Intel has finally launched its 12th gen Alder Lake 10nm CPUs, and their arrival is more than welcome. The new Intel hybrid architecture offers massive multi-threaded application performance gains, plus better gaming performance and power efficiency to boot. Now, here’s the silver lining: there are plenty of CPUs to go around, so don’t fret about scalping too much. In fact, there are now some serious deals to be had no matter your alignment.
While the AMD Ryzen Zen 3 launch of 2020 introduced impressive new levels of performance and efficiency, Team Red also didn’t hesitate to raise prices. AMD’s manufacturing limitations (compared to Intel), and the overwhelming demand at the time, led to the Ryzen 5000 Series being largely unavailable at MSRP for about nine months.
Fast forward to today, and the overwhelming consumer demand of yesteryear seems to be somewhat satisfied. The full Ryzen 5000 Series lineup has been in stock for several months now, and the arrival of Intel 12th gen processors means the competition is about to heat up.
Priced to sell
Intel’s 12th generation CPUs are priced competitively against Ryzen with superior performance over the competition in some cases, due to the small cores that assist in background tasks and multi-threading. The result is a $289 i5-12600K that can pull punches against the $450 Ryzen 7 5800X in some instances, while even the $409 i7-12700K can compete against the $550 Ryzen 9 5900X.
Of course, all of this would be a moot point if availability was limited, but it certainly is not. Online sellers are currently out of stock for the 12900K, but the mainstream 12700K and 12600K are listed as in stock at pretty much every retailer. We also spoke to a source at Micro Center which noted that the 12th gen launch is looking like one of the best for Intel in years in terms of availability. Speaking of which, the i9 was in stock at the store we visited.
The logical response for AMD would be to slash prices, and it looks like that has already begun. Micro Center has already reduced the Ryzen 5800X to just $299 and the 5900X to $499 to compete with Intel’s offerings. We also noted that the Ryzen 5000 APUs have been reduced in price, such as the 5700G now at $280, down from the $360 MSRP.
Other retailers have yet to officially reduce pricing, but you can always go the price matching route with companies like Best Buy if you don’t have access to a Micro Center. Oddly enough, we also noticed that AMD’s own store doesn’t reflect these massive discounts and Micro Center has the 5600X listed at $279 still, which makes it a significantly worse value in comparison. There’s also the question of whether Intel will respond to any aggressive price cuts from AMD.
We’ll just have to see if a price war kicks off, but anyone interested in purchasing new CPUs for gaming is already in a good position with the Intel 12th gen launch. Now, about those pricey graphics cards…
Please note that all prices are in USD.