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Intel charging US$50.00 to unlock CPU upgrade
travelin cat




msg:4204276
 3:44 pm on Sep 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

An eagle-eyed Engadget reader was surfing the Best Buy shelves when he noticed this $50 card -- and sure enough, Intel websites confirm -- that lets you download software to unlock extra threads and cache on the new Pentium G6951 processor.


Apparently Intel is running tests on this concept.

[engadget.com...]

 

J_RaD




msg:4204391
 7:31 pm on Sep 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

ewwwwwwwwwwww I don't like that one bit.

I don't have to worry about this as I no longer buy intel chips.

johnblack




msg:4204408
 8:07 pm on Sep 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is nothing new in my experience for hardware manufacturers. Back in the 1980s (yes I am that old!) the company I worked for had ordered an expensive mainframe upgrade.

We expected multiple engineers to turn up on site and replace old kit with new etc etc.

Imagine our surprise when one engineer turned up with a screwdriver. Removed a rear panel on the mainframe and flicked a switch, replaced the panel and said, 'There's your upgrade'.

If you think about it from the manufacturer's point of view makes a lot of sense really. Just seems pretty lousy to the consumer.

ergophobe




msg:4204564
 1:40 am on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is pretty much de rigueur in the digicam market. Often the real difference between two models is simply that one of them has various features turned off, especially in the consumer to prosumer range of dSLRs. Those manufacturers have the good sense to not tell you that you're getting the same hardware at a cheaper price and leave it to people to figure out the firmware upgrades on their own and trade them via forums.

johnnie




msg:4204711
 11:59 am on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

This will be cracked sooner or later. Intel must know that.

jecasc




msg:4204720
 12:50 pm on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wish I could unlock more power on the graphics card in my laptop that way.

It depends how they use it. If you can buy the locked version for a lower price and you can later decide to upgrade if you need more power this seems like a fair deal. However I would somehow feel cheated if they sold the hardware and two month later announced you could now unlock features that were there all along but you could not use them.

graeme_p




msg:4204873
 5:06 pm on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

From what I read earlier this only works with Windows 7 and the "upgrade" is applied by the OS at boot time. What happens if:

1) You use another OS
2) You use Win 7, buy the upgrade, then switch to another OS
3) You carry on using Win 7 but re-install at some point
4) The software malfunctions at some point down the line

It works for mainframes where you always have a service contract with the supplier who turns it on. In the PC market it seems to have a lot of the same issues as DRM.

J_RaD




msg:4204896
 5:37 pm on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Intel charging for more speed

AMD comes with an overclocking tool for free.

JAB Creations




msg:4204903
 5:41 pm on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Intel hates consumers and AMD kicks total donkey.

Sure Intel CPU's might perform better however you pay out the donkey for it. Worse is that you can't even upgrade in the same socket! The long term value of an Intel system directly correlates to how long the motherboard lasts which means Asus motherboard owners are also totally screwed since Asus is too busy flooding the market and RMAing new expensive boards with crappy used ones.

AMD on the other hand has value, performance, and long term viability. I don't need 100 FPS if my LCD is limited to 60Hz and hence only 60FPS.

Also my X3 720 (unlocked to an X4) can be dropped in to an AM3+ motherboard meaning to go do a full socket switch I can replace as little as a single part at a time versus replacing both the CPU and motherboard. On top of that let's say I get an AM3+ motherboard, I might not get an AM3+ CPU all that quickly and eventually when I do it'll be a later revision (lower power/higher clock).

There is just no way you could convince me that Intel has any long term viable worth for gaming, my production environment, or anything. It comes down to either knowing how to see through their hype and understanding enough about the products to make a wise investment. $50 to upgrade the CPU you've already paid for? I didn't have to pay a penny to unlock a fourth core and I didn't have to ask AMD for that...and Intel has to ask you for $50? Is Intel really hurting that badly in the wallet? No, they just don't care about giving consumers a great product that will last for a reasonable amount of money.

- John

jonathanleger




msg:4204930
 6:41 pm on Sep 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Software vendors have been doing this for years.

Ever paid for a Shareware tool? Ever choose Win7 Ultimate instead of Premium or the Home edition? Ever buy an upgraded version of any software to get added features? Did you have a problem with doing that? Because I'm here to tell you -- all that "upgrade" does is throw some virtual switches. Even if it drops a few more files on your hard drive, it's not costing the developer a dime.

I know this because I'm a software developer.

If you don't have a problem with upgrading software, then you shouldn't be upset with Intel. They're doing the same thing.

I'm not a fan of Intel over any other processor maker, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the business model. You pay more, you get more.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4205066
 12:08 am on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

HAHA, buy the BMW that looks like a ford pinto until you pay to unlock the hawt looks.

No thanks.

J_RaD




msg:4205071
 12:34 am on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)


Also my X3 720 (unlocked to an X4) can be dropped in to an AM3+ motherboard


yeeeeeep, im not building anything that isn't a socket AM3 so it can take advantage of DDR3 PLUS it keeps the door open for a 6 core. Don't have the cash for a 6 core right now? no big deal just drop in a cheap 3.0ghz dual core and when you have the money just replace the chip.

you can really build future overhead in with each AMD system now.

J_RaD




msg:4205075
 12:46 am on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)


If you don't have a problem with upgrading software, then you shouldn't be upset with Intel. They're doing the same thing.


its cause hardware and software are not the same, I can see upgrading software downloading some code and installing it.

but when I buy a chip and the specs say such and such I don't wanna get home and install it only to find wah this isn't what i paid for, or there is some extra part of the chip being wasted just cause intel wants to squeeze more cash out of me.

