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 10100F is for gaming, this article will discuss our recommended:
When using Intel's Core i3-10100F CPU for gaming, you can expect mediocre game performance with a high-performance CPU cooler or poor game performance with a basic or stock CPU cooler.
Check out our Recommended LGA 1200 Coolers below.
This performance assessment is based on the following characteristics of the CPU and their relevance to the latest graphics-intense games:
- 6 MB of L3 cache is poor for performance
- 4 cores allow for mediocre performance
- 3.60 GHz base frequency
- 4.30 GHz single-core max turbo boost frequency is excellent for performance (requires a high-end cooler)
- Max stock DDR4 speed of 2666 MHz can be mediocre for performance
- Lack of overclocking support cannot benefit performance
- PCIe 3.0 support can be poor for performance (limits potential of 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 Intel Core i3-10100F has an L3 cache capacity of 6 MB.
The 10100F's lackluster 6 MB of L3 cache is poor 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.
Intel's Core i3-10100F CPUs have 4 cores.
The 10100F'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.
Turbo 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.
The 10100F CPU's lack of support for overclocking cannot benefit performance with the latest graphics-intense games.
The processor has a 3.60 GHz base frequency and supports a 4.30 GHz single-core max turbo frequency.
The 10100F has a 3.60 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 10100F's 4.30 GHz single-core max turbo boost frequency is excellent 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 Intel's Core i3-10100F, for recommended coolers that can maintain these boost frequencies.
The 10100F CPU's support for DDR4 with a max stock speed of 2666 MHz can be mediocre 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 10100F in Choosing the Best RAM for Intel's Core i3-10100F CPU.
|Processor Name Suffix||Meaning|
|F||"F" means it requires discrete graphics. In other words, it doesn't have integrated graphics (basically a GPU built into the processor), thus requiring a standalone graphics card.|
The 10100F model name has an F suffix. F-suffixed CPUs do not contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card is required.
The 10100F model name doesn't have a K suffix. Non-K CPUs can not be overclocked.
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.
Intel CPU specifications indicate this power dissipation number as "Processor Base Power."
The Core i3-10100F 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 turbo speeds without adequate cooling.
Learn more in Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i3-10100F.
For Intel's 10th generation Core i3 10100F processor, you'll need a motherboard with an LGA 1200 socket and a compatible 400-series or 500-series chipset.
Motherboards for Intel processors are made with chipsets provided by Intel. 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.
The lack of a "K" suffix in the model name 10100F means it doesn't support overclocking. Because of this, you may not need to use the top of the line Z590 or Z490 chipsets which support overclocking. Instead, you can use a motherboard with Intel's other 500 or 400-series desktop chipsets listed below.
For compatiblity with Intel's 10th generation Core processors, you'll need a 400-series or 500-series chipset.
The Z590, H570, B560, and H510 500-series chipsets are compatible with Intel's 10th generation Core processors. These are roughly listed from most to least functionality. The W580 and Q570 chipsets are also compatible, but are intended for workstation and business use cases; their availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited. Intel's 500-series chipsets were primarily designed for 11th generation Core processors but are backward compatible with all 10th generation Core processors.
The Z490, H470, B460, and H410 400-series chipsets are also all compatible with Intel's 10th generation Core processors. Similar to the 500-series chipsets, the W480 and Q470 chipsets are also compatible, but are intended for workstation and business use cases; their availability in stand-alone motherboards is limited.
For a detailed comparison of these chipsets, check out my article Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i3-10100F CPU?.
- Find Z590 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H570 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find B560 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H510 Chipset 11th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find Z490 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H470 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find B460 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Find H410 Chipset 10th Gen Motherboards on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Feature Motherboard: MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi
- Our recommended feature-rich motherboard to pair with the Core i3-10100F is MSI's MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi motherboard:
- Two NVMe M.2 slots at PCIe 3.0 speeds.
- Wi-Fi 6 support provides fast Wi-Fi connectivity to your desktop.
- Bluetooth 5.0 is great for streaming music to Bluetooth headphones.
- One 2.5 Gb Ethernet port are faster than most Internet speeds with room to spare for file transfers.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 offers 20 Gbps USB speeds!
- Check the latest price of the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi on Amazon (affiliate link).
Best Value Motherboard: ASUS Prime B560M-A
- Our recommended value motherboard to pair with the Core i3-10100F is ASUS's Prime B560M-A motherboard:
- One NVMe M.2 slot at PCIe 3.0 speeds; the second M.2 slot will be disabled for 10th generation CPUs).
- The smaller microATX form factor is backward compatible with any full-size ATX case.
- One 1 Gb Ethernet port is faster than most Internet speeds.
- Check the latest price of the ASUS Prime B560M-A on Amazon (affiliate link).
Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i3-10100F, for more info about how to choose the best CPU cooler.
Locked Intel CPUs may come with a stock CPU cooler. These CPU models do not have a "K" in the name. 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 AIO Liquid Cooler: Enermax Liqmax III 360
- This Enermax liquid cooler has an excellent cooling capability with a 360-watt TDP (Thermal Design Power).
- Supports a variety of CPU sockets, including Intel LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1700, 1200, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 and AMD AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1.
- Quiet operation at 14-27 dBA.
- Make sure your computer case dimensions support this, as it will take up a decent amount of space!
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 LGA 1200 CPUs.
- 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 2666 MHz, this memory hits the fastest DDR4 speed supported by Intel's Core i3 10100F 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.
- Supports XMP 2.0.
- Compact heat spreaders avoid conflicting with a CPU cooler.
- Which Chipsets Work With Intel's Core i3-10100F CPU?
- Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i3-10100F
- Choosing the Best Power Supply for Intel's Core i3-10100F
- Is the Core i3-10100F CPU Good for Gaming?
- Choosing the Best RAM for Intel's Core i3-10100F CPU
- Choosing the Best Motherboard for Intel's Core i3-10100F
- How Many Cores Do Intel Core i3-10100F CPUs Have?
- What Is the TDP of the Core i3-10100F CPU?
You can find detailed 10100F specifications on Intel's site.
Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles:
- CPU Coolers:
- Graphics Cards:
- Power Supplies: