AMD one-ups Intel with free Threadripper upgrade for 8086 competition winners

Intel gives a (pleasant) response to AMD's cheeky CPU trade-in offer

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X 1950X Review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Hot on the heels of Intel’s attempt to steal AMD’s thunder at Computex with its 28-core CPU announcement, AMD has responded in kind by offering a free CPU trade-in for the most powerful CPU it has on sale. Anyone who wins one of Intel’s “Anniversary Edition” Core i7-8086 CPUs in Intel’s sweepstakes has the chance to swap it for AMD’s Threadripper 1950X. Intel has taken the power play in its stride though, and simply thanked AMD for helping to celebrate the anniversary with it.

Intel’s latest competition offered 8,086 of its specially binned Core i7-8700K chips, rebranded as the Core i7-8086, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Intel debuting the world’s first x86 processor, the 8086. It’s a powerful chip and one that anyone who wins will be no doubt be delighted to own, but AMD’s offer for a straight swap to Threadripper could be hard to pass up. As much as the 8086 is a great CPU, the Threadripper 1950X is a whole other beast entirely.

“We appreciate the advancements they’ve helped drive with the x86 architecture over the last four decades,” AMD said in a statement. “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.”

While you might have expected Intel to respond in a negative manner, or even attempt to one-up AMD in turn, it’s actually proved to very pleasant. It promised to send AMD an Intel 8086 CPU if that’s what it really wanted and thanked it for helping to celebrate the anniversary of its original 8086 chip.

As nice as the social media back and forth has been though, AMD’s offer is likely to be snapped up by 8086 winners rather quickly. With 16 cores and 32 threads, the 1950X is far more capable than the 8086 when it comes to multithreaded scenarios and it only falls a little behind in single threaded ones, too. While any Intel fan would need to buy a new motherboard to support the Threadripper chip, unless they were running one of the 300-series motherboards that supports Intel’s eighth-generation CPUs already, they’d need to upgrade for the 8086, too.

If you end up being one of the coveted 8,000-plus 8086 winners and fancy trading it in for a Threadripper CPU, you’ll need to be quick, as AMD is only offering 40 free upgrades. More details on how the trade-in will work will be released on June 25, though AMD suggests in its terms that you’ll need to send your Anniversary Edition CPU off to it, at which point you’ll receive the Threadripper CPU 4-6 weeks later.

This trade-in scheme is only applicable to the U.S. and to those ages 18 or over.

Updated 06/20/18 with Intel’s response.

Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Computing

If Core i5 CPUs are great for most people, do you really need a Core i7?

This guide is designed to help you decide whether you need the extra technological enhancements provided by the i7 core, or if the more affordable Core i5 will suit your needs. In the i5 vs. i7 battle, which is best for you?
Computing

AMD or Intel? We take a look at the pros and cons of both processors

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.
Deals

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.