Are you looking for the best CPU under $100 for your next gaming pc build? If so, then look no further. We’ll take a look at 8 of the popular CPUs that are budget-friendly and will provide excellent performance for casual PC gamers, as well as those looking to dabble into competitive gaming.
Whether you want a PC for your daily needs like browsing the internet, doing online streaming, and even for gaming, these CPUs/processors will do the job. So look through this list of 8 budget-friendly CPUs that come under $100 and are perfect fits for your build.
Without wasting more time, here are the best CPUs under $100 for gaming and other needs.
Best CPU Under $100 in 2022
Finding the best CPU can be hard sometimes, especially when we have got hundreds of options and a limited budget to choose from. When I was building my first PC, I too get confused here.
This is why I’ve created this post especially for people like me, who get confused choosing the best CPU out there and in this guide, I’ll share some of the best CPUs for gaming under $100 and these CPUs are perfect for any average gaming needs (and did I forget to tell you that these are recommended by top experts too?).
1. AMD Ryzen 3 3100, 4-Cores & 8-Threads Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is one of the best CPUs that come under $100 with decent specs including four cores and 8 threads. This is an unlocked processor that comes with AMD’s wraith stealth cooling system. It has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock speed up to 3.9 GHz with turbo boost and comes with a TDP of 65W which is really good.
When it comes to performance and gaming, this CPU will not disappoint you and provides you with a top-tier performance for casual gamers and for those who’re looking for a CPU for overclocking purposes. Along with it, the AMD’s Ryzen Master Software allows you to overclock the CPU to its maximum potential. It is really a good buy for people who’re looking for a high-performance CPU without breaking the bank.
Not limited to this, but this CPU also comes with 2MB of L2 cache memory, and 16MB of L3 cache memory which is really decent for a budget-friendly gaming CPU. It is also power efficient with high performance which makes it a viable option for casual gamers out there.
If we talk about the downside of this CPU, then I really don’t find any to include in this list. I personally think this one is an amazing processor with a nice cooling system attached. But yes, I must say that this CPU is not so best for hardcore gamers and competitive gaming experience but for most of the people it gets the job done.
- It comes with 4 cores & 8 threads making it one of the best CPUs.
- Comes with 16MB L3 cache memory and 2MB L2 cache memory which is really good.
- Supports some of the most popular games at 100+ FPS.
- It maybe not be the best option for hardcore gamers.
The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is one of the best CPUs that come under $100 and is available for gaming. It is built with performance in mind and it gives the average user a sweet ride at a price nobody can deny it.
If you’re looking for a really good CPU at a budget-friendly price, then I’ll strongly recommend you to grab this one and increase the performance of your PC.
2. Intel Core i3-9100, 4 Cores & 4 Threads Desktop Processor with Intel UHD Graphics 630
The Intel Core i3-9100 is a budget-friendly CPU for gaming under $100 which comes with the Intel UHD Graphics 630. The processor’s base frequency is 3.6 GHz, and it can boost up to 4.2 GHz with a turbo boost. It has a max TDP of 65W which is really good for a budget-friendly processor.
With the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630, you can expect to run most games and light software like Photoshop or browsers at decent FPS without an issue. This CPU has 4 cores and 4 threads, with 6MB of L3 cache memory.
Simply put, the Intel Core i3-9100 is a great budget CPU for those who are looking for high performance without breaking the bank. Like a lot of Intel Core i3 processors, it comes with a stock cooler, but it is decent for the price you pay. If you prefer to use your own aftermarket cooler, you can do so as well.
It runs cool and can handle a modest overclocking session for those who want to do the advanced tweaking. It is also compatible with Intel 300 chipset-based motherboard which is a bonus.
- Supports Intel 300 chipset based motherboard
- 65W TDP
- Built-in Intel HD graphics
- Can handle modest overclocking session
- None, it’s a great budget CPU that comes with the stock cooler.
This is a budget CPU that comes with an integrated graphics card, it can easily handle most computer to-do tasks and can be powerful enough to run Photoshop and other essentials and gaming.
Also, it is a great CPU on the market right now and you can buy it without worrying about breaking your bank. It is also compatible with Intel 400 chipset-based motherboard which is a bonus.
3. Intel Core i3-9100F, 4 Cores & 4 Threads Desktop Processor without Processor Graphics
This is a slightly different version of the previous one on our list. The only difference is that this does not come with an integrated graphics card. If you need a powerful processor without spending too much, this is the right choice for you.
