Samsung 980 PRO (2TB) Now Down to $194
Prices are dropping so fast this Prime Day that sometimes we write an article or two and then the prices we used in the article change later in the day. Earlier today, we wrote about how the 2TB capacity of this popular SSD had dropped to the all-time low price of $229.
Just a few minutes ago, we clicked the link again and, lo and behold, Samsung / Amazon have discounted the drive to an even-lower price of $194, another all-time low. As we stated in an earlier post, the WD Black SN850 is still a better deal at $180 for a faster 2TB, but for some folks, only a Samsung SSD will do and this is the best one around.
Samsung 980 PRO PCIe Gen 4 2TB: originally $430, now $194 at Amazon
AMD vs Intel: Whose CPU is the Best Prime Day Deal?
Marvel or DC? Star Wars or Star Trek? Paper or plastic? These are the eternal questions that divide us, but the rivalry between Intel and AMD divides us even more. However, if you’re just planning your next PC build and you don’t identify as “Team Red” or “Team Blue,” you are probably wondering which company’s processors are the best choice this Prime Day.
So, let’s take a look at the sales, which we’ve documented comprehensively on our list of best Prime Day CPU deals.
Sub-$200 CPUs: Core i5-12400F vs Ryzen 5 5600G
On the low end of the price spectrum, we have Intel’s Core i5-12400F processor, which sits atop our list of best CPUs, simply because it’s such a great bargain even at its regular price. This 12th Gen “Alder Lake” CPU has 6 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores and a maximum boost clock of 4.4 GHz. You normally get all that for $179, but today it’s $150 at Newegg (opens in new tab). It supports DDR4 or DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0.
In our gaming tests, the 12400 (which is the 12400F but with integrated graphics) offered frame rates that were noticeably better than AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X when paired with a discrete graphics card and just a tad below much more expensive processor. The Ryzen 5 5600X, which has 6 cores and a 4.6-GHz boost clock, is on sale for $174.
If you don’t plan to buy a graphics card and want to rely on high-quality integrated graphics, AMD’s cheapest Prime Day CPU, the Ryzen 5 5600G, is the right choice. It’s on sale for $155 right now and combines 6 cores with a 3.9-GHz boost clock and strong integrated Radeon graphics. These graphics are good enough to play games at 720p or maybe 1080p with the settings turned down, which is why we made the 5600G the centerpiece of our best PC build under $500.
So, in short, if you are planning to get a graphics card (perhaps from one of the Prime Day graphics card deals), Intel’s Core i5-12400F is for you and, if you want to stick with integrated graphics, go with the 5600G.
Mid-Range CPU: Core i5-12600KF vs Ryzen 7 5800X
When you take your budget into the $200 to $300 range, your best choices are Intel’s Core i5-12600KF, which is currently on sale for $229, or AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X, now going for $274. The 12600KF and the 12600K (which is the same CPU but with integrated graphics you shouldn’t bother with) have 6 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores and a max boost clock of 4.9 GHz. Because this is 12th Gen Intel “Alder Lake,” you have support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0. The 12600K / KF is also overclockable, but you’ll need a Z690 motherboard to do any overclocking and those go for at least $175, usually more.
AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X has 8 cores and 16 threads to go with a 4.7 GHz boost clock. It supports PCIe Gen 4.0, but not DDR5 or PCIe Gen 5.0. However, you can overclock it and get all the features out of it on a motherboard that goes for less than $100.
Between these two chips, the Intel-12600KF is cheaper on its face and more future-proof in that it supports newer technologies. Intel’s chip also provides slightly better frame rates (with discrete graphics) at 1080p and much stronger single-threaded overall performance. However, the Ryzen 7 5800X is slightly ahead at 1440p until you overclock the 12600K (which is very doable).
However, if you plan to do heavy multitasking or productivity work such as video editing, AMD’s processor might be the better choice. When you compare the cost of getting a compatible motherboard, the 5800X is actually a bit cheaper.
High-End CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K vs AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
When it comes to 1080p gaming, the Core i9 with its 8 performance cores, 8 Efficiency cores and 5.2-GHz boost clock, comes out way ahead of its rival at 1080p. At 1440p, they are more evenly matched if both are using DDR4 memory. The Intel chip comes out way ahead if its using DDR5.
In single-threaded performance, the Core i9-12900K continues its dominance over the Ryzen 9 5950X with its 16 cores, 32 threads and 4.9-GHz boost clock. However, when we jump to multithreaded apps, AMD’s chip, unsurprisingly, wins out.
Again, the cost of the motherboard has to be a factor. You can get use the Ryzen 9 with a B450 or B550 chipset motherboard that costs less than $150 or $100 while the Core i9-12900K really need something that costs closer to $200.
All of that being said, the Core i9-12900K is the clear winner here because it’s much faster in single-threaded apps and gaming. Unless you don’t plan to game, go with Intel in this price range.
Prime Day 2022 is only a few hours old but the battle for your dollars is well under way. Nowhere is the competition more intense than in the PC storage market. If you’re planning to build or upgrade a PC, one of the components you need most is an SSD (solid state drive). And, if you already have one, you probably want a faster or higher-capacity drive to replace it.
This year, as we track all the Prime Day SSD deals, we’re seeing some great prices on 2TB NVMe SSDs that use the speedy PCIe 4.0 interface. For example, right now, you can get the SK hynix P41 Platinum (2TB) for just $207 at Amazon, an all-time low price. That drive tops our list of best SSDs, because it can deliver 1.4 million IOPS random reads or 7,000 MBps in sequential reads.
However, despite the fact that the P41 is faster, a lot of folks trust the Samsung brand most and will prefer the Samsung 980 PRO SSD, which is now just $194 for the 2TB capacity. The 980 PRO is rated for 7,000 MBps sequential reads with 1 million IOPS of random reads so it’s no slouch either.
Finally, there’s WD’s Black SN850, another speedy PCIe 4.0 drive from a very reputable brand. It’s going for a really-low $180 for the 2TB capacity today, another all-time low price. The SN850 is rated for 7,000 MBps sequential reads and 1 million IOPS of random reads.
In our testing, the SK hynix P41 clearly dominates the field in 3D Mark, a synthetic benchmark which simulates game loading. However, the SN850 isn’t far behind nor is the 980 PRO.
The WD Black SN850 is clearly the best value here. However, the SK hynix P41 Platinum is noticeably faster so it may be worth the extra $27 to get that added oomph. The Samsung 980 PRO is well known but neither the cheapest nor the fastest.
By the way, all of these drives are available in 1TB capacities, which offer similar performance at lower prices.