Review AMD Ryzen 3 3100: Redefining budget-friendly
AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is the most budget-friendly desktop processor from the Ryzen 3000 family. It costs under 100 dollars, it has some surprising specs, and it supports future-proof technologies like PCI Express version 4. While testing it, we noticed that it sometimes outperforms some of the more expensive processors from the Intel Core i5 family. If you are curious to learn more, read this review and find out more about what less than a hundred dollars can get you these days:
AMD Ryzen 3 3100: Who is it good for?
The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is an excellent processor for those of you who want:
- To build a budget-friendly desktop computer
- Good performance in productivity apps
- To aim for an energy-efficient PC
Where To Buy
Pros and cons
The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 has the following strengths:
- Low price tag
- The base frequency and boost clocks are excellent
- Fast in productivity apps and web browsing
- Good-enough performance for entry-level gaming
- Low power consumption and temperatures
- Support for fast PCIe 4.0 components such as SSDs
- The Zen 2 architecture means that you can pair it with high-speed DDR4
- It is unlocked, so overclocking might be something worth looking into
There are some downsides too:
- It is a bit underpowered if you want to run games at high quality
- For only 20 USD more, you can get the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X, which is an even better desktop processor
The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is a great choice if what you're looking for is good performance on a budget. Even though it costs less than 100 dollars, it is nothing short of impressive in benchmarks, productivity tasks, and entry-level gaming. The Ryzen 3 3100 should outperform any previous generation Intel Core i3 processor. In some benchmarks, it manages to outperform even an Intel Core i5-8400 which retails at a significantly higher price. However, if you don't mind paying 20 dollars more, the Ryzen 3 3300X is an even better choice that delivers a meaningful boost, especially in games.
The Ryzen 3 3100 is the most entry-level processor from AMD's 3000 processors series, but that doesn't mean it is not packed with goodies. First of all, it's built using the same Zen 2 architecture as AMD Ryzen 3 3300X, Ryzen 5 3600, or Ryzen 7 3700X, and the same 7-nanometer manufacturing process. More importantly, it supports PCI Express 4.0. If you want to know why this matters, read: PCI Express 4 vs PCIe 3: Is there a performance improvement?
AMD Ryzen 3 3100 has four physical cores and eight threads, running at a base frequency of 3.6 GHz. It can reach a boost clock of 3.9 GHz on a single thread. AMD equipped this processor with a total cache of 18 MB, of which 16 MB is Level 3 cache. Also, it uses the AM4 socket, which makes it compatible with the new B550 chipset motherboards that come with PCIe 4 and a lower price than the ones based on the existing X570 chipset. It is also compatible with AMD's PCIe 3 chipsets found on B450, X470, and X370 motherboards.
The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 supports fast DDR4 RAM running at 3200 MHz, but you can also use DIMMs with even faster clock rates. While the TDP is not a measurement for power consumption, it can be used to get a quick view of how much electricity a processor needs in normal use. On that note, the TDP of the Ryzen 3 3100 is only 65 Watts, so it should be an excellent choice if you're looking to build an energy-efficient PC.
At just under 100 USD, the Ryzen 3 3100 comes with impressive specifications that probably make Intel envious. This entry-level processor gives you four cores, eight threads, and PCIe 4 support. This is more than we would have expected for such a low price.
Performance in benchmarks and games
We tested the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 processor on a PC with the following hardware and software:
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)
- Memory: HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB Memory (2 x 8GB, 3200MHz)
- Graphics Card: ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC
- Storage: ADATA XPG Gammix S11 Pro SSD
- Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG32VQ Curved Gaming Monitor (32-inch WQHD 2560 x 1440, 144Hz)
- Power Supply Unit: ASUS ROG Thor 850W Platinum
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro x64 with November 2019 Update
For a better understanding of how fast and reliable the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 processor is, we ran a series of benchmarks. Then, we compared its results with those we got with other CPUs: Ryzen 3 3300X (its faster brother with four cores) and Ryzen 5 3600 (the most affordable 6-core AMD 3000-series CPU).
We started with CPU-Z's Single Thread test. The Ryzen 3 3100 scored 458 points, which is an excellent result (6.5% less than 3300X and 2.5% less than Ryzen 5 3600 ). According to CPU-Z's rankings, the Ryzen 3 3100 is faster than a 6-core Intel Core i5-8400, which retails at almost double the price.
