The processor is the most important component of any PC, gaming or otherwise. It's the component doing the most work, whether that's juggling between Chrome tabs or playing the latest AAA games. There's a multitude of factors involved in picking the best CPU—motherboard options, performance, power efficiency, and price.
If you're looking for a CPU for cheap, you've come to the right place. We've compiled all the best CPU deals from around the web right here, so you can save as much money as possible. After all, the less you spend on PC parts, the more you can spend on games!
Intel's latest Extreme series CPUs push the bar for performance higher than ever. This performance does come at a cost, especially at the top of the spectrum with the Core i9-7980XE. For that cost you get an unheard of core count in a consumer CPU, and while we wouldn’t recommend this chip for gaming, it shines in a professional environment.
The Core i9-7940X has a lower core count, but makes up for it with a higher clock speed.
Sitting right in the middle of the Skylake-X line-up is the Core i9-7920X. With 12 cores and a modest clock speed, this chip is sure to please any enthusiast.
The Core i9-7900X has the highest clock speed out of the i9 family. With two less cores than the 7920X you gain a bit more breathing room for overclocking.
The Core i7-7820X is a great entry point into Extreme territory. It’s a significant price jump from the 8700K but with 2 extra cores it strikes a good balance between work and play. Newegg currently has it for a few dollars more.
Intel's latest generation of processors, Coffee Lake, has arrived. You’ll find slightly lower clock speeds, but new features and more cores make for a tempting upgrade.
The Core i5-8600K lacks the hyperthreading and cache size of the 8700K, but retains the 6 cores at a significant reduction in cost.
When a new generation of hardware releases, the previous generation is sometimes the better choice; however, if overclocking isn’t a priority, the Core i5-8400 exceeds the 7700k in most benchmarks and for less money. Newegg currently has it for a dollar more.
On the lower end of the spectrum sits the Core i3-8350K. Offering 2 less cores than the higher end chips, it makes up some of the performance with a higher clock speed.
If you need more CPU power, AMD offers 12 cores and 24 threads for significantly less than Intel. The 1920X offers good value compared to its bigger brother too as it retains its clock speed while sacrificing 4 cores at a much lower cost.
The 1900X is AMD's entry level offering for the X399 platform, if you can call a $450 CPU "entry level." It offers similar performance to that of the 1800X with the added benefit of quad-channel memory and an extended upgrade path with future TR4 processors.
Ryzen 2 is here, and the new Ryzen 7 2700X processor is the best out of the bunch (especially since a 2800X isn't likely). It has a base clock of 3.7GHz and can boost to 4.3GHz.
If saving money is the highest priority, last year's Ryzen CPUs are cheaper than ever (and still very good). AMD's previous flagship processor, the Ryzen 7 1800X, can boost all the way to 4.0 GHz.
The next step down in AMD's lineup is the Ryzen 7 1700. Compared to the 1800X, you get a lower clock speed of 3.0GHz, with a lower 65W TDP to match.
AMD's new mainstream desktop CPU is the Ryzen 5 2600X. It's a minor upgrade from last year's 1600X, but for only $10 more, why not get the latest and greatest?
If you're looking for an AMD processor with integrated graphics, the 2400G is the best option. Just make sure your motherboard supports it out of the box, or you'll be stuck with an unusable build.
In our guide to the best gaming processors we've picked out our favorite overall gaming CPU, the best budget processor for gaming, and the best multi-core CPU. Here are the best prices we've found around the web for each of them today.
"With 50 percent more cores than the previous generation i5 parts, more demanding games get a nice boost to performance. In fact, looking at our gaming test suite the i5-8400 manages to equal the earlier i7-7700K."
"The Pentium Gold G5400 isn't super fast, but it's still clocked at 3.7GHz, and it's the cheapest Intel CPU with Hyper-Threading around."
"The i9-7900X delivers excellent gaming and non-gaming performance. For games, on average it's only a couple of percent behind the i7-8700K, and it's 15 percent ahead of the fastest Ryzen chip (Threadripper or otherwise)."
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