Intel Core i3-9100 4-Core Processor Review
A 9th Gen Coffee Lake-R Processor For Under $90
Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the Intel Core i3-9100 quad-core desktop processor that was released in May 2019. Intel offers the Core i3-9100 with and without integrated graphics. The base model is the Intel Core i3-9100F without graphics that runs $89.99 shipped and is ideal for those that plan on using it a system with a dedicated graphics card. For those that are looking for a CPU with integrated graphics you can get the Intel Core i3-9100 for $119.99 shipped with Intel UHD Graphics 630. Other than the graphics block being enabled/disabled the two processors are identical.
Both Intel Core i3-9100 models have four cores/threads with a base clock of 3.6 GHz with a max turbo clock frequency of 4.2 GHz. Each have 6MB of Intel Smart Cache, are rated at 65W TDP and run on Intel 300 series chipset motherboards with the LGA1151 socket. Neither model is fully unlocked since these are not ‘K-sku’ processors. That means the Core i3-9100 processors are multiplier locked, but the good news is that the news is that the bus speed is unlocked allowing for some clock adjustments.
We would also like to point out that this was a brand new retail boxed processor that we bought at a local retailer. We can’t remember the last time Intel sampled us with a Core i3 processor and we really wanted to look at the entry-level processors from Intel. Being able to pick up a 9th Gen CoffeeLake Refresh (Coffee Lake-R) processor for under $90 sounds pretty enticing. The clock speeds on the Core i3-9100 also look pretty good on paper as it has a base clock of 3.6 GHz is almost 25% higher than the 2.9 GHz base clock found on the Core i5-9400 6-core processor ($149.99 shipped). So, for single-threaded or lightly threaded applications the Core-9100 should outperform its older siblings that have more cores.
One of the nice things about the Intel Core i3-9100 processors is that both of the retail boxed models come with a CPU cooler. So, you can pick something like the Intel Core i3-9100F up $89.99 and don’t need to spend any extra money on CPU cooling.
The Intel Core i3-9100 retail boxed processor comes with the traditional ‘pancake’ CPU cooler as you can see from the image above. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done on this processor is rated at just 65W TDP. You do not need to have an aftermarket cooling solution unless you want to.
Before we jump into testing here is a quick look at the Intel Core i3-8100 ‘Coffee Lake-R’ processor in CPU-Z 1.89.1 with the DDR4 memory set to run at 3400MHz.
Let’s take a quick look at the test system and then get straight to the benchmarks.