Intel just revealed a surprise new processor to beat AMD Ryzen in budget gaming PCs

(Image credit: Future)

Intel’s Core i3-10100F is a new spin on a Comet Lake processor which has just been spotted online, and should soon be on its way to make a tempting option for a budget gaming PC.

The CPU has just been listed on Intel’s Ark product database with a launch date of Q4, but the chip giant hasn’t announced anything official about the processor or when it might hit shelves yet.

As spotted by Tom’s Hardware, it’s a quad-core (eight-thread) processor with a base clock of 3.6GHz and boost to 4.3GHz, and will retail between $79 and $97, offering a seriously good value proposition in terms of price/performance for an affordable gaming PC. With a 65W TDP, it’ll also be easy to keep this CPU cool.

Currently, its predecessor the Core i3-9100F sells for not much more than $70, and you’re getting a lot of chip for the money – even more so with this new product and the improvement the Comet Lake architecture brings.

Remember that the ‘F’ suffix means that this is the version of the existing Core i3-10100 with no integrated graphics, and that’s part of the reason why it’s so cheap. However, anyone building a gaming PC will want a discrete graphics card of some kind anyway, and this CPU will go nicely with a budget GPU (or even something a bit beefier).

Ryzen rival

All eyes might be on AMD’s Ryzen 5000 processors right now, the next-gen Zen 3 chips which will be launched on November 5, but Intel could be quietly carving out an impressive amount of sales at the low-end (where Zen 3-based CPUs won’t initially bring anything to the table) with the 10100F.

As Tom’s observes, it offers similar specs to the Ryzen 3 3300X (TDP of 65W, no integrated graphics), albeit with a slightly slower base clock (by 200MHz, but boost is the same) and less on-board cache, but a big dip in price; the Ryzen chip is pitched at $120 (and what’s more, it’s generally very thin on the ground stock-wise).

Intel may be going with a very low-key launch for the Core i3-10100F, but we shouldn’t underestimate the impact that this CPU might have at the budget-conscious end of the gaming PC market.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).