AMD Trolls Intel: Offers 16-Core Chip to Winners of Six-Core 8086K (Updated With Intel Response)

EDIT: Intel responded to AMD's program. We've included the company's comments at the bottom of the article.

AMD's feud with Intel took an interesting turn today as the company announced that it would swap 40 Core i7-8086K's won from Intel's sweepstakes with a much beefier Threadripper 1950X CPU.

At Computex 2018, Intel officially announced it was releasing the Core i7-8086K, a special edition processor that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 8086, which debuted as the first x86 processor on June 8, 1978.

As part of the special-edition release, Intel opened up a sweepstakes to give away 8,086 of the six-core 12-thread processors. Intel also made the processors available at retail, and though the company doesn't have an official MSRP, you can find the chips at several retailers for ~$425.

Now AMD is offering to replace 40 of the winners' chips with its own 16-core 32-thread $799 Threadripper processors, thus throwing a marketing wrench into Intel's 40th-anniversary celebration. We can't say it better than AMD's own snarky announcement:

Our competitor recently kicked off a sweepstakes to celebrate the first 40 years of the x86 processor by giving away 8,086 limited edition processors.We appreciate the advancements they’ve helped drive with the x86 architecture over the last four decades. But, we’re ready to take it from here. That’s why we’re giving 40 performance-hungry enthusiasts in the U.S. an opportunity to celebrate the next 40 years of high-performance computing by trading in their commemorative processor prize for our CPU that enables you to work, play and create with heavy metal.The first 40 U.S.-based winners of the Intel® 8th Gen Core i7-8086k Limited Edition Sweepstakes (which opened on June 7, 2018 and closed on June 8, 2018) (“Competitor Sweepstakes”) to complete certain steps will be offered the opportunity to exchange their new, in-box prize processor for a flagship 16-core AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ 1950X processor built for the gamers and creators who need a processor that can do it all. Those steps will be communicated on this webpage on June 25 at 1:00:00 PM EDT. Check back on June 25 at 1:00:00 PM EDT for complete details on how to participate.OPEN ONLY TO RESIDENTS OF 50 U.S./D.C. VOID OUTSIDE THE U.S. AND WHERE PROHIBITED.

AMD has a list of the complete terms and conditions on its site. But it is also noteworthy that "winners" of AMD's competing sweepstakes will have to pony up for a much more expensive X399 motherboard with the TR4 socket, which currently retail for more than $300, instead of Intel's less-expensive 300-series motherboards. Regardless, those who do swap their Intel Core silicon for an AMD Threadripper chip will gain 10 cores and quad-channel memory, not to mention quite a bit of resale value.

AMD suggests interested parties follow @AMDRyzen for further details. We'll be keeping a keen eye on Intel's response, but we don't expect it to up the ante with the $1,900 Core i9-7980XE

EDIT: Intel responded via its official verified @IntelGaming twitter account, saying:

".@AMDRyzen, if you wanted an Intel Core i7-8086K processor too, you could have just asked us. :) Thanks for helping us celebrate the 8086!"

Paul Alcorn
Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech

Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.

  • Aldain
  • salgado18
    That was EPYC hahaha
  • So they will give you a chip that costs almost twice as much. Wouldn't everyone take that deal? I'd take it, sell the Threadripper, and then buy the Intel chip at retail. Or maybe take the savings and get one of those pre binned lid removed conductonaught applied ones!
  • caustin582
    Not sure what there is for them to be so smug about here. The 1950X costs twice as much and has slightly lower gaming benchmarks on average. So what exactly is the message they're trying to convey? That they're willing to throw more money at PR stunts than Intel?
  • redgarl
    That's the kind of thing AMD needs to do more often. Basically, it is using a baseball bat after receiving a slap.
  • george.fontano
    AMD's sense of humor is ????
  • salgado18
    21067571 said:
    Not sure what there is for them to be so smug about here. The 1950X costs twice as much and has slightly lower gaming benchmarks on average. So what exactly is the message they're trying to convey? That they're willing to throw more money at PR stunts than Intel?

    Most people only buy Intel because "AMD is bad/hot/slow" (heard it 5 minutes ago). At least 40 people will have the chance to see how powerful an AMD system can be. Also, note the bolded remark: slightly lower gaming, way more powerful at everything else, that's the message.
  • plrr
    Seems needlessly disrespectful
  • bastsofu
    Even AMD wants Intel CPUs!!

    AMD is bad/hot/slow
  • Giroro
    Threadripper isn't way more powerful at "everything else", just workstation tasks that most people never use.
    That slight disadvantage in gaming also extends to most other typical desktop apps like web browsing, microsoft office, photoshop, etc.
    Honestly if I were to win the 8086 contest, I probably wouldn't even want to exchange it since it's a limited edition collector's item that will sell out and end up worth more than the $750 (and dropping, since its a first-gen chip) Threadripper.