AMD's Ryzen processors are generally regarded as some of the best CPUs for gaming, thanks to their abundance of CPU cores and low prices. However, Intel's processors still usually come out ahead in a few areas, like single-core performance. Now you can get a last-generation Core i7 processor, the 9700F, for just $279.99. That's the lowest recorded price for the CPU yet.
The Intel Core i7-9700F has eight cores and eight threads, with a base clock speed of 3GHz and a maximum clock of 4.7GHz. It was released about a year ago for $335, but it received an official price cut to $298 in October.
Intel Core i7-9700F Processor | $279.99 (save $20) (opens in new tab)
This is the lowest recorded price for Intel's graphics-less Core i7 processor. Make sure to pair it with a compatible motherboard.
The CPU is nearly identical to the Core i7-9700K, with one major difference—this processor has no integrated graphics, while the 'K' variant does. Most people probably won't be building a gaming PC with a high-end CPU without also buying a dedicated graphics card, so that isn't a deal-breaker by any means. However, if your graphics card does suddenly die, you won't have a backup.
Beyond the lack of integrated graphics, the Core i7-9700F is a very capable processor, as long as you have a compatible motherboard with an FCLGA1151 socket (Z390, most commonly).