Friday, August 26, 2011

Intel i3-2100 Processor Review by Kirk Spencer

When building a new computer one of the most important decisions has to do with which processor to buy. Most of this will depend on what the computer will be used for. However, we tend to want fast responsive computers. We're here to tell you that you can have a fast computer without breaking the piggy bank. Intel's i3-2100 which launched earlier this year is the perfect candidate:

Status Launched
Launch Date Q1'11
Processor Number i3-2100
# of Cores 2
# of Threads 4
Clock Speed 3.1 GHz
Intel® Smart Cache 3 MB
Bus/Core Ratio 31
DMI 5 GT/s
Instruction Set 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions SSE4.1/4.2, AVX
Embedded Options Available No
Lithography 32 nm
Max TDP 65 W
Recommended Channel Price $117.00

Memory Specifications
Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1066/1333
# of Memory Channels 2
Max Memory Bandwidth 21 GB/s

Graphics Specifications
Processor Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 2000
Graphics Base Frequency 850 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency 1.1 GHz
Intel® Quick Sync Video Yes
Intel® InTru™ 3D Technology, Yes
Intel® Insider™ Yes
Intel® Wireless Display No
Intel® Flexible Display Interface (Intel® FDI) Yes
Intel® Clear Video HD Technology Yes
Dual Display Capable Yes

A major highlight here is the included graphics processor. The second generation i3 processors have an included Intel HD Graphics 2000 GPU. For only $117 you've got a GPU that can handle 3D gaming and it supports dual monitors. You'll probably have to turn down the special effects, but for the price it's quite capable.

The i3-2100 is clocked at 3.1GHz. It doesn't come with the Turbo Boost Technology we've seen in their other more expensive processors, but 3.1 GHz for such a low price is a bargain. The processor has 2 cores and comes with Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology.

3DMark Vantage:

We can see immediately that the i7 is still a force to be reckoned with in terms of CPU power. The Graphics score only suffered slightly from the processor.

The i3 holds its own for the rest of the 3DMark Vantage scores, only dropping behind slightly on the GPU Particles FPS.


The i3 trails behind again in rendering when put up against other quad core processors.

This score really says it all. The dual core i3 might not be as powerful as the other quad cores offered by Intel, but a single core from our i3 was capable of outperforming a single core from several other processors including the first gen i7. Now that's impressive!

Let's take a minute to talk about real world experience. If you're looking for a processor that is fast and responsive, the i3 is all that. With a GTX 470 graphics card, we were able to turn all our favorite special effects all the way up and play games without noticing any lag.


If you're looking to build a gaming computer and you're cash is limited you might want to consider going with one of these outstanding i3 processors. Put the extra money towards a better dedicated graphics card. For every day usage the i3 is an excellent choice and it comes with a very affordable price tag. You can build a very affordable computer with this processor taking advantage of its built in GPU. Based on it’s features and performance, the Intel i3-2100 has earner our Value Award. Keep up the great work Intel! For more info and complete specs, check out their website at