margin, while the Ryzen models coalesce at the bottom of the chart. But it's noteworthy that even the slowest processor averages 124.7 FPS.

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  • 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.

    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=3103&cmp[]=1896&cmp[]=827
  • 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.
  • IIIRattleHeadIII
    @JOHN PHILIPS
    they need a new architecture design to be secure against the Meltdown and Specter exploits... this is just a cut i7 8700k without hyper-threading and boost clocks.
  • none12345
    Does this review contain the meltdown and spectre patches/bios updates?
  • darcotech
    So here you see why competition is important and why AMD is important.

    If AMD didn't come up with great CPUs, Intel would still i3 with 2 cores/ 4 threads.

    Now, you are basically getting i5s for the price of i3s.

    Thanks to AMD. And if you can, maybe you should support AMD by buying their products.

    I can not congratulate Intel, as they could come up with this kind of CPU years ago, but they wouldn't. Actually, this product proves they do not care about their customers. Not to mention changing sockets all the time.

    If you like being milked, go for Intel, if not go for AMD.
  • InvalidError
    1652322 said:
    Does it comes with the Meltdown and Spectre improvements?

    It takes 2-3 years to design a new chip. Intel was notified about them around June 2017 while Cannonlake's design has been complete for over a year already (launch held back by on-going fab delays), which means that the first chips immune (or at least less susceptible) to the issues won't be launching until 2019. That's going to be Icelake at the earliest.
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    125865 said:
    Still missing affordable motherboards...


    Coming soon. :)
  • larkspur
    35719 said:
    If you like being milked, go for Intel, if not go for AMD.

    It's more like: "If you like being milked then choose a CPU based on its brand-name. If not, choose the best-performing CPU for your intended usage and budget based on research."
  • AlistairAB
    276663 said:
    Great CPU for the $$$!


    Ryzen 2200G coming out in a few weeks. Same CPU performance with double the iGPU performance for less money, $99. And it works with a $50 motherboard. This CPU is a big improvement from last year's i3 but still too little too late. Already got plans to make 3 computers using the 2200G.
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    1666740 said:
    276663 said:
    Great CPU for the $$$!
    Ryzen 2200G coming out in a few weeks. Same CPU performance with double the iGPU performance for less money, $99. And it works with a $50 motherboard. This CPU is a big improvement from last year's i3 but still too little too late. Already got plans to make 3 computers using the 2200G.


    I'm an Intel only builder , but does seem promising.
  • AlistairAB
    276663 said:
    1666740 said:
    276663 said:
    Great CPU for the $$$!
    Ryzen 2200G coming out in a few weeks. Same CPU performance with double the iGPU performance for less money, $99. And it works with a $50 motherboard. This CPU is a big improvement from last year's i3 but still too little too late. Already got plans to make 3 computers using the 2200G.
    I'm an Intel only builder , but does seem promising.


    I used to build Intel only too, but the integrated graphics are really poor with Intel. Was enjoying the 50 percent yearly improvements, then nothing since Haswell unfortunately. The new Ryzen 2200G is so good as it will not be a cut down 8 core, it is a native 4 core, higher clocks and lower cost to manufacture.
  • PaulAlcorn
    2631818 said:
    I don't see the point of this review? This get the UPDATE ? Bios UPDATE Microcode Update ? Where is the meltdown TRAIN ?


    This is a totally valid concern.

    We are working on an article that will cover the current state of patches and the performance impact with i3/R3, i5/R5, i7/R7, and HEDT processors. This is a priority item.

    However, the patches are still new, and as we've already seen, the patches are causing unexpected reboots on some systems. That means there will be patches for the patches (heh) soon. Also, we are to the understanding that these initial patches are of the emergency variety, and that more refined patches are en route. Unfortunately, the ETA is unknown.

    We are in contact with all the relevant players, including Intel/AMD and motherboard vendors, to assess the situation and determine when and where it makes sense to begin en-masse retesting of our test pools. As you can imagine, this is an undertaking, but the situation is fluid and we aren’t sure if the patches are final. That could lead to a lot of wasted effort.

    The Meltdown/Spectre patches are totally uncharted territory -- I can't think of a comparable situation with this much of a far-ranging impact. We definitely have every intention of including post-patch performance in our reviews as soon as it is reasonably possible. The testing for this article began before the patches were announced, so it does not reflect post-patch performance.
  • InvalidError
    1920539 said:
    The testing for this article began before the patches were announced, so it does not reflect post-patch performance.

    Since exploiting meltdown/spectre effectively require that your system's security already be compromised by malware or remote code execution, I suspect many people will be choosing not to apply patches and simply be more careful about avoiding questionable websites and downloads. I know that's the option I'm favoring for myself. The "beta" emergency patch and updates will hopefully be long gone by the time I manually initiate Windows Update again.
  • silverblue
    Not to nitpick, but the Ryzen 5 1500X has been reduced by $15. It makes little difference to the pricing charts, though.

    Also, I'm concerned that the Ryzen 5 1400 is being outperformed by the lower clocked Ryzen 3 1200 in a few benchmarks. Civ VI AI test - even the stock 1200 beats the overclocked 1400. On the balance of things, a 1400 at 3.9GHz should match the 1500X at 3.9GHz, assuming everything else is equal.
  • PaulAlcorn
    267802 said:
    Not to nitpick, but the Ryzen 5 1500X has been reduced by $15. It makes little difference to the pricing charts, though. Also, I'm concerned that the Ryzen 5 1400 is being outperformed by the lower clocked Ryzen 3 1200 in a few benchmarks. Civ VI AI test - even the stock 1200 beats the overclocked 1400. On the balance of things, a 1400 at 3.9GHz should match the 1500X at 3.9GHz, assuming everything else is equal.


    Yes, the 1400 does seem odd in a few areas. There are a few caveats with that processor, though. It only has 8MB of L3 compared to the 1500X's 16MB, which does have an impact. We also had problems with the 1400's memory OC. It could only run at 2933 MT/s while the 1200 ran at 3200 MT/s.
  • silverblue
    I forgot about the difference in L3 cache, sorry about that. That 1200 really looks good when overclocked.