It's certainly not something you see every day when you find an Intel processor with a reasonable discount, so it's a bit surprising to see that rates on 9th-Gen processors have recently plunged at several retailers. We followed up with Intel to see if this was the result of an official price cut, or if distributors were only discounting the chips individually to clear their stock of previous-gen chips. Intel declared that:
"Promotional price decreases are one of the ways we collaborate with our suppliers to continue to support the strong market demand for high-performance DIY processors."
It means, this is an official Intel deal, which is rare – its previous-gen chips typically hold their interest well in the retail market. Intel hasn't given us any more information about the deal, such as how long it would last or how many retailers involved. The company certainly isn't advertising its reduced prices on its chip. Neither are the price cuts reported on the official price list of the company. However, that doesn't mean that the recommended amount figured out can't find any decently-priced chips if they're hunting for an Intel processor of the last-gen. Of course, you should also be sure to check the recent chip rankings and our Best CPU guide to see if there are better alternatives available, notably from AMD.
The price distributions make sense for a few reasons – it's logical to assume that they help address the competitive pressure from AMD's Ryzen range, which often offers the lowest per-core pricing possible. Intel also released its 10th generation Comet Lake-S offerings back in April. Despite the recent launch, word around town is that Q4 2020 or Q1 2021 is due for the 11th Generation Rocket Lake line-up.
|Processor||Cores / Threads||Base / Boost Clock (GHz)||MSRP||Current Pricing|
|Core i9-9900K||8 / 16||3.6 / 5.0||$488 - $499||$435.99|
|Core i7-9700K||8 / 8||3.6 / 4.9||$274 - $385||$340.00|
|Core i5-9600K||6 / 6||3.7 / 4.6||$262 - $263||$192.89|
So, it's easy to see why retailers want to get rid of the remaining inventory of Coffee Lake, particularly as the processor live on the previous LGA1151 platform that is likely to go out of service very early. For the Coffee Lake K-series chips, which consist of the Core i9-9900 K, Core i7-9700 K, and Core i5-9600 K, the price drops seem to be the most pronounced. The Core i9-9900 K has been a flagship model of the last decade. The eight-core, 16-thread processors debuted on a $488-$499 MSRP. The device currently sells at various retailers, including Amazon, for as little as $435.99.
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