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View Full Version : Intel Sold Intentionally Crippled CPUs!



SurferJoe46
22-09-2010, 06:16 AM
Now they want to charge users for the 'privilege' to unlock the full potential of them - for a small $50.00USD fee.


Intel is charging $50 to unlock features of processors in computers that people have already bought, Engadget reported over the weekend.

The test involves forking over more money at Best Buy, for example, for a card that allows users to download software to unlock an additional 1 MB of cache memory and enable hyper-threading, which among other things is supposed to speed up the processor’s performance.

“The pilot in a limited number of retail stores will center on one Pentium processor, one of our value brands, and will enable a consumer to upgrade the performance of their PC online. This saves the user from buying a new system or taking it in for a physical upgrade.” Intel spokesman George Alfs said to BBC News

Let's just call it "Fitz-Intel" from now on. (Google that prefix and see the implication)

Ain't that cute?


LINK (http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/18/intel-wants-to-charge-50-to-unlock-stuff-your-cpu-can-already-d/)

Cato
22-09-2010, 07:26 AM
Nothing special, except that they are charging for it.

This has been happening forever!

Back in the days of the AMD K8s, the 3200+ was a crippled version of the 3400+. (or was it the 3600+? i can't remember.)
This is also the reality in the graphics card market.

Anyway, the issue here was always quality control. They man X amount of chips from a wafer of silicone, out of X you will have Y fault chips, (they fail predictably) the manufacturer then locks off the "damaged" pipelines, cores or whatever (and lowers the frequency for stability) and the sell it to you for less than what you would have paid if you got a perfect chip.

Many dual core processors are in fact broken 4 cores, and single core are almost entirely failed dual cores. So meh.

They have always been doing this. However, why would anyone pay for this? Surely this goes against fair trading conventions? Also, will it lower the stability of the chips?

Someone will reverse engineer it in a few days, and it won't matter.
Also, IMO hyperthreading is worthless crap.

ubergeek85
22-09-2010, 03:55 PM
It won't take long for a free program to pop up that'll unlock 'em.

Sony does something similar with the PS3. IIRC it has 8 cores, with one disabled. Part of that is to improve production yields (one broken core doesn't mean a broken CPU).

When you think about it, it does make sense. Engineer one chip, then lock out some features, and sell it cheaper. Remember, it costs far, far less to have one lithograph churning out one chip.

Also, the processors were never sold in a way that would suggest they were more powerful than the specs listed. You wanted a budget processor? You got it.

The Error Guy
22-09-2010, 05:41 PM
They are not "Crippled" but locked, in an effort to make hardware cheaper for the consumer so that the consumer only pays for what they get. if you want a nice laptop with 3gb RAM and a dual core 2GHz processor with a 512mb GFx card you can get it for about $1500, if you wanted the same thing but with a quad core you would be thrown up to $2000+. this is a cornered market because the industry knows that the people who will use a 4 core processor are either gamers with the ultimate desire to have better hardware or graphics designers who need that power to do their job.

problem is it puts the price up becuase these select groups are willing to pay or need to pay to have the privilage of that extra power.

intel is trying to combat this by making their processors "upgradeable" if you want it.

this is a well established practice with most processors in the same class being lesser quality versions of their more expensive counterpart. take a quad core CPU that doesn't perform to the minimum specs. its not quite to standard BUT its still fine for general use. it can't be sold as its true form, a quad core CPU but the extra cores can be locked and it is sold as a dual core processor in the same family (eg i5 i3 i2)

neowins article explains intels intent much better http://www.neowin.net/news/intel-testing-50-feature-unlock-cards-for-processors

I like the idea. pay for what you need. it won't take a while before people start cracking it themselves so intels hardware security will have to but up to it.

mikebartnz
22-09-2010, 09:56 PM
Years ago they used to cripple the maths co-processor and sell the chip for less, at least these are going to be upgradable.

Metla
22-09-2010, 10:10 PM
How can anyone defend this crap?:eek:

DeSade
22-09-2010, 10:12 PM
How can anyone defend this crap?:eek:

+1

SurferJoe46
23-09-2010, 05:27 AM
I got to thinking about this situation, and I thought youse guys would be all up in arms about it. I've never seen youse guys roll over on something this insidious before.

What's the difference in price to sell a crippled chip verses one that is up to snuff - my answer: there's NO difference.

Materials cost the same
They both consume identical raw materials
They both require flashing
Mounting the chip costs the same
They both use the same amount of thermal contact paste
They both even weigh the same...so?
How can they say without squinty eyes that they can now charge more to unlock the full potential?

That's just wrong on all levels and points to corporate greed and premeditated (and crass, don't forget crass!) assumption that they can RESELL the same product that the customer already paid for!

It's on the same level as selling a car to a customer and then telling them the engine is an upgrade option.

Cato
23-09-2010, 07:09 AM
TEG: There is a big difference in being locked for stability reasons, and a big reason to be locked for financial reasons.

This is an attack on physical ownership rights.

