Ever since childhood, I have been an avid PC gamer. So, it is no wonder I write topics about PC gaming and building PCs for gaming.
With AMD dominating the budget PC gaming market, Intel responded it with their release of the Intel Core i3-9100F. The Intel Core i3-9100F is one of their latest processors built for the budget PC gamers. It has been released since the 2nd quarter of 2019. But has it really put a stop to AMD’s strong position in the budget PC gaming market?
Well, in this article, we will be reviewing the Core i3-9100F to get a better perspective of how it performs in the budget PC gaming scene. We will also be suggesting a budget PC gaming build based on the Intel Core i3 9100F. And benchmark it on some of the most popular game titles of today. Stay tuned with me and let’s see if the Intel Core i3-9100F is worthy to be called a budget gaming processor.
Intel Core i3-9100F Budget Gaming Build Parts List
Here is the list of PC Peripherals/Parts for this Core i3-9100F Budget Gaming PC Build:
|PC Peripheral/Part||Price (USD)|
MSI H310M Pro-VDH Plus
Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 2666 MHz
GeForce GT 1030
1.) Processor - Core i3-9100F
The Intel Core i3-9100F is a quad core processor having 4 virtual cores which is widely known as threads. Running at a base clock frequency of 3.60 GHz, thanks to its Intel’s turbo boost technology, it can reach up to a clock frequency of 4.20 GHz when boosted. It is actually a variant of the Intel Core i3-9100. Like the Intel Core i3-9100, the Intel Core i3-9100F has the same number of cores, threads and clock frequency. The main difference between the two is that the Intel Core i3-9100F doesn’t have an integrated graphics. Thus, it’s a cheaper version of the Intel Core i3-9100. Intel had probably done this to release a more competitive budget gaming processor. But let’s see how this processor performs with our cheap gaming PC build.
2.) Motherboard - MSI H310M Pro-VDH Plus
The MSI H310M Pro-VDH Plus is our motherboard for this Core i3-9100F budget gaming PC build. We’ve chosen this motherboard since it is the cheapest among all the other motherboards compatible with our Coffee Lake Processor.
3.) RAM - 8 GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 2666 MHz
For our RAM, 8 GB of Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 2666 MHz. Clearly, dual channel mode is better than single channel so adding another RAM module should be better. But it will be too costly to add another RAM module. For now, let’s stick with 1 stick of 8 GB Ram and just add another one once we have a budget.
4.) GPU - ASUS GeForce GT 1030 2GB GDDR5
Since we’re keeping our budget low and keeping this build competitive to the budget PC gaming market, we’ll settle for a GeForce GT 1030 GDDR5 for our GPU in this budget gaming PC build. This will only cost us around $85 for our GPU. But if you have a bigger budget, then GeForce GTX 1050 TI should be a recommended GPU.
All in all, without the storage, PSU and casing, this Core i3-9100F budget gaming PC build costs a total of $259.48. It’s really an affordable build. But does this really perform fairly well in the budget PC gaming community? Well, let’s check it out by benchmarking this cheap gaming PC build.
How to Benchmark This Core i3-9100F Budget Gaming Build
To benchmark this Core i3-9100F build as best as we can, we will be benchmarking it with a CPU benchmarking tool and a set of games. The rating produced from the CPU benchmarking tool and the FPS reached in each of the gaming benchmark should determine how capable our cheap gaming is in this another year of gaming in 2020. This should give us a better perspective on how this budget gaming PC build can compete in the budget PC gaming community.
Benchmarking the CPU Power of the Core i3-9100F
Using PassMark’s CPU Benchmarking tool, the Intel Core i3-9100F gets a CPU Mark rating of 8905 points. It actually beats most of the budget gaming processors of today. Plus, it ranks 6th in terms of Price Performance (CPU Mark / Price). So, does this mean it is a great budget gaming build? Well, not yet. It is not over yet. We still have a list of games to benchmark this Core i3-9100F Build.
Game Benchmarking on this Core i3-9100F Budget Gaming PC Build
We'll be trying to achieve at least 30+ FPS on these games. 30+ FPS is a playable framerate so achieving this framerate in each of our game benchmarks should determine how decent is this Core i3-9100F build as a cheap gaming PC.
1.) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Starting off with our gaming benchmark is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It is one of the most popular PC game titles of 2019 so it should be a good game to benchmark. Remember, we want to check if the Core i3-9100F is a good budget gaming build even in 2020 so let’s benchmark AAA games in 2019 with this build. In 1080p, the game runs at an average framerate of 37 FPS. It runs beyond the playable framerate of 30 FPS so it doesn’t sound so bad at all. Running the game in 720p, should boost up the framerate so this build definitely passes with this game.
2.) GTA V
Next in line is GTA V. It is not a 2019 PC game title but it is still one of the most popular games of today. It’s a resource intensive game so it still shouldn’t be an easy game even for our 2019-released processor. The Core i3-9100F budget gaming PC build runs at an average framerate of 33 FPS in 1080p. It’s not bad but not good either. At least, it passes over the average playable framerate.
3.) Detroid: Become Human
In the Detroit: Become Human gaming benchmark, in 1080p, sudden FPS drops occur pretty much often. It can reach at around 30+ FPS but it can suddenly drop to 19-24 FPS anytime. However, setting the resolution to 720p should fix the noticeable FPS drops.
Here's a quick summary of the games we've benchmarked with this Core i3-9100F build:
|Game Title||Framerate (FPS)|
"Counter-Strike: Global Offensive"
"Assassin's Creed Odyssey"
"League of Legends"
"Grand Theft Auto V"
"The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt"
Verdict: Is This Core i3-9100F Build Worth it for Gaming?
Based on the benchmarks we’ve done, the Core i3-9100F does perform well even in 2020. So, is the Core i3-9100F build worth it? Well, it does have a decent CPU Mark Rating even for its affordable price. Plus, its capable of running, at a decent framerate, most of the popular games of today. Even the resource intensive games, like the AAA titles we've benchmarked on this Intel Core i3-9100F budget gaming PC, are playable at 30+ FPS framerate. However, does this ultimately mean we should go for the Core i3-9100F budget gaming PC build for 2020? Well, the benchmark is one thing to consider but another thing to consider is price. So far, the Core i3-9100F build costs around $260, without the HDD, Casing and PSU. It is quite affordable but we can actually build a cheaper PC than this one with almost the same performance.
Well, if you're an Intel guy who's contented with this price and performance, then go for this. But if you'd like to go cheaper with almost the same performance, then why don't you consider this Ryzen 3 2200G budget gaming PC build.