Intel’s LGA1155 Sandy Bridge CPUs are fantastic, but the range has made little impression on the budget end of the market yet. The dual-core Core i3-2100, retailing for £90, is out to set this straight. At first glance, the i3-2100 looks like a CPU lightweight. It doesn’t support Turbo Boost, and to hammer this unpleasant nail home further, lacks the ‘K’ designation that denotes an unlocked multiplier too. This means that the i3-2100 won’t be winning any prizes for being a budget overclocking CPU.
What’s more, now that many games and applications are finally making use of four or more cores, the i3-2100’s dual-core configuration means that its list of selling points is fairly short. Thankfully, it has Hyper-Threading to add two logical cores. Meanwhile, the i3-2100 has a clock frequency of 3.1GHz and, as it’s made using a 32nm production process, Intel states that it has a maximum TDP of just 65W – a third less than the power consumption of the Core i5-2500K quad-core CPU.