Ryzen 3 vs i3 Processor – Are they equal?

The processor is the brain of your laptop. Aside from the RAM (memory) your laptop has, it’s the most important piece of hardware in your entire laptop setup. There are many different processors out there for you to choose from, and it can be difficult to know the difference between them all.

One of the most popular processors over the last decade or more is the Intel i3 processor, and it’s become the staple for many new laptops. But how does this processor compare when pitted against another popular processor, like AMD’s Ryzen 3? Well, we’re going to compare the two against each other now.

Ryzen 3 vs i3 Processor

In general, an AMD Ryzen 3 processor is going to be better than an Intel i3 processor across the board. They have more cores, and most of their Ryzen 3 processors have 2 threads for every core. So, as a whole range, you’d likely be better off opting for the AMD.

However, this is a bit of an unfair question, because there are different versions and generations of both i3 and Ryzen 3 processors. So, for example a AMD Ryzen 3 3300X has 4 cores, and 8 threads, with a base clocking speed of 3.8GHz, and a max of 4.3GHz.

The most likely comparison to this model would probably be the newer 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10320 Processor, which also has 4 cores, 8 threads and a base speed of 3.8GHz. However, this processor has a max frequency of 4.6GHz, so a little more than the Ryzen comparison.

How many cores does the processor have

Whilst both of these brands are worth considering, I’d be more inclined to opt for an AMD processor than an Intel processor. All of their Ryzen 3 processors are quadcore, whereas some of the i3 processors are only dual core. The amount of cores a processor has indicates the amount of different functions it can run simultaneously. Here you can find out more about quad core and dual core processors.

Looking at the cores that the processor has is the first step to deciding which to opt for. So whilst all AMD Ryzen 3 processors are quad core, not all i3’s are. But what if you have an i3 processor that’s quad core, then what other methods can you use to tell which one is better? Well, that’s when we start to look at clock rates.

Comparing Clock Rates

When you’re considering processors, you can look at their performance as another criteria in deciding which option to choose. The performance of the processor is measured in GHz.

For example, the AMD Ryzen 3 1200 has a clock rate of 3.1GHz – this just refers to the amount of cycles the clock of the processor makes. So, 3.1GHz is equal to 3.1 billion cycles per second. However, if we look at the Intel i3-4150, then this has a clock rate of 3.5GHz, which means that it has a faster clock rate.

This is another way that we can decide which processor to opt for out of the two. But, this isn’t the only way that we can tell processors apart.

Considering Threads

As well as looking at the amount of cores that a processor has, we can also look at the amount of threads it has too. The threads that a processor has is essentially how many cores the processor thinks that it has.

Most processors have 2 threads of every core. This means that the processor can equally balance out it’s work between the different cores. In an ideal scenario, you’ll always want a processor that has 2 threads per core, as opposed to 1 thread per core.

An example of this is the AMD Ryzen™ 3 1300X Processor, which has 4 cores but only 4 threads to match. Comparing this to the Intel i3-10320, which has 4 cores yet 8 threads, shows us that this generation of i3 would be the better choice.


In conclusion, you can find Ryzen 3 processors that are better than i3s, and you can find i3 processors that are better than Ryzen 3’s. To really find the difference between them, we really need to take a closer look at the processor’s details. Nowadays, I’d suggest that you opt for something a little better – check out this list of the best i5 laptops, which are good value for money.

Whilst the new 10th Gen Intel i3 processors are good, for most people the AMD Ryzen series will provide better value for money. The Ryzen 3 series is known for creating some of the best value for money processors, so it’s a safe bet to go for a Ryzen 3.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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