Intel introduces "Balanced Builds": GPU and CPU bundles that don't break the bank

Intel Arc Balanced Build hero image showing the prices of the bundles
(Image credit: Intel)

In a continuing run of maneuvers to bring price balancing back to the PC component market, Intel has announced a new initiative to match price and performance when buying CPUs and GPUs. "Intel Arc Balanced Builds" will allow you to get an Intel A7 Series GPU and a 12th/13th Gen Intel Core CPU bundled in one convenient package, at a more convenient cost.

Whether you're shopping for just these two components so you can build the best gaming PC  possible, or you're looking for an entirely new rig, it seems as though you can benefit from a Balanced Build from today. GPU and CPU packages start their pricing levels at $423 USD for a Core i5 and A750. Meanwhile, whole systems based around the same configurations will start at $899 in the US.

These may seem like bundles Intel is putting together to try and ship its latest processors, but in fairness, there's decent price-to-performance here. To buy separately, a 13th Gen i5 would cost $319 and Arc A750 would cost $289 in the US - showing that there's some value to be had from a Balanced Build bundle.

Intel Arc Balanced Build performance chart with the ARC GPUs paired with CPUs

(Image credit: Intel)

In a video that goes into detail about Balanced Builds and the research that went into them, Ryan Shrout of Intel Arc marketing and Intel Fellow Tom Peterson discuss these component pairings. They also talk about Intel's goal to inject some pricing balance back into the world of the best graphics cards.

"What it's all about is, we're using the Intel engineering resources to actually solve a real question that's been out there forever. 'Hey - I've got a GPU, what's the actual, right CPU to pair with that?'," says Peterson.

"It's going to make it easier for gamers to find the right systems", he added.

The testing process, Intel assures, was carried out across 10 different CPUs, 9 different GPUs, and 15,000 test runs that were done in more than 50 games at two different resolutions.

"It's obviously gonna vary a bunch based on cooling, and storage, and memory capacity, and other components... but the important part is that - these are the most critical components of that build, that define if you're getting good value for your dollar", said Shrout.

Intel balanced builds header image showing a CPU and GPU pairing

(Image credit: Intel)

The video goes into great detail about the extensive testing Intel did in the lead-up to this announcement. Still, of all the revelations to come from the research, Intel supposedly found a bit of a shocker - that the performance of its A750 and A770 GPUs taper off after being paired with an i5 and i7 processor. So essentially, if you were thinking of grabbing a pricey 13th Gen i9 CPU (ie, one of the very best CPUs for gaming you can find) to match with an Intel Arc graphics card - don't. Go for an i5 or i7 instead and save yourself some money. 

"It's taking in performance and cost, and saying this is the optimal place to build a system", said Shrout.

For Balanced Builds to reach consumers, Intel has partnered with a myriad of retailers, including the likes of Newegg, iBUYPOWER, Best Buy, Thermaltake, CYBERPOWERPC, and Skytech Gaming to name a few.

"That to me, is the most important part", said Shrout, "that we have retailers, system integrators, partners all over the world that are going to help us talk about Balanced Builds and make sure we're matching the right components across CPU and GPU.

Balanced Builds are available now from any of Intel's chosen component partners. In the UK, that includes PC Specialist and soon, eBuyer. For more retailers in your region take a look at Intel's list of partnered retailers.

Want a different gaming PC upgrade? Take a look at the best RAM for gaming, the best SSD for gaming, and the best PC cases.

Duncan Robertson
Hardware Editor

Ever since playing Journey at the age of 15, I’ve been desperate to cover video games for a living. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Journalism, I contributed to the Scottish Games Network and completed an Editorial Internship over at Expert Reviews. Besides that, I’ve been managing my own YouTube channel and Podcast for the last 7 years. It’s been a long road, but all that experience somehow landed me a dream job covering gaming hardware. I’m a self-confessing PlayStation fanboy, but my experience covering the larger business and developer side of the whole industry has given me a strong knowledge of all platforms. When I’m not testing out every peripheral I can get my hands on, I’m probably either playing tennis or dissecting game design for an upcoming video essay. Now, I better stop myself here before I get talking about my favourite games like HUNT: Showdown, Dishonored, and Towerfall Ascension.
Location: UK Remote