TL;DR: AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series announcement has got many PC fans excited, but not everyone is willing or able to spend $300 – $800 on a new processor. Those on a budget might want to turn their attention to Intel, which has quietly launched the 4-core/8-thread Core i3-10100F for under $100.
Intel already has several versions of this 10th-generation Comet Lake chip. This new incarnation looks to target anyone after a sub-$100 CPU—because it lacks integrated graphics, as denoted by the “F” suffix, the processor has an MSRP of $79 – $97.
The Core i3-10100F is based on the same 14nm process as the rest of the Comet Lake series, offering a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost of 4.3 GHz. It also features 6MB of L3 cache and a generous 65W TDP (thermal power design).
It appears that with the Core i3-10100F, Intel is releasing a chip to compete against AMD’s Ryzen 3 3300X. Team red’s option features the same boost clock, TDP, lack of integrated graphics, and core/thread count, though its base is slightly faster (3.8 GHz), and it has more L3 cache (16MB). The Ryzen chip is also more expensive at $120.
We really liked the Ryzen 3300X, awarding it—and the Ryzen 3 3100—a score of 91 in our review and calling them “the new undisputed budget champions.” But purchasing the former has been difficult for quite a few months now, with most retailers listing it as out of stock. So while Intel might find the Ryzen 5000 series eating (more) into its mainstream CPU market, the Core i3-10100F could become a favorite among budget buyers.