Intel Launches CPU "Upgrade" Service
"Intel looks to allow users to unlock features in lower-end CPUs...for a fee."
Published: 20th September 2010 | Source: Engadget |
Ever wanted to gain a performance boost with a lower-end CPU through officially supported means? Well Intel is looking to let you do exactly that...for a fee that is. This is done with the launch of what they call the "Intel Upgrade Service. This new service allows users to purchase a code that can be used with a provided application to instantly unlock various disabled features of the processor.
First up to get the treatment as the pilot for the program is the Pentium G6951, a lower-end LGA1156 processor. At stock, this chip sports a 2.8GHz clock speed and 3MB of L3 cache at a typical price of $87. Throwing down $50 nets you an additional 1MB of L3 cache as well as the enabling of Intel's HyperThreading technology, which together should provide a modest but hopefully noticeable boost.
Enthusiasts may scoff at such a service, calling it ridiculous or worthless, but it's quite clear they're not the target audience here. Rather, this is more for the typical budget-minded consumer who has perhaps bought a pre-built system. In fact, upgrade cards seen in stores specifically mention the Gateway SX2841-09e.
Overall this seems to be interesting, if perhaps misguided, idea. It provides an avenue for less-knowledgeable "stock" users to gain a performance boost down the road through officially supported means while still netting Intel a bit of cash. Some have likened it to the downloadable content (DLC) scheme seen in so many recent games.
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