This is the most frequently asked question by new budget-friendly gamers who want to play games but are not willing to spend more on high-end processors.
Intel’s Core i3 processors are entry-level CPUs that are not as potent as the high-end processor like the i5 and i7 11th generations but can easily suffice your need for average gaming.
The current quad-core Core i3 processors might seem weaker than flagship processors with eight cores or more. It might appear even less capable if you have an older Core i3 processor with only two cores and just four threads.
You don’t have to buy mid-tier equipment for PC gaming. We actually built the Best gaming PC Setup for computer enthusiasts with a cheaper processor than the Core i3 processor.
Although your rig will not be as fast as if it had a Core i5 processor, you can still pair it up with a graphics card. We recommend that you choose a similar-priced graphics card with maximum spending of $120 to $150. You can then adjust the settings until you achieve a balance between frame rate and visual quality.
You may have to adjust the resolution or graphics presets depending on what the GPU is capable of. However, it should be possible to find an acceptable sweet thing.
Also, if you are stuck on the deciding part of choosing the best graphics card for Gaming to connect it with the intel core i3 processor you can definitely check out our article for the Best graphics cards for Gaming, which would help you in clearing all your doubts about choosing.
But, in general, you can definitely go for the Nvidia’s GTX 1650 super that would only price you 10 to 20 dollars more than the vanilla 1650 and the stupendous performance you get is absolutely worth paying some extra bucks.
We would suggest you avoid 5500XT from AMD which is thought to be the rival of the prior two cards but it really doesn’t give results as per the hype of its name and somewhere lags in the performance too.
Well, leaving this discussion of graphics cards aside, let’s focus on the main point.
Gaming with less than the 8GB system RAM that is common today doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t run games. You can play the titles you wish to if the amount you have meets the system requirements or better, the recommended specs.
You might consider upgrading to a minimum of 8GB, since AAA titles can be more demanding than the system RAM, even with dedicated graphics cards. RAM prices are very affordable right now, even older DDR3 RAM. This upgrade will not cost much.
The Core i3 CPUs remain a great choice for gamers on a tight budget. Here are the top i3 CPU options if you’re looking for an Intel Core i3 gaming processor.
The Core i3 series of Intel processors was the best option for budget gaming systems. Two cores combined with hyperthreading were enough to run all games at max settings of 1080p. The arrival of Ryzen CPUs AMD in 2017 ended that era. Ryzen was the first CPU to offer 4 cores and hyperthreading at the same price as Core i3 CPUs (2 cores/4 threads). It was a budget gaming king.
Intel needed to react to AMD’s loss and increased the core count for every category of CPU. The Core i3 CPU was 4 core/4thread and was a great choice for budget-minded gamers. The Core i3 CPU lineup was almost destroyed when AMD released the 3rd gen Ryzen CPU line-up in early 2019. The K versions were too costly for what they offered and left only the most affordable Core i3 model options for gamers with limited budgets.
Best Intel Core i3 processors
Intel Core i3-10100
Core i3-10100 is currently the best Core i3 processor for gaming. It delivers solid gaming performance, a little less than the Ryzen 3 3300X or Core i7-7700K. If you have the right graphics card, all games will run at 60 frames per second or less.
You can use the CPU for 1080p or 1440p resolution. High refresh rate gaming is not possible. Don’t spend more money on a motherboard than a B460. There won’t be a significant performance boost. Faster memory means about a 5 percent increase in performance.
A new 3300X can be purchased in place of the 10100. Although the Ryzen CPU is about the same price as the 10100, it can run faster on B450 or B550 motherboards. If you buy a good board, you can upgrade later to a Ryzen CPU with 8 or even 12 cores.
Is an Intel Core i3 Future-proof Processor?
Gaming performance can be improved by using Core i3 CPUs 8th or 9th gen Core i3 CPUs, even when playing games that use a lot of CPU. You won’t reach three-digit frame rates and you might experience some stuttering. You can still expect solid gaming performance from a Core i3 model in most cases.
With a high-performance graphics card, we can achieve 60 frames per second and even higher performance. In games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Origins, Battlefield V, or Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the.1 percent cutoff can drop to or below 30 frames per second.
But, in this, you have to make note that there are a few recent games like Metro Exodus, Rage 2, Hitman 2, etc, even though they are not hard on the CPU and can induce some lagging problems while playing but that issue is quite negligible.
Such minor issues might look unnoticeable but are always there and are detected while running benchmark tests.
Surely, The Core i3 10100 gaming CPU is a good budget option. It can run 1080p or 1440p 60fps gaming. If you are playing esports titles at 1080p resolution, high-refresh gaming is not for you.
Mike is an experienced video game journalist and enthusiast with more than a decade of experience in the gaming industry. As founder and lead editor of mygamingsetup.net, Mike strives to keep gamers up-to-date with the latest gaming news, guides, tips and tricks for popular video games.