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Intel to Cut Skylake-X Refresh Pricing in Half: Report (Update)

(Image credit: Intel)

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.

Original article:

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.

(Image credit: Intel)

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. 

  • razorwindmo46
    I think all processors are overpriced, especially Intel. Since my first build, they have constantly been priced at double/triple for each new build and priced out my range to even do a midrange build. The same goes for video cards. I haven't made a new build since 4770K.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Intel dropping prices on existing products by upwards of 60% before introducing new products starting at lower price points than the previous generation did isn't new, that was the norm until Core2 launched thirteen years ago and annihilated AMD's performance advantage.

    It is nice to see significant market corrections happen after a decade of stagnation.
    Reply
  • waltc3
    Can't wait to see how Intel defines "Relative price-performance per core"....;) I think it's significant there are no actual performance benchmarks--probably, the bar chart is formulated on the 50% price cut, rather than performance, thus the higher "relative price performance" per core since Intel will be giving these things away, apparently. Highly amusing...;) In the old days, Intel didn't even like to acknowledge the existence of AMD--now, Intel's ads seem rather bizarre, and rather desperate.
    Reply
  • mitch074
    Compared with the Conroe era where Intel would fight with better processes and increased IPC, this time it seems they are mainly working on price and increased clock speeds - the same thing AMD did to keep Bulldozer relevant.
    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...
    Reply
  • joeblowsmynose
    waltc3 said:
    Can't wait to see how Intel defines "Relative price-performance per core"....;) I think it's significant there are no actual performance benchmarks--probably, the bar chart is formulated on the 50% price cut, rather than performance, thus the higher "relative price performance" per core since Intel will be giving these things away, apparently. Highly amusing...;) In the old days, Intel didn't even like to acknowledge the existence of AMD--now, Intel's ads seem rather bizarre, and rather desperate.

    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.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    joeblowsmynose said:
    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.
    Got to get rid of excess inventory sooner or later and now that there is some significant pricing pressure at the high-end, Intel won't get to just hold launch prices until it discontinues parts if it wants to keep inventory moving. Something it mostly hasn't had to do in nearly twelve years.

    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.
    Reply
  • joeblowsmynose
    InvalidError said:
    ...
    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.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    razorwindmo46 said:
    I think all processors are overpriced, especially Intel. Since my first build, they have constantly been priced at double/triple for each new build and priced out my range to even do a midrange build.
    Price of CPUs doubling or tripling? What?
    Reply