In the Multi-Thread test, Ryzen 3 3100 scored 2535 points. It is slightly slower than the Ryzen 3 3300X (by 6.1%), and significantly less proficient than the Ryzen 5 3600 (by 30.1%). Still, it performs the same as an Intel Core i5-8400 (a desktop CPU with two cores more and almost twice the price).
In Cinebench R20, a multi-thread rendering test, AMD Ryzen 3 3100 got 2169 points. It's a bit slower than the 3300X (7.9%), and notably less powerful than a 6-core Ryzen 5 3600 (32.7% slower).
In Blender Benchmark, we rendered the bmw27 and classroom scenes. This benchmark counts the rendering time. The less time needed, the better. Here too, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is noticeably slower than the other CPUs in our list, even compared to the Ryzen 3 3300X (11% weaker than the 3300X, and 15.6% slower than a Ryzen 5 3600).
We also used 7-Zip to measure multi-thread performance. The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 managed to reach a speed of 26 MB/s in the compression benchmark, which is a bit (10.3%) less than what the Ryzen 3 3300X can do. Compared to Ryzen 5 3600, the difference in speed is significant (35%).
As for the decompression speed, the Ryzen 3 3100 was not that far behind the Ryzen 3 3300X. Still, the two additional cores on the Ryzen 5 3600 show their prowess.
To test the processor in typical daily activities, such as web browsing, video conferencing, apps start-up times, productivity, and digital content creation, we used PCMark 10, and the Ryzen 3 3100 did not disappoint. Even though it has two fewer cores, it proved to be almost as fast as the Ryzen 5 3600 (only a 1.4% score difference). Compared to the Ryzen 3 3300X, it got a tad lower result (5.8% lower score), but hey, the four-cored 3300X had an unexpectedly high score in PCMark 10.
To measure this processor's performance when browsing the web, we used the JetStream 2 benchmark in Google Chrome. AMD Ryzen 3 3100 got a good score, although it can't match the Ryzen 3 3300X (10.8% better) or the Ryzen 5 3600 (8.8% better).
The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is probably not the processor you're considering if you are a gamer. However, some people might want to build a budget-friendly PC, and you can't get a lower price for an AMD Zen 2 desktop CPU than the Ryzen 3 3100. That is why we also tested its gaming performance. To keep away from any possible bottlenecks, we've set the games to use 1080p resolutions and the lowest graphics quality settings.
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X got a CPU Render score of 162 frames per second. That's 15.2% fewer fps than from a Ryzen 3 3300X, and 28.7% fewer than the fps rendered by a Ryzen 5 3600.
In Metro Exodus, which is one of the most demanding games we've played, both in terms of video and processor performance, AMD Ryzen 3 3100 delivered an average frame rate of 105 (3.7% less than a Ryzen 3 3300X or Ryzen 5 3600).
In World War Z, which is a game optimized for multi-threading, we measured 155 fps. It's 11.4% less than what we got on the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X, and 20.5% fewer frames per second compared to the AMD Ryzen 5 3600.
To test the temperatures, we ran Prime95 to stress the CPU, while monitoring it with Open Hardware Monitor. The good news is that, even in this demanding test, the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 did not heat more than a maximum of 76 degrees Celsius.
Please note that we received the Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X samples without their stock coolers. Therefore we had to use another cooler: an ASUS ROG Ryuo 120.
Finally, we also measured the power consumption of the AMD Ryzen 3 3100. In our tests, Open Hardware Monitor reported that it needs a maximum of 60 watts. It is a small value that can only make you happy if you're aiming to build an energy-efficient computer.
All the benchmarks lead to the same conclusion: the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is an excellent desktop CPU. Even with an affordable price tag, this processor does not compromise when it comes to performance. It should do a good job regardless of whether you use it for office work, web browsing, or entry-level gaming.
What is your opinion about the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 processor?
Now you know more about the most affordable desktop processor from the AMD Ryzen 3000-series. Seeing that an entry-level CPU offers this much performance is something that can only make us happy. Do you agree? Share your opinion about the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 in the comments below, and let's discuss.