Let’s face it, PCs are powerless without their processors. These silicon chips make it possible to get from point A to point B whether it’s work or Hardpoint Domination in Titanfall. Your computer can do without a graphics card, sure, and it doesn’t necessarily need the latest and greatest hard drive either, but a processor – oh a processor is essential. Even if you don’t plan on diving into PC gaming, there are benefits to installing a state-of-the art CPU (an abbreviation of central processing units or, you guessed it, processors).
As we’re living in a time where technology is accelerating rapidly, competition is fierce and you’ll often find CPUs – both new and old – on sale throughout the year. We’ve scouted out the best processor deals. These include everything from the latest and greatest AMD Ryzen chips to last year’s still-impeccable Intel Kaby Lake S-series processors. We’ve even put one deal on our list pertaining to a certain component known to ‘rip threads’.
Now, of course, the vast majority of these bargains are long-term discounts, but we’ve also listed some of the best processor deals you can take advantage of this week. There’s no telling how long these discounts will hold true, however, so if anything looks especially tasty then you better bite fast. After all, the best processor deals don’t last forever.
Best high-end CPU deal
AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper chipset has been met with critical acclaim across the board. The 1950X in particular is the top-end Ryzen Threadripper 1950X CPU featuring 16 cores of simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) along with 32 threads. Aside from offering double-to-quadruple the performance most users need, there’s extensive support for quad-channel memory, eight DIMM slots and 64 PCIe lanes you all know and love.
This processor is great for gaming, but it’s even better for workstations and video production towers, and best of all, it can be found for over 100 bucks off regularly.
Best mid-range CPU deal
By Intel’s standards, the Ryzen 5 1600X would be sold as a premium product. But because it’s AMD we’re talking about here, you’re getting a 3.6GHz (up to 4.0GHz) processor with six cores and 12 threads for the price of Intel’s 2.8GHz Core i5-8400.
Better yet, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X can be overclocked right out of the box, meaning 4GHz only begins to demonstrate this chip’s power. With liquid nitrogen cooling, we’ve seen it overclocked all the way up to 5.9GHz, though 4.1GHz is a more reasonable achievement for everyone.
Best entry-level CPU deal
There’s a reason the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X is our favorite entry-level CPU you can buy right now. It’s not the absolute cheapest processor on the market, and it does require that you also own a discrete graphics card in order to post to your display.
But, the silver lining is that you’re getting an overclockable, quad-core processor for a bargain. You’ll even find some of the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X deals below are accompanied by a motherboard bundle – and that’s a steal in our book.
Best gaming CPU deal
It’s not as mind-blowing as the six-core i5-8600K and certainly not as impressive as the Skylake-X series chips, but the Intel Core i5-7600K has its place in the world, and that place should be the CPU socket of your gaming rig’s motherboard.
This chip does wonders for gaming, so long as you aren’t wasting resources Twitch streaming from the same machine. In short, it’s a quad-core 3.8GHz processor optimized for the Z270 chipset. What’s more, when Turbo Boost kicks in, you’ll see speeds up to 4.2GHz. It’s overclockable too, but don’t forget to buy your own cooler – stock fans aren’t included with K-series Intel chips.
Best budget CPU deal
If you’re looking for a processor that can conquer the basics, we advise that you turn your head to the Intel Core i3-7100. Now you could settle for the Intel Pentium G4560, and honestly we wouldn’t blame you. Intel’s more affordable chips rarely go on sale, but in rare form we’ve seen the Intel Core i3-7100 for 15% off its list price on Amazon and there are other deals to be had as well.
You can’t overclock it unfortunately, but it’s the perfect choice for everyday tasks like word processing and number-crunching, not to mention some light gaming made possible by its inclusion of integrated Intel HD Graphics 630. Now that’s something you won’t get from the Ryzen 3 1300X on its own.