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CPU deals of the week - 3rd August 2020

CPU deals of the week

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your PC with a new gaming CPU recently, then we’re here to help, as we’ve rounded up all of the cheapest CPU deals from around the web. Whatever type of PC you’re looking to build, you’ll find all the best prices for our top gaming CPU recommendations below. From the best Intel CPU deals to the best AMD Ryzen CPU deals, we’ve got you covered.

Upgrading your CPU can often be one of the most expensive parts of upgrading your PC, as you’ll likely need to buy a new motherboard for it as well if your current processor is more than a couple of years old. As a result, it pays to get the best deal you can on your new CPU.

You’ll find everything you need to know about what motherboard you need for your Intel or AMD Ryzen CPU in our dedicated article, but the short version is that AMD Ryzen CPU buyers should get 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 LGA 1151 motherboard with either a B360 or Z390 chipset if you’re buying a 9th Gen Coffee Lake processor, or an LGA 1200 motherboard with a 400-series if you’re going for one of their new 10th Gen Comet Lake chips.

You’ll 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 of the week

Intel CPU deals:

Intel Core i5-9600K deals:

A small increase of £5 / $5 this week. Intel’s Core i5-9600K may have been replaced by the Core i5-10600K now, but if you want to keep costs down and are conscious about your CPU’s power consumption, then this is still a great gaming CPU in its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 decent cooler, as it doesn’t come with one in the box.

Intel Core i5-10600K deals:

Intel’s first mid-range 10th Gen chip has had a fall of £15 in the UK this week, but a $5 increase in the US due to low stock levels. Still, this is an absolute beast of a gaming CPU, 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 power hog, 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 (DO NOT BUY):

The Core i7-9700K was a great processor before the Core i5-10600K came along, but when the its gaming performance is pretty much identical to its newer Core i5 sibling, there’s little reason to get one when it’s so much more expensive – even if it’s fallen in price by over £40 in the UK this week.

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 be pretty darn powerful. Just like those chips, however, this is a brand new CPU, so you’re unlikely to see bargain basement prices any time soon. Indeed, prices are still the same as last week, give or take a couple of quid.

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

Even though the Core i9-9900K has fallen by £20 / $30 this week, it’s still not really worth considering. Yes, it was the fastest CPU available in late 2018, but the gains were marginal over other the Core i7-9700K, and it’s now been eclipsed by Intel’s 10th Gen CPUs. It’s also massive overkill for a regular gaming PC, so unless you’re well into streaming, you’d be better off going for the cheaper Core i5-10600K or Core i7-10700K.

Intel Core i9-10900K deals (DO NOT BUY):

  • Out of stock in the UK
  • Out of stock in the US

If you want the best of the best, you’ll have to be prepared to put a lot of cash up front. This is the best gaming CPU money can buy right now, but it’s currently out of stock literally everywhere. It should normally cost around £500 / $520, so don’t be fooled into paying significantly more by the few sites that do happen to have it available. Instead, you’re best off waiting this one out.

AMD CPU deals:

AMD Ryzen 3 3300X deals:

  • Out of stock in the UK
  • Out of stock in the US

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. It’s still rare as hen’s teeth to find stock, though, so you’re better off waiting instead of paying through the nose for this normally £120 / $130 CPU.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 deals (DO NOT BUY):

The Ryzen 5 3600 is a decent CPU, but its gaming performance is pretty much identical to its Ryzen 3 3300X sibling – and it’s gone up in price by £5 in the UK. 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:

The Ryzen 5 3600X is only marginally better than the 3600 above, but if you’ve got a few more quid left in your budget then you’ll squeeze 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 (or wait for more stock to become available). 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. It’s also $10 cheaper in the US compared to last week, but no change for UK buyers.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X deals:

AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700X isn’t the fastest Ryzen CPU you can buy right now, but it is the best value out of all its top-end gaming CPUs. 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, and it comes with a free copy of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It’s also £7 cheaper in the UK this week, but $20 more expensive in the US.

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

While it’s technically better than the Ryzen 7 3700X above, our benchmarks showed its performance to be a mixed bag in terms of value for money. It’s £17 / $30 more expensive than it was last week, too. As a result, we’d still recommend buying the Ryzen 7 3700X instead.

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

This is one of AMD’s top Ryzen processors, but boy is it pricey, as low stock has pushed up prices again this week. 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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Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests. She's also RPS' resident deals herald.

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