With the quarantine stretching on into another year, now is (theoretically) the best time to build a gaming PC. It’s even a good time to just build a PC in general; it seems like we’ll all be stuck sitting at home for a while longer, giving you plenty of time to wait for your parts of choice to show up and then slowly muddle your way through the actual building process.
In reality, building a PC is about as difficult as it could get right now. If you’ve been considering it for a while and follow the right news, then you know that getting your hands on one of the best GPUs is basically impossible; Nvidia’s 3000 series were sold out within minutes of going on sale, and the Radeon 6000 series followed the same trend on their release.
While lower-end GPUs are more readily available for purchase, the big issue is price. Even cards that are only suited for 1080p gaming at medium-high settings are going for more than they would have pre-pandemic, and that’s putting a squash on everyone’s dreams, myself included.
GPUs may be the thing that most gamers care most about, but the CPU is the heart and brain of any PC. Intel and AMD are the big names here, and they also recently released the next step in their CPU lines.
If you’re a fan of Intel, their 10th Gen Core i7 10700K is on sale right now, and it’s the second-best Intel processor on the market. If you have the spare cash, the Core i9 10900K is still hands down the best Intel processor out there, but the 10700K is normally about $200 less, and is even more affordable thanks to a sale currently going over at Best Buy, where it’s going for $320 USD, which is $100 less than you can find it for on Amazon. While by no means a budget pick, if you’re looking to make a meaningful upgrade, this is about as good as you’ll get with Intel CPU stocks being what they are right now.
AMD fanboys get ready, because the Ryzen 9 3950X is also on sale. The previous best of the best CPU money could buy, the 3950X was able to go toe-to-toe with the i7 10700K in most respects, but was easily the better option when you need the extra power of a 16-core processor. It comes at a higher price, and the sale is by no means massive, but the $35 USD savings on Newegg makes the CPU well worth buying, especially if you’re a fan of the Far Cry franchise, as the sale there comes with a copy of Far Cry 6 when it releases sometime next year.
If you’re looking to upgrade along either the Intel or AMD pathway, the sale of these CPUs is as good a time as any to do so, especially if it’s been a few years since your last upgrade. Like I said, these are by no means massive sales, but those won’t likely come until these CPUs are so drastically outperformed that they’ll be the new budget picks.
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