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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by bcronce on Mon 20th Sep 2010 20:32 UTC
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Actually, all CPU/GPU manufacturers already do this.

When chips first come out, yields are low, so prices are high. But once the yields start getting good, they start producing lots of high end chips.

So, now AMD/Intel have a bunch of 6 core cpus that can run 3.33ghz, but they need to sell a bunch of quad cores running at 2.8ghz.. What do they do? They bin it lower and sell at a cheaper price.

Same thing with GPUs. Got 1800 SPs, but disable half of them and sell cheaper even though it cost them the same to make it.

Now, one step further. Instead of having all of this overhead of binning it at a lower speed, they can automate the process and just change the micro code. This would push down prices and reduce the amount of extra equipment is needed for certain special versions of some CPU lines.

But wait, because they can control everything via micro-code, for a small prices that is MUCH lower than a new cpu, they could let you "upgrade".

Even though it sounds stupid, it still means lower prices and more money saved on average while giving more choices.

Can't afford the 3.33ghz 6 core? Nope. Buy the 2.8ghz quad and wait a few months for the "upgrade" to come down in price then pay the $50 to activate more of your chip.

Or you can just stick with the current system where you have to buy a whole new CPU for $300 and AMD/Intel have to have a ton of wasted equipment to support multiple lines.

More money wasted for the manufacture and more money wasted for the customer.. yeah, sounds sooo much better.

It sounds stupid, but really, it better than the current system.

Actually, working for money is a stupid system. People should do the work that they like. I love working on computers and I would work "for free" if I didn't have to worry about paying bills.

FYI. I remember circumventing AMD's version of this with a graphite pencil back in the day.

Here's the issue that everyone forgets. It would be f'n stupid for a company to make several lines. It much easier/cheaper to to create one line. Now, a chip manufacturer comes along and makes a chip. Some run fast, some run slow. What do you do? You sell the fast ones more expensive and the slow ones cheaper.

But wait. Later on, nearly all the chips being produced are fast. So now they have a ton of fast chips and only a few slow ones. They don't want to sell the slow ones at a loss, but why would anyone want to pay only slightly more to get a fast chip?

This is where the problem is. Once a fab matures, nearly all chips are good. They need to *artificially* inflate the price of the fast chips. But they can't charge more now for something. So the cost of producing fast chips gets cheaper and cheaper. What do you do when nearly all of your chips are fast? YOU SELL THEM SLOWER!

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