AMD Ryzen 3 3100 Review

Entry-level desktop processor released in 2020 with 4 cores and 8 threads. With base clock at 3.6GHz, max speed at 3.9GHz, and a 65W power rating. Ryzen 3 3100 is based on the Matisse 7nm family and part of the Ryzen 3 series.
Price 100%
Speed 72%
Productivity 64%
Gaming 89%
Category Desktop
Target entry-level
Socket Compatibility AM4
Integrated Graphics None
Cooler Included Yes
Overclock Potential 12 %
Year 2020 Model
Price 99 USD
Number of Cores 4 Cores
Number of Threads 8 Threads
Core Frequency 3.6 GHz
Boost Frequency 3.9 GHz
Max Stable Overclock 4.5 GHz
Power Consumption 65 W
Manufacturing Process 7 nm
L3 Cache 16 MB
Maximum Supported Memory 128 GB
Price-Value Score 100 %
Speed Score 72 %
Productivity Score 64 %
Gaming Score 89 %
Max 1080p Bottleneck 27.3 %
Max 1440p Bottleneck 13.7 %
Max 4K Bottleneck 6.8 %
Overall Score 51/100

The Ryzen 3 3100 is one of AMD's entry-level Desktop processors. It was released in 2020 with 4 cores and 8 threads. With base clock at 3.6GHz, max speed at 3.9GHz, and a 65W power rating. The Ryzen 3 3100 is based on the Matisse 7nm family and is part of the Ryzen 3 series.

Ryzen 3 3100 is also the successor of AMD's last gen Ryzen 3 2300X processor that was based on the Zen and 14nm process and was released in 2018.

In our mind, the best processors are the ones that deliver outstanding performance at a reasonable price point. And, the Ryzen 3 3100 absolutely nails this concept.

This processor packs 4-cores and 8-threads in a mainstream package for the first time, and does it at a similar price point as the Core i3-9100F, a processor with just 4-cores and 4-threads.

Now, we're asking ourselves whether or not the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 finally dethrones the Core i3-9100F as the de facto ruler of the mainstream processors. Ultimately, it depends: the Ryzen 3 3100 doesn't reach the same single-core performance as Intel, but we're starting to see more games adopt multi-threaded CPUs, so that doesn't matter as much.

AMD Ryzen 3 3rd Generation, and the Zen 2 architecture itself, is notable because it leads 7nm processors to the mainstream for the first time. But, there’s a lot more going on under the hood than just a smaller manufacturing node.

One thing that the switch to 7nm silicon has allowed for however, is an increase in cache size. AMD is now describing its L3 and L2 cache in a combined spec of 6 x 512 kB and 16. But, because the 7nm CPU cores are contained within their own chiplets, AMD was able to pack much more in – with a whopping 6 x 512 kB and 16. This is a really big deal, as it allows for much faster performance, especially when you’re shooting for high framerates in 1080p games, and will be especially effective in old esports titles like Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

AMD's Zen 2 series has landed, upping the ante with Intel in its high-stakes game for desktop PC market dominance with a well-rounded lineup of new chips that push mainstream platforms to higher core counts and more raw compute than we've ever seen. As a result, Intel's commanding presence in the enthusiast space is threatened in a way we haven't seen in over a decade.

The Ryzen 3 3100 takes the basic ingredients of the Zen 2 microarchitecture, which brings an average of 15% more instructions per cycle (IPC) throughput, and 7nm process and melds them into a high-performance chip that is impressive across our test suite, especially when we factor in the competitive pricing, backward compatibility with most AM4 socket motherboards, unlocked overclocking features, and bundled cooler.

The $99 Ryzen 3 3100 lands in the pricing gap between the $143 Core i3-9300 and the $74 Core i3-9100F. Of course, the Core i3-9100F slots in as the Ryzen 3 3100's natural competitor, and while it matches the AMD part with 4 physical cores, Intels trimming of the Hyper-Threading feature leaves it with less threads than the Ryzen 3 3100.

As we've seen, gaming remains an advantage for Intel, so if squeezing out every last frame is all you care about, Intel's processors are a good choice. Much of that performance advantage will be less noticeable when gaming at higher resolutions, or if you pair the processors with a lesser graphics card.

But, like most humans, if you do things other than gaming, the Ryzen 3 3100 offers a better mixture of performance in single- and multi-threaded applications. The Ryzen 3 3100 offers twice the threads of the price-comparable Core i3-9100F, and it wields them to great effect in threaded workloads. As such, rendering and encoding remain a strong suit of the Ryzen 3 chips, and AMD's improvements to AVX throughput have yielded impressive results.

It gets more interesting, however, when you compare the Ryzen 3 3100 to its main competitor. The Intel Core i3-9100F is available for $74, an 4-core processor with no hyperthreading, which means that the Ryzen 3 3100 offers twice the processing threads at a lower price tag. Intel is still king when it comes to single-core performance, but when it comes to multi-core ones, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is the absolute beast.

