We recently reported on the fact that a range of new mainstream Intel desktop processors are coming onto the market without the integrated graphics enabled. This processors, indicated by the ‘F’ designation (not to be confused with Intel’s chips with an integrated fabric, also called ‘F’), have had their specifications released for a short while, except for the price. Intel is now happy to fill that part in.

Intel’s pricing scheme is a little different to AMD. Rather than provide MSRP, or Manufacturer Suggested Retail Pricing, or SEP, Suggested Etailer Pricing, Intel provides ‘tray’ pricing. This value is the company’s list price for OEMs buying literal trays of CPUs, in batches of 1000. We usually write this as ‘1ku’, for one thousand units. OEMs, like Dell or HP or Supermicro, will happily buy thousands of CPUs, often with a single year warranty. This is in stark contrast to the end-user buying a retail unit obviously only wants one processor and often wants a longer (in most cases, the retail box has a three-year warranty).

The on-shelf price of the processor in a retail box, with or without a cooler, is not listed by Intel. The company leaves it up to distributors and then retailers to determine the market value of such a product. This is why the Intel Core i9-9900K, the current flagship of Intel’s 9th Gen Core desktop processor line, has a ‘tray’ price of $488, but actually came to market on Amazon at $582.50, before settling at its current price of $529. This is also why there has been a debate about whether our comparison between the AMD Athlon 200GE ($55 SEP) and the Intel Pentium G5400 ($64/1ku) is suitable, given that only certain regions with an oversupply seem to hit the Intel price point.

With all that being said, here is Intel’s pricing for the new ‘F’ CPUs:

Intel 9th Gen Core CPUs
AnandTech Cores Base
DDR4 TDP Price
i9-9900K 8 / 16 3.6 GHz 5.0 GHz UHD 630 1200 2666 95 W $488
i9-9900KF 8 / 16 3.6 GHz 5.0 GHz - - 2666 95 W $488
i7-9700K 8 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.9 GHz UHD 630 1200 2666 95 W $374
i7-9700KF 8 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.9 GHz - - 2666 95 W $374
i5-9600K 6 / 6 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz UHD 630 1150 2666 95 W $262
i5-9600KF 6 / 6 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz - - 2666 95 W $262
i5-9400 6 / 6 2.9 GHz 4.1 GHz UHD 630 1050 2666 65 W $182
i5-9400F 6 / 6 2.9 GHz 4.1 GHz - - 2666 65 W $182
i3-9350KF 4 / 4 4.0 GHz 4.6 GHz - - 2400 91 W $173
Relevant Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs
i3-8350K 4 / 4 4.0 GHz - UHD 630 1150 2400 91 W $168
i3-8100 4 / 4 3.6 GHz - UHD 630 1100 2400 65 W $117
i3-8100F 4 / 4 3.6 GHz - - - 2400 65 W $117

The only CPU in this list which doesnt have a non-F is the overclockable Core i3-9350KF, showing a 1ku price of $173, which is a few dollars more than the previous generation Core i3-8350K ($168/1ku), and has a turbo frequency. 

Normally when a part of a processor is fused off, usually cores, we expect to see a decrease in the listed price. In this instance, Intel is putting the same tray price on its GPU-free processors to make them also savings-free. Given how tray price is often not connected to the retail price, it will depend on how many processors actually make it to market or to retail (if any end up in retail packaging) to see if they will actually be sold at a lower price than the parts with integrated graphics.

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  • eva02langley - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Honestly, it is just ridiculous.
  • Ironchef3500 - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

  • gavbon - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Unless there's some benefit for overclocking, then I'm struggling to see ANY advantage here
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    There have been problems in the past where "ghost-silicon" that's disabled still consumes some amount of wattage and still makes it more difficult to overclock past the usual threshold. I don't really know if there would be any overclocking benefits here at all.
  • milkywayer - Sunday, January 20, 2019 - link

    Also, while the pricing for this is ridiculous, I think Intel is rightly scared of people just buying this non IGP chip instead as a big majority of gamers will have dedicated GPUs instead anyway.
  • sharath.naik - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    No GPU no quicksync, no encoding speed/quality.
  • basroil - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Exactly sharath, even if there's a tiny overclock advantage the performance hit is huge... Guess my next CPU is going to be a Zen 2 at this rate!
  • Qasar - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    if you dont need the features the iGPU provides, and use a dGPU... when that is a moot point....
  • Samus - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Even if you have a dGPU you can use quick sync. It’s incredibly valuable for a variety of tasks. I’ve replaced Xeons with i7’s just to enable quick sync on workstations
  • acme64 - Monday, January 21, 2019 - link

    you can use the dgpu tho, why bother?

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