Chilling_Silence
23-09-2010, 08:42 AM
if you want a nice laptop with 3gb RAM and a dual core 2GHz processor with a 512mb GFx card you can get it for about $1500, if you wanted the same thing but with a quad core you would be thrown up to $2000+. this is a cornered market because the industry knows that the people who will use a 4 core processor are either gamers with the ultimate desire to have better hardware or graphics designers who need that power to do their job.

Not true.

Many buyers have absolutely *no* idea what they're buying, even casual or semi-enthusiast gamers seem to think they need a massively expensive CPU, when in reality they're better off spending their money on their GPU.

I can't tell you the number of people who've been sold on the idea they *must* buy a quad-core, or the absolute latest Intel iX line of CPU or they won't be able to do things like play certain new flash games. Complete and utter BS!

<BroadGeneralization>Most people who *need* something like a quad-core, or at least use it to most of its potential, are doing media editing. That's Video, Audio or Pictures (CAD included), not gamers!</BroadGeneralization>

mikebartnz
23-09-2010, 12:05 PM
That's just wrong on all levels and points to corporate greed and premeditated (and crass, don't forget crass!) assumption that they can RESELL the same product that the customer already paid for!
But that is the point you haven't paid for the full product only for the crippled one and paying the extra $50 means you have paid for the full product. I must agree that they are getting $50 for nothing as they must be including the cost of manufacturing the chip and profit in the crippled price.

SolMiester
23-09-2010, 01:36 PM
I have no problem with this...same with VT instructions and no execute......if the customer doesnt require those functions, why pay for them....get the crippled chip, then if you change your mind, you pay full price....and Intel doesnt have to fab different waffers!
Everyone is a winner!

paulw
23-09-2010, 01:43 PM
Imagine taking this marketing philosophy one step further. You nice new Sony Blu-ray player you bought for $300 but only does 720P output. You want 1080P you pay Sony another $50 to enable that feature. The possibilities of this wrought are endless. You want to use the turbo in the new car you just bought?? Pay GM another $2000 and we will enable it for you..

Gobe1
23-09-2010, 02:02 PM
i dont see what the big deal is

Chilling_Silence
23-09-2010, 02:19 PM
Imagine taking this marketing philosophy one step further. You nice new Sony Blu-ray player you bought for $300 but only does 720P output. You want 1080P you pay Sony another $50 to enable that feature. The possibilities of this wrought are endless. You want to use the turbo in the new car you just bought?? Pay GM another $2000 and we will enable it for you..

A very valid point indeed!

davehold
23-09-2010, 02:24 PM
Is there any difference between that and what SKY do with the MySkyHD or the HD decoder? It already broadcasts in HD but if you want to receive the HD broadcasts then you have to pony up another $10 per month.


A very valid point indeed!

mikebartnz
23-09-2010, 02:48 PM
Is there any difference between that and what SKY do with the MySkyHD or the HD decoder? It already broadcasts in HD but if you want to receive the HD broadcasts then you have to pony up another $10 per month.
You could take that even further. They already broadcast all the channels so why not let you have them all for one low fee.

Billy T
23-09-2010, 03:12 PM
I can't see anything wrong with it either, you select your desired peformance and pay the going rate. If you later want more, you pay for the upgrade.

The motor vehicle industry has always been like that, you pay the price for the spec you want (or can afford) in the full knowledge that greater performance and comfort can be had for more $$$. The number of performance and equipment levels for some vehicles is huge.

At one time you could have a Holden Commodore with 4, 6 or 8 cylinders and a whole range of interior options from hose-down plastic for farmers and pissheads, to premium leather. Incidentally, I read recently that Holden are going to produce a 4 cylinder Commodore again, or was it the Four'd Falcon?

The same policies apply to electronics other than computers. Open up many basic to mid-range model items and you'll see redundant sockets, connectors and leads for the extras that make up the premium models, plus of course a different and shinier badge.

What the naysayers are arguing is that there should be just one model,
premium of course :rolleyes:, but at the basic level price.

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.........

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Cato
23-09-2010, 03:15 PM
Is there any difference between that and what SKY do with the MySkyHD or the HD decoder? It already broadcasts in HD but if you want to receive the HD broadcasts then you have to pony up another $10 per month.

That is a service that is being provided. You do not OWN Sky and what it offers, you pay and you get it, when you stop it stops.

The car analogy does not work at all. Since a true would have to be ADDED. It's more like saying... You buy a car, you can only do 50km/h, if you want to go faster you pay them an additional 50,000 to remove the speed limiter.

Cato
23-09-2010, 03:27 PM
I can't see anything wrong with it either, you select your desired peformance and pay the going rate. If you later want more, you pay for the upgrade.

But, and this is a big butt, you OWN something physically, not a service not a license, but physical ownership of property.
How can someone tell you how you can USE your property?

Once you own something, you have the god given right to use it how you please (provided you don't harm anyone), this is like:
You can have a fork, but you can only use it to eat salad, if you want to eat something else you have to pay extra. I bought a fork, and I damn well will use that fork for anything and everything I chose, if I want to bend it with my psychic power, I will.

Paul's blu ray example is the best.

We are talking about being about to use our property to it's fullest extent here, not something that one does not own or a service.


