Intel 9th Gen CPUs Are Great...if You Can Find Them

(Image credit: Intel)

The new 9th generation Intel Core processors have been plagued by high prices and a lack of stock at major computer hardware retailers around the U.S. Consumers who want to pick up a new Core i9-9900K or Core i7-9700K today have no alternative but to pay a hefty premium over Intel's recommended customer pricing.

Intel specifies a recommended price for each of its processors, but retailers are still free to slap whatever price tag they want on an item. Also at play is Intel's shortage of 14nm processors, which affects both old and new 9th generation chips. The shortage of stock has contributed to driving up the prices for the Intel Core i9-9900K, Core i7-9700K and, at some retailers, the Core i5-9600K

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Recommended Customer PricingActual Pricing
Core i9-9900K$488 - $499$579.99
Core i7-9700K$374 - $385$409.99 - $419.99
Core i5-9600K$262 - $263$259 (Walmart only) - $279.99

According to Intel, the flagship Intel Core i9-9900K processor should retail for around $488 to $499. However, the processor hit the shelves with an overbloated price tag of $579.99, which is around 16 percent higher than the maximum price recommended. The Core i9-9900K isn't just the fastest gaming processor on the planet, but sold out fast too. Sadly, there is no word on when the octa-core processor will come back in stock.

Moving down the processor hierarchy, we find the Core i7-9700K processor with a $419.99 price tag, roughly nine percent more expensive than what Intel suggested. Suffering the same fate as the Core i9-9900K, the Core i7-9700K is also nowhere to be found.

Out of the three K-series processors, the Core i5-9600K is the only part that is widely available. Surprisingly, Walmart is selling the Core i5-9600K for $259. On the other hand, Newegg has the Core i5-9600K listed for $279.99, when the hexa-core processor's MSRP is between $262 and $263. On Amazon, $279.99 Core i5-9600K CPUs are out of stock; you'll have to pay over $279.99 if you want one in a timely fashion.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • TechyInAZ
    Meanwhile you can find Ryzen 7 1700s for $179:

    And Ryzen 5 2600s for $159:
  • anghellic
    2700x is a better deal
  • derekullo
    Walmarthas sounds like a greek god devoted to saving you money.

    Edit: I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself. The temptation was too great.

    Originally the article had a typo of Walmarthas which gave me the mental picture of above.

    The walmart typo has since been fixed.
  • The Original Ralph
    except to reviewers and computer manufacturers, did any actually make it out into the wild, ie enthusiast consumer hands?
  • stdragon
    I know a guy off the side of the road selling these chips from the back of his pickup - right next to the salsa.

    Seriously, this does not bode well for Intel.
  • redgarl
    Great performance, the worst value ever for CPUs.

    There is no reasons to buy them.
  • The Original Ralph
    what's disappointing to me is the frustration intel had to know it was causing by not informing the market they weren't going to make their pre-announced availability date. A lot of folks did as i did, and ordered / purchased a number of components (cases, motherboards, PSUs, Ram etc) the same day i pre-ordered the cpu. So now i'm sitting here with a small fortune in components with no cpu

    It's inconceiveable that the marketing dept wasn't aware they weren't going to make their availability date, but i can't for the life of me comprehend what their goal was by not advising the market. Whatever "PR" points they might feel they would win by announcing the 9900k's availability date was sure destroyed by the negative customer goodwill and loss of credibility they had to know they'd suffer - it doesn't make sense, it's not like Intel managers have the IQ of a tree stump.
  • mlee 2500
    My new i9 is so fast you can't even see it.
  • mlee 2500
    21426141 said:
    except to reviewers and computer manufacturers, did any actually make it out into the wild, ie enthusiast consumer hands?

    I have a feeling they're sending the initial existing i9 inventory to PC manufacturers and VAR's, because I have not seen nor heard from a single enthusiast who's received one apart from reviewers.

    Amazon briefly had the 9700's selling as "Ship now / In Inventory" for like a half a day before they were listed as "Out of Stock" again.
  • ryan.gebauer
    Thanks for the information about the 2nd-rate AMD Ryzen processors out there, but the people visiting this article aren't interested in 2nd-rate parts.