Benchmarks show AMD might beat Intel in value contest over next-gen budget CPUs

Both AMD and Intel have a lot in store for us in the budget gaming CPU space

AMD Ryzen Slab

With Intel recently announcing its long-awaited Comet Lake desktop CPU lineup not too long after releasing its laptop CPUs, AMD has also released its Ryzen 3 3100, a CPU targeted at the budget market. Recent benchmarks show that these CPUs are toe-to-toe in performance, meaning the 3100’s lower expected price could swing the value trophy over in the red team’s direction.

These benchmarks (one for 3DMark Time Spy, and one for 3DMark Fire Strike) were spotted and posted on Twitter by prolific leaker Tum Apisak, and show Intel’s Core i3 10100 and AMD’s Ryzen 3 3100 running almost the same performance figures. In Time Spy, they both hit around 7,000 in their 3DMark scores, and in Fire Strike they hit between 16-17,000.

One peculiarity in the benchmark results is that one of the Fire Strike runs using the Core i3 10100 scored a chunk lower than its second run, but Apisak claims this is simply because of the motherboard’s ‘Base Frequency Boost’ technology.

It’s important to note why these two CPUs are similar enough to fairly pit against one another. These are both 4C/8T processors (isn’t it strange to think how far we’ve come that the term ‘budget’ now refers to quad-core CPUs?). The Core i3 10100 sits at a base clock of 3.6GHz, and boosts up to 4.3GHz (and 4.1GHz all core boost). The Ryzen 3 3100 also sits at 3.6GHz base clock, and boosts up to 3.9GHz. Both Processors are rated at a low 65W TDP.

So, these processors are strikingly similar in their base specs, with the AMD CPU having a slightly lower turbo clock, this mirroring the difference between Comet Lake-H and Renoir processors. But that’s not the whole picture, of course. Clock speeds and cores can only tell you so much, and only real world testing can tell you the rest – which is exactly what these benchmarks do. Benchmarks and in-game performance testing shows you how well these CPUs actually perform, and no amount of specification analysis can get you as close as these to a real world performance comparison.

Considering these benchmark results show similar performance from both budget CPUs, the target is placed instead on the value offering. While both CPUs are expected to be cheap, AMD’s Ryzen 3 3100 should be cheaper. If prices stay as expected, Intel will have made great improvements on its CPU’s price offerings for this Comet Lake generation over the last, with the Core i3 10100 costing only $122. But the value proposition from AMD still wins out with the Ryzen 3 3100 retailing for $99.

But just as specs don’t tell the whole story, neither do a couple of benchmark runs. It’ll only be when these two CPUs are released and available for full performance comparisons that we’ll know which one takes the value trophy.