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Downlable Hardware Upgrades Unlock Nerfed Processing Power

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Downlable Hardware Upgrades Unlock Nerfed Processing Power

Postby StlSluggers » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:13 pm

I hate this.

Intel offers processor upgrades via gift cards

CHIPMAKER Intel is offering customers another way to upgrade their processors by purchasing gift cards to unlock features that are already in its chips.

These magical gift cards allow users to download an application from Intel's website that will unlock features already present in compatible processors. Apparently $50 is all that's needed for customers to gain access to Hyperthreading and some more Level 2 cache. Intel calls this dial an upgrade procedure "down-the-wire hardware upgrades".

Processor manufacturers typically cut down chip capabilities at the fabrication plant in order to sell them at different price points. While customers have become accustomed to this binning procedure, Intel's down-the-wire upgrade plan is likely to be unpopular with users who dislike having the true potential of their purchased processor chip curtailed by a software lock.

As features such as Level 2 cache and Hyperthreading are already physically present in the chip, there is no price saving to be had by either Intel or the system builder by restricting it. Rather it raises the question of whether both parties are simply doing this to extract some more cash from customers at a later date.

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(more at link)
Last edited by StlSluggers on Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Downlable Hardware Upgrades Unlocked Nerfed Processing Power

Postby Neato Torpedo » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:04 pm

What the hell? That's reaching Comcastian levels of corporate douchebaggery.
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Re: Downlable Hardware Upgrades Unlocked Nerfed Processing Power

Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:14 pm

I have no idea what that even means, but nobody knows how to write a thread title that will generate interest like Sluggo.
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Re: Downlable Hardware Upgrades Unlocked Nerfed Processing Power

Postby bigh0rt » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:51 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:I have no idea what that even means

This.
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Re: Downlable Hardware Upgrades Unlock Nerfed Processing Power

Postby BitterDodgerFan » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:43 pm

is this like the opposite of buying budget processors and overclocking them?
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Re: Downlable Hardware Upgrades Unlock Nerfed Processing Power

Postby Metroid » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:57 am

BitterDodgerFan wrote:is this like the opposite of buying budget processors and overclocking them?

Yes......no...I'm not sure.
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Re: Downlable Hardware Upgrades Unlock Nerfed Processing Power

Postby Skin Blues » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:15 am

They restrict the performance of their products and sell them for cheaper than the top-of-the-line stuff. Sometimes they can be overclocked to get better performance but not to the extent that they are capable of. This is nothing new, I'm pretty sure most computer hardware components work like this, such as hard drives, video cards, processors, etc. Its cheaper than creating entirely different product lines for every price range. Most industries do this in one way or another, either by throttling the actual capability of their product, or by putting lower performing parts that cost basically the same, or even more, into the lower models. Think about trial software or basic Windows operating systems compared to full software and Windows Ultimate. Do you really think it costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars more to give you the absolute top of the line software on your little 25 cent DVD? It is structured so that the users that get the most performance out of a product pay the bulk of the R&D and overhead costs that went into making it. I'm not sure how somebody that to me always seemed like a right-wing free-market-rules-all personality could HATE this. I would imagine this sort of thing to be embraced.
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