Best cheap processor sales and prices for March 2023

With our guide to today's best processor deals you'll be looking to save some serious cash on the most integral part of any PC build. Whether you're on a budget, a gamer, or simply building a machine for working from home, we've rounded up all the latest offerings from Intel and AMD and tirelessly searched to find the best prices on the top processors. 

What's your price range?

1. High-end
Above $330 / £300 / AU$400

2. Mid-range
Around $200 / £200 / AU$300

3. Budget
Below $200 / £200 / $AU300

We've separated this week's best CPU deals into sections for high-end, mid-range, and budget shoppers, which you can jump to using the navigation links provided. 

In a nutshell, if money's no object and you want the best, you'll definitely see the benefits of going with a high-end chip, since these beastly processors will give you excellent performance for years to come. That said, this week's mid-range processor deals are going to be more than adequate for someone who wants top-end gaming performance and to build a machine that'll last a few good years. Finally, our budget CPU deals take into account those who simply want a functional, reliable machine, although you might just be surprised at how much performance you can get out of these options - cheap processors have come a long way in recent years.

You'll find discounts from Amazon, Best Buy, and other well-known retailers in our processor deals roundup. All our CPU prices on this page are updated daily so feel free to bookmark and revisit.

Best high-end processor deals

High-end processors are squarely aimed at the enthusiast and professional market, and, as you'd expect can carry some pretty hefty price tags. If cost is no factor, however, then these 8-core and sometimes even 16-core beasts will absolutely give you the most performance possible - so much in fact that they might be overkill for some users.

AMD's Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9 chips are the company's flagship chips right now, with the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X being the current performance king from team red. Retailing for north of $700 / £700 means this chip is a serious investment, although the good news is the slightly less ridiculous Ryzen 9 7900X can sometimes be had for around $500 / £500 if you can find a good CPU deal.

For Intel processors, the Core i9-12900K and Core i7-12700K are the current high-end chips, with the latter being more than enough for most applications including gaming. Performance on the i9-12900K is more or less neck and neck with the Ryzen 9 7950X on most applications and games, although the good news for Intel fans is the i9 tends to retail for quite a bit less than the Ryzen 9 currently. 

Best mid-range CPU deals

Mid-range CPUs are generally targeted towards most mainstream gamer builds, being better bang for the buck than the high-end enthusiast chips. They'll also be the sort of thing you'll want to invest in if you're wanting something that will perform decently for intensive applications and last a few good years down the line. Intel's long-standing Core i5 range has traditionally dominated the mid-range processor market, but in the past few years, we've seen that near-monopoly shattered by AMD's Ryzen 5 chips, which are just as popular these days.

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is the latest mid-range entry from team red and is a fantastically powerful chip for the money, although it's a little pricier than the previous 5600X iteration at $349 /£349. If you want to save a bit of cash, the older 5000 series chip can be had for as little as $200 / £200 and is still widely available at most of the bigger retailers. This older chip is about 20% slower than the more recent entry but it's still a fantastic cost-effective component mid-range builds for both gaming and productivity.

On the Intel side of things, the Core i5-12600K is the current mainstream performance flagship and is built for easy overclocking. Its full retail price is the same as the Ryzen 5 7600X but retailers generally seem more willing to offer price cuts on this model versus the AMD counterpart. The slightly older i5-11600K and i5-10600K are still knocking around at the moment but we'd only recommend these if you can get them in the sub $200 to $150 range. They're not slow chips, but they're definitely not as speedy as the latest model (about a 20% benchmarking improvement per generation).

Best entry-level CPU deals

Budget CPUs mostly come in the form of the latest Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 series of processors - which are essentially consumer-grade chips meant for cost-effective productivity builds. Generally retailing for around $100 / £100, these chips are great if you're simply building a desktop for working from home or everyday use.

Surprisingly, these chips have come a long way in recent years and can actually handle a bit of gaming on the side too, although you can expect bottlenecking if you're pairing them up with a serious graphics card.

AMD's latest Ryzen 3-3200G is a good cost-effective processor with its in-built Vega graphics processing providing surprisingly good graphical performance. That said, it's often out of stock at retailers and those remaining sales tend to feature prices inflated above the original retail price of $99 / £80. Note, there is a newer and faster
AMD Ryzen 3 4100 model on the market also but this one doesn't have in-built graphics, so it could potentially be a much pricier option overall considering you may need to pick up a separate graphics card. 

On the Intel side of things, we've got the Intel Core i3-12100 as the current most up-to-date budget CPU. Like the Ryzen 3-3200G this one features built-in graphics so it's a great option if you're not going to be gaming and want to skip the graphics card. Note that there is also an Intel Core i3-12100F version of this chip, which is another great choice but it doesn't feature the handy built-in graphics. Consider this one if you're going to be building a budget gaming machine with a separate graphics card.

Alex Whitelock
Deals Editor

Alex is deals editor at Future PLC and an all-around expert at one thing - saving readers as much cash as possible while scoring them the best products for their needs. With content that's always packed full of helpful information, no-nonsense expertise, and of course deals, Alex has also written for other leading sites such as T3 and GamesRadar. At work, you'll find him mostly covering computing, gaming, and advising people on how to save on their cell phone plans. Outside of work, you'll find him playing guitar, indulging his love for music, or down at the local climbing gym mostly hanging off boulders far too difficult for his abilities.