Intel Core i3 2120 

Released January, 2011
  • 3.3 GHz
  • Dual core
7.4 Out of 10

Getting the base clock up to 104MHz was enough to boost the CPU core clock speed by nearly 130MHz and running the processor at 3.43GHz did bring a nice performance boost.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
So far we have seen that the Core i3-2120 is about 6-7% faster than the Core i3-2105 and that makes sense as the clock speed difference between the two processors is 200MHz or 6.5.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
Explore 3 desktops with the Intel Core i3 2120

CPUBoss Review Our evaluation of the Intel Core i3 2120 among desktop CPUs (45 to 75W)


Benchmark performance using all cores

Core i3 2120
PCMark 8 Home 3.0 Accelerated, PassMark and 1 more

Single-core Performance

Individual core benchmark performance

Core i3 2120
PassMark (Single Core), Geekbench 3 Single Core and 1 more

Integrated Graphics

Integrated GPU performance for graphics

Core i3 2120
Fire Strike

Integrated Graphics (OpenCL)

Integrated GPU performance for parallel computing

Core i3 2120
CompuBench 1.5 Bitcoin mining and 4 more

Performance per Watt

How efficiently does the processor use electricity?

Core i3 2120
Fire Strike, CompuBench 1.5 Bitcoin mining and 11 more


Are you paying a premium for performance?

Core i3 2120
Fire Strike, CompuBench 1.5 Bitcoin mining and 11 more


CPUBoss Score

Combination of all six facets

Core i3 2120

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Intel Core i3 2120

CompuBench 1.5 (Face detection)

Core i3 2120
2 mPixels/s
Core i3 2100
2.05 mPixels/s

PCMark 8 Home 3.0 Accelerated Data courtesy FutureMark

Core i3 2120
Core i3 3220
Core i3 2100

GeekBench 3 (Multi-core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i3 2120
Core i3 3220
Core i3 2100

GeekBench 3 (Single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i3 2120
Core i3 3220
Core i3 2100

GeekBench 3 (AES single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i3 2120
162,800 MB/s
Core i3 3220
173,000 MB/s
Core i3 2100
153,100 MB/s

GeekBench (32-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i3 2120
Core i3 3220
Core i3 2100

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

Core i3 2120
Core i3 3220
Core i3 2100

PassMark (Single Core)

Core i3 2120
Core i3 2100
Core i3 3220

Reviews Word on the street for the Intel Core i3 2120

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Socket Type

Results: The Intel Core i3-2120 was slightly faster than the Core i3-2105 processor in the multi-media processor benchmark thanks to the processors 200MHz faster core clock frequency.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
Benchmark Results: H.A.W.X. 2 was run in DirectX 10 mode on both platforms and the difference between the Intel Core i3-2105 and Core i3-2120 was very obvious.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
Overclocking the GPU up to 1250MHz from 1100MHz helped boost our 3DMark score from 1087 3DMarks to 1301 3DMarks!
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)


Here is a CPU-Z v1.58 screen shot of the Intel Core i3-2120 to see what we are going to be overclocking.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
Benchmark Results: HandBrake version 0.9.5 software showed that the Intel Core i3-2120 was able to perform about 7% faster than the Intel Core i3-2105 processor thanks to the extra clock speed.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
With two memory channels, the Core i3-2120 can support up to 32GB of DDR3 memory running at up to 1,333MHz.
by PCMag (Jan, 2012)


If you are worried about GPU performance and play games the Intel Core i3-2105 is the better buy and well worth the extra $27 over the Core i3-2100 if that is what you are after.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
The Intel Core i3-2120 is a very capable processor for the $149.68 price tag that online retailers are asking for it.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
As you can see PCMark7 had the Intel Core i3-2105 and the Core i3-2120 basically tied in performance.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)


Benchmark Results: Up to this point we have only run x86 CPU benchmarks, so this will be the first GPU benchmark for these four processors.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
It will be interesting to see if that holds true in the benchmarks.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
Results: The entry level Intel Core i3 series of processors do not support AES-NI and neither does the AMD A-Series of APUs, so the Cryptographic Bandwidth isn't a strong point of these processors.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)


This is another reason to get this processor over the Core i3-2105 if you don't plan on doing any gaming or GPU intensive tasks as it uses less power and produces less heat.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)
This is the strongest feature of the Core i3-2120 processor and if you are planning on doing transcoding, or number crunching the Intel Core i3-2120 is the way to go as it will complete the work you are throwing at the CPU faster.
by Legit Reviews (Jul, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Clock speed 3.3 GHz
Cores Dual core
Socket type LGA 1155
Is unlocked No


Has a NX bit Yes
Supports trusted computing No
Has virtualization support Yes
Instruction set extensions
  1. MMX
  2. SSE
  3. SSE2
  4. SSE4.1
  5. SSE3
  6. Supplemental SSE3
  7. SSE4.2
  8. AVX
  9. SSE4
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes

integrated graphics

Label Intel® HD Graphics 2000
Number of displays supported 2
GPU clock speed 850 MHz
Turbo clock speed 1,100 MHz

memory controller

Memory controller Built-in
Memory type
  1. DDR3-1333
  2. DDR3-1066
  3. DDR3
Channels Dual Channel
Maximum bandwidth 21,333.32 MB/s
Maximum memory size 32,768 MB


Architecture x86-64
Threads 4 threads
L2 cache 0.5 MB
L2 cache per core 0.25 MB/core
L3 cache 3 MB
L3 cache per core 1.5 MB/core
Manufacture process 32 nm
Max CPUs 1
Clock multiplier 33
Operating temperature Unknown - 69.1°C


Overclock popularity 22
Overclock review score 1
Overclocked clock speed 3.44 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 3.41 GHz
PassMark (Overclocked) 1,336.7
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 3.44 GHz

power consumption

Annual home energy cost 15.66 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 56.94 $/year
Performance per watt 3.28 pt/W
Typical power consumption 52.81W


Architecture DMI
Transfer rate 5,000 MT/s
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