AMD Offers Core i7-8086K Winners a Free Threadripper 1950X – Tech News| Tech News
At Computex earlier this month, Intel surprise-launched a limited edition Core i7-8086K CPU. Now, AMD has struck back with a rather ingenious — and admittedly entirely trollish — maneuver. If you happen to be one of the handful of people who won a Core i7-8086K, AMD will upgrade you to a Threadripper 1950X if you’re willing to turn your Core i7-8086K in for an exchange.
Here’s how AMD describes its offer:
[W]e’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.
Let’s say you won a Core i7-8086K. Should you take the deal?
Intel isn’t sampling the Core i7-8086K for review, but Anandtech managed to secure one from a third party and reviewed it anyway. The results are honestly a bit underwhelming. While the chip’s minimum clock is indeed higher, its boost frequencies are actually identical to the Core i7-8700K at every frequency except for the single-core boost. But because the overwhelming majority of actual real-world workloads lean on more than one core these days, the CPU actually rarely gets a chance to shine. At stock clocks, Anandtech’s advice is straightforward: Save your money and buy the Core i7-8700K instead. If you’re willing to overclock, the Core i7-8086K can really shine with an all-core 5GHz — but of course, that’s not guaranteed by Intel even if the core is, overall, fairly likely to hit that frequency.
But remember, in our hypothetical example, the Core i7-8086K isn’t going up against the Core i7-8700K — it’s going up against the Threadripper 1950X. And here things get a little more interesting. In most common consumer workloads, the Intel CPU is going to be better, because most consumers don’t perform the kinds of tasks that benefit from Threadripper’s greatest strengths. We’ve embedded our Threadripper application benchmarks from the 1950X review below:
But if you’re the kind of user with a 3D rendering or multimedia encoding habit, including audio processing — we’d take the Threadripper 1950X over the Core i7-8086K, hands-down. The 1950X is a superior solution to Intel’s Core i9-7900X precisely because even though Intel’s CPU cores are often a bit higher clocked and somewhat more architecturally efficient, there’s no way for 10 Intel CPU cores to match the performance of 16 AMD Zen CPU cores. That goes double when we’re comparing 6 Intel cores versus 16 AMD cores.
AMD’s offer, of course, is only open to 40 Core i7-8086K winners. It isn’t going to revamp the space. But if you won one of the chips and you do a very particular type of work, you’d actually be well-advised to take the swap.