I make no bones about my love of Elder Lake. This is an incredibly impressive CPU generation. One that is linking me to build a whole new system around it. with honesty. Even though I’m surrounded by perfectly good gaming PCs, I want to get my hands dirty to see how Intel’s 12th generation CPUs work.
I had assumed that Elder Lake’s launch so close to Black Friday would translate to several deals on 11th and 12th Gen Intel Core processors, and I had to season deals before heading to virtual shelves to piece together my next piece. Will have to wait till it’s over. Construction.
- For more Black Friday Gaming PC deals… here it is.
And of course, there are plenty of deals to be had on Intel’s previous chips. The thing is, even when you’re looking at big savings on those chips, Elder Lake’s vibe is too strong to take them seriously. Especially the Elder Lake Core i5 12600K’s near-black-hole-like bridge.
It’s a chip that not only takes the fight up to AMD’s latest and greatest, but rings around Intel’s previous best. Even the Core i9 11900K comes in the power of Elder Lake’s hybrid design, making this nominal $320 chip a better choice than the previous generation’s $540 darling.
Although I didn’t expect it to be the best CPU for gaming for the price cut, Newegg does exactly that. Now you can grab Intel Core i5 12600K for $299.99, a savings of $20 off the release price. This is not a savings you can walk away with.
Intel Core i5 12600K | 10-core (6P+4E), 16-thread | 125W TDP |
$319.99 $299.99 on Newegg (Save $20)
This chip is brand new, but Newegg has already dropped it by $20 off its retail price. The astonishing It’s also a seriously impressive chip – it even swirls around the 11th-generation Core i9. The only drawback here is the high platform cost, as currently only the more premium Z690 chipset is available for purchase.
If there’s a problem with Elder Lake right now, it’s that the platform is in its infancy, and as is often the case, the only motherboard chipset currently available are expensive high-end ones.
Intel’s Z690 chipset may be all bells and whistles, but it certainly makes for some expensive motherboards. You’re looking for $300 for the cheapest DDR5 offerings, and you can jump $600 pretty easily.
One option, if you’re on a tight budget, is to forgo the joys of the new memory standard and stick with the known unit which is DDR4. Not only is DDR4 in a good place right now, but there are plenty of deals to be had in the current sale bonus—32GB kits are available for less than $99.99. That’s what you gotta pay for this bling-free Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4-3200 Kit on Newegg.
Corsair Vendetta LPX 32GB | 2x 16GB | 3200MT/s | CL16 |
$134.99 $99.99 on Newegg with code: BCMAY22393 (Save $35)
16GB may be more than enough for the vast majority of modern games, but when a 32GB kit costs so much, it seems rude not to go big. It’s a quality kit that works with Intel and AMD platforms, and with CAS Latency 16, it’s no slouch either. Apply promo code: BCMAY22393 at checkout to save an extra $5.
Alternatively, you can use the RAM that your current system has, assuming it is of the right taste and good speed. Elder Lake officially supports up to DDR-3200, although individual motherboards will often support much faster sticks.
The missing piece here is the motherboard, and while DDR5 are expensive, things are a bit easier on the wallet in the DDR4 space. choice of MSI Pro Z690-A DDR4 Motherboard Can be had for $220 on its own, though it’s also available in a bundle with the aforementioned Core i5 12600K for a better overall savings.
Intel Core i5 12600K | MSI Pro Z690-A Motherboard |
$519.98 $499.98 on Newegg (Save $20)
The Core i5 12600K is our top CPU for gaming right now and this MSI motherboard is one of the most affordable boards to plug it into. This is a simple bundle deal that saves you a little money. Personally you’re looking at $299.99 for the CPU and $220 for the motherboard. There’s an additional $10 off for motherboards that round out this bundled deal as well.
It’s worth taking a closer look at such bundles, as it may be a way for resellers to sell hardware that isn’t selling, but how new the CPU and motherboard is doesn’t seem to be the case here. It’s just a great combo that’s worth picking up.
If you want to future-proof yourself a little more, you can grab one of the DDR5 motherboard and chip bundles, but keep in mind that DDR5 is a lot more expensive than its predecessor, and it’s nowhere near in stock. Incredibly hard to find.
I’m more about instant gratification, so would happily piece together a DDR4 platform for now rather than waiting for more DDR5 to launch.