When Intel's Core i9-9900K came out a few years back, it came with some wacky 'dodecahedron' packaging. This packaging looked awesome and quickly went on its way to become a collector's item, right up until it was killed off due to shipping difficulties.
Then, for the 10th-Gen chips, Intel also made a special edition packaging for the range-topping i9-10900K -- but guess what -- it also got discontinued because it was a pain to ship.
Meet The Supposed Core i9-11900K Packaging
This new packaging for the Core i9-11900K again looks to be a kind of special edition, but rather than going for an unwieldy shape, this one looks a little easier to handle in shipping. It should stack better in boxes and lead to less wasted space and packaging materials, which helps reduce costs -- something that's pretty essential with the price of shipping in this pandemic.
It looks like no cooler will be included, though that doesn't really come as a surprise as Intel stopped doing that at the high-end a while back, with a blue-tinted plastic interior that puts the CPU on display.
i9-11900KF, i9-11900, & i9-11900F Get a Plain Box
Meanwhile, the other i9 chips don't get the same love. If you're in the market for the Core i9-11900KF (unlocked without integrated graphics), i9-11900 (locked with integrated graphics), or i9-11900F (locked without integrated graphics), you'll have to make do with quite a plain box.
Act Fast if You Want the Special Packaging
Of course -- they won't all go in the first week -- or months even. But Intel didn't keep the special edition packaging around for very long with the last two chips because of the wasteful and expensive shipping issues, and it wouldn't surprise us if this new packaging ends up suffering the same fate. If you have plans to purchase an i9-11900K, it might be worth not waiting longer than half a year with your purchase if you're in love with this new packaging and want to keep it as a memento.
Or just buy it on eBay later for $20.