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Intel Wants To Charge $50 To Unlock Your CPU's Full Capabilities

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  • I'm all for it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:11PM (#33623990)

    Especially since it'll likely be pirated before the CPU ships.

    • Re:I'm all for it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BrokenHalo (565198) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:50PM (#33624294)
      Pirated or jailbroken, that is one CPU I will not buy. Intentionally holding a gun to the customer's head by crippling the device until you pay a ransom is not a way to get my business.
      • Re:I'm all for it (Score:4, Informative)

        by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@ w u m pus-cave.net> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:02AM (#33624374)

        Happens all the time, actually, they usually just don't offer a way to unlock it. They make a run of all the chips of a given architecture, then put them through tests. The ones that pass clean are set to highest offered speed or full cache, while the not quite so good ones are brought down a notch. Also happens for GPUs, hard drive platters, and even resistor tolerances.

        Sometimes people figure out tricks to unlock everything (with the caveat that the company sold it to you that way for a reason), but who knew Intel would sell their own tool hacker tool?

        • Re:I'm all for it (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:55AM (#33624786)

          This isn't the same thing, though - these are perfectly good chips that are crippled so that Intel doesn't have to manufacture chips at multiple price points. Maybe their reject rate has dropped enough that it's not a viable way to get lower-performance chips.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)

            It seems to me to be a means to unlock potential that was previously locked because of marketing demands. Chips aren't made for specific speeds, they make a batch and "bin" them based on testing.

            Before, when you bought a 2.2 GHz chip, it was in a batch of chips that also happens to include chips that made the 3GHz bin, but they clock locked them to multipliers specific to 2.2 GHz. Sometimes those 2.2 chips were marked such because really weren't reliable at 3 GHz, but sometimes people found they ran perfe

          • Re:I'm all for it (Score:5, Interesting)

            by IICV (652597) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:22PM (#33627984)

            One thing nobody's talking about is why Intel is doing this.

            The only reason I can imagine is that they're sitting on some technology that will greatly reduce fabrication flaws, which means that far more chips will be coming out of their factories that are capable of running at full specification than the market wants.

            That, or they're already outputting a high percentage of chips that are capable of running at higher rates, and disabling them - a much higher percentage than they used to be able to manage, if it makes sense to actually market these chips as upgradeable.

          • Re:I'm all for it (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:51PM (#33628228)

            This isn't the same thing, though - these are perfectly good chips that are crippled so that Intel doesn't have to manufacture chips at multiple price points.

            Excuse me, but I fail to see the loser here.

            Intel wins: it can focus resources on manufacturing a single processor for multiple price-points
            Customer wins: for a fee, they can upgrade their processor without having to touch a single piece of hardware

            Why the outrage? If you assume Intel doesn't have enough defects to bin into lower priced models, compare this to their alternative. They manufacture and sell additional processor lines in order to cover all their price segments. Consequently, fewer engineering resources per line, less optimization and likelihood of "free" clock-speed bumps, and higher manufacturing costs per processor (and therefore less downward pricing flexibility).

            "But Intel isn't giving me all I bought!"
            Bullshit. You *bought* the cheaper model. If you wanted the more expensive one, then you pay for it. If you don't like Intel's pricing, then you buy AMD.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Reziac (43301) *

            True enough, but I think it's going to backfire on them -- by driving down the price of those chips by the $50 everyone knows they'll have to spend to get what they figure they really paid for.

            I think they'd do their market a lot better by releasing a free tool that would helpfully upclock CPUs by as much as the chip can handle (at your own risk, of course). Then people would feel like they got more than they paid for (instead of feeling ripped off), and that always results in good word-of-mouth.

            People gene

          • Re:I'm all for it (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Haeleth (414428) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:55PM (#33628708) Journal

            This isn't the same thing, though - these are perfectly good chips that are crippled so that Intel doesn't have to manufacture chips at multiple price points.