The AMD Ryzen 3 3100, like the rest of AMD's Matisse processors, is built on a 7nm manufacturing node – the smallest in a commercially available CPU. What this means for most people is lower power consumption and much improved performance at the same time.

What this all means is that the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is an absolute beast when it comes to multi-threaded workloads, especially at this price point. If you're counting on doing some video editing or compiling one hell of an Excel spreadsheet, you're going to see firsthand a performance boost with the Ryzen 3 3100.

Bear in mind, however, that if you already have something like the Ryzen 3 2300X, this generation doesn't offer the biggest boost in performance. You might want to wait another year or so before dropping a few hundred bucks, or even opt to splurge on a higher-end but pricier chip.

The AMD Graphics have been disabled and therefore the Ryzen 3 3100 has no form of integrated graphics -- just like the Core i3-9100F. This is meant to make the Ryzen 3 3100 cheaper than the Ryzen 3 2300X, even though Intel's list pricing doesn't make this apparent, in practice the Ryzen 3 3100 can be had for $99 while the Ryzen 3 2300X is still $141, making the newer chip 42% cheaper. It also means it’s cheaper than the Core i3-9100F which is currently retailing for $74.

If you're mostly playing games on your PC, you will be happy buying either processor. Both proved to be solid options and are evenly matched with a slight advantage to the Intel chip if you don't tune up the Core i3 processor. The base performance we showed for the Ryzen 3 3100 can be achieved with $90 memory, while the Core i3-9100F will require $110 - $120 memory in order to enable the frame rates shown here. It’s not a big cost difference and right now with anything less than an RTX 2070 or Vega 64 you’ll more than likely become GPU limited.

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 4-core desktop processor that was released in May 2020. AMD offers the Ryzen 3 3100 without integrated graphics. It runs $99 shipped and is ideal for those that plan on using it a system with a dedicated graphics card.

One of the nice things about the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 processors is that the retail boxed models come with a CPU cooler. So, you can pick something like the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 up for $99 and don’t need to spend any extra money on CPU cooling.

The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 retail boxed processor comes with the traditional ‘pancake’ CPU cooler. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done on this processor which is rated at 65W TDP. You do not need to have an aftermarket cooling solution unless you want to.

Our look today at the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 showed that it is a very capable processor. A 4-core processor sounds like it would be really under-powered these days, but we were pleasantly surprised with a snappy and very capable system. Having just 4 cores had this processor coming in at the back of the pack for heavily threaded workloads, but it performed better than some of its more expensive siblings in lightly threaded workloads where it shined thanks to its high base clocks.

Bottom Line, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 does not get much media attention since it is entry-level 3 Gen Core Matisse processor, but it is a very capable processor that still delivers a good computing experience for entry-level users.

That said, AMD still lags behind in frequency when the Core i3-9300 operates at 3.7GHz at any given moment and 4.3GHz when push comes to shove.

By comparison, Intel’s current 4-core processor is the Core i3-9300, which runs for a significantly higher $143 price tag. Going back a generation to Coffee Lake doesn’t make 4-core processors that much cheaper either, with the ageing Intel Core i3-8300 running for $138.

When it comes to encoding, the Ryzen 3 3100 shows off again by holding a frame rate that was twice higher than anything the Core i3-9300 could pull off. Surprisingly, this dramatic difference in performance didn’t carry over to the FryBench rendering test.

Now the biggest question is can AMD’s Ryzen 3 processor play games? The answer is simply yes as it got a respectable gaming score of 89% in our benchmarks.

The Ryzen 3 3100 clocks up to 3.9Ghz just as it promises on the box, and with AMD’s software you can take one of the cores all the way up to 4GHz. However, don’t expect to get much beyond that without seriously upgrading your cooling solution and manually tweaking voltages behind the operating system level.

If you’ve been looking for an affordable, powerhouse CPU that both works and parties hard, this is it.

That said, to squeeze out all the potential of this surprisingly potent entry-level chip, you’ll want (and need) to splurge on an enthusiast-grade X370, X470, X570 motherboard.

Fresh from a successful roll-out of mainstream Ryzen 3 CPUs, AMD's attack on Intel now extends down into the entry-level with its Ryzen 3 3100 processors, which the company is making available as of May 2020.

Although the 65W-rated cooler doesn't feature a copper base or the LEDs found on AMD's higher-end thermal solutions, it does handle Ryzen 3's heat output deftly enough to facilitate XFR-triggered frequencies. This gives you an extra 200 MHz. We were even able to overclock the Ryzen 3 3100 to 4.1 GHz within a reasonable temperature range. The fan also blows down onto the motherboard, which provide additional cooling around the socket. If you need more bling, AMD recently announced that it now offers the LED-equipped cooler separately.

Like all other Matisse chips, the Ryzen 3-series CPUs drop into any Socket AM4 motherboard. But most will find a home on boards equipped with the A320 chipset, which has provisions for overclocking and offers plenty of connectivity options. Unlike Intel, AMD plans to utilize its current socket until 2020, so upgrading to future models shouldn't require a new motherboard.