A few weeks ago, we brought you news about Intel’s Core i9-10850K processor, which is a slight downgrade from the flagship Core i9-10900K. The chip is still part of the 14nm 10th generation Comet Lake-S desktop processor family, but is clocked 100MHz slower across base, boost, Turbo Boost 3.0 and Thermal Velocity Boost thresholds.
Today, Intel officially announced the processor, along with its bulk pricing. Whereas the Core i9-10900K is priced at $488 in lots of 1,000 for OEMs, the Core i9-10850K is available at a $35 discount, coming in at $453. For OEMs that have encountered trouble getting their hands on the Core i9-10900K, the Core i9-10850K seems like a worthy consolation prize given its relatively small downgrade in performance.
It’s interesting that Intel would even bother releasing this chip considering that it matches so closely to the Core i9-10900K, right down to its 10-core/20-thread configuration, UHD 630 IGP and 125W TDP. The cynical folks out there have surmised that Intel is pushing the Core i9-10850K out into the channel because it’s having trouble achieving sufficient yields at the lofty clocks required to meet Core i9-10900K spec. So, Intel is able to have its cake and eat it too with a slightly lower clocked SKU at a slightly lower price point.
In other words, Intel gets to still sell these SKUs with a decent margin, while OEMs have another high-end SKU that they can fall back on if they can’t secure the Core i9-10900K (which seems to be completely out of stock wherever you look from online retailers).
We should note that while Intel has listed bulk pricing for the Core i9-10850K at $453, retail boxed versions of the processor (BX8070110850K) will be making their way to store shelves soon. We’d imagine that these will be a bit easier to obtain than the Core i9-10900K once released, and should be slightly cheaper as well. However, we must warn you that retail pricing will be higher than the bulk rates, so we might see the chip priced closer to $500 (or more) for individuals.