Several European retailers posted the prices for some of Intel's looming Comet Lake desktop processors a little over two weeks ago. However, the more succulent SKUs, including the Core i7 and Core i9 parts, were left out of the mix. As per a tip from hardware detective @momomo_us, Belgium retailer 2Compute has filled in the missing pieces for us.
First of all, it's important to differentiate between a boxed and a tray processor. The first is the kind that you would buy from your local hardware store while the latter is what Intel sells in high volume to big original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). You can tell the difference by the processor's part number. Boxed processors carry the BX prefix while OEM/tray processors begin with the CM prefix.
2Compute lists the tray pricing for the Comet Lake processors. Fortunately, the store's catalog contains a considerable number of models that we had previously covered, which allows us to compare the pricing between the boxed and tray version. The difference is only a few dollars. Although 2Compute's prices correspond to the tray version, we think they are a good indicator of the final price ranges that we can expect from the boxed versions.
To start with some general observations, the F-series variants are reportedly up to $30 cheaper than their non-F counterparts. For example, the Core i9-10900K seemingly costs $562 while the Core i9-10900KF is listed for $532. This was to be expected considering that the F-series is characterized for lacking integrated graphics.
Apparently, 65W and 35W Comet Lake chips presumably share identical pricing. Once again using the Core i9 parts as an example, the Core i9-10900 and Core i9-10900T allegedly command a $506 price tag. It's a no-brainer that the first is the stronger performer and a better choice since it costs the same as the 35W model. However, there is still some strong value with the T-series for system builders looking to put together a very compact and power efficient machine.
The prices in the table are before VAT (value-added tax) and apply to a single unit. We've converted the prices from euros over to dollars and rounded them to the nearest dollar.
Intel Comet Lake-S Alleged Pricing
|Model||Part Number||Base Clock (GHz)||Pricing|
For the sake of comparison, let's assume that the pricing between the boxed and tray versions of a Comet Lake processor is similar.
The Core i9-10900K, which is the rumored 10-core flagship chip, appears at $562. Intel's recommended pricing for the Core i9-9900K is $488 to $499. That's a $63 increase for two additional cores and (comparatively) doesn't seem like a bad deal at all compared to other Intel chips. The big problem is that AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core processor also competes in the $500 category. What's even worse for Intel is that the Ryzen 9 3900X often dips as low as $420.
Working down the product stack, we find the Core i7-10700K, which is basically the Core i9-9900K of this generation. The Core i7-10700K could cost around $436, well below the Core i9-9900K's $499 RCP (Recommended Customer Pricing). The octa-core chip would have to face the Ryzen 7 3800X, which debuted at $399 but currently sells for around $340.
As for the mid-range game, 2Compute has the Core i5-10600K for $296. The chip would be equivalent to the Core i5-9600K but with HyperThreading. For context, the Core i5-9600K's recommended price tag is $263. If the Core i5-10600K's price is accurate, Intel is only charging $33 for enabling HyperThreading on the chip. Given the specifications, the Core i5-10600K will go head-to-head with the Ryzen 5 3600X, which has a recommended price of $249, but is currently going for $200.
Sadly, we might not get to see Comet Lake's arrival until June. According to a recent report, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak likely affected the production of Comet Lake processors.