Best CPU Under $100 in 2023

Best CPU Under $100 | Experience the Ultimate Guide

Many people were asking about the methods to Best CPU Under $100 which is why I have come up with this article so that you can get the core knowledge.

If you’re looking for a cheap CPU that costs less than $100, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll tell you some basics about how to choose a processor that will work well for you and try to make the choice a little easier.

Whether you’re a gamer, content creator, or just looking for a faster computing experience, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and explore the top budget-friendly CPUs for your next PC build.

Be sure to check out our many other buying guides, including the Best CPU for RTX 2080, Best CPUs for Gaming, Best AM4 CPU, Ryzen CPU with integrated graphics, Best CPU with Integrated Graphics, best CPU under 200, Best CPU under $300 and Best CPUs Under $400.

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Our Recommendations Top 10 Best CPUs Under $100

AMD Ryzen 3 4100

Best AMD CPU

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AMD Ryzen 3 4100 (Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Zen 2
Socket:AM4
Cores:4
Threads:8
Base Frequency:3.8 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:4.0 GHz
TDP:65 W

We chose the Ryzen 3 4100 as the best CPU that costs less than $100. It is a 4-core, 8-thread processor that beats the competition in this price range. In 2023, it is also one of the few multithreaded CPUs that cost less than $100.

This is a key measurement for multithreaded applications, but some of the other CPUs on this list use a slightly different method. Having the ability to run multiple threads lets you handle more complex tasks that need the ability to run multiple threads.

The Ryzen 3 4100 will perform better than almost all other processors in this price range, whether you’re playing CPU-intensive games that use multithreading or doing other CPU-intensive tasks.

You will also appreciate the extra threads and processing power if you do a lot of different things at once or do some light video editing.

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As we go through this article, we’ll refer back to User Benchmarks to get an idea of what speeds to expect. The Ryzen 3 chip has the fastest single-core speed of this list at 128 points, but the doubled thread count really makes it shine in multitasking or multithreaded workloads at 689 points.

Later, we’ll talk about an AMD Ryzen 3200G. Even though AMD’s naming scheme can be confusing, the 3200G is a Zen+ or 3rd generation Ryzen processor, and the “G” means that it’s an APU or a CPU with a built-in graphics engine.

This makes the AMD Ryzen 3 4100 the best budget CPU you can get because it can handle advanced gaming, light streaming, and even some light video editing. This is our top pick for a graphics card that costs less than $100 if you already have or plan to use a separate graphics card.

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Pros

  • Cooler bundle
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Cons

  • PCIe 3.0 has few connections.

Intel Core i3-9100F

Best Intel CPU

CPU
Intel Core i3-9100F (Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Coffee Lake
Socket:LGA 1151
Cores:4
Threads:4
Base Frequency:3.6 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:4.2 GHz
TDP:65 W

The Intel Core i3-9100F is number three. This processor has 4 cores and 4 threads and works with the LGA 1151 socket and 300 series chipset motherboards.

If you are replacing an older CPU, please check the specs of your motherboard to make sure they are compatible. If this is the case, you may need to update your BIOS to make this processor work.

Core i3-9100F uses 65 watts of power and is compatible with Intel Optane memory. This CPU also has a base clock of 3.6 GHz and can go up to 4.2 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost.

With 4 cores and one thread per core, the i3-9100F will do a good job with single-core applications. According to the User Benchmark score, the single-core speed is around 120 points (445 points on octa-core multithreaded tests).

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In short, if you want a cheap processor for gaming (with the purchase of a separate graphics card), media center, daily web, email, and video chat use, this is a good deal, especially if you are just upgrading from an Intel CPU to an Intel CPU and already have a discrete graphics card.

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Pros

  • 4 cores
  • Lower 65W TDP
  • Intel Smart Cache Check technology can be used.
  • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology is supported.
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Cons

  • There is no graphics card built in, so you need a separate GPU.

Intel Core i3-10100F

Best Gaming CPU

Best CPU Under $100
Intel Core i3-10100F
(Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Comet Lake
Socket:LGA 1200
Cores:4
Threads:8
Base Frequency:3.6 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:4.3 GHz
TDP:65 W

The Intel i3-10100F is our second pick, and our first if you want an Intel CPU. Like our first choice, this is an older processor from a few generations ago, but it still works great for budget gaming builds.

