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Pricing and Availability

The TL:DR for this launch is Intel is putting a price premium on 10 cores, however, availability in the channel is on launch day, unlike a certain other graphics card that launched recently.

For the new 6950X Ten Core part, Broadwell-E offers the same clock speed as the 5960X plus two more cores at the delta of $600 more. For past CPUs, the price difference between flagship quad-core and flagship six-core, later eight core was $5-600 also. The ‘math’ is irrelevant here, that has been the price delta for over ten years now.

Intel is being careful here with pricing as it does not want to cannibalise its Xeon sales which are available anywhere from 4 to 22 core. Indeed, those Xeons are compatible with end user’s X99 motherboards.

The 6900X is now the new flagship 8 core part, offers a boost in clock speed for the same recommend price as the previous 5960X 8 core part. Now 3.2 to 3.7 versus 3.0 to 3.5Core i7-6950X Extreme Edition box


Why is the 6950X so expensive?

This is down to two reasons basically, the perception from end users, especially vocal PC enthusiasts and the place of a 3GHz 10 core, 20 thread part in the stack of Intel’s large range of –E and –EP series processors.

Firstly, American enthusiasts are too used to whole numbers with bias solely placed upon the magic $999 price. Any significant markup above this for a CPU or GPU and that segment of users goes into air raid panic mode.

If you do not believe me, simply enter a tech oriented IRC chat, forum, comment thread or newsgroup and bring up this topic and watch the sparks fly.

Secondly, other developed regions who have a devalued currency compared to the US dollar do not share this view per se as they are used to seeing these flagship processors with a four-digit price.

Although priced at $999 USD RRP, the outgoing 5960X was typically available for $1600 ish Australian dollars including tax street price, despite a direct conversion of the RRP being $1380 taken at 1 USD = 1.38140 AUD.

If we add Australian goods and services tax (10% GST, also known as VA) to 1380 we get $1518 AUD. On top of that, add the distributors markup as well as the reseller’s markup and we get to $1600 ish.

The same rule applies to the new 6950X. $1569 US RRP converts to 2167 AUD, plus tax we get $2383 AUD, plus channel markup and we get to the $2450 AUD street price we have seen for this new processor.

The same applies to the EU market and other newly launched products such as the NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1080 graphics card, which sells for 1199 AUD but is 649 US.

It is simply a mind game.

Yes, the 6950X at $US1569 is not priced linearly for its two extra cores above the $999 8 core offering, but their logic is understandable. A $300 difference for more cores would have been more desirable but that may cannibalise sales of both i7s and Xeons.

What did people expect? Another Two more CPU cores for free at $999? Intel already did that going from 6 to 8 core with the caveat of the user getting a lower clock speed. Four cores for free over four years? It does not work like that. Intel does add additional cores to its Xeon parts, two at a time

I don’t approve of what Intel has done, especially for non-US regions but I can understand why they have done this and this is the message I am trying to relay. Many purchasing opinions are made using relative prices and in AUS a $2550 processor ON PAPER looks bad, except for the wealthy.

Intel will definitely have had many meetings, discussions and run their numbers on how to price this part. They may even have an internal formula, it is not a price they pulled out of their arse. Regional pricing and demand make worldwide pricing more complicated as do other related products. If we start putting regional limits on pricing, let’s say the 10 core should be no more than $1300 USD or $1600 AUD then that ruins everything as exchange rates are not 1:1.

Before going into the actual worldwide pricing, I will say this. This is not the first time we have had ‘expensive’ Intel CPUs that exceeded the magic number, at least in AUD. The original Pentium III release of 1999 was specced as a supplement to the Pentium II and not an overall replacement (that would come a year or so later), so those original Pentium III models were priced ABOVE existing Pentium III models in $1000 to $1300 AUD range. It’s nowhere near $2600 for the 6950X but the same mental subjective judgement applies.

What about the other models, not just the 6950X?

For the rest of the stack, the RRP pricing is a bit inconsistent. 5820K to 6800K is $23 versus 5930K to 6850K is $4. There is no way to explain this, both pairs have the same PCIe lanes, cache and general clock range, albeit bumped 100MH, on paper both should have an equal price difference. Just another example of Intel’s clever pricing tactics and strategy. We will post an explanation from Intel when we have it.

We do not foresee any upcoming price cuts for the 2014 Haswell-E processors, Intel no longer does these anyway.

Regional Street Pricing at Launch Time - US, Australia and Europe

Australia, Europe, !and Parts of the US enforce Sales Tax or VAT. For the purposes of this MSRP conversion, I have chosen to ignore it as it just makes the example too complicated.

We have also included the two-year-old, socket compatible and still competitive 4th Gen Haswell-E HEDT parts as well as the current flagship mainstream consumer part the 6th gen 6700K

The purpose of this pricing table is to demonstrate the absolute minimum pricing for a particular region, excluding tax and to give our readers a regional indicator as Intel (and NVIDIA but not AMD) only publicise pricing of Bulk Tray CPUs in US Dollars per 1000 units and not in any regional currency due to exchange rates taxes shipping and demand.

United States

Prices compiled from combination of Microcenter, Newegg and Amazon with the lowest prices recorded as the lowest street price. The problem with Microcenter is they often sell at or below Intel RRP, but this cannot be ignored.

Intel MSRP
to $ AUD
(ex Tax)
Intel MSRP
to € EUR
(ex Tax)
i7-6950X 1599 1569 2170 1407
i7-6900K 1099 999 1383 896
i7-5960X 900 999 1383 896
i7-6850K 628 587 813 526
i7-5930K 500 583 806 523
i7-6800K 400 412 570 370
i7-5820K 320 389 538 349
i7-6700K 310 339 469 304

2-JUNE-2016. 1 USD = 1.379 AUD, 1 USD= 0.89 EUR


However for actual real market/street prices such as those found on price matching websites or e-tailer/IT channel resellers, at least for AUS these consumer prices typically are listed included tax.

On launch day using the price engine, one popular reseller was the only 6950X result at $2540. During writing this story, other the price has gone UP to $2579/$2599 AUD now that stock is starting to arrive at other resellers, the other parts went up as well.


to $ USD

i7-6950X 2579 1870 1569
i7-6900K 1649 1195 999
i7-5960X 1395 1011 999
i7-6850K 959 698 587
i7-5930K 839 608 583
i7-6800K 669 485 412
i7-5820K 553 401 389
i7-6700K 483 350 339

2-JUNE-2016. 1 USD=1.379 AUD


We used the price engine for European street pricing, note sales tax may apply to EUR prices and we have listed them as-is from the price engine.

€ EUR
to $ USD
i7-6950X 1737 1943 1569
i7-6900K 1125 1258 999
i7-5960X 1072 1199 999
i7-6850K 662 740 587
i7-5930K 598 669 583
i7-6800K 465 520 412
i7-5820K 397 444 389
i7-6700K 340 380 339

2-JUNE 2016. 1 USD = 0.89 EUR

As the older Haswell-E parts fluctuate in price due to supply and demand, they offer better bang for back over their +200MHz newer Broadwell-E siblings based on street pricing


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