CPU deals of the week – 28th May 2020

With the launch of Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs finally underway, now is a great time to bag yourself a cheap CPU deal, so we’ve listed the best prices for all of today’s best gaming CPUs to help you bag yourself a bargain. We’ve got everything here from the best Intel CPU deals to the best AMD Ryzen CPU deals, so whether you’re upgrading your PC or building a new PC from scratch, these are the cheapest CPU deals around right now.

Just before we dive into our CPU deals, though, there are a couple of things worth keeping in mind before you hit that buy button. After all, upgrading your CPU isn’t exactly the easiest operation. If your PC is more than a couple of years old, for example, then you’ll most likely need a whole new motherboard for it, too, as different CPUs are only compatible with certain motherboards.

You’ll find everything you need to know in our What motherboard do I need for my Intel or AMD Ryzen CPU? article, but the short version is that AMD Ryzen CPU buyers should consider getting either an AM4 motherboard with either a B550 or X570 chipset, as this will ensure future compatibility with AMD’s next gen CPUs, while Intel CPU buyers will need a LGA1151 motherboard with a 300-series chipset (such as the B360 or Z390) if you’re buying a 9th Gen Coffee Lake processor, or an LGA1200 motherboard with a 400-series if you’re going for one of their new 10th Gen Comet Lake chips.

As a result, you can sometimes find some great CPU deals by buying one together with a new motherboard. We’ve only listed individual CPU deals below, but it’s worth having a look round to see if you can save a bit of money by opting for a CPU and motherboard combo deal. You’ll also find more info on how to get a great CPU deal at the bottom of this article if you want a bit more info on what to look out for – and remember, if you’re in need of more PC components for your new build, then make sure you have a look at our regularly updated Graphics card deals, SSD deals and Gaming monitor deals pages, too. For now, though, here are the cheapest CPU deals of the week.

CPU deals

Intel CPU deals:

Intel Core i3-9100 deals:

While we haven’t reviewed the i3-9100, its predecessor – the Core i3-8100 – is a solid if unremarkable quad-core CPU. Really, you should be buying an AMD CPU if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, as you’ll get much better gaming performance across the board. However, if you’re dead set on Intel, this is the CPU to buy – and you can save even more by opting for the cheaper F model, which is exactly the same as the regular 9100, but doesn’t have any integrated graphics. As a result, you’ll need to pair it with a graphics card, but you’ll likely be doing that anyway if you’re building a new gaming PC.

Intel Core i5-9600K deals:

Intel’s Core i5-9600K may have been replaced by the Core i5-10600K now, but if you want to keep costs down and are conscious about your CPU’s power consumption, this is still a great gaming CPU in its own right. It comfortably outperforms the AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, even if you do pay a bit more for the privilege. Just make sure you’ve got enough budget for a cooler, as it doesn’t come with one in the box.

Intel Core i5-10600K deals:

Intel’s first mid-range 10th Gen chip doesn’t disappoint, and if you’re looking for a rock-solid gaming PC that really packs a punch, then you won’t be disappointed. It’s markedly faster than the previous generation, though given how new it is, don’t expect the above prices to drop any time soon. It’s also a real beast on the old power consumption, so make sure you’ve got enough cash for a decent cooling solution and a beefy PSU to go with it.

Intel Core i7-9700K deals:

While technically the i9-9900K below is as good as 9th Gen Intel chips get, the performance increase just isn’t big enough for us to recommend it over the Core i7-9700K. Even with a new generation of Intel chips now in the wild, this is a great performer – though you will probably want to consider liquid cooling if you plan on trying your hand at overclocking.

Intel Core i7-10700K deals:

We’ve not been able to review the Intel Core i7-10700K yet, but you’re pretty much guaranteed performance between the i5-10600K and i9-10900K which should not be a let down. As with said chips, however, this is a brand new CPU, so you’re unlikely to see bargain basement prices any time soon.

Intel Core i9-9900K deals (DO NOT BUY):

The fastest 9th Gen Intel CPU is an even tougher sell in 2020 than it was when we reviewed it at the end of 2018. Yes, it was the fastest chip available at the time, but the gains were marginal and now it’s eclipsed by Intel’s 10th Gen CPUs. Bluntly, until it drops in price dramatically, there’s no reason to pop this in your PC ahead of its rivals above and below.

