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In brief: Amazon's Prime Day is over, but one deal still available right now is a historically low price on a quad-core Comet Lake. Other budget processors, including more recent Core i3s, also still have good prices, presenting an opportunity for anyone planning to build a low-cost PC this year.
Intel's Core i3-10100 is TechSpot's best budget CPU for 2022, and Amazon currently offers its F variant at a lowest-ever $68 – 30 percent off its $100 MSRP. This model doesn't feature integrated graphics, so it requires a discrete GPU. The non-F version, which does have an iGPU, stands at around $100, but that's still a nice discount from the $122 MSRP.
These processors won't give you the best performance in the latest games or CPU-intensive applications, but they'll get the job done with undefeated performance-per-dollar. They feature four cores and eight threads at 3.6GHz and support DDR4 RAM. Even at full price, the 10100F is your only reasonable choice for a sub-$100 CPU.
The discounts on the latest 12th-generation Core i3s aren't nearly as large, but they still currently have attractive prices at Newegg. The i3-12100F is just $106, while the 12100 is $129 (was $149). Their stats on paper are similar to their 10th-generation counterparts, but they likely perform better and offer some additional elbow room for future upgrades.
Intel's upcoming Raptor Lake processors will support the same motherboards as these Alder Lakes, which also work with DDR4 and DDR5 RAM.
Anyone angling for an Intel-based build soon should start thinking about purchases now, especially before Intel raises prices later this year.