I just read an Engadget article about Intel selling "upgrade codes" for their lower end processors in some pre-assembled systems. Hyperthreading and L3 cache come disabled, and the code lets you download software to enable it. I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this is full on pants-on-head retarded. It's getting kind old how corporations are trying to convince us that we don't own anything, we just buy a license to use it. If I buy a physical item I should be able to use it however i want and to it's full abilities, not this piecemeal ELUA ultra limited rights crap they're trying to feed us.
But to be honest when the pricing so clearly has nothing to do with the costs involved we're seeing some serious bullshit. This is actually worse than MS' strategy of "pay three hundred plus bucks or we're giving you the version with the features removed", and I never thought it possible.
I'd be interested to see how they're implementing it too, since it seems like they're letting you activate the higher end bits through software - that seems like it's just asking for people to hack together a free solution.
No cause those are made for that purpose.
Thing of this as hardware DLC.
Exactly this. Your pentium dual core? It's a Core 2 Duo with broken cache. They go "hey, everything else works, so just slap a cheaper price on it and we can get the manufacturing costs back!". That way they arn't wasting hundreds of thousands of usable chips because they don't fit all the specifications.
If I wasn't already an AMD loyalist, I would switch right now. Hope AMD doesn't follow suit because the last option would be VIA...
you mean you wouldn't use this oppertunity to switch to god's own arch, 68k? heh.
Would the crack be illegal or even unethical?
This is not the same situation as software piracy. You cannot download hardware. In this case, you download software that changes the BIOS (or whatever) of something you paid money for, making it do more than the creators intended. Nothing is stolen and no intellectual rights are violated.
it should be no more illegal than throwing a super charger on your engine or altering your cars computer to increase horse power by increasing the amount of fuel injected
might invalidate your warranty but nothing they can do against you
Letting you "unlock" parts through software is relatively new in the consumer space, I guess. I'm honestly surprised they didn't think of it sooner. Paying to enable processors has been a common thing in the high performance (supercomputing) sector for years.
Cheap chips are expensive chips with components that are broken, not expensive chips with components that are intentionally disabled.
Obviously Intel can sell the G6951 at it's full capability for a low price (since they are doing so) and still make a profit, so it seems a little greedy to charge people to "unlock" the chip's full spec.
The supercomputing aspect is a little different, since supercomputers are generally rented.
No, cheap chips are expensive chips with parts disabled that may or may not be broken. All the quadcores with a busted core go in the Tri-Core pile, but they disable a core on lots of perfectly good quadcores because they can make more money selling them as tri-cores at a cheaper price.
Once you've built a machine that prints processors, it doesn't cost that much to actually print them.
I'm not saying this is the same thing, unlocking disabled parts has up till now been free, but risky. Now intel wants to make it guarenteed to work, for a fee. That's really the main difference.
You increase horsepower by decreasing the amount of fuel injected and leaning out the mixture.
As to the Intel thing, I'm picturing something like this:
Engineer: You know, we've gotten to the point where it's not actually cheaper to make processors this slow.
Marketing: That gives me a wonderful idea...
Actually, would using an unauthorised piece of software to unlock the additional features on the processor void the warranty? Assuming the software does the exact same thing the official one does, but was written by a third-party who released it for free.
Technically it wouldn't be any different from using the official upgrade software to unlock the features, and since those features were intended to be able to be unlocked, it wouldn't be doing something the manufacturer didn't intend; it's just the way you did it wasn't the way they intended, but the end result is the same.
Could something like that even be tracked and distinguished from using the official route?
Yes. You probably have to register online to get something unlocked. If I were designing the system, I would force the customers to register the hardware as well. As for people without internet, I would create an automated system for salesmen to do it in the store.
Anyway, an argument could be made that using unofficial firmware could be damaging to the hardware, thus voiding the warranty. Whether it holds up in court depends on the quality of lawyers each side will engage.
Maybe the hackers can release software that relocks the processor. Then again, if I were me, I would make it so that unlocking a processor creates a physical, permanent change in the hardware, liking burning out a fuse or something. This would also help my case in court, showing that software can do physical damage.
You know, this new system would work so much better if it only came in prepackaged systems. Intel could help design motherboards for those systems and create specialized software that helps prevent these hacker shenanigans. And the hardcore market would be placated because they'll be creating their own systems.
