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.
For more information, check out the official Intel Upgrade Service customer page here or reseller page here.
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