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Is the Core i3-10320 CPU Good for Gaming?

Find out if Intel's Core i3 10320 processor is good for gaming.

10320 Good for Gaming Chuck Fortner / Unsplash

Last Updated: November 26, 2022

Written by Kevin Jones

When selecting a CPU for gaming, the most important characteristics are the frequency (clock speed), core/thread count, cache size, and supported memory type. Additional considerations, such as integrated graphics and overclocking needs, may also influence your selection.

In addition to discussing how good the 10320 is for gaming, this article will discuss our recommended:

Check another CPU:

Core i3 10320

Is the 10320 Good for Gaming?

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When using Intel's Core i3 10320 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:

  • 8 MB of L3 cache is poor for performance
  • 4 cores allow for mediocre performance
  • 3.80 GHz base frequency
  • 4.60 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)
  • The 10320 has integrated graphics support, but this performance assessment assumes you will use a graphics card. Integrated graphics support is mediocre or worse with the latest graphics-intense games.
Check out these Intel Core CPUs that are Good or Excellent for gaming:
Recommended Motherboards for the Core i3 10320:
Best Feature Motherboard

Is the Cache Size of the 10320 Good for Gaming?

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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 i3-10320 has an L3 cache capacity of 8 MB.

The 10320's lackluster 8 MB of L3 cache is poor for performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Core Count of the 10320 Good for Gaming?

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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 i3-10320 CPUs have 4 cores.

The 10320's 4 cores allow for mediocre performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

Is the Clock Speed of the 10320 Good for Gaming?

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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 10320 CPU's lack of support for overclocking cannot benefit performance with the latest graphics-intense games.

The processor has a 3.80 GHz base frequency and supports a 4.60 GHz single-core max turbo frequency.

The 10320 has a 3.80 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 10320's 4.60 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 i3-10320, for recommended coolers that can maintain these boost frequencies.

Is the DDR Support of the 10320 Good for Gaming?

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The 10320 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 10320 in Choosing the Best RAM for Intel's Core i3-10320 CPU.

What Does the Lack of a Suffix in the 10320 Name Mean?

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| N | "N" means it's a bespoke CPU for a company such as Apple. |

The 10320 model name doesn't have an F suffix. Non-F CPUs contain integrated graphics, and a separate graphics card isn't required if your motherboard includes video-output connectors (e.g., HDMI).

The 10320 model name doesn't have a K suffix. Non-K CPUs can not be overclocked.

Intel Core i3-10320 Intel Core i3-10320 Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Cooling the 10320

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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 i3-10320 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 i3-10320.

Motherboard Requirements for Core i3-10320 Processors

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For Intel's 10th generation Core i3 10320 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 10320 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 i3-10320 CPU?.

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Best Feature Motherboard: MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

  • Our recommended feature-rich motherboard to pair with the Core i3-10320 is MSI's MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi motherboard: MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
    • 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 i3-10320 is ASUS's Prime B560M-A motherboard: ASUS Prime B560M-A micro ATX motherboard ASUS Prime B560M-A micro ATX motherboard Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
    • 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).
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Check out my article, Choosing the Best CPU Cooler for Intel's Core i3-10320, 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! Enermax Liqmax III 360 Enermax Liqmax III 360 Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

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. Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

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). Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510 Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510 Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link
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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.

Learn More About the Intel Core i3-10320

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You can find detailed 10320 specifications on Intel's site.

Other Considerations When Building a PC

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Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles: