You want a new processor, you’ve checked out our best CPU for gaming guide, and now you need to know the best CPU deals available right now. Well, we can help out with that too.
The processor is the brains of your gaming rig. No matter what you’re running, whether it’s the CPU-intensive Planetside 2 or Minecraft, the processor will be doing all the important number crunching, so you want to make sure you’re getting the right one and for the right money.
Some highlights this week: The Intel Core i5-7600K is one of Intel's new fancy Kaby Lake chips, and you can pick one up from Micro Center for cheap at the moment.
For under half that though there's always the impressive little Intel Core i3-6100. It's a dual-core chip, but with four threads and the Skylake Core architecture will get better gaming performance than a similarly-priced AMD processor.
- AMD's new generation of Ryzen processors is here, and much like with Kaby Lake, we'll have to wait a while for the best deals, but you can still find some money off. The big dog from the new Ryzen line up is the Ryzen 7 1800X, which will give you 4.0 GHz boost clock. Most of the retailers have the same prices at the moment, with the best being $440 on Amazon. Travel to a Micro Center to get one for $430.
- The next step down is the Ryzen 7 1700X, giving you slightly less clock speed, saving you a chunk of money. You can find one at the moment for $350.
- On the lower end of the Ryzen performance line is the Ryzen 7 1700. You've still got the eight cores and 16 threads, but a lower clock speed. Grab one on for $296 with the Wraith Spire Cooler included.
- AMD's really starting to compete in terms of price and performance with its new generation of CPUs. The Ryzen 5 1400 is a budget option, and can be found for $160.
- Hold onto your hats, Intel's new generation of processors Kaby Lake is here, featuring higher clock speeds and new features. They're brand new so you won't see much money off at the moment, but you can find the big dog Core i7-7700K cheapest at Micro Center for $300. If there's no store near you, you'll have to settle for $335 on Amazon.
- Similarly, Micro Center has a Core i5-7600K for $200 at the moment. These CPUs are the high quality Kaby Lake option that most people will be opting for. If you can't travel, Amazon is currently your best bet at $240.
On the lower end of the Kaby Lake consumer line we have the Core i3-7350K. Only two cores, but hyperthreading makes up for it and the clock speed is nice and high. Grab one for $130 from Micro Center. Newegg is only $20 more right now at $150.
Cores - 4 | Threads - 8 | Clockspeed - 4GHz | Socket - LGA 1151 | $280
- The Intel Core i7-6700K is the Skylake hero product, with a hefty clockspeed and serious overclocking potential too. Amazon is more expensive than Micro Center right now, where it's $280.
- Our favorite Skylake processor, the Intel Core i5-6600K handles all modern games, has good overclocking potential, and it supports the Z170 platform, which brings lots of PCIe lanes for all your SSD and memory needs. Find one at Amazon for $237. Find one at Micro Center, where they're just under $200.
In our guide to the best gaming processors we've picked out our favourite overall gaming CPU, the best high-end option and the best budget processor for gaming. Here are the best prices we've found around the web for each of them today.
"For pure CPU clocks and gaming performance, the i5-7600K generally wins out."
"We ended up going with the i7-6850K, given its updated architecture and slightly faster performance, but it's basically a toss-up between that and the i7-5930K."
"The i3-7100 is almost certainly capable of maxing out a GTX 1050 Ti / R9 380 / RX 460 or lower graphics card in most games."
"Gaming performance isn't quite what we hoped for, as it fails to surpass even a Core i5-7600K, but leave the gaming behind and Ryzen 7 has a ton to offer. If you're buying a GTX 1080 Ti and planning on running a high refresh rate 1080p or 1440p display, yes, I'd suggest going with Intel. If you also want to do video editing and you don't want to shell out $400 / £400 or more on just the CPU, however, you might need to reconsider. Plus, for about the same price as the i7-7700K, you can get the Ryzen 7 1700, including a cooler no less—and the great news is that the CPU is still fully unlocked."
A note on affiliates: some of our stories, like this one, include affiliate links to online stores. Some of these online stores share a small amount of revenue with us if you buy something through one of these links, which help support our work evaluating components and games.