Update, 10/29/19 4:48am PT: Computerbase.de has updated its article with new pricing found at several retailers, which indicates that more models Skylake-X Refresh models have experienced drastic price cuts.
Respected German media outlet Computerbase.de reported this week that it is monitoring pricing for Intel's current-gen Skylake-X Refresh processors and has seen price reductions up to 50% in the European market. The site also claims that Intel will extend those price reductions to other models in the coming days.
The purported price reductions would make sense, given that Intel's new Cascade Lake-X models arrive soon with up to a 50% reduction in price-per-core. The new Cascade Lake-X models drop into the same motherboard socket as Skylake-X processors, meaning customers would obviously opt for the faster, less-expensive models instead, thus leaving retailers saddled with older (and slower) Skylake-X models that would languish on the shelves due to higher pricing.
There are no signs of Skylake-X price cuts on Intel's official CPU price list, at least not yet, so we reached out to the company for comment. Intel responded that, "As with any product transition, we are working with partners on programs to prepare for the introduction of the next generation product."
That statement could be interpreted in any number of ways, and seems to neither confirm nor deny any pending price cuts on the older generation of high end desktop CPUs. In the past, Intel has avoided de-valuing its previous-gen processors, instead offering bulked-up product lines with more cores to fend off the surging AMD. Intel's release of newer, faster processors at half the price of previous-gen models is unprecedented in recent history, meaning there is no real indication of how the company might handle the situation.
A quick spot check of pricing in the US for Intel's Skaylake-X models doesn't turn up any of the price reductions that Computerbase has noticed in the European market, but that isn't entirely surprising given that the Cascade Lake-X models will not arrive until November.
A drastic price reduction wouldn't be entirely unexpected, though, as Intel itself recently presented a slide that confirmed the price-to-performance ratio of its existing Skylake-X lineup is inferior to AMD's Threadripper processors. And that admission comes before AMD's launch of its hotly anticipated Ryzen Threadripper 3000 series that is expected to widen both the pricing and performance gap.
We're sure that any price cuts to the Skylake-X line of chips won't be well-received by enthusiasts that paid up to $2,000 per chip, but will now see their investment lose half of its value when the Cascade Lake-X models arrive. That will happen regardless of any official price cuts for Skylake-X models at retailers, though.
Computerbase noted that many of the Skylake-X models appear to be in short supply already, suggesting that Intel is restricting supply to reduce the impact of the coming price cuts. The site posits that, in the end, the price cuts may exist more on paper than in retail outlets due to the dwindling supply. Only time will tell, but we'll keep an eye on pricing and update as necessary.
It is nice to see significant market corrections happen after a decade of stagnation.
It's been 2 years now that Ryzen (Zen 1) kicked Intel in the pants hard, Zen+ confirmed it and Zen 2 actually overcame Intel in IPC and security - so much so that now AMD don't even have to compete on price so much.
If AMD indicating yet another jump in IPC for Zen 3 and it using the refined 7nm (5nm) fab process do lead to higher clock speed go according to plan, Intel might just end up the same way they were with the Pentium D : lagging behind in technology, power use, price and barely holding on on performance.
The last time they managed to catch up suddenly thanks to the Conroe team managing to bring i686 to 64-bit multicore goodness in force, this time AMD have the lead on process, multicore, customization, SMT efficiency, security...
Intel is trying desperately to maintain the image of "premium brand" and "premium brands" don't discount and don't lower prices based on what their competition is doing.
So that info-graphic, is almost entirely based on Cascade X relative pricing compared to Skylake X original pricing. 10th gen "X" processors do look to have some performance boost, but they way the created that graph you could believe that performance might be hugely increasing.
Pricing for Cascade Lake X has come out since then and the top part indeed gets a 54% reduction in price over 9th gen. This is why they either have to cut Skylake X pricing or accept that they will never sell a single one after Cascade Lake X starts shipping.
I wish the downward pricing pressure got more intense in the mainstream, though there is effectively no chance of that happening while Intel is still struggling to meet demand, leaving AMD free to inflate its own profit margins.
Also considering that it can be said (although more a "technicality" than a reality for 99% of users) that 9700k and 9900k are still the best for gaming - Intel can use that to justify the higher prices on those parts - and will continue as long as this perception is maintained for the most part - especially in the wake of whatever is causing their supply issues.
Lower end parts (i5s) will have to get a price / performance improvement at some point - but I think Intel's plan is to increase perf on those for 10th gen with 6 cores and HT being the new middle range, to match Zen 2 R5. Not sure if 9th gen parts will get much of a cut there.