Price drop raises value of switching to Intel's i9 chip

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

In the June 2019 Technology Q&A topic "Processors: Is Intel's Core i9 Chip Worth the Price?", I suggested that Intel's Core i9 chip might not be worth the steep price. Since then, the Core i9 chip's prices have fallen dramatically, and I've changed my position.

As of August 2019, Dell was selling a nicely loaded computer workstation with an Intel Core i9 chip for just $1,394.67, including free shipping (see the screenshot below). Specifically, Dell's Precision 3431 Small Form Factor Workstation with an Intel Core i9-9900 chip has 8 cores hyperthreaded to support 16 simultaneous calculation threads. This computer operates at 3.1GHz, with turbo speed boosts up to 5.0GHz. It also includes the 64-bit edition of Windows 10 Pro, an NVIDIA Quadro video card, 16GB of RAM running at 2666MHz, and a 512GB solid-state drive. (Please note that this does not include a computer monitor.) In my opinion this example computer configuration results in an affordable superfast business computer well suited for the needs of almost any CPA power user.


In this configuration example, Dell's price to upgrade the computer from the Intel Core i7 chip to the Intel Core i9 chip is just $121.28 — which in my opinion is a reasonable price to pay for the newer, more robust Intel Core chipset. This is much less than the $300 to $1,300 price difference I mentioned in my previous article related to the Core i7 and Core i9 products.

I'm not necessarily suggesting you purchase this specific computer or brand; I'm merely suggesting that you shouldn't pay much more than this amount for any other similarly configured computer workstation. I'm also suggesting that the Intel i9 Core is now worthy of consideration due to the dramatic price decrease that has occurred in recent months.

About the author

J. Carlton Collins, CPA, ( is a technology consultant, a conference presenter, and a JofA contributing editor.

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After nine years writing “Technology Q&A,” J. Carlton Collins, CPA, will be handing the reins to a new writing team beginning with the January 2020 issue. He will still write features for the JofA, so you’ll see his byline in the future, just not as often. Technology Q&A will continue to be published each month. If you have any suggestions or questions for Technology Q&A, please send your comments to


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