When Intel launched the Core i9-9900K in 2018 and subsequently the 9900KS in 2019, they shipped in a very eye-catching translucent blue dodecahedron-shaped box. However, we won’t be seeing that packaging again as Intel has admitted it’s quite wasteful.
As Tom’s Hardware reports, Intel posted a product change notification (PCN) on May 29 announcing that the dodecahedron packaging is being discontinued. Intel’s customers can continue to order the Core i9 chips in the special packaging until June 26, but after that 9900K orders will only ship in “standard folding carton packaging.”
The decision to discontinue is down to waste. Intel explains that by switching to more standard packaging there’s less overall materials required. The dodecahedron shape meant fewer chips could fit into a shipping box, and to protect against damage in transit, Intel had to use extra foam packaging which just adds to the cost, weight, and waste of shipping processors in this way. By switching to the more typical rectangular shape, the size of the shipping box for these chips changes from 568-by-568-by-246mm to 594-by-495-247mm. Intel doesn’t state how many extra 9900K processors it can fit in the new shipping box, but it’s certainly going to be more.
For anyone purchasing a new processor, the packaging really is the last thing on your mind. It’s the chip inside that counts. It’s also worth remembering that the 9900K and 9900KS are on their way out now that 10th generation chips have hit the market, including a Core i9-10900K. Intel will keep selling the older chips, but understandably wants to reduce costs whenever it can to help maintain a healthy profit margin. If it produces less waste in the process, all the better.