The Intel Core i3-9100F comes with a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a 4.2 GHz turbo frequency to help boost performance in games, video editing, and other tasks but you need a dedicated graphics card for doing this. Also, the TDP is also really low at only 65W so it’s great for those who don’t want to overclock their CPU. The good thing is that they also offer a 3-year warranty on this processor.
The stock cooler ensures that you can install your own heatsink or an aftermarket cooler, but it will still be cheaper to get a custom one. Overall, the Intel Core i3-9100F is a budget CPU that you can buy without worrying about breaking your bank. It’s also really good for overclocking.
- 4 cores
- Lower TDP of 65W
- Supports Intel Smart Cache Check technology
- Supports Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
- No built-in graphics card so you need a discrete GPU.
I would definitely buy this computer if it will be in the price range or under that. I think it could have been a little faster, but I don’t mind its performance. It will be perfect for gaming, web browsing, and video editing.
It also comes with an unlocked processor, so that you’ll be able to overclock it.
4. AMD Ryzen 3 3200G, 4 Cores & 4 Threads Unlocked Desktop Processor with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
This is another budget CPU for gaming under $100 that comes with the Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. It is a really good option to have if you are on a tight budget and want to play modern games without spending too much.
Like most gaming CPUs, it comes with 4 cores and 4 threads, with 4MB of L3 cache memory. The TDP is also 65W which is really good for a budget-friendly processor. The speed of this CPU is pretty much average, but what makes it really powerful is the Radeon Vega 8 graphics. This Graphics card can handle games at decent settings in high quality without any issue.
The thing that we liked about this AMD Ryzen 3 3200G CPU is that it can handle most modern games in high settings without any issues, and you’ll be able to do basic tasks without any issue with this CPU as well. This is a great option for streaming and media-heavy tasks which are most people’s daily life.
I think it would be awesome for AAA games at its price point as well. It’s built with PC gamers in mind, and I think you’ll have a great experience if you build your own computer around this AMD Ryzen 3 3200G CPU.
Overall, it’s a powerful yet efficient CPU that can handle most of your everyday tasks easily. It has a decent gaming performance as well, and it comes with a decent cooling system attached to it which is good enough for the price you pay.
- AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
- Can Overclock to handle high-quality gaming at decent settings
- None, it’s a really good CPU for the price you pay.
If you want to build a powerful yet efficient PC that can handle most of your daily tasks without any issues such as streaming media and playing modern games, then I would definitely buy this CPU to have fun!
5. AMD Athlon 3000G, 2 Cores 4 Threads Unlocked Desktop Processor with Radeon Graphics
This is another AMD CPU that comes with the Radeon Vega 3 Graphics. It’s a great choice for people who are on a tight budget and are looking for a powerful processor.
This AMD 3000G is a really good option to consider if you want to build your gaming PC around it. It’s an unlocked processor, so overclocking it would be easy and simple as well.
The base frequency is 3.5 GHz, but it can boost up to 3.8 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 Technology. It also comes with the standard 4MB L3 cache memory which is enough to handle most tasks. The TDP is also really low at only 35W so it’s great for those who don’t want to overclock their CPU.
- Great for streaming and media-heavy tasks
- Can handle modern games at decent settings without an issue
- 35W TDP is really low so you don’t have to worry about overheating your system while streaming or doing other heavy tasks.
- None, it’s a very good processor.
This is a great budget processor for those who want to build their own computer. It’s compatible with most motherboards on the market, and it can handle all of your basic tasks easily.
Along with it, the CPU can easily handle modern games in decent settings without any issue and it also has a decent cooling system attached to it which I think is good enough for the price you pay.
6. AMD Athlon 240GE, 2 Cores 4 Threads Desktop Processor with Radeon Vega 3 Graphics Processor
If you’ve got a really tight budget, then AMD Athlon 240GE is another best processor which comes under $100 and provides the ultimate gaming experience to you. The processor works like a charm for handling daily tasks, online streaming, and watching movies as well.
Like most AMD processors, it supports AMD SenseMI Technology that helps in reducing power consumption and heat generation. The 4MB L3 cache memory serves you well in handling basic tasks without any issue.
The base frequency is 3.4 GHz but it can boost up to 4.0 GHz which is really great for a processor under $100. It also comes with the Radeon Vega 3 Graphics Processor which will be used to play most of your modern games.
