EDIT: Intel responded to AMD’s program, which we’ve included at the bottom of the article.
At Computex 2018, Intel officially announced it was releasing the Core i7-8086K, a special edition processor that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 8086, which debuted as the first x86 processor on June 8, 1978.
As part of the special-edition release, Intel opened up a sweepstakes to give away 8,086 of the six-core 12-thread processors. Intel also made the processors available at retail, and though the company doesn’t have an official MSRP, you can find the chips at several retailers for ~$425.
Now AMD is offering to replace 40 of the winners’ chips with its own 16-core 32-thread $799 Threadripper processors, thus throwing a marketing wrench into Intel’s 40th-anniversary celebration. We can’t say it better than AMD’s own snarky announcement:
Our competitor recently kicked off a sweepstakes to celebrate the first 40 years of the x86 processor by giving away 8,086 limited edition processors.
We appreciate the advancements they’ve helped drive with the x86 architecture over the last four decades. But, we’re ready to take it from here. That’s why we’re giving 40 performance-hungry enthusiasts in the U.S. an opportunity to celebrate the next 40 years of high-performance computing by trading in their commemorative processor prize for our CPU that enables you to work, play and create with heavy metal.
The first 40 U.S.-based winners of the Intel® 8th Gen Core i7-8086k Limited Edition Sweepstakes (which opened on June 7, 2018 and closed on June 8, 2018) (“Competitor Sweepstakes”) to complete certain steps will be offered the opportunity to exchange their new, in-box prize processor for a flagship 16-core AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ 1950X processor built for the gamers and creators who need a processor that can do it all. Those steps will be communicated on this webpage on June 25 at 1:00:00 PM EDT. Check back on June 25 at 1:00:00 PM EDT for complete details on how to participate.
OPEN ONLY TO RESIDENTS OF 50 U.S./D.C. VOID OUTSIDE THE U.S. AND WHERE PROHIBITED.
AMD has a list of the complete terms and conditions on its site. But it is also noteworthy that “winners” of AMD’s competing sweepstakes will have to pony up for a much more expensive X399 motherboard with the TR4 socket, which currently retail for more than $300, instead of Intel’s less-expensive 300-series motherboards. Regardless, those who do swap their Intel Core silicon for an AMD Threadripper chip will gain 10 cores and quad-channel memory, not to mention quite a bit of resale value.
AMD suggests interested parties follow @AMDRyzen for further details. We’ll be keeping a keen eye on Intel’s response, but we don’t expect it to up the ante with the $1,900 Core i9-7980XE.
“.@AMDRyzen, if you wanted an Intel Core i7-8086K processor too, you could have just asked us. 🙂 Thanks for helping us celebrate the 8086!”