Over the past couple days, a number of unsubstantiated rumors have arisen regarding the future of Intel's budget CPU darling, the $65 Pentium G4560. This two-core, four-thread chip has been a staple of our Budget Box of late thanks to its strong bang-for-the-buck. As those rumors would have it, Intel is "creating an artificial shortage" to raise prices of the G4560 at retail. Another site even reported that Intel plans to "effectively kill" the chip.
While those theories are tantalizingly scandalous, they seem to be news to Intel. I brought those rumors to the company's attention this morning, and I received the following response:
We continue to offer [the Pentium G4560]. What you have observed on websites are possibly part of a normal demand fluctuation.
Seems pretty open-and-shut to me.
Although Intel didn't say as much in its statement, the most likely cause of rising G4560 prices could be that crypto miners are buying up affordable CPUs to serve as the host chips for their mining rigs. The cryptocurrency craze has driven up the price of affordable graphics cards of late, and when any CPU will do to power mining rigs, it's not hard to imagine that the G4560 is a popular choice for that role.
The G4560 is certainly selling for more than its tray price online where it's in stock. B&H Photo Video has the chip for $78.89, and Amazon sellers seem to be moving the part for about $80. $20 or so isn't nothing in a budget build, but it's certainly not as back-breaking as a $710 Radeon RX 580.
It seems precarious to leap from those apparently demand-driven figures to any conclusions about the part's future considering that retailers have final say over G4560 prices. I should also note that even if the G4560 is hard to get, it's not the end of the world. Other Kaby Lake Pentium CPUs, like the G4600, seem available in abundance for slightly more than Intel's $82 recommended price.
In any case, serious allegations like this one demand serious proof to back them up, and it seems nobody else bothered to ask Intel what was up before going off half-cocked. Make sure your news is properly sourced and passes the smell test, folks.