Intel Core i3-12100F Review – 5.2 GHz OC with an Asterisk 2022

Intel Core i3-12100F Review – 5.2 GHz OC with an Asterisk 2022 – The Core i3-12100F is designed to be the entry-level processor for the Intel’s Alder Lake architecture. Priced at just $110, this 4-core/8thread CPU has all the ingredients needed to make it the next value king.

While Intel introduced their “Grace-mont” Efficiency cores (or E-cores) with the high end Alder-Lake processors, the lower end of the lineup doesn’t get this new capability. Rather, the Core i3-12100F is very similar in its design to previous generations and it’s a monolithic chip design with a single type of processing core. This of course avoids compatibility issues and ensures the Core i3-12100F in this review will run best on any OS, not just in Windows 11.


There’s another big difference between the Core-i3-12100F compared to the Core i5/7/9 K-models. The newer chips are based on a physically a different silicon, dubbed “H0.” This die is smaller and physically only features six “Golden Cove” P-cores, zero “Grace-mont” E-core clusters, and a shared L3 cache that’s only 18MB. The higher-end CPUs are carved out of the larger “C0” die, the same one the flagship is i9-12900K based on.

The I/O capabilities of the “H0” silicon appears unchanged from “C0;” it puts out 16PCI-Express Gen-5 lanes for the PEG slot (the main x16 slot meant for your graphics card), four PCI-Express Gen-4 lanes for a CPU-attached M.2-NVMe slot, and an 8lane DMI 4.0 chipset-bus.

It supports both DDR5 and DDR4 memory types. As an “F” SKU, the reviewed Core-i3-12100F lacks onboard graphics. It’s hence targeted squarely at user’s with a discrete graphics card. It also lacks an unlocked base clock a multiplier, and Intel rated the chip’s processor base power (PBP) at 58W, with maximum turbo power (MTP) at 89W.

The processor has a nominal clock speed of 3.30GHz, with a maximum turbo boost frequency of 4.30GHz. There’s no fancy Turbo Boost Max-3.0 (and hence no preferred cores being exposed to the OS), but you get classic Turbo Boost-2.0.



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