The new Intel Cascade Lake-X CPUs look like coming at a massively lower price per core than Intel’s previous entries into the HEDP (high end desktop platform) field. According to a leak reported by the videocardz.com website the new Intel Core-X 10000 series are plummeting in price from approximately $100 per core to around $55, with the result that the MSRP for the flagship Core i9-10980XE could be as low as $979, compared to the Core i9-9980XE at $1979.
The new Cascade Lake-X still features the 14nm Skylake architecture of the Intel Core-X 9000 series with support for quad-channel DDR4 memory and capacity for a colossal 256GB. Past that it still runs on the same LGA2066 socket and though there is a new motherboard chipset on the way, the X299X, the chip itself is not as far as we know so far an earth-shaking improvement over the original.
That being said this new price point, which brings it much more closely into line with the cost per core of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2000s, does fundamentally change how these chips will be considered. This will apply particularly in competition with the upcoming generation of Threadripper. Arguably there wouldn’t even be competition with the third generation Threadripper without such a significant change.
A price cut of this magnitude has to be seen as something of a desperate move, but it’s a big move nonetheless. By slashing the price on their HEDP range by approximately half Intel could change the entire complexion of the HEDP market, bringing it into reach of a lot more potential buyers.