Like the Ryzen 3 4100, this is not an APU, so it doesn’t have a graphics chip built in. Instead, you will need to buy a separate graphics card.

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The Core i3-10100F also has a total of 4 cores and 8 processing threads. The 10th generation was the first to use hyper-threading, and luckily for you, this is the only processor with hyper-threading that costs less than $100.

It also fits into the newer LGA 1200 socket, which means it works with newer motherboards and better chipsets. It also supports Intel Optane memory, which is nice, but if you want to install the latest DDR5 memory, you’ll have to pay more for a newer-generation processor because the 10100F doesn’t support it.

The i3-10100F has a base clock of 3.6 GHz and can go up to 4.3 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost. This is a very small improvement over the 9th generation, and it cannot be overclocked. If you want to overclock, you should look for an AMD processor because all of their processors, even the cheapest ones, can be overclocked.

Also, the speed of a single core is tested at around 120 points, and the speed of a multicore with multiple threads is tested at 588 points.

Overall, the i3-10100F is about the same as the Ryzen 3 4100, even though we put it at number two on this list. You’ll get enough processing power for most tasks, including gaming, great power efficiency, and a good air cooler– If you’re on Team Blue, this is the best CPU for you that costs less than $100.

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Pros

  • The Intel Core i3-10100F is a CPU from the Core i3 series that is in its 10th generation and is good for the best performance.
  • It has a powerful 6MB Intel Cache memory and supports Intel Optane memory.
  • This CPU works with motherboards that have a chipset from the 400 series.
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Cons

  • You need a separate graphics card

Intel Celeron G4920

Powerful CPU

Best CPU Under $100
Intel Celeron G4920
(Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Coffee Lake
Socket:LGA 1151
Cores:2
Threads:2
Base Frequency:3.2 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:N/A
TDP:54 W

The Intel Celeron G4290 is last, but not least.

Many people are familiar with the names Intel and Celeron because they have been around for a long time. This is something you might want to think about if you want to buy a processor from a brand and series that has been around for a long time.

The G4920 has two cores and two threads, and its base clock speed is 3.2 GHz. This is another option for people who don’t want to spend much on a processor. It’s one of the cheapest on this list.

With the Intel series 300 configuration, the G4920 fits into an LGA 1151 socket. The processor is another APU model that has the Intel UHD 610 graphics processor built right into the chip. The processor comes with a low-profile cooler that might work in a mini-ITX case for a computer that needs to save space.

Also, the average benchmarks for a single-core user are 87.2 points, while the average benchmarks for an octa-core user are 169 points.

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Even though this processor doesn’t perform as well as most because it doesn’t have hyperthreading (which uses multiple threads per core) and only has 2 cores, it may be a good fit for many applications.

Another important way to use this processor is to replace an existing unit that may have the same size, cooling, and socket configurations as this one.

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Pros

  • Can handle your daily tasks and most modern games at decent settings without any trouble.
  • It’s a great deal for what you get.
  • 65W TDP is really low, so you don’t have to worry about your system getting too hot when streaming or doing other heavy tasks.
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Cons

  • None, it’s a good processor that can handle most of your tasks without any problems.

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

Best Flagship CPU

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AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
(Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Zen+
Socket:AM4
Cores:4
Threads:4
Base Frequency:3.6 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:4.0 GHz
TDP:65 W

The AMD Ryzen 3 3200G is another 4-core, 4-thread processor that works well, but it’s not as fast as Intel’s single-core processors.

This unit, on the other hand, has an AMD Vega 8 graphics processor built in. That’s why we chose it as our second choice from AMD.

The 3200G is not the second fastest CPU on this list, but it is the first AMD choice on this list of processors with built-in graphics.

Even though it has a slower single-core speed than some of the other CPUs on this list (105 Pts on user benchmarks and 414 Pts on octa-core multithreaded tests), it is a good deal because it has a good graphics chip built in.

This is where the Ryzen 3200G really shines, with its ability to do a good job with daily computing tasks and the ability to have a budget stand-alone processor that will do a good job with some basic gaming, media play, or plex media server.

Follow our guide to How to Choose a CPU

In conclusion, the Ryzen 3 3200G is a great choice for people with a budget of less than $100 who want a good APU (CPU with built-in graphics). Also, a stock cooler is included, which makes this an even better deal.

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Pros

  • Graphics made by AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • Can Overclock to play high-quality games with good settings
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Cons

  • None, because it’s a great CPU for the price.

