Intel, trying to head off a fledgling attempt by rival Advanced Micro Devices to compete in the market for high-end PC processors, introduced a new, more powerful chip.
The company will begin selling chips with as many as 18 processing cores under a new Core i9 brand aimed at gamers. The world’s largest chip maker said it’s reaffirming its commitment to providing the fastest PC chips available.
Intel’s only competition in PC processors, AMD, has demonstrated its new Ryzen product outperforming Intel chips. AMD is trying to muscle in on one of the few attractive parts of the PC market with new products the company began offering in the first quarter.
Intel estimates that videogame enthusiasts and others who are willing to pay for the best computer performance represent a market that will grow as much as 20%/year. That’s amid a total PC market that has shed more than 100m units since it peaked in 2011, declining each year since then.
Underlining just how profitable the high-end processor market can be, the top of Intel’s new range — called the i9-7980XE — will go on sale for $1 999 per chip (R26 200 at the time of writing — and that’s before duties and other taxes). That’s more than most people will pay for their entire computer.
Intel has maintained more than 80% market share and higher average selling prices in PC chips by consistently providing processors that outperform rival offerings. Its strength forced out competitors leaving only AMD, a company that hasn’t turned a profit in five years. — (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP