Intel is expected to roll out its Rocket Lake lineup in just a few weeks, and if you can wait until then, you could build yourself a high-end gaming PC on the latest and greatest the company has to offer. However, if you're itching to build a PC right now, or want to stretch your dollars as far as they will go, then check out this deal for a Core i7 10700K.
It's on sale at B&H Photo for $258.99. That is a $77 savings for one of the best gaming CPUs that, before the discount, was already a great value proposition. Now it is an even better one. From a bang-for-buck perspective, this is the best chip in Intel's arsenal.
Based on Intel's current generation Comet Lake architecture, the Core i7 10700K is an 8-core/16-thread processor with a 3.8GHz base clock, 5.1GHz turbo clock (single core). It also features 16MB of L3 cache, a 95W TDP, and an unlocked multiplier for easier overclocking.
What you're missing by not waiting for Rocket Lake is PCI Express 4.0 support when paired with a Z590 motherboard, which mainly comes into play if wanting to take full advantage of the fastest and best SSDs on the market (the ones that can push data transfers to 5,000MB/s and beyond). Intel's also claiming a 19 percent IPC (instructions per clock) performance boost with Rocket Lake.
We'll have a better idea of Rocket Lake's value proposition when Intel's 12th Gen Core desktop chips arrive at the end of March. That said, it's unlikely this will become a bad bargain in retrospect. It currently sells for $344.99 at places like Amazon and Newegg—higher than B&H Photo's regular list price—and it's $190.01 less than AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X (if you can even find one).
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Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).