Basically, the closest AMD equivalent to the Intel Core i3 processor is the Ryzen 3 line of CPUs. Much like the Core i3s, Ryzen 3 CPUs are meant for budget gamers, beginner content creators and generally for systems that aren’t built for very high computing demands.
The Intel Core i3 is a basic CPU line from Intel. This CPU line is intended to provide the minimal necessary performance required to run games and heavier professional software.
Hence, Intel Core i3s are often found in budget desktops and laptops due to their lower power consumption and heat generation.
The same idea is also true for the AMD Ryzen 3 CPUs. As such, in this article, I will talk in detail about what is AMD equivalent to Intel Core i3.
While both AMD Ryzen 3 and Intel Core 3 are comparable, for a fair comparison of price and performance, you have to take into consideration the type and generation of Core i3 and the Ryzen 3 processors. There are different models of Ryzen 3 and Core i3 even within a certain generation.
Nevertheless, despite hailing from the budget range, both AMD Ryzen 3 and Intel Core i3 processors are not the weakest CPUs around. That title, is in fact, held by the cheaper Intel Celeron, Pentium and AMD Ahtlon CPUs.
Here we look at both the Intel Core i3 and the AMD Ryzen 3 processors in detail and see how they compare to each other across models and generation.
So What is AMD Equivalent to Intel Core i3?
We have already established that when it comes to performance and price range, AMD’s Ryzen 3 lineup is the closest equivalent to the Core i3s from Intel.
In the following we text we analyze why.
Brief Details on AMD Ryzen 3 CPU Types
There are several models of CPUs belonging to Ryzen 3 family, each with different specs and features.
In order to make a fair comparison with the Intel Core i3 CPUs, you will have to note the type of AMD Ryzen 3 processor in question.
Essentially there are three types of AMD Ryzen 3 processors that you can find:
1. Mobile/Laptop Based
Mobile based AMD Ryzen 3 processors usually have the “U” designation such as the AMD Ryzen 3250U or the AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 5450U.
The U designation relates to the fact that these processors have a low TDP, low cooling requirement and as a result a higher battery life.
Due to their lower TDP, the mobile based CPUs are far weaker in performance as compared to their desktop-based counterparts. This is true for both AMD Ryzen 3 and Intel Core i3 CPUs.
2. Desktop-Based Ryzen 3 CPUs Without iGPU
These generally have the best CPU performance but they lack an integrated graphics card and hence cannot power the built-in video ports on the motherboards.
Examples include the Ryzen 3 3100 and the Ryzen 3 3100X. Currently, there are no Ryzen 3 processors from the 4000 and 5000 series in this category.
3. Desktop-Based Ryzen 3 CPUs With iGPU
These are specialized CPUs by AMD that come with an integrated VEGA graphics card. These are often called APUs or Accelerated Processing Units.
These CPUs are great if you do not wish to spend on a dedicated graphics card. The integrated graphics here would allow you to use the built-in video ports of the motherboard.
Examples include the Ryzen 3 3200G, Ryzen 3 4300G and Ryzen 3 5300G.
Comparison with Intel Core i3 Line Ups
Intel Core i3 family also has mobile and desktop based processors. However, unlike AMD which only offers an integrated GPU on its “G” series CPUs, with Intel almost all of the CPUs come with an integrated graphics card.
Only the Intel processors with an ‘F’ suffix LACK an integrated graphics, such as the Intel Core i3 10100F.
Another difference with Intel processors is that only the “unlocked” processors, with a “K” suffix such as the Intel Core i3-9350K are overclockable. In contrast, all of the AMD CPUs, including Ryzen 3, are unlocked and are overclockable.
Comparing Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 Processors
When comparing the processor, you have to look at both the single core as well as the multi core performance.
This is because for some use cases single-core performance matters more and for others multi-core performance.
For instance, CAD designing, FPS /RPG gaming etc benefits more from a good single core performance of the CPU.
On the other hand, rendering, transcoding, streaming, simulation and strategy games benefit more from a higher multi-core performance of the CPU.
Note on the Generation Parity
We had mentioned this earlier, but to reiterate this point, when comparing Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 processors, you have to make sure that you choose a similar or at least a REASONABLY similar generation from both for a fair comparison.
There has to be a parity when comparing. For instance it would be unwise and unfair to choose a third generation Intel Core i3-3110M processor released in 2012 and compare it with 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen 3 3300X series released in 2020.
The two processors are 8 years apart and in CPU terms 8 years is an aeon.
Cinbench R15 Single/
The table above compares some top of the line Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 processor from 10th Gen and 3000 series respectively.
These two generations have been chosen because they both have a parity in release dates, specs and price tags.
As you can see, in both mainstream laptop and desktop based series, both the Ryzen 3 and Intel Core i3 processor have almost similar results as well as specs.
The Intel Core i3-10110U does take a lead in the mobile/laptop segment variants (considering the Cinebench scores), but in the desktop segment, the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X takes the lead.
However, note that the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X does not feature an integrated graphics, whereas the Intel Core i3-10320 does.
The Intel Core i3-10320 can thus save you from investing in a dedicated graphics card for video output.
The iGPU based AMD Ryzen 3 3200G, however, is quite weak both in specs as well as in benchmark results, but it offers a superior Vega 8 graphics card which can give you fairly decent results on popular online games such as CS:GO, Fortnite on lower graphical settings.
Intel Core i3 vs Ryzen 3 Benchmarks
Cinebench R15 (Single Core)
Surprisingly, the Intel Core i3 10320 has an excellent single core performance compared to even the popular AMD Ryzen 3 3300X.
Cinebench R15 (Multi Core)
As expected, CPUs with more cores = better multi-core performance. The Ryzen 3s do have an edge on their Core i3 counterparts in multi-core performance.
Similarities Between Core i3 and Ryzen 3
Both chips are lower-end models in their respective lines. They are good options for users building a semi-performance based PC on a tight budget and require the necessary performance for basic gaming and content creation.
They are both more than just capable of day-to-day computing needs. For day-to-day computing, AMD has the Athlon series and Intel has Celeron and Pentium series.
For both AMD and Intel, CPU models range anywhere from featuring 2 cores for mobile based chips to 4 cores for desktop based chips.
Support for multithreading is however dependent on the specific chip model since some Core i3s and Ryzen 3s have support for this and others don’t. So, they’re more or less the same in this regard.
Among the new generations, the performance between some of the models in either line is almost at par, with small differences as seen in Cinebench R15 benchmarks, case in point is the Ryzen 3 3300X’s single core of 200 versus the i3-10320’s 206 points and multi-core score of 1129 vs 1080 for the two respective processors.
Both Intel Core i3 and Ryzen 3 processors are also priced relatively the same. However the Ryzen does seem to have a better performance/dollar value at least when comparing Ryzen 3000 series vs 10th Gen Core processors.
Take for instance the Ryzen 3 3300X. This has an MSRP of $120. The Intel Core i3 10320 has an MSRP of $162!
AMD Ryzen does seem to falter in performance/dollar value when you compare the newer Ryzen 5000 series vs 11th Gen Intel Core. Look up benchmarks and MSRP for AMD Ryzen 5 5600X vs Intel Core i5 11600K for instance.
The Ryzen 3 is the closest equivalent to Intel’s Core i3 series in terms of performance, although with different models and generations available, there are variations in specs and performance.
Essentially, both Ryzen 3 and Core i3 lines have sub $150 chips that perform well on entry-level systems and some even offer decent gaming performance for budget gaming rigs.