Monday, September 20, 2010

Intel Selling Upgrade Card to Unlock

Intel is asking customers to pay extra if they want the full power of their store-bought silicon. An eagle-eyed Engadget reader was surfing the Best Buy shelves when he noticed this $50 card --

and sure enough, Intel websites confirm -- that lets you download software to unlock extra threads and cache on the new Pentium G6951 processor. The chip actually have a full 1MB of L3 cache that's enabled plus HyperThreading support.

This 'new' idea is similar to online games idea that let you "BUY" extra weapons and features with voucher cards. Still, it's an intriguing business model, and before you unleash your rage in comments, you should know that Intel's just testing it out on this low-end processor in a few select markets for now (United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Spain).

In fact, this is the very first time in history, when a hardware maker enables a software upgrade. Interestingly, how much time will it take hackers to enable the application to all owners of Pentium-based systems? Or maybe that was indeed the plan to slowdown sales of CPUs by Advanced Micro Devices?

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