When selecting a CPU for gaming, the most important characteristics are the clock speed (or frequency), number of cores and threads, cache size, and type of memory it supports. Additional considerations like integrated graphics and overclocking needs may also influence your selection.
In addition to discussing how good the 3100 is for gaming, this article will discuss our recommended:
When using AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 CPU for gaming, you can expect good game performance with either a high-performance CPU cooler or a stock CPU cooler.
Check out our Recommended AM4 Coolers below.
This performance assessment is based on the following characteristics of the CPU and their relevance to the latest graphics-intense games:
- 16 MB of L3 cache is mediocre for performance
- 4 cores allow for mediocre performance
- 3.6 GHz base frequency
- 3.9 GHz single-core max boost frequency is good for performance (requires a high-end cooler)
- Max stock DDR4 speed of 3200 MHz can be good for performance
- Overclocking support can be excellent for performance (requires a high-end cooler)
- PCIe 4.0 support can be excellent for performance (with the fastest SSDs and GPUs)
A CPU's cache is a small amount of memory, close to the CPU cores, containing recently used data.
Games performance can improve as cache size increases, as it will reduce delays when retrieving commonly used game assets from memory.
An L3 cache capacity of at least 20 MB is ideal for game performance.
The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 has an L3 cache capacity of 16 MB.
The 3100's 16 MB of L3 cache is mediocre for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
Increased core counts can improve the performance of games that use them, but most modern games don't benefit from having more than 6–8 cores. Remember that cache sizes often increase along with core counts, so if you want to increase your L3 cache, you may need to get a CPU with more cores.
AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 CPUs have 4 cores.
The 3100's 4 cores allow for mediocre performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
Single-core performance is essential for some games, as many don't take full advantage of multiple cores.
Boost frequencies are only achieved under ideal circumstances. The safest strategy for consistent gaming performance with a basic cooler is to get a higher base clock speed processor. However, with adequate cooling, you may be able to maintain speeds near the max boost frequency.
When using a high-end cooler, the 3100 CPU's support for overclocking can be excellent for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
The processor has a 3.6 GHz base frequency and supports a 3.9 GHz single-core max boost frequency.
The 3100 has a 3.6 GHz base frequency, which is the speed before boosting. You can reach these base frequencies even without a high-end cooler.
With a high-end cooler, the 3100's 3.9 GHz single-core max boost frequency is good for performance with the latest graphics-intense games. You can maintain these frequencies with a high-end cooler.
Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 3 3100, for recommended coolers that can maintain these boost frequencies.
The 3100 CPU's support for DDR4 with a max stock speed of 3200 MHz can be good for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
Faster PC memory can improve game performance and frame rates, but using the fastest RAM may not have as much of an impact as upgrading your CPU and graphics card or adding more RAM.
Learn about our recommended RAM for the 3100 in Choosing the Best RAM for AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 CPU.
The 3100 model name doesn't have a G suffix. Non-G CPUs do not contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card is required.
A CPU cooler's TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating indicates how much heat it can dissipate in watts. If the cooler can't keep your CPU cool enough, your CPU may throttle (slow down), and your cooler will constantly run at full speed.
AMD CPU specifications indicate this power dissipation number as "TDP."
The Ryzen 3 3100 has a TDP of 65 watts.
A CPU cooler can still work with a lower TDP rating than the TDP of a CPU. However, the CPU will eventually throttle itself to a lower frequency to allow itself to cool.
The CPU may not achieve or maintain maximum boost speeds without adequate cooling.
Learn more in What is the Best Type of CPU cooler for a Gaming PC?
For AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3 3100 processor, you'll need a motherboard with an AM4 socket and a compatible chipset.
Motherboards for AMD processors are made with chipsets provided by AMD. Each chipset offers a unique set of capabilities. However, motherboards must explicitly support features and capabilities for you to use them. Verify that a motherboard supports the features and capabilities you desire.
Ryzen 3000-series CPUs without Radeon Graphics, which includes the Ryzen 3 3100, are compatible with all 400 and 500-series consumer chipsets. Supported chipsets include the X570, B550, A520, X470, and B450.
The older X370 and B350 300-series chipsets are generally not compatible, out of the box, with Ryzen 3000-series CPUs without Radeon Graphics. However, the 300-series chipsets may be supported by some motherboard manufacturers, when using a specific compatible BIOS. This CPU is not compatible with the A320 300-series chipset.
The X570 is our recommended chipset for the Ryzen 3 3100 CPU, as it provides the most functionality and full support for PCIe 4.0. The Ryzen 3 3100 CPU also supports PCIe 4.0.
Only the X570 chipset provides PCIe 4.0 lanes via the chipset.
When using motherboards with the B550 chipset, you still have PCIe 4.0 lanes from the CPU for PCI-Express slots; however, all PCIe or M.2 slots connected via these chipsets will run at PCIe 3.0 speeds.