And given how crappy hardware is thrown together these days with everything mismatched cause hardware vendors are trying to get rid of last years crap for todays prices upping the proc isn't going to do jack when you are running sayyyy

DDR2 single chan
a 5400 RPM SATA6 HD on a SATA3 motherboard
etc etc etc

the systems the box companies push out are so sloppy its just people throwing crap in a box and if it fits and turns on ship it!

jonathanleger




msg:4205082
 1:21 am on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

but when I buy a chip and the specs say such and such I don't wanna get home and install it only to find wah this isn't what i paid for, or there is some extra part of the chip being wasted just cause intel wants to squeeze more cash out of me.


But what if the specs don't say everything the chip is capable of? What if the specs promise ABC and delivery ABC, telling you that an upgrade is available later? It doesn't matter that the chip contains everything from the get go -- because so does the software.

That's the point I'm making. The software also contains everything that the "upgrade" promises before you ever upgrade -- it's just not written on the box. When you pay to "upgrade" it just throws some switches and gives you "better" software -- but it's still the same software, just unlocked.

Intel is attempting the same thing. Don't write everything the hardware is capable of on the box, but offer an upgrade to those capabilities for an unlock fee. It's just like the way software works.

If the box says you get ABC and that if you upgrade you get an additional XYZ, that's the same as shareware or software upgrades. So if you don't have a problem with software upgrades, you shouldn't have a problem with hardware upgrades.

For both products it was all there to begin with, you just unlocked it with the extra "upgrade" payment.

J_RaD




msg:4205266
 1:44 pm on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

then these issues still don't go away


From what I read earlier this only works with Windows 7 and the "upgrade" is applied by the OS at boot time. What happens if:

1) You use another OS
2) You use Win 7, buy the upgrade, then switch to another OS
3) You carry on using Win 7 but re-install at some point
4) The software malfunctions at some point down the line



And given how crappy hardware is thrown together these days with everything mismatched cause hardware vendors are trying to get rid of last years crap for todays prices upping the proc isn't going to do jack when you are running sayyyy

DDR2 single chan
a 5400 RPM SATA6 HD on a SATA3 motherboard
etc etc etc

JAB Creations




msg:4205353
 4:35 pm on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

yeeeeeep, im not building anything that isn't a socket AM3 so it can take advantage of DDR3 PLUS it keeps the door open for a 6 core. Don't have the cash for a 6 core right now? no big deal just drop in a cheap 3.0ghz dual core and when you have the money just replace the chip.

you can really build future overhead in with each AMD system now.


EXACTLY!

Any AM3 CPU will work in an AM3+ motherboard so even if you have a junkie AM3 motherboard you can move that CPU to a nice high end AM3+ motherboard in 2011. Remember, AMD does not screw consumers on chipsets either so 890FX boards can cost well under $200. I'm sure we'll see a 990FX chipset because Bullsozer CPU's (AM3+) won't work in a regular AM3 motherboard. That's fine because say half a year later when you have $200 saved up you can upgrade to an eight core Bulldozer AM3+ CPU without having to buy the AM3+ motherboard (because you already bought it half a year earlier).

- John

J_RaD




msg:4205430
 7:06 pm on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

^ its nice to meet someone else that gets it :-P

Swanny007




msg:4205439
 7:36 pm on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just built an Intel PC a couple of months ago. Now I feel ripped off. I don't care for this idea of theirs....

ergophobe




msg:4206452
 4:40 pm on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

J_Rad and JAB - OT, but it sounds like you guys would know: for a while Intel was the energy hog and AMD the efficiency leader. Then the Core Duo series came out and Intel dropped it's power consumption a fair bit.

Since the CPU is only one component and hardly the most energy-wasting in a home or office, I don't think that matters much for a desktop in a large case with good cooling. But for a laptop, it's hard to dissipate that heat and of course battery life suffers (some, I know there are a lot of components)

So how do Intel and AMD compare now for laptops in terms of energy consumption/heat output? Or put another way, do you feel the same way when it comes to laptops?

J_RaD




msg:4206492
 5:37 pm on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

laptops...hmm I really don't have anything nice to say about laptops no matter who makes them, they ALL run way to hot, and suck down way too much juice, which makes them not so portable.

what is the point of a mobile computer if you have to have it on a desk cause it will roast your legs and must have the power cord plugged up or your battery goes dead.

that being said AMD's chips have dropped in watts and heat, my new 3.0ghz mulit core runs much cooler then my old 2.5 single core. As long as you stay out of the AMD "black editions" they are pretty good with power and heat.... then again its a laptop, its going to be a heat dissipation nightmare anyway.

Another kind of rant i have on laptops is performance, price, portability.

to get a fast machine you have to spend a lot, its not portable at all, and it runs hot as living hell, unless you turn on all your power management which turns your fast computer back into a slow one.

You could have a fast desktop plus a very portable netbook for the price some a middle of the road junky laptop.

intel atom processors with an nvidia ion (optimus) video chipset is where its at for portable netbooks.

to me, laptops are now a total waste, fast desktop + portable efficient netbook, and keeping whatever data i need at the time synced on both is the perfect combo.

I can't drop my desktop
I can't spill a drink on my desktop
Nobody can steal my desktop
I've got endless upgradeable space and performance on my desktop.
My desktop gets backed up on a set schedule cause its not moving around or on the backseat of my car.
I have a nice big keyboard, lots of big screens, home theater rivaling sound system etc etc etc.

call me crazy but I think a good solid desktop + very portable useful netbook is the way to go... death to the laptop.

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