At the same time, it is pretty efficient for handling all of your tasks and might not be enough if you will want to game on high settings and do a lot of editing but still, it’s a good processor that should not disappoint you.
- Really good processor with standard features and can handle most tasks easily without any issue.
- 35W TDP is really low so you don’t have to worry about overheating your system while streaming or doing other heavy tasks.
- None, it’s a very good processor.
It’s really cheap, has decent performance and most importantly it can handle all your basic tasks without any issue. If you are looking for something that can really enhance your gaming experience as well then this AMD Athlon 240GE should not disappoint you.
If I wanted to build a cheap gaming PC for myself, I would definitely pick this processor to play games with decent settings and to do daily tasks with ease.
7. Intel Celeron G5905, 2 Cores & 2 Threads Desktop Processor with Intel UHD Graphics 610
Intel Celeron G5905 is another great CPU that comes under $100. If you are on a tight budget and want to build a powerful yet efficient PC then this processor will surely serve you well. It is an entry-level processor by Intel, but with decent power, this CPU can handle all your basic tasks easily and can also take care of most games at decent settings.
With a base frequency speed of 2.8 GHz, it is really good for handling most of your daily tasks without any issue. The L3 Cache memory is also really low at only 4 MB which means that it’s not really good for heavy work but still, it’s more than enough to handle your gaming needs easily with ease.
With the TDP of just 58W, it’s really good for those who don’t want to overclock their processor. It’s not a gaming processor but still, it can handle games at decent settings without any issue. It also comes with the Intel UHD Graphics 610 which helps in boosting your visual performance and run demanding games at decent settings without any issues.
I think this CPU is best suited for people who are on a tight budget and just want to play modern games easily. Most people use the CPU for basic tasks like streaming and gaming on low settings so if that’s what you are up to then I would definitely pick this PC as it’ll work great for you.
- It’s really cheap for what it offers.
- Can easily handle modern games at decent settings without any issue.
- 58W TDP is really low so you don’t have to worry about overheating your system while streaming or doing other heavy tasks.
- It’s not a gaming CPU and if you want to play AAA games on high settings then it’ll be harder for you to do so but still, it’s more than enough to handle your gaming needs easily.
I think this processor is a really good option to consider if you want a processor that can handle most of your daily tasks easily. It’s more than enough for doing basic tasks and is powerful enough to take care of most games in decent settings.
If you are on a budget and building your own computer, then this CPU should work great for you.
8. Intel Celeron G4920, 2 Cores & 2 Threads Desktop Processor with Intel UHD 610 Graphics
Another budget-friendly CPU that comes under $100 is Intel Celeron G4920. This is a great processor for those who are on a tight budget and want to build their PC on a tight budget. With its base frequency speed of 3.2 GHz, it can handle most of your daily tasks without any issue as well as games at decent settings without any issue.
It also has the 2 MB L3 cache memory along with the TDP of only 65W which is really good for people who don’t want to overclock their processor and also, it’s energy-efficient. The UHD Graphics 610 will allow you to play modern games such as World of Warcraft, League of Legends, or similar games in decent settings without any issue.
- Can easily handle your daily tasks without any issue as well as most modern games at decent settings.
- It’s really cheap for what it offers.
- 65W TDP is really low so you don’t have to worry about overheating your system while streaming or doing other heavy tasks.
- None, it’s a good processor that can handle most of your tasks without any issue.
To be final, I think this processor should be placed on the list of those that work great for those who are on a tight budget and want to build their own PC easily on a tight budget.
If you are looking for something that can handle your daily tasks without any issue and also play modern games at decent settings then this processor should not disappoint you.
AMD vs Intel? Which One to Choose?
Well, it depends on what you want to do with your PC and this choice can be good for one or it can cause some problems to others.
If you are looking to build a gaming PC, go for Intel because you’ll need better performance with Intel than AMD. If you are on a tight budget and simply want to do all your basic tasks quickly, then AMD is the better option for you.
On the other hand, if you want better performance as well as graphics output then Intel should serve you really well. To summarize, both of them have their own pros and cons. If I had to choose one of them, I would go with Intel but still, my choice doesn’t mean that it’s the best one or it will work great in all cases.
What if you don’t want to build your own PC? Where should you get the processor from?
Well, you can also get a prebuilt PC that comes with a processor included. This is what we call an “all-in-one” computer. You just need to find one that suits your budget and needs and then go ahead and buy it.
