THERE'S A RUMOUR doing the rounds that Intel might decide to slash the prices of its Core processors to stick two fingers up at AMD ahead of its third-generation Ryzen launch.
At the top end, AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X comes in at $499 (around £390), the same as Intel's Core i9-9900K which AMD considers to be the equivalent rival chip.
Moving down the next-gen Ryzen line-up, the Ryzen 7 3800X comes in a $399 (£312) while its closest rival in the form of the Core i7-9700K, costs $385 (£300). As such, there's not really much difference between the processor prices.
Only when you get down to the Ryzen 5 3600X do Intel's prices start to look a little higher than Team Red's. But again the difference is hardly substantial, the rough equivalent of £20 here and there.
If you want major price differences, you really need to look at the much higher-end core-packed Ryzen and Core processors, where AMD's 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X processor significantly undercuts the Core i9 9960X, for example.
Given Intel hasn't reduced its prices directly in ages, there's plenty of scope for this rumour to be a crock of crap. By reducing prices Intel would effectively be losing face to AMD but almost admitting it is worried about the competition.
That hasn't really been Intel's style of late; rather, the chipmaker keeps cranking out re-jigged versions of its 14-nanometer node, offering upgrades on the Core line-up which last year included packing in more cores to pretty much the whole range, thereby nibbling at AMD's often touted core number advantage.
Our suspicion is that PCs with Intel chips might get their overall prices reduced to give consumers a more balanced choice between an AMD-based machine and one with an Intel CPU at its core.
Though we also suspect Intel's retort to AMD will come in the form of new Core chips, especially as we're expecting to see 10-nanometre processors pop up at the end of the year. µ
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