As the ongoing hardware shortages continue, trying to buy a new CPU at the moment is still fraught with difficulty. It's a little bit better than trying to buy a new graphics card, but in terms of hard cold CPU deals, it's still pretty slim pickings. If you are in the market for a new CPU, though, you're in the right place, as I've rounded up all the best prices for today's best gaming CPUs. Whatever type of PC you're looking to build, here are the cheapest CPU deals going on this week.
Buying a new CPU can often be one of the biggest purchases when it comes to 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 possible on your new CPU.
You'll find everything you need to know about what motherboard you need for your Intel or AMD Ryzen CPU as well as more information on our current top CPU picks in our dedicated guides. The short version, though, is that if you're going with AMD, you should get an AM4 motherboard with either a B550 or X570 chipset. Intel buyers, on the other hand, should go for an LGA 1200 motherboard with a B560 or Z590 chipset if you want to be completely up to date, but those buying an older 9th Gen CPU will need to look out for an LGA 1151 motherboard with a B360 or Z390 chipset, as these aren't compatible with the new LGA 1200 / 500-series boards.
CPU deals of the week
Intel CPU deals:
Intel Core i5-9600K deals:
It may have be getting on a bit now, but the Core i5-9600K is still a great gaming CPU, especially if you want to keep costs down and are conscious about your CPU's power consumption - as its 10th Gen successor is both a lot more expensive and a bit of a power hog. 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. At least there hasn't been any change in price this week.
Intel Core i5-10600K deals:
The Core i5-10600K has dropped in price quite a bit since the end of last year, making it a much better buy than recent months. It's 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, but it's a real power hog as a result, 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 more expensive. UK prices have dropped £10 this week, but we'd still recommend going for the Core i5-10600K instead.
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. Prices have also dropped quite a bit in both the UK and US since the end of last year, too.
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. This is the best gaming CPU money can buy right now, and stock levels are finally starting to settle down after months of limited availability. US prices have risen quite a bit this week due to Best Buy's previous deal going out of stock, though,
AMD CPU deals:
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 deals:
With the Ryzen 3 3300X seemingly perpetually out of stock, AMD's Ryzen 5 3600 is the next best bet for those on a budget. It's a great CPU at its current price, although those after a true budget bargain should probably wait until AMD unveil their Ryzen 3 5000 family later in the year. Given how great the 3300X was for its price, a 5300X could be properly spectacular.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X deals:
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600X - £330 from CCL Online
- Out of stock in the US
The Ryzen 5 5600X is a phenomenal gaming CPU for the money, and it's currently my top recommendation in our best gaming CPU rankings. It's still pretty difficult to get hold of in the US, unfortunately, but UK stock levels are finally starting to settle down.UK prices have risen by £10 this week, though, and it should be closer to £310 / $300. I'd recommend waiting if you can, as you shouldn't be fooled into paying over the odds just because stock levels are low right now.
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X deals:
AMD's Ryzen 7 3700X may have been replaced by the newer 5700X now, but this is still a great CPU in its own right, particularly if you're conscious about power usage. Not only is it very 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 - although it is comparatively expensive at the moment compared to what it's cost in the past.
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X deals:
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. Plus, prices have risen quite a bit over the last few months, so we'd still recommend buying the Ryzen 7 3700X instead if you're looking to save money, or going for the newer Ryzen 5 5800X below if you want the latest and greatest.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X deals (DO NOT BUY):
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X - £420 from Ebuyer
- Out of stock in the US
Its gaming performance is somewhat eclipsed by the Ryzen 5 5600X in our eyes, but if you're a media professional who nees its extra cores, the Ryzen 7 5800X is still a very worthy CPU for your gaming PC. Again, stock levels are pretty much non-existent in the US at the moment, so make sure you don't spend much more than its normal price of £420 / $450 if you do manage to find one.
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X deals:
- Out of stock in the UK
- Out of stock in the US
This is one of AMD's top Ryzen processors, but boy is it pricey. Normally £510 / $549, this 12-core CPU is geared toward creative media professionals rather than PC gaming, and you're not really getting a huge amount more for your money over the Ryzen 5 5600X or Ryzen 7 5800X when it comes to increasing your frame rate. It's also out of stock literally everywhere right now, so if you're desperate to get one, you're better off waiting it out.
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 1920x1080. 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.
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 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. Only Intel CPUs with a K on the end of their name can be overclocked, which is what you'll find listed above.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is the RPS CPU of choice in our best CPU rankings at the moment, but if you're determined to go the Intel route, then we'd recommend the Core i5-9600K as an absolute minimum these days, but if you want to make your PC as future-proof as possible, then you should wait for their upcoming batch of 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs, which are due to launch before the end of March. These will have PCIe 4.0 support and much better support for newer connectivity standards, and will offer a much better foundation than their existing 9th and 10th Gen chip - especially if you want to minimise your risk of having to buy a new motherboard next time you come to upgrade.
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.