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.