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Old 09-21-2010, 11:29 AM
 
10,752 posts, read 17,999,763 times
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Interesting to say the least.

Facepalm of the Day: Intel charges customers $50 to unlock CPU features | ZDNet
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,209 posts, read 18,487,531 times
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This type of thing is much more common than you think, and has been going on for almost as long as there's been personal computers.

I worked for one company that sold a specialty software package. All the features were built into the product, but were locked. If a customer paid for that feature, we dialed into their system and flipped a bit in the binary to turn it on.

Ever buy a Dell server? If you buy the RAID option, what it gets you is a hardware key that plugs into the motherboard and enables the RAID chip that's already there.

Certainly just about everyone has used a "trial" or "lite" version of some piece of software, in which they can "unlock" features by paying the registration fee.

This isn't anything new, and is really a non-story. At least Intel is offering consumers a choice, instead of unlocking it by default and charging the extra $50 to those who don't need it.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Yep, nothing new. I remember back in the 486 days they had a version without a math coprocessor. Well, actually it had one, but they disabled it and sold the resulting part cheaper. I'm sure some people would have liked to have the option to upgrade it later on for $50.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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I don't recall saying it was new, or hadn't been going on in different forms for some time, it's an article for people to read, nothing more.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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AMD sells crippled CPUs as well. The difference is that AMD motherboard manufacturers offer the ability to uncripple the CPU at no extra cost. You can often turn some dual core CPUs into quad core CPUs and the alike. You can also unlock extra cache.

Intel marketing it in this manner may have an interesting impact. We'll see. Personally, I'd just buy the noncrippled version right out of the box. Why delay performance.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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I consider it newsworthy. I can think of many examples of enabling hardware features, sometimes temporarily (esp. CPU capacity) for a fee post-purchase, but this is the first time in a product widely available to consumers.

I don't consider this similar to the case of the 486 or software. With the 486SX, there was nothing the consumer could do to enable the FPU. With software, it's clear what you are purchasing is the right to use; physical possession of the media is not where the value is.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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This is probably common in a lot of hardware (camcorders, cameras, phones, etc.), they probably do it to keep costs down. It would be cheaper to manufacture one unit and enable what the customer is paying for.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:00 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
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One more reason to build your own puter...
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