Price-To-Performance: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?


Sponsored by Intel

Whether you’re building your first PC or your fiftieth, you want to make sure that you are making the most of your budget. That means finding the components that are going to deliver the most power at the best price. And while your personal ideal Price-To-Performance ratio may be different from everyone else’s, Intel’s lineup is sure to have something that will fit your needs.

What is the Price-To-Performance Ratio?

You’ve more than likely done some quick Price-To-Performance ratio calculations in your own head while shopping. If you’ve ever looked at two CPUs “why would I get CPU A when CPU B offers so much more power for not much more money,” you’ve thought about the Price-To-Performance ratio. Put another way, the Price-To-Performance ratio is exactly what it sounds like: an examination of value based on how much power a component – CPUs, in this case – provides for the cost.

It’s easy to look up Price-To-Performance ratios online and get a rough estimate of what the value proposition of a certain CPU would be. However, these rarely tell the whole story, usually utilizing just one set of data points – IE, benchmarks – and ignoring other elements, such as bundle savings and raw power. So, sure, an older gen CPU may offer the “best” value proposition at first glance, but there’s a good chance you’ll be missing out on some of the real value that comes from newer CPUs. You may find that it simply doesn’t have the power needed to game, render, or edit. Or you may find that it quickly falls behind as it doesn’t have access to the latest and greatest advancements, like PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM. So, before you commit to a CPU based on an online Price-To-Performance ratio, be sure to check that your new CPU can do what you need it to, otherwise, that ratio could end up a lot worse than it initially seemed.

The Best Intel Price-To-Performance Ratio: The Intel Core i7-12700K Bundle

The Intel CPUs you’re most likely to see in a store come in four distinct tiers: i3, i5, i7, and i9. The higher the number, the more cores, threads, and power they offer, but also the more expensive they get. Take, for example, the Core i3-13100 CPU. At an MSRP of only $149.99, it seems like it ought to be a stellar value. And, if you’re looking for a light-usage family computer, it absolutely is. But, if you’re looking to game or do any sort of editing or rendering, you could very quickly run into a bottleneck. On the flip side, you have the Intel Core i9-13900K, an industry-leading, bleeding-edge processor that can handle anything you need with power to spare. However, if you’re not planning on pushing the 13900K to its limit, the price can outweigh the performance.

That leaves the fan-favorite Core i5s and Core i7s right in the price-to-performance sweet spot. This is where we’d usually recommend choosing the CPU that best fits your needs – an i5 if your needs are a bit lighter and an i7 if you’re planning on doing more intense work, like streaming or high-res video editing. But right now, we’d be hard-pressed to recommend anything other than the Intel Core i7-12700K bundle. This bundle is jam-packed with just about everything you’d need to get your new PC up and running with a savings of nearly $150. Let’s break down what’s included:

The Intel Core i7-12700K

The Core i7-12700K may not be the most recent generation of Intel CPUs (but don’t worry – if you’re looking for the latest and greatest, we’ve got a bundle for you a bit further down!), but that doesn’t mean it’s out of date. The 12700k was the forebearer of a lot of the latest consumer tech, like PCIe 5.0 and DDR5. It even introduced the hybrid architecture system found across Intel CPUs, splitting the workload between Performance and Efficiency cores to improve efficiency, no matter what you’re doing. And, at only a single generation out, you’re getting some of the best Intel has to offer at a fraction of the price of 13th gen processors.

Quick Specs:

  • Cores: 12 (8P+4E)
  • Threads: 20
  • Base Clock: 3.6Ghz Performance, 2.7Ghz Efficient
  • Max Turbo Frequency: up to 4.9GHz (4.9Ghz Performance, 3.8Ghz Efficient)
  • L2 Cache: 12MB
  • Socket: LGA1700
  • Max Memory Speed: DDR5-4800, DDR4-3200
  • Unlocked for Overclocking

The Motherboard and RAM

This bundle doesn’t stop with a killer ASUS Z690-P motherboard, leaving you to figure out RAM. It’s ready to go with 16GB of DD5-5600 G.Skill Flare X5 RAM. Put both of these together, and you’ve got the base for a set up that is going to make the most of the 12700k, with high-speed RAM and PCIe 5.0 availability. There’s no threat of bottlenecking your processor and you’ve got the core of your computer already figured out, without having to check compatibility!

The Step Up: The Intel Core i7-13700K Bundle

If you love everything about the 12700K bundle but want to stay on the absolute cutting edge? Good news, we’ve got a 13th gen bundle that saves over $180 and includes even more power than its 12th gen sibling.

The Intel Core i7-13700K

The latest i7 processor from Intel, the 13700K takes everything great about the 12700K and ratchets it up a notch or two. Increased frequencies, increased core and thread counts, and increased efficiency make the 13700K a CPU that will last a long time – another important consideration when looking at a Price-to-Performance ratio! And, like its 12th gen counterpart, it gives you access to all the modern advancements like PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM, so you’ll be blazing fast whether you’re gaming or working.

Quick Specs:

  • Cores: 16 (8P+8E)
  • Threads: 24
  • Base Clock: 3.4Ghz Performance, 2.5Ghz Efficient
  • Max Turbo Frequency: up to 5.4GHz (5.3Ghz Performance, 4.2 Efficient)
  • L2 Cache: 24MB
  • Intel Smart Cache (L3 Cache): 30MB
  • Socket: LGA1700
  • Max Memory Speed: DDR5-5600, DDR4-3200
  • Unlocked for Overclocking

The Motherboard and RAM

Just like the 13700K, the motherboard and RAM also get a boost with this bundle. The motherboard bumps up to an ASUS Z790-P with support for increased RAM speeds, more PCIe 4.0 ports, and a Realtek 2.5Gb Ethernet chipset. The G.Skill RAM doubles in size, up to 32Gb, with a modest increase in speed to go with it. If you’re looking for the most speed and power in your bundle, you’ve found it.


The price-to-performance ratio is an incredibly useful tool when you’re building a PC. Whether you’re building a high-end rig or a budget-friendly family PC, it can be useful in keeping your budget in line and not going beyond the scope of your build. And while bundles like the 12700K and 13700K offer fantastic price-to-performance options, the best ratio is often the one you feel in your gut, whether it’s the 13100 or the 13900KS. And thankfully, no matter what your gut says, Intel has a CPU that’ll work with your build.


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