The long-held dominance of the CPU market by Intel may be about to tip back in the favor of AMD. But Intel isn’t idling in the meantime, a shift in strategy could keep them on top.
AMD’s Zen2 CPUs are tearing up the headlines of gaming and tech sites all over the place, and hype for the next iterations from the red team is at an all-time high. And building off the back of the success of their GPU lines, AMD looks strong heading into 2020. Both companies have reported growing profits over the last four years, with AMD gaining more than 30% profit in 2018 compared to 2017, thanks in no small part to their attempts to rebound in the CPU market.
And with the increasing pressure from competitors and a changing technology market, Intel has been pushed slowly onto the back foot in some respects. Many gamers are citing increasingly competitive value for performance from AMD, which hasn’t been a thing for many years as Intel was assumed to be the king of the roost. Now, according to new reports, it looks like Intel may have to push their prices down to remain in their dominant position.
DigiTimes has reported that Intel is planning to cut the prices of its 8th and 9th generation desktop CPUs by 10-15%.
It isn’t just price differences that are affecting the fluctuations in market share between the two tech titans though. The performance gulf between the two main lines of SKUs offered by the companies is continually shrinking with every new product launched. Early benchmarks for the new Zen 2 architecture suggests that the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X appears to be as fast as the Intel Core i9 9900K.
Other reasons for this price cut could be done to improvements in the manufacturing process, cutting down on failure rates and inconsistent binning of finished chips. Although it’s very important to keep in mind that Intel has not formally confirmed these reports, although given the price difference between Zen2 and the competing Intel chipset, it seems likely.
Gamers will continue to push for more performance per dollar over the next few years, so the price points on new CPUs will become increasingly important. And of course, both companies will have to avoid the costly embarrassment of more hardware vulnerabilities.