Update: Microcenter has essentially killed this deal, but it's been done in such a way to still look like there's $70 off. There's not. For $599 you could buy both components for their usual prices anywhere else, so don't bother with Microcenter's non-offer anymore.
Intel Arc A770 16GB + Intel Core i5 12600K | GPU + CPU bundle |
$577.97 $507.97 at Microcenter (save $70) (opens in new tab)
Here's an all-Intel bundle worth shouting about. The Core i5 12600K was our pick for the best CPU for gaming last year, and it's still excellent even today. The Intel Arc A770 16GB graphics card is Intel's most powerful gaming GPU to-date, and delivers impressive 1080p and more than playable 1440p, especially now its drivers are a little more stable.
Original story: Maybe affordable PC gaming is back on the menu after all. The latest bundle deal over at Microcenter offers up Intel's excellent Core i5 12600K, last year's pick for the best CPU for gaming (opens in new tab), with an Intel Arc A770 16GB graphics card. Bought together both will set you back just $508 (opens in new tab)—that's a big saving no matter how you divvy up the money in your head.
As Microcenter sees it, you're grabbing the Core i5 12600K for $228. That's a whole lot cheaper than this chip launched at (around the $280–300 mark) and actually a decent get considering it's dropped in price since then. This is a 10-core chip, but as it's built on the hybrid Alder Lake architecture that's including both six Performance-cores and four Efficient-cores.
In my Intel Core i5 12600K review (opens in new tab), I said of it: "the Core i5 12600K is a good deal. With some decently priced Z690 motherboards, it might even be a great deal for a gaming PC build. And that's a PC that can offer high-end frame rates with the right graphics card—this is a suitably high-end chip masquerading as a mid-range hero, and doing a great job of it."
Then there's the Intel Arc A770 16GB (opens in new tab). One of the first graphics cards out of Intel's new GPU works, this specific card represents the best of the best for the Alchemist generation. It's a surprisingly beefy card—you get a lot of GPU for your money—Intel's only problem was accessing all of it effectively. The driver package for Arc started off pretty weak, but it's been steadily improving over the past few months. Nowadays, the performance on offer is right up there on the competitive end with AMD and Nvidia (opens in new tab), but often far better value than the latter.
In terms of 1080p performance, the Arc A770 is sometimes the card to beat from the more entry-level cards on offer today. That said, AMD's RX 6600 XT and RX 6650 XT are very competitive in many games. At 1440p, it's more of the same, though the Intel card does have an advantage here for all 16GB of memory onboard.
Intel's Alchemist GPUs are also surprisingly adept with ray tracing enabled, but we really don't recommend you turn that on much when chasing performance in more demanding games.
This deal also brings Intel's Arc A770 16GB down to only a hair more expensive than the ASRock A770 8GB on sale over at Newegg for $270 (opens in new tab). Double the memory for $10 is a deal I won't pass up.
In terms of other parts you'll need for a functional PC with this build, there's the motherboard, either a 600-series or 700-series chipset; a couple sticks of RAM, either DDR5 or DDR4 depending on which motherboard you pick; some form of storage, likely a cheap SSD (opens in new tab); a CPU cooler, as one isn't included with this particular boxed Core i5 12600K; and a power supply, but you'll only need a minimum of 550W. You'll also want a decent chassis to load it all into, but you can pick up one of those for pretty cheap (opens in new tab) if need be.