Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 19th Sep 2010 20:32 UTC, submitted by sawboss
Intel On a Windows Vista or Vindows 7 disk, all versions of the operating system are present, from Starter to Ultimate, and everything in between. So, if you want too upgrade to a more capable version of Windows down the road, all you need to do is pop the Windows disk in, let Windows Anytime Upgrade do its thing, and you're done. It seems like Intel is experimenting with a similar technology... For its processors.
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This is nothing new...
by tylerdurden on Sun 19th Sep 2010 22:26 UTC
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

... in fact this is just an complementary version of the marketing already in place based on binning. And most chip manufacturers (at least in the processor and GPU markets) do this already, Intel is just taking it to the next level.

Whether we like it or not, Intel really is not in the business of making CPUs, as much as they are in business to make as much money as they can. I don't particularly like it, and I wish humans had evolved past these silly myopic systems and "isms," alas that is neither here nor there...

Edited 2010-09-19 22:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: This is nothing new...
by jwwf on Sun 19th Sep 2010 22:44 in reply to "This is nothing new..."
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

Not only that, but IBM and other big iron companies have been doing this for years, maybe decades.

There was a VAX in the 80s which could be "upgraded" by a microcode swap which, essentially, removed some no-ops put in there to deliberately slow down the machine. IBM used to do this on AS400s too...the upgrade was a hardware dongle IIRC, but I think it just told the OS to let the processor execute jobs for a greater percentage of the time (the other part being no-ops).

Anyway, is it lame? Sure!

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: This is nothing new...
by JAlexoid on Mon 20th Sep 2010 07:21 in reply to "RE: This is nothing new..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Not only that, but IBM and other big iron companies have been doing this for years, maybe decades.

There was a VAX in the 80s which could be "upgraded" by a microcode swap which, essentially, removed some no-ops put in there to deliberately slow down the machine. IBM used to do this on AS400s too...the upgrade was a hardware dongle IIRC, but I think it just told the OS to let the processor execute jobs for a greater percentage of the time (the other part being no-ops).

Anyway, is it lame? Sure!


Because for IBM mainframes you pay for licensing/usage of the CPUs. All of the mainframes come preinstalled with more CPUs than you ordered for failover and additional power when you pay. But this is in a nieche market where the buyer is well informed, not uninformed consumer market - that what makes it bad....

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: This is nothing new...
by Delgarde on Sun 19th Sep 2010 22:51 in reply to "This is nothing new..."
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Whether we like it or not, Intel really is not in the business of making CPUs, as much as they are in business to make as much money as they can.


But naturally - Intel isn't a charity, it's a business that exists to make money for it's owners. I'm not sure why people expect it to behave otherwise.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: This is nothing new...
by Morgan on Mon 20th Sep 2010 01:59 in reply to "This is nothing new..."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

No, "binning" is marketing in a certain range of speed and function and/or disabling features that didn't pass QA during testing, so the customer doesn't get a buggy chip. They can sell it at a lower price as a less-featured item without having to deliberately fab such an item, and the customer is guaranteed a certain level of performance and features. It's a win/win situation; the chip maker doesn't have to throw out less than perfect product and the budget-wise customer can feel confident they are getting all the performance they need at a lower price point. A bonus is the tech-savvy customer can increase performance via overclocking, at the expense of warranty protection, without having to hack or crack anything.

This new idea is offensive and potentially confusing. Imagine this scenario:

Salesperson: "You can spend $600 on this super-fast PC with X speed processor and Y level cache" -- already confusing enough right? -- "...or, you can get this PC with half the speed and cache for only $580!! What a deal!"

Customer: "So I'm paying only $20 less for half the performance? But what if it turns out I need that extra speed for my favorite games or programs?"

S: "Well then you just buy this handy dandy processor upgrade card for $50!"

C: "Wait, that's not a new processor or one of those fancy PCI thingys, it's just a code to type in? How does that work?"

S: "Why, you just type in this code and all the features on your CPU are now unlocked!"

C: "...So you're saying these two computers have the EXACT SAME HARDWARE but one is artificially crippled so you can upsell me a string of text? ...Hey, I don't see that bullshit on that AMD machine over there..."

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: This is nothing new...
by tylerdurden on Mon 20th Sep 2010 08:14 in reply to "RE: This is nothing new..."
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

No, what you described is only a part of the binning process. Not all binning is done to increase yield by creating SKUs which can reuse parts which are not 100% compliant.

By the time a process is mature enough, most manufacturers will actually sell literally the same part at different speed/performance grades that have nothing to do with the functionality of the part and more to do with the specific price targets the manufacturer wants to hit.

For example, many SOC parts are now sold with specific sections/functionality of the chip disabled to meet price points for specific models. Even though, technically most of those SOCs are fully 100% functional. It is cheaper to do the disabling before the packaging stage than creating a new mask/fab line for a specific iteration of the SOC.

Reply Parent Score: 2