Intel is responding to the threat AMD poses in the high-end desktop processor world by implementing some massive price cuts with its soon-to-launch 10th Gen Cascade Lake-X CPUs, according to the rumor mill.
And we mean really big price cuts, with a report from Videocardz – seemingly backed up by Intel slides published by Guru of 3D – claiming that the flagship Core i9-10980XE (18-core model) will be priced at $979 (around £800, AU$1,465), compared to an asking price of $1,979 (around £1,620, AU$2,960) for the previous generation Core i9-9980XE.
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There are similar cuts down the line, with the Core i9-10940X (14-core) priced at $784 (around £640, AU$1,170) compared to $1,387 (around £1,130, AU$2,075) for its predecessor, and the Core i9-10920X (12-core) being pitched at $689 (around £560, AU$1,030) versus $1,189 (around £970, AU$1,780). Intel’s Core i9-10900X (10-core) CPU will retail at $590 (around £480, AU$880) compared to $989 (around £810, AU$1,480) for the 9900X.
Those cuts represent drops of around 40% to 50%, with the biggest reduction being chopping the cost of the flagship chip in half.
Another way to look at it is that the previous Skylake-X products weigh in at $103 per core, and Cascade Lake-X will witness a reduction to $57 per core – much more competitive with AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation (current) chips which are pitched at $55 per core.
In fact, this would make Intel more than competitive with Threadripper, as Cascade Lake-X would offer an impressive level of price/performance in comparison to AMD’s existing 2nd Gen chips, and other benefits besides (like 72 PCIe lanes versus 64, and more memory capacity with Intel’s platform supporting up to 256GB, double the previous limit).
These Intel processors will also be able to reach boost speeds of 4.8GHz – on one core, at any rate – or 4.7GHz for the 10900X.
The trouble is that soon, Intel won’t be competing with those 2nd Gen AMD processors, but with a fresh batch of Threadripper 3rd Generation chips coming in November, led by a 24-core model and promising a dramatic performance boost with the switch to the Zen 2 architecture which has served Ryzen 3000 processors so well (and driven them to new heights).
And while that’s just a single benchmark which we have to regard with caution, as ever when it comes to these sort of leaks, it does point to difficult times ahead for Cascade Lake-X when Threadripper 3rd Gen emerges.
Still, at least Intel’s pricing is looking much more competitive now, and as we’ve discussed elsewhere this morning, perhaps we’ll see similar downwards movement when it comes to the firm’s consumer processors to better compete with Ryzen 3000.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).