Intel is preparing to cut the prices of its 9th Gen and 8th Gen CPUs by as much as 15 percent, according to a report by Taiwanese PC industry tracker Digitimes. The publication reports that Intel's ongoing 14nm CPU production woes and subsequent price spikes and shortages of its CPUs in the market have given AMD plenty of room to grow. Intel is said to be hoping to stem its sole competitor's progress by cutting prices. The move would come just as AMD is preparing to launch its Ryzen 3000 desktop CPU series on July 7.
Digitimes says it discovered that Intel has already informed PC and motherboard manufacturers of these impending price cuts, but has not clarified how many sources have confirmed this or which CPU models are receiving price cuts. It is also unclear when the purported price cuts might take effect, and whether this would affect only the bulk prices for OEMs or also the market prices for boxed retail units.
Intel CPU retail prices have risen sharply over the past year as the company has grappled with capacity problems on its 14nm production lines. The company has also had to deal with the performance impact of mitigations for multiple security vulnerabilities including the high-profile Spectre and Meltdown speculative execution flaws.
Meanwhile, AMD has received praise for its recovery from a years-long performance slump with the release of the Ryzen CPU line, and is now very close to shipping its third-generation desktop Ryzen CPUs including the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X model, with a 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X model coming later this year. AMD is credited with putting pressure on Intel and reinvigorating the enthusiast PC market by releasing mainstream 8-core desktop CPUs at highly competitive prices.
AMD's on-stage demonstrations at Computex 2019 and its E3 2019 Next Horizon Gaming event, as well as alleged leaked benchmarks, appear to show that the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs will be highly competitive against Intel's current mainstream and high-end desktop CPUs, not only in terms of performance, but also power efficiency and price.
Intel is gearing up to launch its 10th Gen 10nm 'Ice Lake' CPUs for the thin-and-light laptop segment later this year but there is no news yet of 10th Gen CPUs for other product segments. According to recent leaks, Intel could be planning to keep 10nm volumes low and continue refining its 14nm processes till 2021.