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Intel Targets AMD, Slashes 10th Gen Chip Prices Amid AMD Shortages

Intel vs AMD
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

It seems like Intel’s cutting prices across the board for its 10th generation processors, hitting AMD hard while the company deals with low Ryzen 5000 series stock and capacity competition at TSMC that's exacerbated by a shortage of chip packaging materials

Normally, Intel’s processors tend to cost more than AMD’s, but according to the latest listings for the company’s 10th generation CPUs, that trend appears to have reversed for now. Take the excellent Intel Core i7-10700F processor, which is currently $229 at Amazon. On January 30th, less than a month ago, the price was $315, and it’s been steadily falling since. Joining it in this trend is the more modest but still powerful Core i5-10400F, which is just $159 at Amazon right now and an even lower $142 at Staples. And these two impressive cuts aren't the only Intel processor deals you'll find right now.

The Intel 10th generation series (or Comet Lake as it’s known more unofficially) is still Intel’s best desktop CPU line despite being older than Ryzen 5000 (or Zen 3) by several months. And even if the chips are a touch more outdated, Intel has its own factories that help assure they've got plenty of availability right now, while it's still hard to buy Ryzen 5000 series chips. 

That makes these deals especially tasty, even if Intel’s Rocket Lake chips will probably push 10th gen out of the limelight by the end of the quarter. And given that Rocket Lake chips will still be made with a 14nm process, we’re still not sure how much they will improve over their predecessors.

Despite being older, Intel’s 10th generation of chips also still performs well when compared to Zen 3. The discounted Core i7-10700F matched the $299 Ryzen 5 5600X, which tops our list of the best CPUs, in our testing, while the Core i9-10900KF beat the Ryzen 7 5800X. The Core i9-10900KF is also on sale on Amazon right now, down to $450, which is the same price as the 5800X.

Even with a new CPU generation approaching, it’s unlikely that these stores could sell so many chips at such a high discount without at least some support from Intel. And it makes sense why Intel would want to offer that support. Not only is this a rare opportunity that the brand to capitalize on being the cheaper option, but for many buyers, it’s also the only option that’s available right now without resorting to buying from scalpers.

In fact, Intel recently clawed back market share from AMD for the first time in three and a half years by focusing on lower-priced chips that sell in high volume. AMD has its fans, but if you can get an Intel chip that performs better or just as well without needing to wait for more stock to come in, it becomes tempting to jump ship.

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.

  • Co BIY
    This article should be titled "Empire Strikes Back" -

    Some photoshop guru should be able to create an appropriate graphic
    Reply
  • watzupken
    Intel's gain in my opinion is due to,
    Barely any Ryzen 5000 supply
    Even if you can find it, the prices tend to be inflated.
    So its not a reason for Intel to celebrate because they've done nothing to gain back market share other than doing what they are already doing.

    As for lowering prices, I think it makes sense since they would also want to clear out existing Comet Lake chips in preparation for Rocket and Alder Lake this year. While this will boost their sales, it may not boost their profit because they cut deep into their fat margin by doing this. As an end user, I would still caution potential buyers to consider the below points even if the CPU is cheaper,
    1. Depending on the CPU chosen, you may need to get a good motherboard with a high end chipset if you want to overclock or maintain a high boost clockspeed. So it will add up to your cost.

    2. Cost of cooler - Depending on whether you are getting an i3, i5 or i7/i9, you probably need to get an after market cooler to get the most out of the processor even if it can't OC. The stock cooler that comes with the i3 and i5 quite frankly is a joke. The higher end you go, the more you need to spend on a good cooler which will add up to the cost. The same can be said with AMD's processors, but considering AMD's 142W stock boost power limit vs Intel's 250+ W power limit, the latter flagship is significantly harder to cool.
    Reply
  • MeanMachine41
    Intels turn to fight for survival.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    watzupken said:
    Intel's gain in my opinion is due to,
    Barely any Ryzen 5000 supply
    Even if you can find it, the prices tend to be inflated.
    The cheapest 5000 CPU had an MSRP of $300, with the next rung up all the way at $450. That's not where overall major market share gains and losses occur. Doesn't really matter how many 5950x's AMD produced, they will certainly help their ASP and margins, but not their market share. AMD needs 5000 series CPU's in the $225 range and under to really move the market share numbers, but barring something completely unexpected, it doesn't look like those will show up in time.

