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.

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