For example, I have build my own computer from scratch but I sometimes feel like buying a prebuilt PC because it saves me some time and I can just play with the computer without having to worry about anything including installing drivers and configure everything manually which takes a lot of time as well.
Buying Guide for Choosing Best CPU Under $100
Still, confused between choosing the best CPU/processor under $100? Here are the things you need to keep in mind while choosing whether to go for AMD or Intel.
1. Frequency Speed
Well, speed is always good when it comes to processors but this isn’t the only reason. If you want a processor that can run games well then you will have no other option but to go with Intel because AMD processors don’t work well for games due to their limited frequency speed.
By frequency speed, I mean the CPU’s ability to process commands quickly in a single fraction of a second. Also measures the speed of the processor as compared to the performance of a clock and also, compared to other processors.
2. The L3 Cache Memory
This memory is basically the virtual space that your processor uses to store data and instructions. So, the more L3 cache memory you have, the better it’ll be for you as it’ll help in boosting your performance.
It’s a good feature to have because it allows your processor to process commands faster, but if you don’t have the L3 cache memory then you will not be able to perform better in gaming or any other heavy tasks
3. The Thread Count
The thread count is really important if you want your processor to work flawlessly with games especially if you don’t want to lag while playing them because of limited power.
Thread is also important in other cases as well such as when you want to play games or do any heavy task at decent settings, then thread count is more important than frequency speed because that helps in giving better performance.
It simply means the more the thread count, the more the performance of the processor.
4. The TDP (Thermal Design Power)
TDP is really important for overclockers also because it serves a lot of purposes such as stabilizing the processor’s temperature as well as boosting its performance.
TDP can also help in preventing your processor from overheating which can be really harmful to the processor as well as your computer. Without TDP, you might have to worry about overheating while performing heavy tasks or playing games that require a lot of processing.
TDP is measured in Watts and if the TDP of your processor is high then it will require more power which can lead to overheating.
5. The Graphics Card
We can’t talk about the graphics card without talking about the processor because they are both important when it comes to gaming.
If you are looking for a processor that will be good for gaming on high settings then Intel is the best to go with but if you want something that will be great for low settings while enjoying your games then AMD should serve you well.
6. Your Budget
The Processor Under $100 for gaming will always have a minimum of 2 or 4 cores and 2 or 4 threads. Just like I mentioned earlier, the more cores you have, the better the performance will be but if you don’t have enough money then this should be reason enough to choose something else.
If you are on a tight budget, then Intel should be good for you because they work great and are really affordable.
Intel processors are really good at overclocking and will allow you to boost your CPU’s performance if you are looking to make it a beast.
But if you don’t want to overclock your CPU, then this doesn’t really matter that much because all the processors that I’ve mentioned above will run great for most of the games without any issue.
You want to make sure that the processor and also the motherboard comes with a cooling system because if you don’t have that then you will have to spend some extra bucks on one which can make your overall price higher.
In my opinion, this is one of the important stuff that should not be overlooked. If you are building a gaming PC, then I recommend installing a liquid cooling system to your CPU because it works really well and can prevent your processor from overheating due to heavy load.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few questions that many of you might have in your mind right now while looking for the best processor under $100.
Is AMD better than Intel?
Both are really good but if you want the best performance, then Intel is your best bet but if you are on a tight budget and want something that will be great for most of the games and daily tasks, then AMD is what you need.
Is 4 core or 6 core better?
Well, it depends on what you want to do with your PC. If you are looking to build a gaming PC, then go for 6 cores and if you just want something that will help you with your daily tasks and light games, then go for 2 cores as they are enough for most of your daily life works.
What should I buy if I want to overclock my processor?
Well, you can always buy a better cooling system and a better cooling system with an overclocked chip. But, if you’re not looking for that many features then just go with the best CPU that comes under the $100 list, which I shared above.
Which one is better for games – AMD or Intel?
If you want to build a gaming PC, then you can go with Intel because it works better for games but if you just want something that will be great for gaming on low settings while getting the best performance while enjoying your favorite games, then go with AMD.
Well, that’s all for this article today. I hope you like the article on choosing the best CPU under $100 for gaming and day-to-day tasks. I’ve done a lot of research and asked a few gamers for their reviews on these CPUs and later I published this post to make choosing the best CPU/processor easy for you.
I also hope that you liked reading this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or queries regarding the topic then feel free to ask me in the comment section below. I will be more than happy to address your queries and questions.
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