AMD Athlon 240GE

Inexpensive CPU

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AMD Athlon 240GE (Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Zen
Socket:AM4
Cores:2
Threads:4
Base Frequency:3.5 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:N/A
TDP:35 W

The AMD Athlon 240GE is another processor with two cores and four threads. It is another APU with built-in graphics on the same chip. And just like with the other APUs, you will need to plan for more memory because the graphics will use your system memory to do their work.

The Athlon 240GE has AMD Vega graphics, so you can play simple games at 720p and do other light graphic tasks like viewing videos and photos. It will also do a good job with simple home office tasks.

One advantage over other CPUs in this series is that you get an AMD Wraith Stealth cooler as a stock cooler. This might be a big deal for people who are on a very tight budget.

Check out our separate post on Base Clock vs Boost Clock

The similarities between the Athlon 3000G and the 240GE don’t come as a surprise since the 240GE came out almost a year before the 3000G, in the fourth quarter of 2018.

At this price, the AMD Athlon 240GE is another great option in the lineup of very cheap processors, and it’s worth a second look in applications where space is at a premium.

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Pros

  • This processor is really good. It has standard features and can handle most tasks without any trouble.
  • 35W TDP is very low, so you don’t have to worry about your system getting too hot when you stream or do other heavy tasks.
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Cons

  • None, because it’s a great processor.

AMD Athlon 3000G

Fast CPU

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AMD Athlon 3000G (Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Zen
Socket:AM4
Cores:2
Threads:4
Base Frequency:3.5 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:N/A
TDP:35 W

The AMD Athlon 3000G is the next one. This processor has two cores and four threads. Like the 3200G, this is an APU, which means that the graphics are already built into the chip.

When you buy an APU, keep in mind that the computer will still need other things to do video tasks. With an APU, the memory from your PC’s regular memory will be used to do graphics work.

The Athlon 3000G will use 2 GB of your PC’s RAM to handle graphics loads, so make sure you have enough RAM, including the extra 2 GB, to handle your tasks.

Even though this is a cheaper option than adding a separate graphics card, you should still think about buying one.

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This processor is a great low-cost option for a home office because it works well with basic office apps. However, it may not be up to par when it comes to gaming (depending on which games you play).

Overall, the Athlon 3000G is almost half the price of the other options here. If you are on a very tight budget, we recommend you consider this CPU as one of your options—but only if a 2-core CPU will meet your needs.

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Pros

  • Great for media-heavy tasks and streaming
  • Can play modern games with good settings without a problem
  • 35W TDP is very low, so you don’t have to worry about your system getting too hot when you stream or do other heavy tasks.
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Cons

  • None, because it’s a great processor.

Intel Core i3-12100

Best Intel CPU

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Intel Core i3-12100 (Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Alder Lake
Socket:LGA 1700
Cores:4
Threads:8
Base Frequency:3.3 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:4.3 GHz
TDP:60W

Like the rest of the Alder Lake family, the $130 Core i3-12100 is priced in a way that is different from what people are used to. The chip is also available as an F-series Core i3-12100F for $104, which Intel sells with its integrated graphics turned off for $25 less than the full-featured model.

This puts it in the slightly lower price tier below. In fact, since AMD doesn’t have a clear current-generation competitor and the Core i3-12100 has great performance for its price, it easily leads our CPU benchmarks in the $105 to $130 range.

Overall, the quad-core i3-price, 12100’s performance, and improved stock cooler make it the best choice in the $100 to $130 price range while still being able to compete with more expensive alternatives.

The Core i3-12100 is now the fastest budget gaming CPU on the market, and it’s also pretty good at running apps with few threads: In single-threaded work, none of AMD’s chips are as fast as the 12100, so you’ll need to look at other Alder Lake chips to find faster performance. For its price, the Core i3-12100 is also very good at threaded productivity tasks.

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AMD doesn’t have a CPU that costs about the same as the Core i3-12100. But even though it doesn’t have any competitors, it still has impressive performance gains over the last generation.

In fact, when gaming at 1080p, the $129 Core i3-12100 is 88% as fast as the $299 Core i5-12400 but costs 56% less. That is a great mix of price and quality.