            Yes, like they have been doing for years. If demand for cheap chips exceeds demand for expensive chips, they cripple some expensive chips and sell them cheaply. This increases their profits and, by decreasing the complexity of the manufacturing process, also reduces the price of the expensive chips. It's a good thing.

            The only new thing here is that they are now also providing a simple way for people who got one of the crippled chips to uncripple it. Which is also a good thing.

            I was outraged when I saw the Slashdot headline too. Then I read TFA. Then I spent a few seconds thinking about the pros and cons of this. And suddenly I'm not outraged any more. I put it to Slashdot that this concept of "thinking" is a useful tool that ought to be applied more widely.

        • by Ecuador (740021) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @04:29AM (#33625660) Homepage

          When you try to unlock an extra core or to overclock a processor there is no guarantee it will work. The manufacturer tells you what the specs of the unit are , which is what you paid for, and from then on you are on your own.
          Here we are talking about a case where the cpu has features disabled on purpose but guaranteed to work as long as you provide a ransom fee. While I can find some logic in it, they are in fact telling the consumer that they make a good profit already with the price they charge for the "crippled" unit, since they are willing to sell it at that price. Then the extra $$ is the "idiot tax" they will get from some users.
          I really hope AMD returns to its early Athlon days so that Intel can be in check. Judging from the previews of their netbook APU (http://www.anandtech.com/show/3933/amds-zacate-apu-performance-update) they might have something to show next year...

      • Re:I'm all for it (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@gd[ ]aud.net ['arg' in gap]> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:27AM (#33625230) Homepage

        Pirated or jailbroken, that is one CPU I will not buy. Intentionally holding a gun to the customer's head by crippling the device until you pay a ransom is not a way to get my business.

        I completely agree. This 'method' of doing business has been going on for a long time in the digital spectrometer world and mainframe world. I find it revolting and for the period when I had some decision power on what was being purchased I made it very clear to vendors that I would never consider their equipment for that very reason. Fortunately (for them), I'm back to lowly coder now.

    • Re:I'm all for it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mysidia (191772) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:56PM (#33624334)

      You know... Intel being the CPU manufacturer, could make this really robust. Each CPU already gets stamped with a unique serial number. They could stamp each one with a unique unlock code that goes with the serial number, as well.

      Then the only way to 'unlock' the function would be to go through Intel, so they would look up your specific CPU's unlock code in the database.

      That's impossible to pirate, because there's no way you can share the code. As long as they assure the unlock code is the only mechanism allowed to re-enable the capabilities, and there is no BIOS mechanism to override the lock.

  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:11PM (#33623992) Journal

    Crack coming out in 3...2...1...

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:14PM (#33624008)
    but if it does, it's a big opportunity for AMD. Of course, odds are it'll get cracked at some point and we'll be able to grab an "Intel Upgrade Service Crack" torrent.

    Presumably Intel will be using the CPU serial number to keep track of legitimate users and so forth. But here it comes: have we bought a central processing unit which has now become our property because we paid for it, or are we simply buying a "license" to use Intel's "intellectual property"? If I go out and buy a penknife, I don't expect to have to pay more money if I want to be able to use the built-in compass. Will the BSA (or some similar organization) come down on companies that unlock their processors without paying Intel's upgrade fee? This has the potential to get ugly.
    • by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:22PM (#33624062) Homepage Journal
      IBM's been doing that sort of thing for years. They ship you a mainframe with more processors than you ordered or a disk array with more disk than you ordered, and you can pay them to turn it on. Some companies only turn on their extra processors for a short time each year (Like end-of-year transaction processing) and if you decide you need some more space in your disk array, it's much more convenient than having to have more disks installed or buy a new disk array.
      • by Qubit (100461) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:29PM (#33624130) Homepage Journal

        IBM's been doing that sort of thing for years. They ship you a mainframe with more processors than you ordered or a disk array with more disk than you ordered, and you can pay them to turn it on.

        Yes, but I'm pretty sure that's all predicated on IBM service contracts and/or the license on the IBM OS/application software running on the system.

