One of the interesting elements of this profession is dealing with how the processor companies have changed their attitudes towards marketing their products over the past couple of decades. After years of bland boxing and sub-standard coolers, there have been recent efforts to produce something eye-catching to users casually browsing shelves, especially in an effort to draw attention to the high-end products. While ultimately the packaging has little-to-no value after unboxing the product, beyond perhaps the background in a gaming stream, it does mark a change in attitudes, especially when product packaging can accelerate the hype around a product.

One of the recent product packaging efforts from Intel was the dodecahedral packaging for its halo desktop product, the Core i9-9900K. While AMD has focused special packaging for high-end desktop, Intel it seems prefers to point it into the desktop product line. This packaging is a transparent blue dodecahedron, with the CPU at the center. No cooler is bundled, and the packaging is large for the processor, but it certainly made it stand out.

Intel launched Comet Lake a couple of weeks ago, its 10th generation Core product, with the flagship i9-10900K sitting at the top of the stack. As the Core i9-9900K no longer sits in that top spot, Intel has decided to discontinue versions of the 9900K in its special packaging. Specifically, retailers have until June 26th to order these processor versions, and the last shipment will be on July 10th. This is a very quick discontinuance procedure, however the non-special retail version will still be available.

At some point in this market, we are going to get a product with iconic packaging. One could argue if the packaging makes the product interesting at all – given how users tend to focus on a specific processor for their build, is spending potentially slightly more for the fancy box ever justified? You may think that this news post is somewhat arbitrary, talking about packaging discontinuance, but it perhaps yields a bigger question in the processor market – does packaging matter? Or the contents – a message from the CEO on a special anniversary edition, or the signature on the heatspreader?

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  • Chaitanya - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    For the 1st time in long time Intel had put some thought into retail packaging.
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  • azfacea - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    what good is a package if there is nothing inside it, Mr Anderson
  • GreenReaper - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    Something interesting to put on your shelf?
  • azfacea - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    i was trying to create a joke out of matrix and intel sillicon shortage, but didnt get anywhere close. LUL
  • boozed - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    I enjoyed it
  • Spunjji - Monday, June 1, 2020 - link

    It's cool, you did good
  • IndianaKrom - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    I purchased a 9900k a couple Novembers ago and that box is easily one of the dumbest pieces of packaging I've ever seen. It is big, bulky, awkward, and probably not very environmentally friendly. In the absence of a stock cooler it would be better to just sandwich one in a clear plastic clamshell like DRAM and put a fancy cardboard insert, takes up less space, uses less resources and has less shipping weight. Actually the CPU itself is always in one of those small plastic clamshells anyway even inside the old boxes with bundled coolers...
  • The Von Matrices - Saturday, May 30, 2020 - link

    I absolutely agree. Let me describe my experience with this absurd packaging. When I bought my 9900KS from Newegg:

    The processor was in a plastic clamshell
    The plastic clamshell was in a small paperboard box
    The paperboard box was inside the plastic dodecahedron
    The plastic dodecahedron was covered by a cardboard sleeve with the processor name and specifications
    The dodecahedron with cardboard sleeve was inside a velvet bag
    The velvet bagged dodecahedron was nestled inside form-fitting foam packaging and cardboard box from Intel.
    The Intel cardboard box was surrounded by plastic air bags inside a Newegg cardboard box

    This was the worst excess of packaging I've ever seen. It was probably $10-$20 of the processor's cost. And now that I have the processor installed in my PC, I have to store this dodecahedron somewhere until I sell the processor at some point in the future. Do people display these boxs in their homes? If I'm buying online, I don't care about the packaging. I'm glad this monstrosity is gone and we're back to the smaller cardboard boxes. Good riddance.
  • LiKenun - Sunday, May 31, 2020 - link

    Having Amazon’s “frustration-free packaging” option would be nice for CPUs.

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