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Thanks to Intel, upgrading your PC is becoming more expensive

Intel has sneakily increased the suggested retail price (MSRP) of certain of its Alder Lake CPUs by 10%.

Intel has been planning to increase the prices of most of its semiconductor products by 10% to 20% since last year, so this is not entirely unexpected; however, whether or not this includes consumer CPUs was unclear. Now that we know that it does, it’s a bit strange that certain Alder Lake processors cost more than their newer, faster Raptor Lake counterparts due to the price increase.

While Intel hasn’t made any official announcements about a price rise for its 12th-generation range, the company has changed the suggested pricing on its Ark database, which covers all the Core family CPUs (and other products), to reflect the 10% increase.

Accordingly, the flagship Core i9-12900K now has a suggested retail price of $648 in the United States, an increase of $59 from its prior $589 MSRP. Intel’s database shows that the MSRP for the current-generation Core i9-13900K is $589.

The Core i7-12700K, another Alder Lake model, now has a suggested retail price of $450 (up from $409), while the Core i7-13700K maintains its previous price.

The MSRP for the Core i5-12600K, the Core i5-12400, and the Core i3-12100 has increased by 10% as well.

You can’t wait any longer to go hiking in Raptor Lake, right?

However, the 10% increase in price seen in Intel’s product database has not yet trickled down to stores selling Alder Lake CPUs. Simply said, the Core i9-12900K is still available for far cheaper than the Core i9-13900K (at Newegg in the US, for example, the former is $410 and the latter is $610, at least at the time of writing).

Although the new, higher prices that Intel is asking for its Alder Lake processors may take some time to filter down to the final product offered in stores, you can be sure that they will eventually appear. Similarly, it is somewhat absurd to sell Alder Lake goods at a higher price point than the quicker Raptor Lake silicon, but that condition won’t last forever.

It makes no sense for Raptor Lake processors to not receive this 10% boost, as it will presumably be the same degree of increase applied. Since the Raptor Lake CPUs are so new, we can see why Team Blue would be hesitant to increase their MSRPs just yet. Instead, they could choose to wait a while longer to see how well received their new CPUs are before making any adjustments (or minimise them, anyway).

This sends a clear message to customers that Intel intends to raise the pricing of its processors in the near future, making it appear less competitive than rival AMD, which has just reduced the prices of its Ryzen 7000 CPUs.

Black Friday saw significant price drops for AMD’s Zen 4 processors that carried through the holiday shopping season and into the new year, when significant price drops still apply to several Ryzen 7000 variants.

Considering that cheaper AM5 motherboards are on the way and the total cost of upgrading to Zen 4 will be cut further – from an admittedly (relatively) high level – Intel may be leaving the door open for AMD to re-enter the game with Ryzen 7000. The aforementioned price decreases were made because AMD has been unable to compete with Raptor Lake in this regard.