        If you're running a completely-FOSS debian install on top of these new Intel processors, what leverage do they have on you?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bob9113 (14996)

        IBM's been doing that sort of thing for years. They ship you a mainframe with more processors than you ordered or a disk array with more disk than you ordered, and you can pay them to turn it on.

        Is this leased or purchased hardware?

        Leased hardware comes with a contract. Purchased hardware comes with a first-sale doctrine.

        The purpose of the first sale doctrine is to maintain an information balance between purchaser and seller. "Purchase" is a standardized term so that we don't have to take our lawyers with u

      • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:22AM (#33624562)

        IBM's been doing that sort of thing for years. They ship you a mainframe with more processors than you ordered or a disk array with more disk than you ordered, and you can pay them to turn it on. Some companies only turn on their extra processors for a short time each year (Like end-of-year transaction processing) and if you decide you need some more space in your disk array, it's much more convenient than having to have more disks installed or buy a new disk array.

        True. My father used to work on a Hewlett-Packard mainframe back in the seventies, and he ordered some extra hard disk space. The HP tech came out, opened the casing of each drive (big freestanding units), reached in the back and flipped a DIP switch. Voila!, extra space. He even showed Dad how to turn on the entire drive if he wanted ... apparently HP didn't care (it wasn't a contract violation or anything) but wouldn't provide any support if you did.

    • by Kitkoan (1719118)
      Since its a software unlock, it can come down to a DMCA violation, or it's a possible software style "codec" to designed to "optimize" your processor (which would make it software piracy to do it without paying for the unlocked). As a hardware only concept it might be a harder issue (but could work along the lines of modchipping laws possibly), but since it's software then the BSA could decide to have a go at you.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        Yep sounds like they'd need DMCA, and if I was the CEO of AMD I'd be fricking dancing in the streets at this news. hell the commercial writes itself /shows sleazy used car salesman type selling PCs/ "Intel sells you hardware you can't use until you pay ANOTHER fee on TOP of what you paid for your computer. We here at AMD think you should get what you paid for, so we don't deal with such shady tactics" /sleazy salesman points at Intel box that side falls off and tries to cover it up/

        hell between this and I

    • I would imagine that it would be similar legally to applying mods or cracks to game consoles or iPhones. Breaking a digital lock is, in itself, illegal in some countries and that would certainly qualify. Beyond that, I've never really understood the argument that you can't do what you want with your phone/console/chip.

      My question is how is the patch applied? Is it a firmware update on the processor itself? (Do processors have firmware to update?) Bios update? If it's in the operating system, what does the p

    • by Haeleth (414428) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:53PM (#33624316) Journal

      If I go out and buy a penknife, I don't expect to have to pay more money if I want to be able to use the built-in compass.

      Not a great analogy. Can you try again only with more cars?

      This isn't a case of you buying a Core i7 and Intel saying "by the way, we only gave you a Core i5, but you can have the full i7 you paid for if you give us another $50".

      This is a case of you buying a Core i5 and Intel saying "here is exactly what you paid for, and by the way, if you ever decide you should have bought a Core i7 instead, we can magically teleport one into your computer for just $50".

      If you want the pocket knife with a built-in compass, pay for the one that has a compass in it. If you deliberately buy a knife that says "KNIFE WITHOUT COMPASS (compass is available at extra cost)", you have no reason to complain when it turns out you have to pay extra to get a compass!

      There's no bait-and-switch here. People are getting exactly what is advertised. Where's the problem?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bieber (998013)
        ...except that you did buy an i7, it's just that they didn't tell you about it. Just because a feature wasn't advertised doesn't mean I didn't pay for it when I bought the hardware, or that the price I paid didn't include the cost of manufacturing that extra feature. You shouldn't be going around critiquing other peoples' analogies if you're going to liken activating hardware that you've already paid for to magically teleporting new hardware into your computer...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tgibbs (83782)

          It sounds like you are a bit unclear on the concept of pricing. Here's a clue:
          The price of something has nothing at all to do with what it costs to produce or deliver--it depends only upon what it is worth to the customer.

