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Old 21 July 2015, 21:37   #57
Mrs Beanbag
Glastonbridge Software
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Edinburgh/Scotland
Posts: 2,202
i really don't understand what all the fuss is about... hardware manufacturers have been doing this sort of thing since forever. AMD, Intel &c all do it, it's called "product binning". When they introduce a new line of CPUs, they haven't designed and made different ones to run at different speeds. They produce loads all the same and then see how fast they will go, because manufacturing is always a bit unpredictable and sometimes chips have faults. Sometimes features that don't work properly are disabled. AMD's triple core CPUs were really quad-cores with one of the cores disabled. Sometimes it hasn't anything to do with the manufacturing, sometimes they just sell fast chips as slow ones, or perfectly functional quad cores as triple cores, just to fill the demand for parts in that performance bracket and hence maximise their sales. They know that there are people who will pay silly prices for the fastest thing there is, and that there are people who are happy with a budget PC.

Sometimes you can identify the good overclockers by batch number, because a batch of fast CPUs has been sold as slow CPUs for essentially no technical reason. You can also get motherboards with "core unlocker" functionality in the BIOS, so if you have a triple-core CPU you can get a fourth core "for free" if you're lucky.

There's nothing mysterious or new in any of this. And the idea that it is terrible to buy something "crippled" is quite irrational... you pay how much you think it's worth to get something that does so much. Why does it make any difference if there's some extra silicon on the board or not? It's not sitting there bad-mouthing you behind your back.
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