When AMD announced the 7nm Ryzen 3000 processors, Intel seemed confident that it’d retain the crown of PC gaming, challenging AMD “to meet them in real-world tests“. However, team blue has been uncharacteristically silent ever since the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X was announced. It’s not hard to imagine why. The Zen 2 flagship beat the Intel i9-9980XE by quite a margin while costing half as less, in both the single-core as well as the multi-core Geekbench tests. Now, as AMD is almost ready to deploy its new CPUs, Intel’s facade seems to be wearing off. According to a report by Digitimes, Intel is going to slash the prices of its 8th and 9th Gen lineups (Coffee Lake) to keep them competitive against AMD’s new offerings.
Intel has been stuck on the 14nm node for almost five years now, with multiple attempts to shift to 10nm failing. The Ice Lake-U chips were announced this Computex with a launch expected in Q3 2019, but the desktop parts have still not been officially unveiled, and the server parts are said to come with limited clocks due to poor 10nm yields.
That leaves AMD with almost a year to compete with the dated Coffee Lake chips in the mainstream desktop market and looking at the official figures, there’s no way the blue-chips can withstand the onslaught at their present price-points. So, it’s logical that Intel does something about it, and as it stands, right now, a price drop is the only possible solution, at least in the short-run.
Sources are claiming a price-cut of 10-15%, with the Core i9-9900K, i7-9700K, and the i5-9600K all expected to drop by around $50-75 to compete with the Ryzen 7 3800X, 3700X and the 3600X, respectively. This will leave the Ryzen 9 processors without any Intel competitor but I suspect that won’t be the case for too long.
Intel Core i5-9600K Selling for $230 on Amazon and Newegg
Newegg and Amazon have already dropped the price of the Core i5-9600K to $229, with the former running the discount for four days and the latter for an unannounced period. The Coffee Lake-based i5 chips perform quite well in most games and the increased core-count of the 9th Gen lineup should diversify their use as well.