Intel’s latest Comet Lake CPUs are going to face fierce competition at the start of next month when AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series of processors finally hit shelves, but there are a shrewd bunch of you out there that realise new releases bring bigger and better discounts to older hardware. After all, ‘old’ doesn’t necessarily mean bad and Intel’s 9th Gen CPUs still go toe-to-toe with the latest and greatest.
The two-year-old Intel Core i7 9700K comfortably contends with the current-gen Core i5 10600K, which is our top pick for overclocking on our list of best gaming CPUs – and right now, it’s at its lowest ever price on Amazon US, with 29% ($120) off at $289.99. The same processor on Amazon UK is just a hairline above its lowest price at £299.99, with more savings to be found on the Intel Core i9 9900K at £364.97 – 31% (£160.34) cheaper than its usual.
Under the hood, the i7 9700K is an eight-core, eight-thread CPU with a 3.6GHz base and 4.9GHz boost clock, while the i9 9900K boasts double the thread count with the same base clock and a 5GHz boost clock.
Both of these chips do a fine job plugging and playing out of the box and you should get more than enough frames without tinkering, but as the ‘K’ in their name suggests, these processors are designed to be pushed to their limits. We can help you get the most out of your new purchase by walking you through how to overclock your CPU, though, as it will help you boost fps.
One thing to note is that the i7 9700K doesn’t feature Intel’s proprietary Hyper-Threading technology, while the i9 9900K does, but this doesn’t really affect gaming and only really means something to those of you that process heavy workloads, like video editing or 3D rendering.
Still, provided you’ve already got the best gaming motherboard with a FCLGA1151 socket or can get one cheap so it’s compatible, these CPUs are a steal at their current price.
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