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The i3 series of processors have generally been well received and this generation (known as Sandybridge) go one step better. First of all Sandybridge had a huge problem with the motherboard issues which caused it not to be well received initially. However, once the B3 (revision 3) came out all the problems have disappeared.
This CPU can be called midrange and at this price point of around £90, this is ideal for those who do a bit of gaming and like to multitask. However, this isn't really a QUAD core processor even though the name may imply so. In actuality, this CPU has 2 physical cores and 2 virtual cores. Don't let that detract you though because it performs as well as any quad core CPU. For example the gaming, desktop, encoding performance of this i3 2100 is very comparable to that of an AMD Phenom II 955 Black Edition. It may not be the powerhouse like i5 or i7 processors, but it doesn't cost nearly as much.
One of the major advantages of this cpu is the thermal draw power (TDP) which is much lower than other quad core and dual core counterparts. In fact the TDP of an AMD 955BE is 125W wheras this one is only 65W. That is nearly half the TDP yet similar performance. So you save on power for starters, but this also has an added benifit: your CPU cooler doesn't sound like a jet engine. The standard CPU cooler that comes with i3 2100 performs brilliantly and given the small 65W TDP it not only is a lot quieter but also manages to keep system temperatures low and steady.
Multitasking is excellent and you can happily play a game like CoD MW2 or BFBC2 WHILST encoding a video and decompressing a file! It is by no means a slouch, however don't expect amazing frame rates for those demanding games.
The installation of this CPU is pretty simple and straight forward. The pins are aligned to the motherboards socket and the fan simply clicks into place without needing to apply too much pressure.
My only gripe is that for an additional £19 you can get the i3 2120 which is a much better performer.