We recently reported on the fact that a range of new mainstream Intel desktop processors are coming onto the market without the integrated graphics enabled. This processors, indicated by the ‘F’ designation (not to be confused with Intel’s chips with an integrated fabric, also called ‘F’), have had their specifications released for a short while, except for the price. Intel is now happy to fill that part in.

Intel’s pricing scheme is a little different to AMD. Rather than provide MSRP, or Manufacturer Suggested Retail Pricing, or SEP, Suggested Etailer Pricing, Intel provides ‘tray’ pricing. This value is the company’s list price for OEMs buying literal trays of CPUs, in batches of 1000. We usually write this as ‘1ku’, for one thousand units. OEMs, like Dell or HP or Supermicro, will happily buy thousands of CPUs, often with a single year warranty. This is in stark contrast to the end-user buying a retail unit obviously only wants one processor and often wants a longer (in most cases, the retail box has a three-year warranty).

The on-shelf price of the processor in a retail box, with or without a cooler, is not listed by Intel. The company leaves it up to distributors and then retailers to determine the market value of such a product. This is why the Intel Core i9-9900K, the current flagship of Intel’s 9th Gen Core desktop processor line, has a ‘tray’ price of $488, but actually came to market on Amazon at $582.50, before settling at its current price of $529. This is also why there has been a debate about whether our comparison between the AMD Athlon 200GE ($55 SEP) and the Intel Pentium G5400 ($64/1ku) is suitable, given that only certain regions with an oversupply seem to hit the Intel price point.

With all that being said, here is Intel’s pricing for the new ‘F’ CPUs:

Intel 9th Gen Core CPUs
AnandTech Cores Base
DDR4 TDP Price
i9-9900K 8 / 16 3.6 GHz 5.0 GHz UHD 630 1200 2666 95 W $488
i9-9900KF 8 / 16 3.6 GHz 5.0 GHz - - 2666 95 W $488
i7-9700K 8 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.9 GHz UHD 630 1200 2666 95 W $374
i7-9700KF 8 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.9 GHz - - 2666 95 W $374
i5-9600K 6 / 6 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz UHD 630 1150 2666 95 W $262
i5-9600KF 6 / 6 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz - - 2666 95 W $262
i5-9400 6 / 6 2.9 GHz 4.1 GHz UHD 630 1050 2666 65 W $182
i5-9400F 6 / 6 2.9 GHz 4.1 GHz - - 2666 65 W $182
i3-9350KF 4 / 4 4.0 GHz 4.6 GHz - - 2400 91 W $173
Relevant Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs
i3-8350K 4 / 4 4.0 GHz - UHD 630 1150 2400 91 W $168
i3-8100 4 / 4 3.6 GHz - UHD 630 1100 2400 65 W $117
i3-8100F 4 / 4 3.6 GHz - - - 2400 65 W $117

The only CPU in this list which doesnt have a non-F is the overclockable Core i3-9350KF, showing a 1ku price of $173, which is a few dollars more than the previous generation Core i3-8350K ($168/1ku), and has a turbo frequency. 

Normally when a part of a processor is fused off, usually cores, we expect to see a decrease in the listed price. In this instance, Intel is putting the same tray price on its GPU-free processors to make them also savings-free. Given how tray price is often not connected to the retail price, it will depend on how many processors actually make it to market or to retail (if any end up in retail packaging) to see if they will actually be sold at a lower price than the parts with integrated graphics.

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  • kkilobyte - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    It is somewhat irritating that the information about the lack of reliable relationship between Intel's 'tray price' and the actual average street price is acknowledged here... But not in the article where it would have been relevant. Why so? It is rather common to update existing articles when a new, relevant bit of information shows up, so why wasn't that done?

    And, like you, I really wonder where in the world is the G5400 available at 1ku prices. I can't help noting that this was already asked in the "G5400 vs 200GE" article comments, that Ian obviously read them, and didn't seem to be willing to answer, or even acknowledge the question.
  • jjj - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    So they are milking the fact that they have shortages and they likely don't have that many dies with defective GPUs.

    Might be an interesting Q1 in DIY as GPU and memory prices are likely driving sales well above normal seasonal patterns.Would be wiser to wait for Zen 2 but it doesn't seem that folks are doing that just yet.
  • HStewart - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    If you are waiting for Zen 2, just wait for Ice Lake with Sunny Cove.
  • jjj - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    That's 1.5- 2 years away in desktop, not a realistic waiting period at all.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    Why? A longer wait for a CPU from a company that continues to dick its customers at every opportunity? No, thank you.
  • WickedMONK3Y - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    While it is a very divisive decision on Intel's part, and while the words I want to use are not allowed, the worst part here is that Intel's pricing strategy makes sense to me on a business level. The intrinsic value of the processor is in its performance, core count, differentiation factor (slim as they may be - Higher per-core IPC etc.) and from a business point-of-view they could potentially cause harm to the perceived value of the 9th Gen processors by having 2 equally performing chips at 2 differing price levels. People that paid full buck for the full-phat chip would feel done in as they did not use the integrated graphics. At the same time users would feel they deserve the discount as their chip has fused off graphics cores they will never use. Again, the businessman point of view is that everybody forgets that even if the graphics section of the chip doesn't work Intel pays per wafer and has to maximise return and they do not get a discount when cores don't work as intended or the graphics doesn't work as intended, they just have to deal with the yields. So them pricing the products the same may be a prudent business move to protect equity, branding value and product perception, it will not win them any friends or awards. So again it is divisive to say the least but is a smart business move on their part.

    However I am a consumer first and foremost and !#@)*!&^@# Intel you are disabling things on the actual processor so that you can harvest dies, meaning the processor has something less, and if you are harvesting dies to save money, at least charge us less for a slightly crippled CPU. THat is just blatantly fleecing the consumer and I hope the Ryzen 3 Launch has some epic stuff to make you cringe.
  • cpkennit83 - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Intel has margins no one else in the industry can even dream of. And yields in a now 4 year old process should be superb, so all the rant about brand perception and equity and whatnot, while having merit, doesn't change the fact that Intel is just capitalizing on the cpu shortage and selling crap they wouldnt have dared to sell in other times, like the cockroaches they are.
  • AshlayW - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Aaaand this is why I won't buy Intel products.
  • A5 - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    If this is your ethical bar for boycotting a company, you must not buy literally anything, ever.
  • Kevin G - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    If Intel was wise, they would have increased the turbo by a notch if they were keeping the prices the same. At stock base and turbo clocks, the benefit of the F suffix can be obtained on non-F chips by disabling the IGP in firmware. The main benefit is simply more time at higher turbo ratios under load. That difference isn't going to be that great as single and dual core turbos can be maintained on the non-F chips for extended periods of time given a good air cooler. All core turbo is where the real benefit would be had but the all core turbo doesn't have as high of a boost compared to the base clock. The gains will be small, especially if the IGP is disabled on the non-F chips.

    The other variable is of course cooling so the differences between the F and non-F chips might diverge as cooling becomes more aggressive. However, once you get into custom water loops chances are the users will also be overclocking it and generally savvy enough to disable the IGP since they more than likely have a discrete GPU too. Worthy of testing but I wouldn't expect much difference between the two chips.

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