Intel Core i9-10900K deals:

If you want the best of the best, you’ll have to be prepared to put a lot of cash up front, though it is pleasingly lower than the Core i9-9900K’s original launch price. This is the best money can buy right now, but until we get a sample of the i7-10700k to test, we won’t know exactly how much better.

AMD CPU deals:

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X deals:

The Ryzen 3 3300X is hands down our favourite budget CPU for two reasons: it’s fast and it’s cheap. How fast? Well, it runs gives Intel’s Core i5-9600K chip a run for its money on most of the benchmarks for half the price, which is pretty hard to argue with. Supply is understandably scarce at the moment, so prices are slightly inflated unfortunately – that should die down soon, but if you must buy today than the prices above are as good as it gets.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 deals (DO NOT BUY):

With the Ryzen 3 3300X still hard to come by at its regular price, the Ryzen 5 3600 is still a decent CPU, but its gaming performance is pretty much identical to its Ryzen 3 3300X sibling. For the difference in cost, we’d go for the Ryzen 3 3300X, but if you can’t wait for more stock to arrive then this’ll do you just fine.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X deals:

It’s only marginally better than the 3600 above, but if you’ve got a few more quid left in your budget then you’ll eek a few more frames per second with a Ryzen 5 3600X. Again, the Ryzen 3 3300X isn’t too far behind, so if you’re looking to save money, then scroll back up. However, if you also use your PC for lots of photo and video editing, then the Ryzen 5 3600X’s two extra cores make it well worth the extra expense.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X deals:

Much like the situation over at Intel, AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X isn’t technically the fastest gaming CPU you can buy right now, but it is the best value. Not only is it more energy efficient, but the sharp increase in price you’ll face with either the 3800X or 3900X doesn’t really justify the relatively modest leap in performance in our eyes. It’s simply the best balance between price and performance available right now for AMD CPU buyers.

AMD Ryzen 7 3800X deals (DO NOT BUY):

While it’s technically better than the Ryzen 7 3700X above, our benchmarks showed it to be a mixed bag, actually struggling to keep up in some. While it outperformed in other areas, it would be a strange decision to pay more for this when the 3700X above is still cheaper.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X deals (DO NOT BUY):

This is the most powerful processor AMD have ever made, but boy is it pricey. Really, this 12-core CPU is geared toward creative media professionals rather than PC gaming, and we think you’ll be much better off getting the Ryzen 7 3700X if you want to stick with AMD, or even switching to a 10th Gen Intel chip.

How to get a great CPU deal:

Upgrading to one of today’s best gaming CPUs can make a surprising difference to your PC’s overall gaming performance, particularly if you tend to play games at a resolution of 1920×1080. The difference becomes a lot less marked at 1440p and 4K, though, so if you regularly play games at these resolutions, then you can save yourself a lot of money by opting for a mid-range CPU instead of an expensive high-end one.

If you regularly stream games online, though, then you’ll want a CPU with lots of cores, as your PC needs to be very good at multi-tasking to stream smoothly. This means you’ll probably have to find a bit more budget for something like one of Intel’s Core i7 CPUs or AMD’s Ryzen 7 chips, but you’ll thank yourself later for finding the extra cash.

The question, of course, is what type of gaming CPU you should go for? Intel or AMD? A lot of your decision making will be determined by what kind of motherboard you have, although if your PC is more than a few years old, chances are you’ll need to buy a new motherboard anyway. If you’re building a new PC from scratch, then it’s a bit easier, as you can simply pick the best gaming CPU you like the sound of and buy the appropriate motherboard to match.

There are pros and cons to both Intel and AMD. Intel CPUs generally offer the better gaming performance overall, but they tend to be more expensive than their AMD equivalents. AMD CPUs also come with their own coolers, and all of them are unlocked for overclocking, which isn’t necessarily the case with every Intel CPU.

That’s why the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X is the RPS CPU of choice in our £1000 RPS Rig build (that, and it’s an incredible CPU in its own right, too), but as a general rule, the more money you’ve got to spend means you’re probably better off going with an Intel CPU rather than an AMD one – especially if getting the best possible gaming performance is your number one priority.

If you need help installing your CPU, then you’ll find everything you need to know about how to build a PC in our dedicated guide, including how to install your CPU, and I’ve also put together a list of everything you need to know about upgrading your PC in 2020 if you need a bit of a refresher on all things CPU-related.

And remember, if you’re on the look out for more components for your new PC, then make sure you have a look at our regularly updated Graphics card deals, SSD deals and Gaming monitor deals pages, too.

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