Even though Intel's 11th Gen Core desktop processors (Rocket Lake) will be landing on retail shelves soon (next week), a strong argument can be made for building a PC around one of its previous generation CPUs. It rests on the bang-for-buck proposition. Right now, for example, you can grab the Core i9 10900 for just $359.99 at Newegg.
That's the price after applying promo code 93XQP47 at checkout. This same CPU typically sold for around $400 for the past several weeks, and in January, it was going for as much as $460. The price has declined sharply following the launch of AMD's Ryzen 5000 series (Zen 3) and ahead of the upcoming availability of Rocket Lake.
Intel Core i9 10900 | 10 Cores, 20 Threads | 5.2GHz Max Turbo |
$412.99 $359.99 at Newegg (save $53)
Rocket Lake CPUs will be available to buy soon, but even so, discounting pricing on Intel's Comet Lake stack is enticing. The Core i9 10900 is especially noteworthy, being a 10-core/20-thread CPU with a 5.2GHz max turbo frequency. It's incredibly fast, and just $359.99 if you use promo code 93XQP47.View Deal
That's great news if you're looking to maximize your budget. Otherwise known as Comet Lake, Intel's previous generation CPUs may not be the newest silicon on the block, but they're still stout performers.
As it applies to the Core i9 10900, it is a flagship SKU minus the unlocked multiplier of the Core i9 10900K, which is one of the best CPUs for gaming. You don't really need to overclock a chip of this caliber, anyway—it can turbo to 5.2GHz out of the box. So it's both fast for single-threaded workloads, and offers up plenty of cores and threads for multi-threaded computing.
One reason to wait for Rocket Lake is the introduction of PCI Express 4.0 support, which enables running PCIe 4.0 SSDs at full speed. There's nothing wrong with going that direction (or building around a Ryzen 5000 series CPU), just be prepared to pay quite a bit more—we're not enthralled with Rocket Lake's pricing, especially considering the SKUs top out at 8-core/16-thread configurations.