AMD's announcement last week that it would swap 40 Core i7-8086K's won from Intel's sweepstakes with a much beefier Threadripper 1950X CPU was an unexpected escalation in the long-running feud between the two companies. Now AMD has followed through with its plan and officially opened its replacement program at www.amd.com/thenext40. Per AMD's website:
Our competitor recently kicked off a sweepstakes to celebrate the first 40 years of the x86 processor by giving away 8,086 limited edition processors.
We appreciate the advancements they’ve helped drive with the x86 architecture over the last four decades. 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.
AMD's "contest" is open to individuals that have won the Intel Core i7-8086K, a special edition processor that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 8086, through Intel's sweepstakes.
Entrants are required to forward their prize notification from Intel to TR.Exchange@amd.com for verification. The first 40 verified winners can then exchange their new unopened processor for a Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. You can currently buy the Core i7-8086K for ~$425 at retail outlets, but those processors don't qualify for AMD's exchange program.
The $799 Threadripper 1950X wields 16-cores and 32-threads, which easily outweighs the i7-8086K's six-cores and twelve-threads in threaded heavily-workloads, such as those found in many productivity applications. But it is also noteworthy that "winners" of AMD's competing sweepstakes will have to pony up for a much more expensive X399 motherboard with the TR4 socket, which currently retails for more than $300, instead of Intel's less-expensive 300-series motherboards. Regardless, those who do swap their Intel Core silicon for an AMD Threadripper chip will gain ten cores and quad-channel memory, not to mention quite a bit of resale value.
The Core i7-8086K's superior single-threaded performance provides leading performance in most games, so we assume most gamers won't be interested in the exchange program.
Due to laws and regulations, AMD's replacement program is only open to legal residents of the United States that are over the age of 18. AMD requires winners to ship their unopened processor to the company, which will then ship out the Threadripper 1950X within four to six weeks. That's quite the wait for eager winners. AMD also states that "once you make the exchange by sending AMD your Competitor Sweepstakes prize, we’re not going to send it back if you change your mind."
The burning question in everyone's mind is what AMD will do with the exchanged Core i7-8086K processors. It's possible that AMD will use pictures of the 40th-anniversary chips for marketing purposes, but the fate of the exchanged processors is anyone's guess.