One of the interesting elements of this profession is dealing with how the processor companies have changed their attitudes towards marketing their products over the past couple of decades. After years of bland boxing and sub-standard coolers, there have been recent efforts to produce something eye-catching to users casually browsing shelves, especially in an effort to draw attention to the high-end products. While ultimately the packaging has little-to-no value after unboxing the product, beyond perhaps the background in a gaming stream, it does mark a change in attitudes, especially when product packaging can accelerate the hype around a product.

One of the recent product packaging efforts from Intel was the dodecahedral packaging for its halo desktop product, the Core i9-9900K. While AMD has focused special packaging for high-end desktop, Intel it seems prefers to point it into the desktop product line. This packaging is a transparent blue dodecahedron, with the CPU at the center. No cooler is bundled, and the packaging is large for the processor, but it certainly made it stand out.

Intel launched Comet Lake a couple of weeks ago, its 10th generation Core product, with the flagship i9-10900K sitting at the top of the stack. As the Core i9-9900K no longer sits in that top spot, Intel has decided to discontinue versions of the 9900K in its special packaging. Specifically, retailers have until June 26th to order these processor versions, and the last shipment will be on July 10th. This is a very quick discontinuance procedure, however the non-special retail version will still be available.

At some point in this market, we are going to get a product with iconic packaging. One could argue if the packaging makes the product interesting at all – given how users tend to focus on a specific processor for their build, is spending potentially slightly more for the fancy box ever justified? You may think that this news post is somewhat arbitrary, talking about packaging discontinuance, but it perhaps yields a bigger question in the processor market – does packaging matter? Or the contents – a message from the CEO on a special anniversary edition, or the signature on the heatspreader?

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  • YB1064 - Sunday, May 31, 2020 - link

    What is so frustrating about packaging? Just rip it apart. Reply
  • khanikun - Monday, June 1, 2020 - link

    Amazon has gone in the complete opposite direction. It'll just be a bare processor tossed into a box 1000 times the size of the processor, put in one slice of packing paper, and call it a day.

    That's literally every single package I've gotten from Amazon US this past 2 years. I've given up on it and try to order everything off Amazon Japan. Sadly, computer part prices are crap in Japan, so I order Newegg. Prices are usually close to Amazon US, but no free shipping. I'll pay for shipping just to know my crap won't get damaged when it gets to me. Military APO/FPO mail is not nice to packages. Although, no idea if it's the USPS side or military side that likes to smash boxes.
    Reply
  • flyingpants265 - Sunday, June 7, 2020 - link

    "Frustration-free packaging" is one of the stupidest phrases I have ever read. Reply
  • Slash3 - Sunday, May 31, 2020 - link

    It's the top tier turducken of poor packaging. Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, June 1, 2020 - link

    That's properly silly. My instinct when I saw this launch was to recoil from the obviously OTT packaging, but know that it comes packaged in more packaging... FFS. Reply
  • tygrus - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    The odd shaped boxes are the emperor's new clothes. Costs more to package, wastes space and costs more to ship. Now it looks like AMD fans have a great ball to physically kick after the figurative kicking Intel has been taking. Reply
  • tygrus - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    Sorry, correction .. I should have been written that mostly in past tense. The packaging is gone.. Reply
  • mrvco - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    Don't open your dodecahedron CPU box kids, it could be worth a fortune in a few decades :p Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Sunday, May 31, 2020 - link

    unfortunately a cpu doesn't have that ageing patina of, say, a Patek Philipe. which your grandson will wear with distinction. Reply
  • mrvco - Sunday, May 31, 2020 - link

    I was thinking more along the lines of 'collectibles' such as Star Wars figurines and Cabbage Patch dolls. Reply

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