Best CPU under $100 | WePC

What’s the best CPU you can get under $100?

Updated: Mar 15, 2023 2:38 pm

Today we’re looking for the best CPU under $100, if you’re willing to stick it out and take your time then you can definitely find a deal worth taking out there.

Now Read: Best gaming CPU

You might be thinking that there’s nothing worth having for under $100, and normally you’d be right if we’re talking about gaming or workstation workloads. But a $100 CPU is more than capable of office work such as word processing, and internet browsing.

Best CPU under $100: Top picks

What to look for in a CPU under $100

If you’re in the market for a CPU under $100, your goal is probably to get a budget-friendly processor that can offer you a comfortable and smooth experience while you go about your everyday computer usage. Or, perhaps, you’re looking for one that is able to offer you a decent gaming experience. Say, at 1080p and 60FPS. 

If that is indeed the case, then you’ll find that today’s budget processors under $100 are more than up to par. Thanks to the fierce competition we’ve been seeing between Intel and AMD, we now have several excellent options to choose from, particularly in the Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 lineups. With a $100 budget, your best bet would be to go with a modern hyperthreaded quad-core processor. Our top pick is the Intel Core i3-10100F.

Best CPU under $100: Things to consider

When shopping on an extreme budget, you’re going to have to sacrifice a couple of things, in the name of saving money. These will be things like cores, core speed, and heck, you might even have to go secondhand if you truly want to save a buck or two.

Here are some things to consider when shopping for the best CPU under $100.

Cores and Threads

The CPU’s cores are responsible for executing instructions and performing calculations. The number of cores determines the number of simultaneous tasks the CPU can perform, leading to faster and more efficient processing of tasks. Applications that benefit from multiple cores, such as video editing or rendering software, can be executed more quickly and efficiently.

Threads are virtual cores that allow a single physical core to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. CPUs that support multi-threading can handle more tasks concurrently than those without, leading to improved overall performance and faster processing times.

The combination of core and thread count is crucial for CPU performance in various tasks. CPUs with higher core counts and multi-threading support can perform well in tasks that require high parallelisms, such as gaming, video editing, or scientific simulations. However, CPUs with fewer cores but higher clock speeds may perform better in tasks that require single-threaded performance, such as some gaming or office applications.

Core Speed

Core speed, or clock speed, refers to the rate at which a CPU’s processing cores can execute instructions. The faster the core speed, the more instructions the CPU can complete per second, leading to faster and more efficient processing of tasks, such as running applications or playing games.

CPU Generation

CPU generation represents the version or iteration of a CPU’s design and architecture. With each new generation, advancements in technology lead to better performance and efficiency, such as increased core counts, higher clock speeds, and improvements in power efficiency.

Newer generations of CPUs often feature improved architectures that enable faster and more efficient processing of instructions. They may also include additional features, such as integrated graphics, enhanced security, or support for newer technologies like PCIe 5.0 or USB 4. Additionally, newer CPU generations are manufactured using smaller process nodes, resulting in lower power consumption and better thermal performance.

CPU Socket

A CPU socket, found on a computer’s motherboard, is a physical interface that houses the CPU and facilitates its communication with other components such as memory, storage drives, and expansion cards. Each CPU has a specific size, shape, and electrical properties that correspond to a specific socket type on the motherboard.

It is crucial to ensure compatibility between the CPU and motherboard socket type when installing or upgrading a CPU. Failure to do so will result in a non-functional or ill-fitting CPU.

Having established these considerations, the next step is to select the best CPU under $100. But which one should you choose?

What is a good cheap CPU?

A “good cheap” CPU depends on what you’re going to use it for. A cheap CPU can be good at different things. If you opt for a 13th gen Intel baseline CPU, then it’s going to be better for gaming than a lower-end Ryzen CPU.

You have to pick and choose what use case your cheap PC is going to have and pick a CPU accordingly because use case matters on this end of the scale. The more money you pump into a CPU, the better they become at everything.

If you want a good cheap CPU for gaming, then you should snag yourself an Intel CPU, if you want a good multi-threaded processor, then you should go for AMD. But make sure you check and compare the CPU’s generations, clock speeds, and core counts, as we discussed above.

Best CPU under $100

Here we will divide the results into three sections, best CPU under £100 for general use, for gaming, and for office work. This ensures we get the right CPU to the right person.

The best CPU in general has to be the Core i3-10100F.

Intel Core i3-10100F

Intel Core i3-10100F

Intel Core i3 10100F