          So no, it doesn't matter whether the hardware you bought is capable of functioning as an i7, because you didn't pay for an i7, and therefore you didn't buy it.

        • by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @05:31AM (#33625856)

          ...except that you did buy an i7, it's just that they didn't tell you about it. Just because a feature wasn't advertised doesn't mean I didn't pay for it when I bought the hardware, or that the price I paid didn't include the cost of manufacturing that extra feature. You shouldn't be going around critiquing other peoples' analogies if you're going to liken activating hardware that you've already paid for to magically teleporting new hardware into your computer...

          So here are three scenarios:

          1. You have a choice of buying an i5 for $200, or an i7 for $300.
          2. You have a choice of buying an i7 that pretends to be an i5 for $200, or an i7 for $300.
          3. You have a choice of buying an i7 that pretends to be an i5 for $200, or an i7 for $300. If you pay $200, you can later for a payment of $100 turn it into an i7.

          For me, choices (1) and (2) are identical, but choice (3) is without any doubt better. There is no situation where I am worse off than with choice 1 or 2, and in some situations I'm better off.

      • by Solandri (704621) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @06:31AM (#33626070)

        There's no bait-and-switch here. People are getting exactly what is advertised. Where's the problem?

        The problem is that if these extras are so cheap that Intel figures they can afford to put them in every CPU even if only a few people buy them, then there's clearly a large disparity between the cost to produce the feature and the current market price for it. Long-term, this typically happens when there's a distinct lack of competition and a natural monopoly is arising. Normally, competition will drive the market price for features down to a small percentage above their cost to produce.

        I'm pretty pro-free market and have eaten my share of down-ratings here for it. But that Intel is considering something like this is a pretty big warning sign that the free market isn't working as it should in this market.

      • by sjames (1099) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:31PM (#33628050) Homepage

        There's no bait and switch, but people instinctively understand that the sale price is supposed to closely track the marginal cost of production. Speculatively including extras but leaving them disabled reveals in bold print that the market isn't sufficiently healthy to drive the price down to it's natural free market level. When it's physically separable extra hardware you can at least argue that it's just distributed warehousing.

        People won't really be able to help thinking that Intel could afford to give them a better deal since flipping the switch costs nothing.

  • Can you hear that? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:15PM (#33624020)

    Can you hear that?

    That's the sound of so many informed geeks switching to AMD.

    • by fyngyrz (762201)

      (to the tune of the Intel commercial):

      Bum-bum-bum-bum!

      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        More accurately, "dumb, dumb, dumb". What's next, using the IBM mainframe approach of charging for how many MIPs you use?
    • by hawkingradiation (1526209) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:40PM (#33624204)
      Sometimes it is harder to get an OEM computer to use AMD (like apple) but according to AMD's website: Powering ultrathin notebooks to blade servers, all AMD processors shipped are designed to use AMD-V features. [amd.com] Where as Intel has been a little less free and more cumbersome. For instance most Atom processors by Intel do not support virtualization but all shipping AMD (and it has been a while) do. Also computer models such as the sony viao (undercapitalized for a reason) use the "feature" provided by Intel to disallow virtualization through the BIOS, meaning that you have to turn in on before booting. Along with other technology that AMD has developed makes you wonder why Intel is so dominant in the space. So for an informed geek, switching to AMD was already a good move, if only the manufacturers would follow.
    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:12AM (#33624460)
      This is a test by Intel. If it fails, Intel will drop it. If it succeeds, AMD will adopt it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thegarbz (1787294)
      Just like all those informed geeks switched to Intel when it was revealed that AMDs could be unlocked with a pencil, and all that separated one processor to the other was a little trace printed on the outside of the chip? The companies have been doing this stuff for years, releasing chips that don't quite meet quality control as a slower chip, and when the distribution channels crash due to unforeseen circumstances, ship identical higher speed chips with the clock turned down even though there's nothing wro
  • by laing (303349) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:17PM (#33624028)
    I believe that HP/Agilent was the first company to do this. They would manufacture something with gobs of RAM and then charge you extra money to enable the 'option' that was already present. It costs less for a manufacturer to produce a single version of their product than for multiple versions with different capabilities. Intel realizes this but their marketing people are full of shit (just like HP's were). They didn't lose any money when they sold you the processor. The software unlock is 100% pure profit. It's really annoying to know that you have paid for and posses capability that you cannot use.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alanshot (541117)

