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AMD’s Ryzen has not brought the price wars we all wanted/needed

As much as AMD’s Ryzen has seen the CPU underdog being thrust back into the race, how much of an impact has it really had on Intel’s thus-far dominant Core i7 and Core i7 processors? Using Camelcamelcamel.com‘s Amazon pricetracking tool, we’ve measured the changes in the US and UK, and our findings are a bit disappointing, to say the least.

By far the introduction of Ryzen generated two currents of opinion: the first, a slightly fanboi-ish one, that AMD would dominate sales and performance and crush Intel thoroughly and, the second, that it would be a competitive product which would bring about cheaper Intel CPUs for those die-hard Intel fans who wouldn’t make the leap of faith.

First, some things to consider before continuing to read:

  • Intel’s Core i7 7700K and i5 7600K (i.e. Kaby Lake-S) are but a few months old, launched January 2017.
  • Intel’s Core i7 6700K and i5 6600K (i.e. Skylake-S) have been on the market since August 2015.
  • Intel’s Core i7 6900K and 6800K (i.e. Broadwell-E) have been around since May 2016.
  • Ryzen 7 SKUs were launched on February 22nd (Amazon pre-order).
  • Ryzen 5 is not included, as there are no metrics yet.
  • We realise not everyone buys off Amazon, and you might find different prices elsewhere. This comparison is to be used as a general reference in a public forum which many users buy from.
  • We looked back to the launch but also as far as the pricing engine would take us, to note seasonal price drops, if any.

In the US, we saw that Intel CPU price drops happened just a day or two before the Ryzen launch, possibly enough to make one hesitate from a Ryzen insta-purchase. The drop itself was only really felt on the Core i7 6700K, which fell around $25. The remainder of Intel’s line-up (6600K, 6800K, 6900K, 7600K and 7700K) were afforded token drops as ‘high’ as $10.

Today, you can see that some of these CPUs – the Core i7 7700K and Core i7 6700K – have increased ever so slightly in price since the Ryzen launch.

In the UK, Intel’s CPUs were also afforded minor discounts on Amazon, happening a few days after Ryzen’s actual launch, instead. The interesting part is that Ryzen prices have kept on dropping since launch, and more than a little bit. The Ryzen 1700 has dropped £25, Ryzen 1700X fell £30 and the Ryzen 1800X has dropped a little over £15, but still higher than their US counterparts.

So how much of an impact did Ryzen have? Well, a rather disappointing “much less than you’d expect”, it seems, if Amazon’s numbers are anything to measure it by.

All in all, not what we expected, much less what consumers needed. Intel still seems bulletproof (or just too sure of itself) when it comes to pricing. Not even the 6800K and 6900K, the two CPUs which had the most share to lose to AMD’s higher-end 1800X, broke a sweat.

Looking further back we can see that seasonal changes in pricing had a bigger impact on Intel’s pricing structure than Ryzen’s launch. A single Black Friday event, in late November 2016, had the Core i7 6700K going much cheaper than February 22nd 2017.

One notable trend of Intel’s is a sharp increase in pricing in the week immediately after Christmas – likely a seasonal hike playing on consumers cashing in on all the extended family’s Christmas money gifts, Amazon Gift cards or simply returning presents they got during Christmas in exchange for the real goodies.

Looking back at that historical (at least for AMD) date – February 22nd – we can see that Intel’s line-up had some slight changes that were hardly noticeable for US consumers. For UK consumers all is not lost. We have benefitted from a slight downward trend of the Ryzen 7 pricing, but overall the effect on Intel has been negligible. It seems we’re still in the doldrums when it comes to CPU pricing.

KitGuru Says: In both camps, consumers had pinned their hopes for more affordable CPUs following AMD’s Ryzen launch. However, it seems that Intel’s pricing structure has seen little impact so far. Hopefully this is something that starts to change with time. 

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