Image: Intel

Intel collectors who haven’t gotten their hands on some of the company’s fancier packaging yet may want to hit up their favorite stores sooner rather than later.

As detailed in a pair of new Product Change Notification (PCN) forms uploaded yesterday, Intel has decided that it’ll be discontinuing the premium/larger packaging designs for two of its processors, the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-i2900K and Intel Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition, by early September. Both of these chips launched in special boxes to celebrate their greater performance, with the Alder Lake chip coming in a case that resembles a gold wafer.

Photos in the PCN can confirm that they will be replaced with new packaging that is considerably slimmer, particularly in the case of the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-i2900K.

Here’s an explainer from Intel as to why it’s dropping its premium packaging for these two CPUs, with clarification that there won’t be any changes to the products themselves:

This packaging change will affect the appearance of the shipping container for distributers and the internal packaging components. This change results in standardized palletization. There is no change to the form, fit or function of the product contained therein, therefore no action is needed by customers.

It’s unclear what the packaging for Intel’s upcoming 13th Gen Core “Raptor Lake” processors might look like, but the company has already experimented with various designs, including hexagonal and dodecahedral packaging.

The first 13th Gen Intel Core processors are expected to surface in October.

Source: Intel PCN Database

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32 comments

  1. Good, it's a complete waste of materials anyway.
    I admit some of the packaging looks cool, and I've kept some packaging that I thought was neat to keep on a shelf to display.

    But I've never bought a CPU or other component just because it has good packaging. I just appreciate it when it happens to exist.
  2. I expect premium packaging on some collectible item, or memorabilia, not something that will be obsolete in 2 years.
    Yeah but if I had a first edition Threadripper or the i7-8086 or something along those lines - those represent a bit more than just a run-of-the-mill CPU
  3. I expect premium packaging on some collectible item, or memorabilia, not something that will be obsolete in 2 years.

    Mostly agree, but CPU's last way longer than 2 years these days. It's not 2001 anymore. :P

    My i7-3930k lasted me from 2011 to 2019.

    My Threadripper 3960x is close to 3 years old and feels like it is only just getting broken in.
  4. Mostly agree, but CPU's last way longer than 2 years these days. It's not 2001 anymore. :p

    My i7-3930k lasted me from 2011 to 2019.

    Mine is still my daily driver, but it will be getting replaced ... soon ...
  5. Mostly agree, but CPU's last way longer than 2 years these days. It's not 2001 anymore. :p

    My i7-3930k lasted me from 2011 to 2019.

    My Threadripper 3960x is close to 3 years old and feels like it is only just getting broken in.
    Around 2001 they lasted me less than a year :p

    But yeah, after 2010 things slowed down significantly on the CPU front. Still I don't view my CPUs as some cherished collectibles. I have more emotional attachment to my toaster than my CPU. The only CPU I regret selling and wish that I had kept it as a relic was my Celeron 600, that I could get as far as 1136 on basic aircoolers of the time. I think with proper cooling it could've gotten the holy grail of 100% OC.
  6. Still have the thing my 9900K came in... that's staying on the display stand :D
    I still have my 9900K box as well and now the 12900K box. Yes they are overkill, but they do display nicely.
  7. I keep boxes until my system is built. Then all important information from them all gets put in the motherboard box which I keep, the rest get tossed. Pointless waste of space to keep all those boxes.
  8. I keep boxes until my system is built. Then all important information from them all gets put in the motherboard box which I keep, the rest get tossed. Pointless waste of space to keep all those boxes.
    I do the same thing for the most part, except I keep the boxes until the warranties on the individual parts run out.

    Still I don't view my CPUs as some cherished collectibles. I have more emotional attachment to my toaster than my CPU.
    I got some fond memories of some of my CPUs, and the ones that get retired are put on display, like my Athlon Thunderbird and my Opteron 165 (which could 1,000 MHz overclock using the stock cooler it comes with). But the boxes/packaging for most CPUs I've owned are long gone.

    My friend kept the neat little container that Zen 2 Threadrippers come in when he bought his.
  9. I keep boxes until my system is built. Then all important information from them all gets put in the motherboard box which I keep, the rest get tossed. Pointless waste of space to keep all those boxes.
    That's what I do for most nearly everything on a computer.

    But I am a sucker for neat containers. Small dollar items - like food - I will absolutely buy because I think the container is neat, and I think I can reuse or display the container.

    My wife thinks I'm crazy. But I always have a container for my loose screws.

    But a hundred dollar plus item? If it comes in a neat container, then neat. But not paying extra for it.
  10. I keep boxes until my system is built. Then all important information from them all gets put in the motherboard box which I keep, the rest get tossed. Pointless waste of space to keep all those boxes.

    I usually keep the boxes for parts I reasonably expect to try to sell when I am done with them. Everything else gets tossed.
  11. Who thinks they will reduce price because the boxes are less fancy? Anyone? No? Yea this is a pure extraction of profit maneuver.

    You say that like it is a bad thing.

    Any business exists solely to generate profit.

    A CPU manufacturer is not in the business of providing computing power. A car manufacturer is not in the business of providing transportation. These are just side effects. They are all in the business of maximizing profit for their shareholders. Everything else is secondary. Intel, AMD, doesn't matter. There is no such thing as a company that cares about its customers. They only care as long as they can extract money from them.