Actually, as the fabrication process is refined throughout the life of a given processor design, the proportion of faulty silicon produced reduces dramatically. At that point, cheap chips are precisely expensive chips with features disabled, because there will always be more demand for low end chips than high end.
This is the whole reason that overclocking to any significant degree is possible.
Wanna see your pistons. Wanna have a real good look at them.
Besides, they only appear to be targeting chips sold with budget PCs, not retail chips, which is what every overclocker buys, so what is the big deal exactly.
This issue is such a non-starter. Just the latest excuse for slashtards to get their cry on.
MY IMAGINARY CONSUMER "RIGHTS"
And its not like someone at BestBuy would be like: HOLD ON GRANDMA instead of you throwing away this perfectly good PC and buying a new one from us, how about you just pay Intel (not us), to give you a slight boost of your megahertz and cache size.
Informed people will be buying GOOD chips that will either overclock there way around the pay upgrades or buy chips that are good from the get go.
and when your computer craps out 1-2 years earlier than it should have because you didnt plan your airflow accordingly or calculated your increased voltage needs in the box...
Experience might be too strong a word... but generally speaking you at least need a really good guide.
Let's play Mario Kart or something...
Save changes and reboot Y/N? Y
I've got a huge sythe ninja heatsink and I idle at 34° C. Problem?
so what you are saying is that this is a computer you yourself put together, and not an emachine or dell that people have a hell of a time trying to overclock or unlock performance benefits on.
BIOSs with overclocking features built right in are generally an exclusivity to the system builders and the VooDoo/Alienware buyers of the world.
edit: and the very fact that you can say sythe ninja heatsink reenforces the whole fucking point. You had a good idea of what was needed with regards to airflow, temperature and voltage management going in. This product is not targeted at you. You know enough to overclock, or at least be dangerous with it and deal with whatever fallout occurs.
Let's play Mario Kart or something...
As for the heatsink, I just measured how much room I had left in the case then went googling. Not rocket science here.
The "pay to unlock on-chip features" seems to be targetting the former. You buy granny or your nephew a budget laptop, after a year or 2 when they complain it's getting pokey you do your best to speed it up at minimal cost (upgrade RAM and possibly the HDD, remove crapware that's creeped in or re-install Windows). And now maybe you pay the unlock fee so they get HT.
As to it enterring the retail component market, would it be so bad if you got an i7 with HT disabled and reduced cache so you could save some money now, and then a year or 2 down the line when you upgrade the RAM you could pay some fee to unlock HT and the additional cache instead of doing a processor swap?
*If my parents see an AV-looking popup they will stop using their computer and wait for me to visit them to see what they should do. To address this issue I just bought them a mac.
Furthermore, the fact that you then proceeded to go out and buy (and then install) a third party heatsink and then actually looked at temperature readings makes you very much an enthusiast user and again, probably not someone who will be affected by this scheme.
Just because you're a cheapskate doesn't mean you're going to be adversely affected by being able to "upgrade" your processor through software.
Budget stuff may or may not be reallt capable of i too
as peoplehave said the specs on hardware are estimates at best. A budget processor may be capable of more or it may not. the biggest difference it it's probably never been tested at those higher specs.
you can easy buy two of the exact same model processor and have one overclock with no trouble and the other fight you every step fo the way.
I disagree with this on the same principle i disagree with DLC that unlocks things already on a game disc. You bought a processor. Parts of it work but are disabled. You pay additional money to make full use of what you bought. That seems lame. I am not a fan.
Check out my band, click the banner.
Pentium dual core, e5200. The one that overclocks like a mofucka.
...I, er, what? ...I never said it did?
So if you bought the same game, but a version that didn't have the DLC (or additional content as it were) in the original media you bought, but you could buy and download that DLC at a later date, that wouldn't offend you?
Is it really any worse than the previous arrangement? You buy a processor, parts of it "work" but are disabled, and you can never "make full use" of it. This is how market segmentation works in the desktop processor market. It has always worked this way.
Oh and as for the whole DLC argument, you did not buy the materials on the disc, you bought a license to use those materials according to specific terms. You can't play World Of Warcraft without paying subscription fees just because you think you own the disc it was printed on. But I'm sure you've already heard that before.
Auto overclocks usually put the voltage way higher then it needs to go, if he's overclocked and idling at 34 on air i'd guess he's also only using a program that reports temperatures from the motherboard sensor, not the chip itself (which is usually 10-15 degrees higher)