It’s hardly a secret that Intel is currently the most competitive CPU vendor in terms of performance, and while that might seem fine on the surface, where pricing is concerned, it’s not. If you’ve built a PC in the past couple of years and have focused on Intel, you’ve likely noticed that pricing almost never changes, and once again it’s probably not difficult to understand why. Where there’s little competition, there’s almost no incentive to drop prices.
Our friends at The Tech Report decided to investigate and quantify this theory, however, and the data they produced is very interesting. In the past couple of years, there’s been a clear indication that it’s been AMD doing most of the price-dropping, while seeing even a 10% drop on anything Intel is truly impressive. Where Intel sees larger drops is with its lower-end products – aka: the area where AMD competes best.
Take AMD’s Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition, for example. After the first 50 weeks it was available, it dropped 43% in price. Compare that to the 9.1% Intel’s Core i7-2600K dropped over the same period of time. AMD’s Bulldozer architecture saw the same sorts of price-drops, hovering just above 35%.
It’s obvious this is a trend, and it’s an unfortunate one. While Intel does continue to innovate and develop outstanding products, the company has no reason to adjust its pricing during the lifespan of a product. The only realistic reason the company drops a price is due to overstock – but even last-gen parts rarely fall in price too far.