Intel’s latest 10-core, high-end desktop (HEDT) chip – the Core i9-7900X – costs Â£900/$1000. That’s Â£500/$500 less than its predecessor, the i7-6950X. In previous years, such cost-cutting would have been regarded as generous. You might, at a stretch, even call it good value. But that was at a time when Intel’s monopoly on the CPU market was as its strongest, before a resurgent AMD lay waste to the idea that a chip with more than four cores be reserved for those with the fattest wallets.
AMD’s Ryzen is far from perfect. But when you can buy eight cores that serve even the heaviest of multitaskers and content creators for well under half the price of an Intel HEDT chip, i9 and X299 are a hard sell (except, perhaps, to fussy gamers that demand a no-compromises system).
The question is: Are you willing to pay a premium for the best performing silicon on the market? Or is Ryzen, gaming foibles and all, good enough?
I’ve said this countless times, but I want to keep bringing this one home: this is what competition does. It lowers prices, improves performance, and makes Intel looks like a stumbling fool. And what better day to celebrate the benefits of competition than today?
Cheers, America. Party safe!