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

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:

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