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Intel Core i3 2100 review

Does the budget Sandy Bridge processor provide enough features?

Our Verdict

Low end system builders may love it, but whether the home user will build a system around it is a bit doubtful.

Product features

  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • GPU overclocking
  • Price

Against

  • No CPU overclocking
  • Gaming performance

After all the Sandy Bridge goodness without the quad-core price-tag? Then the dual-core Intel Core i3 2100 might well be up your street.

While the high-end unlocked Sandy Bridge CPUs, the Intel Core i7 2600K and Intel Core i5 2500K were rightfully taking all the plaudits for being overclocking monsters, the 2600K especially, not many people were looking at the other end of the food chain.

That is to say in the value end of the market where the lowly Intel Core i3 2100 is to be found. As with all the current Sandy Bridge processors, it's built on the 32nm process and manages to pack 504 million transistors into its die.

The Core i3 2100 is clocked at 3.1GHz with 3MB of L3 cache, which sounds like it should be a fairly blazing chip. However it has no Turbo Boost and is totally locked down, so there's no overclocking fun available on the processing side.

This is a pity, because some of the best overclockable Intel chips in the past have come from this segment of the market.

You may not be able to overclock the CPU core but you can though do a smidgen of tinkering to the HD2000 graphics core integrated into this second generation Core CPU.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor Upgrade
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Thermal Design Power65 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Product FamilyCore i3 i3-2100
L3 Cache3 MB
Clock Speed3.10 GHz
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameHP
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification69.1°C
Direct Media Interface5 GT/s
Width37.5 mm
Depth37.5 mm
L2 Cache512 KB
Product Seriesi3-2100
Compatibility
  • Hewlett-Packard ML110 G7 ProLiant Entry Level Server
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Modeli3-2100
Product NameCore i3 Dual-core i3-2100 3.1GHz FIO Processor Upgrade
Product LineCore i3
Manufacturer Part Number643288-L21
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

The Intel Core i3 processor provides the basis for an affordable PC. This dual-core processor with 4-way multitasking capability has built-in performance headroom for software upgrades, providing an excellent return on investment.

Process Technology32 nm