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Pros

  • Superb price/performance
  • The best performance for gaming and a single thread
  • Able packaged cooler
  • Works with both DDR4 and DDR5
  • PCIe 5.0
  • Low amount of power used
  • It lets you speed up the memory.
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Cons

  • There is no Turbo Boost 3.0 (only 2.0)
  • Core frequency can’t be sped up

AMD Ryzen 3 3100

High Processing CPU

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AMD Ryzen 3 3100 (Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Zen 2
Socket:AM4
Cores:4
Threads:8
Base Frequency:3.6 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:3.9 GHz
TDP:65W

AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is one of the best CPUs that cost less than $100. It has four cores and eight threads, which are good specs. This processor is unlocked and comes with the AMD Wraith Stealth cooling system. It has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock speed of up to 3.9 GHz with turbo boost. It has a TDP of 65W, which is really good.

When it comes to performance and gaming, this CPU will not let you down. It offers top-tier performance for both casual gamers and people who want a CPU for overclocking.

Go through our epic guide on Should I Overclock My CPU

If we talk about the bad things about this CPU, I can’t think of any to put on this list. I think this one is a great processor that comes with a nice cooling system. But I do have to say that this CPU isn’t the best for hard-core gamers and competitive gaming, but it works well enough for most people.

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Pros

  • It is one of the best CPUs because it has 4 cores and 8 threads.
  • It has 16 MB of L3 cache memory and 2 MB of L2 cache memory, which is great.
  • Some of the most popular games can be played at 100 FPS or more.
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Cons

  • It might not be the best choice for gamers who play a lot.

Intel Celeron G5905

Best Intel CPU

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Intel Celeron G5905
(Image credit: Amazon)
Architecture:Comet Lake
Socket:LGA 1200
Cores:2
Threads:2
Base Frequency:3.5 GHz
Max Boost Frequency:3.5 GHz
TDP:58 W

Another great CPU that costs less than $100 is the Intel Celeron G5905. If you are on a tight budget but still want to build a powerful and efficient PC, this processor is a good choice.

It is an entry-level processor from Intel, but it has enough power to handle all of your basic tasks and most games at decent settings.

Because of its base frequency speed of 2.8 GHz, it is particularly good for managing the majority of your day-to-day responsibilities without any problems at all.

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The memory of the L3 cache is also relatively low, coming in at only 4 MB, which means that it is not particularly suited for heavy work. Despite this, however, it is more than enough to manage your gaming needs effortlessly and without difficulty.

Because it has a thermal design power (TDP) of only 58W, it is an excellent option for people who do not wish to overclock their processors. Even though it’s not designed specifically for gaming, this processor is nonetheless capable of playing games at settings that are considered to be above average.

If you are going to be using the CPU for basic chores like streaming and gaming on low settings, as the majority of people do, then I would absolutely recommend this PC to you because it will function very well for you in those situations.

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Pros

  • It’s a great deal for what you get.
  • Can play modern games on decent settings with no trouble at all.
  • 58W TDP is really low, so you don’t have to worry about your system getting too hot while streaming or doing other heavy tasks.
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Cons

  • It’s not a gaming CPU, so it’ll be harder to play AAA games on high settings, but it’s still more than enough to handle your gaming needs easily.

Conclusion:

So, there you have it. These are the top 7 best CPUs you can buy for less than $100 in 2023.

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Aside from that, feel free to get in touch with us if you have any more questions or are still not sure which processor is best for your needs. We’ll be happy to help.

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FAQs for Best CPU Under $100 in 2023

What is the best single-core CPU in 2023?

As of January 2023, the Intel Core i9-13900KF processor had the best single-core average performance, with a Geekbench score of 2,222.

What is the best Ryzen CPU for gaming under $100?

The Ryzen 3 3200G is the only modern APU that can be bought brand new for less than $100, but at $92 it’s not worth it to buy. You can buy the Ryzen 5 4600G for (almost) exactly $100. It is better in every way and is a great CPU on its own.

What is the fastest CPU in 2023?

The Core i5-12600K was great, but the new chip is better in almost every way. This is why we think it is the best CPU.

Is there a 1 Core CPU?

Most of the time, multi-core processors are better than single-core processors. Since faster peripheral parts have to wait for the CPU to finish its cycle, this is more likely to happen with single-core processors. Since single-core processors don’t have parallelization, they can only run one program at a time.

Is Ryzen 5 a low-end PC?

AMD’s model name is “Ryzen,” while Intel’s is “i.” Ryzen 3, i3: Low-end. Ryzen 5, i5: Mid-range. Ryzen 7, i7: High-end.

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