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AMD Radeon HD 6950 Can Be Unlocked To HD 6970

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  • O! the Humanity! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jabberw0k (62554) on Monday December 27, 2010 @06:45AM (#34674960) Homepage Journal
    If people start buying underclocked CPUs and overclocking them, the manufacturers will start to cripple the CPUs for good, or make weaker CPUs... Wait, haven't we been down that road before?
  • Re:If this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hellop2 (1271166) on Monday December 27, 2010 @06:47AM (#34674966)
    So, what's your point? Don't hack hardware?

    We can't control what they do. Luckily, they can't control what we do.
  • Re:If this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday December 27, 2010 @07:31AM (#34675086) Homepage Journal
    Ultimately it depends on how much they actually (think) they end up losing. The reason they ship the same hardware to begin with is because it obviously costs them more to set up separate lines for the two cards than it does for them to put the extra bit unused hardware in the lower spec'd card. If ultimately they think that doing this will cost them more in lost sales than they gain in increased manufacturing efficiency then they will start shipping divergent hardware, but if only a tiny portion of their customer base mods their cards then they will probably just consider it collateral damage and maybe up the difficulty of modding the software in the next version.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @07:31AM (#34675092)

    Welcome to the world of "economy of scale". You may also be interested to see how routers are sold/marketed. (see: dlink, linksys and motorola, etc)

    The interesting part is NOT why this can be, but rather whether it is legal and also how the bios code was extracted. This is why consumers should demand more "open hardware". Because consumers are consistently paying for the manufacturing of quality hardware only to have the manufacturer bundle crap software (cripple ware) onto it. And for what? so they can target various price points within their target markets.

    Question: do you think this is an environmentally sound practice? It isn't very "green" to sell a physical product to the consumer only to restrict its usage to some lesser subset of its full potential. I don't understand why the geeky tree huggers among us don't get on this and start demanding more and longer functionality out of the products we consume. ex: I have access to 4 cannon cameras that look much the same, are the same age and yet all the batteries and chargers are incompatible. Why? so i cannot reuse batteries or charges and must trash and re-buy each individually. With other products I cannot charge everything thru USB even when it is possible. Why? for additional after market adapter sales. I have routers that are exact same hardware yet function and priced quite differently. why? do i have to tell you. I have portable devices that have rechargable AA batteries taped into a pack with a unique plug, instead of just using a regular AA slot. Why? i think you know. Cell phone pricing/plans/contracts/packages are designed to encourage me to "revolve" phones every year or so... why? its too obvious to say.

    We consumers are being forced to make additional garbage for the landfills and discouraged from thinking about the consequences when we really could squeeze much more life from our existing electronics. We should be outraged (those that care for the future). But instead we are lulled into the belief that our existing equipment is crap and that getting something new benefits us. We are convinced that we are the ones demanding this from the manufactures. I tell you it is the other way. In reality this only benefits the manufacturer... who is actively limiting the functionality of our beloved products to further this fallacy to maximise their profits.

    What you can do when possible (if you care): Buy generic brand electronics, use open source and demand refunds for bundled software when possible. Note that Windows is always refundable when sold with a computer... read the contract... if you care to read contracts before accepting them. ie: keep the quality computer hardware, but drop the cripple wear (windows 7 starter).d

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @09:53AM (#34675560)

    I don't think "doing what I want with stuff I bought and own" to be much of an entitlement, personally. :-P

  • 3 words for you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Monday December 27, 2010 @10:04AM (#34675612)
    I got 3 words for you. Economies of scale.

    It underpins the manufacturing of all processors currently out there. What is being done here is nothing new. It's as old as overclocking. Some manufactures tried various ways of locking them. Ultimately though once you customise a chip enough it adds to the bottom line production cost. That's why AMD's version of hardware locking at the time included setting 5 jumpers external to the CPU die and then laser cutting them. Remember the pencil trick to get Athlons unlocked?

    Creating a truly weaker card means customised production runs, which means setup costs for the batch. Not something you want when margins are next to nothing.
  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Monday December 27, 2010 @10:52AM (#34675974)
    Just to reply to the parents: -Just because you run the system for 6/12/18 months without a crash does not mean its stable. Most apps won't crash if 1+1=1.9999. You're not likely to notice if a single pixel in a single frame in a YouTube video is the wrong color. -Just because your system is stable, then has a crash doesn't mean that the silicon is degrading. Even a "perfect" chip will have a fault or two every few 10^x calculations (where x is some large number).

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