      Packard Bell used to do something similar.

      my first 486 system I bought back in the early 90s came in two flavors: the SX version and the DX version.(For those that dont remember, the DX had a math coprocessor, the SX didnt.)

      It was about a $50 difference in price between the two models, and so I bought the cheaper one.

      One day I was skimming the manual looking for a motherboard jumper and found a cryptic note for "J12 1-2 SX/2-3 DX). On a whim I swapped the jumper.

      Whadda ya know! suddenly my bios repo

  • by crow (16139) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:18PM (#33624038) Homepage Journal

    It would be relatively simple for the BIOS to turn off CPU features in such a way that they can't be turned back on without a reset. So the easy way to implement this would be for Intel to partner with a PC vendor and charge for the BIOS upgrade that doesn't disable the CPU features in question. With such a system, it would mean that you could pull the CPU and put it in a different motherboard, and get all the features, but that's not going to be a concern for the business model until they're talking about hundreds of dollars for the added features.

    Putting this into the CPU would require that the CPUs be designed specifically to support this, which is not as likely to be the case, but would be much more difficult to defeat.

  • So I went to buy a laptop from bestbuy and this dude from the geeksquad told me they could make my cpu go 18% faster. I was baffled, I asked him, "so you're saying i'm buying a cpu that's 18% slower than what it says on the specs?". After giving him sarcastic replies for like 3mins, he finally told me they didn't have that system in stock, lol. The asshole probably wanted to sell that shit to some unsuspecting mom. Fuck the geeksquad.

  • IBM has been doing this in with mainframes for a while. As long as you sell these to businesses with lawyers who will flip out if they hear of IT breaking contracts, Intel should be fine, too.

  • This model works fine for large business servers where downtime is expensive -- unlock the resources when you grow -- but the audacity of doing this on the x86 platform is fail.
  • by r6_jason (893331)
    I wonder if the Intel Fanboys have udders, because Intel sure is trying to milk them.
  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:30PM (#33624138)

    Don't let the marketing get to you, and do not encourage it.

    If you are shopping for processors, simply disregard the "upgrades" and treat the product accordingly. Does it compare with fully unlocked competitors?

    No? Then don't buy it. Yes? Then buy it but don't upgrade.

  • by scrib (1277042) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @11:56PM (#33624332)

    "Currently, CPU upgrades are available on selected Windows 7 systems."

    It installs the application. Does it run every time your computer boots? Does that mean the unlock isn't permanent? If I pay to unlock the chip, and then reboot into Linux, is the CPU still unlocked? If I have to reinstall Windows, do I have to reinstall (or re-purchase) the upgrade?

    No thanks...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mlts (1038732) *

      This reminds me of an old 486 upgrade chip for the 386DX that was pin compatible. It would run the same speed as a 386DX, but one had to install a .SYS driver in MS-DOS to turn on the internal clock-doubling and such. No driver, no performance gain.

      I wonder if it is the same stuff, where the CPU is fed some sequence to have it allow access to the full cache and such. Of course, I will be almost 100% sure that this driver will be not something open-sourced, so expect the performance boost by "unlocking" t

    • by jpmorgan (517966) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:38AM (#33624668) Homepage

      Yes. Modern CPUs can be given what's called a 'microcode update' during system boot by driver. Microcode updates are volatile, so they need to be reapplied on each boot. Generally this is done to fix minor bugs that slipped through testing. In this case, Intel is allowing the microcode to unlock additional capabilities.