For a detailed comparison of these chipsets and PCIe speeds, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 CPU?.
- Find Zen 2 X570 Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find Zen 2 B550 Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find Zen 2 A520 Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Value Motherboard
- Our recommended value motherboard to pair with the Ryzen 3 3100:
- High-quality components
- PCIe 4.0 support
- One Gb Ethernet port is faster than most Internet speeds
- Two NVMe M.2 slots both run at PCIe 4.0 speeds
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi provides the convenience of connecting to a Wi-Fi router
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 offers 10 Gbps USB speeds
- Check the latest price of the ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) Motherboard on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Feature Motherboard
- Our recommended feature-rich motherboard to pair with the Ryzen 3 3100:
- PCIe 4.0 support
- One 2.5 Gb Ethernet port is faster than most Internet speeds, with room to spare for file transfers
- Two NVMe M.2 slots both run at PCIe 4.0 speeds
- Wi-Fi 6 provides great Wi-Fi speeds (not Wi-Fi 6E, but still really good)
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 offers 10 Gbps USB speeds
- Check the latest price of the MSI MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI Motherboard on Amazon (affiliate link).
Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 3 3100, for more info about how to choose the best CPU cooler.
The boxed version of the Ryzen 3 3100 CPU comes with the Wraith Stealth CPU cooler. While stock coolers will prevent your CPU from overheating, your CPU will throttle its performance during games and other intensive tasks. Higher TDP coolers will keep your CPU at turbo speeds for longer durations. Stock coolers are often quite loud at their maximum speed.
Best All-in-One Liquid Cooler
- Check the latest price of the CORSAIR iCUE H150i ELITE LCD on Amazon (affiliate link).
- This cooler is designed to fit Intel and AMD sockets, including the following models: Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM5, AM4, sTRX4, sTR4 (Intel LGA 1700 is supported with CW-8960091 or CW-8960093 kits).
- 350-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- It provides powerful low-noise cooling and RGB lighting with a customizable LCD display which can display your CPU temperature or other graphics.
- It has 120mm CORSAIR ML RGB ELITE magnetic levitation fans for great CPU cooling performance.
- Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space!
Runner-Up All-in-One Liquid Cooler
- Check the latest price of the Thermaltake TOUGHLIQUID 360 ARGB Sync on Amazon (affiliate link).
- TOUGHLIQUID Series is designed to fit Intel and AMD sockets, including the following models: Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-v3, 2066 and AMD AM5, AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2, FM1.
- We estimate that this supports roughly a 250-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- This Liquid cooler supports 5V RGB compatible motherboards.
- Equipped with TOUGHFAN 12 2000RPM and supports ARGB lighting on the waterblock.
- Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space. There is a smaller version available, if needed.
Best Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15
- Dual 140 mm fans provide 220-watt TDP (183 NSPR) of cooling capability.
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 2011, 2066 and AMD AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM2+.
- Quiet operation at 24.6 dBA.
Runner Up - Dual-Fan Air CPU Cooler: Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510
- This CPU cooler doesn't have any fancy LED lights, but the dual 120 mm fans do a great job of cooling AM4 CPUs.
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 and AMD AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2, AM2+, FM2, FM1.
- Suppose you think this cooler will take up too much space. In that case, Thermaltake has a few single-fan TOUGHAIR variants which use different orientations.
- This CPU cooler has a 2000 RPM max speed for optimal cooling.
- 180-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
Before purchasing memory, review your motherboard specification to verify which speeds are supported. For example, if a DDR4 motherboard stated that it supports "DDR4 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200 / 3000," that would mean that it could support DDR4-3400, DDR4-3333, and DDR4-3300 with memory overclocking, and DDR4-3200 and DDR4-3000 at stock speeds. Motherboard specifications also indicate the maximum capacity per stick of RAM (DIMM) and across all slots.
Recommended Stock-Speed DDR4
- At an effective frequency of 3200 MHz, this memory hits the fastest DDR4 speed supported by AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 CPU without overclocking.
- The low-profile form factor ensures that the heat spreaders don't get in the way of other devices, including your CPU heatsink.
Recommended DDR4 for Overclockers
- This DDR4 memory is designed for overclocking to an effective frequency of 3600 MHz.
- Compact heat spreaders avoid conflicting with a CPU cooler.
- Which Chipsets Work With AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 CPU?
- Choosing the Best Power Supply for AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 CPU
- Choosing the Best Motherboard for AMD's Ryzen 3 3100
- Is the Ryzen 3 3100 CPU Good for Gaming?
- Choosing the Best RAM for AMD's Ryzen 3 3100 CPU
- Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for AMD's Ryzen 3 3100
- What Is the TDP of the Ryzen 3 3100 CPU?
- How Many Cores Do AMD Ryzen 3 3100 CPUs Have?
Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:
- CPU Coolers:
- Graphics Cards:
- Power Supplies: