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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  • The_Assimilator - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

  • twotwotwo - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Maybe this is a workaround for supply constraints--anyone building a box with discrete graphics values the IGP near $0 anyway, and this way they can get their orders filled? Still weird!
  • The_Assimilator - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    It's definitely due to supply constraints, but that still doesn't justify charging the same amount of money for less product.
  • JTWrenn - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Translation...they are the same chip and we turned it off...oh and suck it.
  • techguymaxc - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    The suggestion that users are "losing features" is a false economy. You still have the option to buy the SKU with the features that are not present on these SKUs. Really simple stuff.

    Here's what you get with a KF SKU that make it superior to a K SKU:
    1) lower power consumption
    2) lower heat output
    3) higher overclock potential

    All for the same price. If you don't need an IGP or QuickSync the KF SKUs are superior.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    When a company releases a part that part competes against the rest of the stack.

    So, if Corporation X releases Widget A, which contains feature A and feature B and then Corporation X releases Widget B, which contains feature A and not feature B, consumers are losing features if Widget B's pricing is basically the same as what Widget A's was (or still is, in situations where there is limited availability of Widget A).
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    Just to quote someone else:

    " I just want to say that there is 100% no way these chips can run cooler or overclock better than their iGPU counterparts with the iGPU disabled. The iGPU has its own power plan that is separate from everything else. When you disable the iGPU in BIOS you are fully powering down the iGPU. It will draw no power at all.

    Do not buy a KF series in hopes that overclocking or power draw will improve. It won't and physically they can't."
  • ct909 - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    They'll get away with it if the non-F are in short supply and the integrated graphics are not required.
  • Darcey R. Epperly - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    Very true. Get a F or pay for a premium (not Intel) market price.
  • TheWereCat - Thursday, January 17, 2019 - link

    RIP 4k Netflix on PC then

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