Pricing for the Intel Core i9 9900K and i7 9700K has made its way online ahead of their expected October launch window. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen pricing for these chips appear online, however, the (unconfirmed) prices from pre-order listings over at Silicon Lottery fall in line with what we might expect from Intel. Ergo, don’t expect a bargain.
Let’s start off with the Core i7 9700K. This chip will essentially replace the i7 8700K, entering the market without the i7’s signature feature, Hyper-Threading, for a total of eight cores and eight threads. Silicon Lottery, a retailer that specialises in binned and delidded chips, currently has this chip listed for $370. That’s only a little more than expensive than the hexacore Coffee Lake i7 8700K.
While the i7 9700K falls just shy of what we expected Intel to charge for its second-tier eight-core, the Core i9 9900K – Intel’s eight-core / sixteen-thread top-of-the-line chip – looks to be slightly more expensive than we were otherwise hoping for. Coming in at $480, this flagship chip is soaring well above the price of its core equal over at AMD, the Ryzen 7 2700X, priced at $320.
That means that, if Silicon Lottery’s prices are correct and final, you could be paying a $160 premium for Intel’s silicon expertise over the very best of the red team’s Zen architecture. Without a doubt Intel’s recent architecture offers some serious computational performance, which has made a noticeable difference in gaming benchmarks too, but that’s a serious premium to pay over AMD’s best Ryzen 2 chip. It also leaves the red team a lot of space to manoeuvre on future pricing if need be, say if it wanted to release a higher-spec Ryzen 7 2800X, for example.
While pricey in comparison to the mainstream desktop lineup, the i9 9900K is still considerably cheaper than the octacore Core i7 7820X Skylake X chip from last year. This eight-core / sixteen-thread chip was built on 14nm, featured a 140W TDP, and boost up to 4.5GHz. The i9 9900K, on the other hand, is expected to launch with a 5GHz turbo.
Both new 9000-series processors are expected to launch in early October, accompanied by the Z390 motherboards set to replace the enthusiast Z370 platform. Sure to offer some of the best gaming performance around, if not the best, Intel seemingly feels like it’s still in a position to charge a pretty penny for that benchmark-topping muscle. However marginal that might be in the final reckoning.
Whether gamers will feel the same way about paying quite so much just for a slight clockspeed bump and Hyper-Threading is yet to be seen. But likely more than enough will be swayed by the shiny new Intel i9 badge and the promise of the best performance available on the market. Don’t forget the 14nm silicon shortage Intel is reportedly suffering at the moment, as such, stock of either of the new chips could be very hard to come by at launch, and potentially get more expensive too.