      Only available for Windows 7 right now, but generally microcode update drivers are available for all common platforms (e.g., Linux). If Intel is serious about this business model, it's likely that they'll roll out updated microcode drivers for other supported platforms soon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AK Marc (707885)
        There's a perception that releasing such tools for Linux will result in cracking them. Such "delicate" tools are often not released to Linux, so I'm doubtful your prediction will come true.
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:02AM (#33624372)

    Is this some kind of flash update or os based?

    So will it be $50 per os reload?

    Will you be able to buy it one time and make a image and mass deploy it?

    Will Linux just auto unlock the cpu?

    Will some MB auto unlock the cpu?

  • by metalmaster (1005171) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:10AM (#33624452)
    Salesman: Thank you sir. Thats all the paperwork. Here are the keys to your brand new Toyota Camry. Oh wait, there's just one more caveat. We'll need you to pay the "accelerator calibration" fee

    Joe: Nah, i'll take my chances.


    The rest is history...
  • by Mysteray (713473) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:02AM (#33625340) Homepage

    The take-away here is that when I buy an Intel processor, I'm not getting the best performance, I'm not getting the best price, and I'm not getting the the best value. At best, I'll get crippleware. Crippleware sucked and I'm glad it died out of the marketplace back in the late 90s.

    Some Intel products open security holes on your system with their defective DRM: http://extendedsubset.com/?p=30 [extendedsubset.com] . I just figured they couldn't get competent C programmers after what they did to Randal Schwartz http://www.lightlink.com/spacenka/fors/ [lightlink.com] . The HDCP leak was yet another example of fail. But now they want to bring this level of quality engineering directly into the CPU? Haha, no thanks guys.

    Imagine the APT malware that would be possible if the CPU microcode update protections get busted wide-open like HDCP just did.

    Now was it really such a good idea to hand the Elbonian Business Network a way to sell cracks for who-knows-how-many millions of CPUs for $50 each? Congratulations Intel, the black market value of a crack on your microcode just went from $100k to $M++. Did you stop to consider the fact that some of the top supercomputers on the planet are botnets? That's right: the adversary has the computational resources of a state actor and he doesn't even pay his own power bill.

    I'm sitting right now within arm's reach of 14 Intel cores I've bought within the last year or two (from Atoms to i7's), never mind the stuff I have a voice in professionally. My next general purpose CPU is coming from AMD.

  • by goodforusers (1904288) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:24AM (#33625426)
    This is not as bad as it looks. In fact, this could be real good for the Customers. This model will allow me to pay less for a machine when I don't need that much performance. If the performace is not meeting my needs, then I may use the upgrade card and increase the life of my machine. I don't see why folks here are making big deal out of it. How is software upgrade different from hardware upgrade? Even Microsoft and Apple do the same where they charge different price for different features and technically charge less for features by disabling some. So I think software and hardware upgrades are analgous. I actually like that Intel is thinking out of the box and trying to do something different. This only means better and more options for the Customer.
  • by JamesSharman (91225) * on Sunday September 19, 2010 @05:24AM (#33625822)

    The physical difference between your uber cpu and a z80 is half a teaspoon of sand and some subtlety in the arrangement. You don't think you actually paying that much for the physical material in your processor are you? If a cpu manufacturer just sold their top cpu design at it's best configuration with the development costs spread evenly then they would find themselves priced out of the entry level market (sell far less chips and the top ones would end up being far more expensive). All the variations in cpu's are a way to spread those design costs around while not forcing people to pay for what they don't need. What's being proposed here is brilliant in principle, put the extra stuff on the chip (Which doesn't cost them much) and give people the upgrade opportunity, which should be far cheaper for all concerned than stamping out another piece of nearly identical silicon when the customer discovers the new generation of games aren't quite fast enough. My primary concern is that if this is a boot time driver update then Intel's "upgrade" only applies to whatever operating systems they deem fit to support.

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