The motor vehicle industry has always been like that, you pay the price for the spec you want (or can afford) in the full knowledge that greater performance and comfort can be had for more $$$. The number of performance and equipment levels for some vehicles is huge.
So if you buy a car, do you NOT want to be able to use it to it's full potential?
Or do you want to be limited to 50 till you can pay them so they let you go faster?


What the naysayers are arguing is that there should be just one model, premium of course :rolleyes:, but at the basic level price.
Not at all, I am just saying that if I buy a product I want to be able to use it to it's fullest potential. Is this asking for too much?

Or are we all paying a rental to Intel that they can tell us how to use something we don't own?

Gobe1
23-09-2010, 03:41 PM
But, and this is a big butt, you OWN something physically, not a service not a license, but physical ownership of property.
How can someone tell you how you can USE your property?


Im sure other companies have done things like this in the past
Check out warrantys, xbox acer many many more, you break the seal no warranty. Yet you own it.

Cato
23-09-2010, 03:42 PM
Funnily enough, this is a violation of human rights:


Article 1 – Protection of property

Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.


http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/009.htm

Cato
23-09-2010, 03:43 PM
Im sure other companies have done things like this in the past
Check out warrantys, xbox acer many many more, you break the seal no warranty. Yet you own it.

You do not own warranty, it is a service they provide, which they have every right to reject if you do not follow their terms and conditions.

Battleneter2
23-09-2010, 03:55 PM
If you know how CPU's are manufactured you will know AMD and Intel do not make a Wafer for every model. They make the processor to be the top model in the line, if it fails tests they binn it down to the next model down and if it fails again it goes lower(well roughly historically explained).

These days more CPU's pass at there top spec so the company's bin them down anyway due to marketing (obviously not everyone wants the top $1000+ processor). They may lock multipliers lower and disable features, they obviously want to cream the top models and add value at the low end, just not seeing a morale problem with this.

Now they offer a re-enable of a higher processor feature at a cost.........seems fine to me.

Slow news day lol

Gobe1
23-09-2010, 03:57 PM
Dont they do the same with hard drives ??? or they used to
It might have been a myth, im getting old so dont retain thing like i used to

mikebartnz
23-09-2010, 04:14 PM
Dont they do the same with hard drives ??? or they used to
It might have been a myth, im getting old so dont retain thing like i used to
With hard drives they gave a technical capacity but when it was formatted and because of binary you got less than that and it still happens.

Gobe1
23-09-2010, 04:17 PM
Actually i think they sold hard drives with lower capacity because they didnt make the grade ie sold as 40 GB in stead of 60
Different thing altogether
But yes you are correct bart

Battleneter2
23-09-2010, 04:39 PM
I know in the past most HDD companies have "refurbished" say a 120GB drive down to say a 80gig for warranty purposes effectively blocking out the bad sectors, and generally as there is already platter damage and a moving part over it those drives failed more. Not really the same thing.

Billy T
23-09-2010, 06:20 PM
I think some people are missing the point here. If a manufacturer offers for sale a product that runs at X1 speed for Y price, and you make a decision to purchase it, that is exactly what you get. It is called 'offer and aceptance' and sets up the framework for a lawful contract. Provided you get X1 you have nothing to complain about and the Manufacturer is not obligated to give you X2 speed at Y price, but is fully entitled to offer you X2 for Y2 price.

Just because the inherent design of the product allows operation at X2 if appropriately enabled does not entitle you to demand that performance as of right. You entered into a contract for X1 and you are not entitled to X2 unless you pay the relevant price, regardless of whether the capability for X2 is already built in or not. That is the sole perogative of the manufacturer, he can charge for the upgrade, and you have no argument.

If he chooses to improve economy of scale by manufacturing a single line of product with several performance options built in that he is willing to enable singly or severally for an additional charge, that is nothing more than free enterprise at work.

In the meantime, all the buyers who chose X1 are enjoying the lower price enabled by the economies of scale achievable with a single line of configurable products. You want X2? So pay for it and keep on enjoying the benefits of a capitalist based economy.

Go to a car dealer and ask to buy the model with all the fruit for the econo-mobile price and he'll laugh himself sick. Yes, I know it is not quite the same situation, but it is near enough. Next thing you'll be wanting 3TB drives for 1TB prices or solid state drives for mechanical prices.

You get exactly what you pay for in this world, no more, no less so if you want more, you have to either let the moths out of your wallet, or just live within your means and be satisfied with what you've got, or can afford.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Metla
23-09-2010, 07:07 PM
I think some people are missing the point here.

Billy 8-{)

Yep, You did, This isn't about legality or contract or offer and acceptance.

Nor does it have anything to do with high-end cars.:rolleyes:

ubergeek85
23-09-2010, 07:33 PM
This is an attack on physical ownership rights.

IMO, not quite - or at least not yet. Wait until someone releases a program that unlocks the processor for free, and see what Intel's reaction is.

Similar situation is Microsoft blocking modchipped consoles from xbox live. Your right to modchip, and their right to deny access (you violated their ToS). So long as they don't brick your console while you are using it in a 'passive' manner (IE not using xbox live).