    Intel Core i9-11900K Rocket Lake Flagship Scores Huge In Geekbench, Fastest Single-Threaded CPU Performance Ever Recorded & 13% Faster Than AMD’s Zen 3
    Intel seems to have things under control, and next month, if they can release a full product stack, should have CPU's in that $200 price range that will be faster than AMD's fastest for mainstream use.
    Reply
  • Why_Me
    If you're building a gaming rig then Intel has the edge.

    https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-7-3700x/p/N82E16819113567 <--- $365 and it loses out in regards to gaming more times than naught vs Intel's $150 i5 10040F.

    https://www.newegg.com/intel-core-i5-10400f-core-i5-10th-gen/p/N82E16819118132
    Reply
  • watzupken
    Why_Me said:
    If you're building a gaming rig then Intel has the edge.

    https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-9-3900x/p/N82E16819113103 <--- $484 and it loses out in regards to gaming more times than naught vs Intel's $150 i5 10040F.

    https://www.newegg.com/intel-core-i5-10400f-core-i5-10th-gen/p/N82E16819118132
    This is only from a gaming perspective. It depends on individual usage because for me, gaming is secondary. I went for the 3900X because of video encoding/ decoding purpose, and because I game mostly at 1440p or higher resolution, this is a non issue for me. Most people getting a 3900X should not be gaming at 1080p in my opinion.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    Intel must be seeing increased stock inventory to do this.

    Competition is a good thing. But as long as AMD keeps selling everything they have, they don't have to lower prices.
    Reply
  • Why_Me
    watzupken said:
    This is only from a gaming perspective. It depends on individual usage because for me, gaming is secondary. I went for the 3900X because of video encoding/ decoding purpose, and because I game mostly at 1440p or higher resolution, this is a non issue for me. Most people getting a 3900X should not be gaming at 1080p in my opinion.
    Hence the reason I stated 'gaming'.

    1440 benchmarks.

    https://www.techpowerup.com/review/intel-core-i5-10400f/16.html
    Reply
  • watzupken
    spongiemaster said:
    The cheapest 5000 CPU had an MSRP of $300, with the next rung up all the way at $450. That's not where overall major market share gains and losses occur. Doesn't really matter how many 5950x's AMD produced, they will certainly help their ASP and margins, but not their market share. AMD needs 5000 series CPU's in the $225 range and under to really move the market share numbers, but barring something completely unexpected, it doesn't look like those will show up in time.

    Intel Core i9-11900K Rocket Lake Flagship Scores Huge In Geekbench, Fastest Single-Threaded CPU Performance Ever Recorded & 13% Faster Than AMD’s Zen 3
    Intel seems to have things under control, and next month, if they can release a full product stack, should have CPU's in that $200 price range that will be faster than AMD's fastest for mainstream use.
    I will reserve the conclusion until I see proper benchmark results. Having said that, I feel many think that AMD's chip is too expensive, even myself. But considering that they don't own the fab, plus they are using a more advanced node than Intel, it is expected that the cost may be higher. Moreover all these chips are unlocked, i.e. there are no artificial restrictions imposed like Intel does on their range of processors. So if you buy an unlocked Intel chip, they tend to come with a steep premium as well, on top of having to buy a high end Z series board to support these unlocked features.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    How does that supply and demand thing work again? :unsure:
    Intel clearly has the supply, thanks to owning their own fabs, but to continue slashing prices... would that not mean demand isn't that high, or isn't as high as they'd like it to be?
    They got hit somewhere...

    Hmm... Intel doesn't appear to have lost much. Well, they're awake at least.
    A swing and a miss from AMD; good product, but not having their own fabs really hurt.


    watzupken said:
    I feel many think that AMD's chip is too expensive, even myself.
    Is it really though?
    Ryzen 1600/X: 219 - 249USD
    Ryzen 1700/X: 329 - 399
    Core i5-8600/K: 213 - 257
    Core i7-8700/K: 303 - 359

    Ryzen 2600/X: 199 - 229
    Ryzen 2700/X: 299 - 329
    Core i5-9600/K: 213 - 262
    Core i7-9700/K: 323 - 374
    Core i9-9900/K: 423 - 488

    Ryzen 3600/X: 199 - 249
    Ryzen 3700X/8X: 329 - 399
    Core i9-9900KS: 513

    Ryzen 5600X: 299
    Ryzen 5800X: 449
    Core i5-10600/K: 213 - 262
    Core i7-10700/K: 323 - 374

    AMD took the lead Vs Comet Lake... why not be entitled to charge a premium for the #1 product?
    Intel had it all those other times.
    Reply