$100 Intel Core i3-12100F Faster than $300 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 in Nearly Every Game

With the Ryzen 5000 lineup, AMD completely ignored the entry-level market. The lowest-end Zen 3 SKU was the Ryzen 5 5600X with a price tag of $299. The Ryzen 3 5300G was launched towards the end of 2021, but it lacks a large L3 cache, thereby limiting its gaming performance. Furthermore, shortages have largely prevented the 5300G from becoming mainstream. Therefore, the launch of the lower-end Alder Lake-S processors has given Intel the opportunity to completely pull the budget segment from under AMD’s feet. And it does just that with its 12th Gen quad-core i3s.

Testing conducted by TG (video below) shows that the $100 Core i3-12100F outmaneuvers the $300 Ryzen 5 3600 in every game tested. The deltas stay between 5-10% but the fact that the 12100F manages to beat a 3x more expensive CPU is absolutely remarkable. Under normal circumstances, the Ryzen 5 3600 being a few years old would have been priced close to $200, but courtesy of the semiconductor shortages, its market price is still ~$300.

As for the i3-12100F, its sticker price is $129.99, but most retailers are selling it for $110, making it an unmatched budget gaming CPU in the $100-150 range. On the downside, stocks have mostly dried out, and we’ll have to wait and see if Intel can satisfy the demands of the mainstream market.


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.

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