    They like to appear like "good corporate citizens" by either supporting causes, or helping in the community, but it is just a charade to build goodwill that ultimately benefits the shareholder in better returns.

    And that's the way it is supposed to be. A company is an organization designed to make money. It is silly to expect it to do anything else but be hyper focused on maximizing profits. That's its entire reason for existing.

    I have no problem with them optimizing packaging to save on the bottom line. If anyhting it was the wasteful packaging that was the wrong thing to do in the first place, as I don't see how it drove sales, or provided any other shareholder benefit.
  12. You say that like it is a bad thing.

    Any business exists solely to generate profit.

    A CPU manufacturer is not in the business of providing computing power. A car manufacturer is not in the business of providing transportation. These are just side effects. They are all in the business of maximizing profit for their shareholders. Everything else is secondary. Intel, AMD, doesn't matter. There is no such thing as a company that cares about its customers. They only care as long as they can extract money from them.
    That's the most cynical view I've ever seen. Actually, you can't run a successful business by trying to extract maximal profits in the shortest amount of time. Supply and demand must meet.
    They like to appear like "good corporate citizens" by either supporting causes, or helping in the community, but it is just a charade to build goodwill that ultimately benefits the shareholder in better returns.
    Giving to charity was never a significant influence on people's CPU buying choices. Did you ever buy a CPU because the company gave to some charity? No, you buy it because they offer something you want, at a price you are willing to pay.
    And that's the way it is supposed to be. A company is an organization designed to make money. It is silly to expect it to do anything else but be hyper focused on maximizing profits. That's its entire reason for existing.
    No, that's not the way its supposed to be. Companies that focus on maximizing profits first and not on customer satisfaction end up in the gutter. You act as if we are at the mercy of these companies and should be grateful that they even give anything and not just take our money.
    That couldn't be further from the truth. A satisfied customer is a returning customer, an unsatisfied one will look elsewhere for their next purchase. Unless you have a complete monopoly, which is why the biggest danger to a healthy market are monopolies. It is also why a truly free market would be a complete and utter dystopian disaster.

    I have no problem with them optimizing packaging to save on the bottom line. If anyhting it was the wasteful packaging that was the wrong thing to do in the first place, as I don't see how it drove sales, or provided any other shareholder benefit.
    A fancy package is part of marketing, them ditching it shows that their profit margins are getting thinner, so they no longer can afford it. And this is a good thing, but absolutely not for the reason you mention. It is a good thing because it indicates a highly competitive marketplace, which is good both for innovation, and getting the most value for your money.
  13. extract maximal profits in the shortest amount of time.

    I never said anything about the shortest amount of time. A good company takes a long term view. It should still be about maximizing shareholder return, but if you extract all of the money out of a company with shortsighted decisions and leave it with no future prospects, then there won't be any more shareholder returns...

    No, that's not the way its supposed to be. Companies that focus on maximizing profits first and not on customer satisfaction end up in the gutter. You act as if we are at the mercy of these companies and should be grateful that they even give anything and not just take our money.

    Again, keeping customers happy is a part of maximizing profits. If you piss of your customers and they leave, then you aren't maximizing profits. The key is to keep the customers happy enough that they keep buying, without giving them everything they want, such that it reduces profits. It's a balancing act for sure, but the motivation at all time remains maximizing profits.

    A fancy package is part of marketing, them ditching it shows that their profit margins are getting thinner, so they no longer can afford it. And this is a good thing, but absolutely not for the reason you mention. It is a good thing because it indicates a highly competitive marketplace, which is good both for innovation, and getting the most value for your money.

    If a fancy package costs more than it gains it shouldn't have been used even if profit margins were higher. The only justification for a fancy package is if it drives more sales, such that it outweighs the cost of the package.

    If you are in a retail environment where people buy products like shampoo off a shelf, you absolutely need an eye-catching package, or your product just won't be noticed. That's not how most people have bought CPU's in a very long time. The fancy packaging Intel has had on their premium CPU's has thus cost more in bottom line than it has driven in top line since its inception, and as such should never have been done in the first place.

    When was the last time you bought a CPU because of the package?

    Giving to charity was never a significant influence on people's CPU buying choices. Did you ever buy a CPU because the company gave to some charity? No, you buy it because they offer something you want, at a price you are willing to pay.

    Directly, no. But it drives general goodwill. Lots of PC hobby consumers view AMD as the "good guys". While it is patently false, as there are no corporate "good guys", just companies trying to maximize profit, it is also not by accident. AMD has cultivated this image carefully for decades, by supporting open standards, open source, trying to come across like they are helping the end user by offering lower cost products (when in reality it was simply that they HAD to offer them at a lower price as they weren't fully competitive) etc. etc.

    This type of approach drives goodwill, and goodwill can be tremendously useful. Not only does it drive customer loyalty, (how many AMD fanboys kept buying only AMD even when AMD didn't have even remotely competitive products?) but appearing like the good guy can also have great benefits if - for instance - you ever wind up in court. Don't underestimate the real financial value of goodwill.

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