A retailer is selling the auction-only Intel i9-9990XE processor and it’s not cheap

The Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition i9-9990XE was never intended to be sold directly to the public, but if you’re quick and extremely rich, you have the chance to buy one right now.

It’ll set you back 2999 – or around £2595. Though the site in question – caseking.de – will let you buy it on a finance plan from ‘just’ €137.67 per month if you’re happy to be paying for it until April 2021.

Related: Best gaming PC

What’s interesting about this is that the i9-9990XE was never designed to be sold on its own. Rather, the chips were sold at auction directly to system builders who would then put them in bespoke high-end computers sold to super-rich gamers.

So this gives us an idea of what a RRP for the chips might look like – or at least what caseking.de thinks an RRP should look like, presumably based on what it paid. It also possibly indicates that the computers built around the chips aren’t shifting, though that’s speculation, of course.

So what do you get for your £2595? Well, the i9-9990XE is a 14-core beast with 28 threads, clocked at 4.0 to 5.0GHz. That kind of speed not only requires some seriously effective cooling, you’ll also need to upgrade your PSU, as the chip draws a whopping 255W of power.

Related: Best desktop PC

While the chips have gaming all over them, there’s another market for these super fast processors: high-frequency traders. Unsurprisingly the world of finance not only requires the fastest equipment to beat rivals, but also has the kind of deep pockets that wouldn’t think twice about buying a £2595 processor to maintain that edge.

What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a computer component, and did you regret it? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor