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Intel's best value gaming CPU is down to £125 at Amazon UK

The Core i5 12400F is a capable performer that comes in £75 less than its 13400F or 14400F successors.

One of Intel's best value CPUs for gaming is even better value than usual this week, as the Core i5 12400F is down to just £125 at Amazon. That's more than £75 cheaper than the 13th and 14th-gen equivalents, which add on only meagre levels of performance, and a great price for a CPU that can use the same DDR4 or DDR5 motherboards with PCIe 5.0 support. If you're building an Intel-based gaming PC, I'd argue that this is the best budget option going!

The 12400F is a six-core, 12-thread CPU that turbos up to 4.4GHz; by comparison the 14400F is a 10-core 16-thread that tacks on four extra efficiency cores and a 300MHz higher boost clock. That makes it a better choice - and probably worth the extra money - for anyone that wants to speed up heavily multi-threaded tasks like 3D rendering or video production, though a higher-tier Intel CPU would provide an even more meaningful speed-up.

Where the 12400F excels is in its broadly similar single-core speed, where there's less of a difference between the two models. Thankfully for gaming, most CPUs don't use all available cores, making the 12400F quite close to the 14400F - around a 20 percent to 25 percent is the most you're likely to see in CPU-limited gaming scenarios, with this gap narrowing substantially as resolutions increase to 1440p or 4K.

You have a choice of pairing the 12400F with DDR4 or DDR5 RAM, based on which motherboard you pick up. Previously I recommended DDR4 as it was the significantly cheaper option while being only a little slower, but as the generation wears on DDR5 kits have become increasingly affordable and these now seem like the better option even for mid-range systems. Still, you can't go too far wrong either way!

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