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November 18, 2005

How about a nice remarked Intel CPU?

Sumner Lemon at InfoWorld:

Shenzhen Chuanghui Electronics Co. isn’t shy about offering re-marked Intel processors for sale: the company is openly selling them through a major Chinese Web site and brags that its re-marked Pentium 4 chips look just like the real thing.

Re-marking is a process whereby a processor is relabeled to look like a chip that offers better performance and has a greater value.

The Chuanghui storefronts describe the re-marked chips as Celeron processors that have been altered to pass as 3.6GHz Pentium 4 processors and assure prospective customers that they look just like the real thing.

The re-marked processors that Chuanghui sells are actually 1.7GHz Celeron chips and are currently available for $78 each, including a motherboard, in quantities of 100 or more, said James Zhan, a company representative named online as a contact for potential buyers.

By comparison, Intel sells the real thing for $401 in 1,000-unit quantities, without a motherboard, according to its most recent price list.

Chuanghui handles the re-marking of the Celeron chips itself, Zhan said. In addition, the company provides buyers with software that masks the identify of the re-marked Celerons from a computer’s BIOS and Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, fooling the software into believing the chip is actually a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 processor, he said.

Chuanghui began offering re-marked chips one year ago and now sells around 1,000 of them every month, primarily to buyers in Asia and Africa, Zhan said.

Zhan defended Chuanghui’s sale of re-marked chips, saying the company makes no attempt to hide what had been done to the chips or to pass them off as a more valuable processor. “I tell them the truth,” he said.

However, Zhan said Chuanghui has no control over how its customers represent the re-marked chips when they resell them.

Really classy.

Posted at 1:34 pm. Filed under Brands, Companies, Intel, Pentium 4, Thumbs Down

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September 30, 2005

Intel Sneaks out Cheap Pentiums

John G. Spooner at PC Magazine:

Intel is quietly offering a handful of low-end Pentium 4 processors to large PC makers.

Normally trumpeted as Intel Corp.’s flagship chip brand, chips such the new Pentium 4 516, which do not appear on the chip maker’s public price list, are actually closer to its Celeron D value brand chips.

Chips such as the 516, which have been showing up in some brand-name desktop PCs this fall, appear to be designed to help manufacturers market relatively inexpensive PC models with Pentium 4s inside them.

The Pentium 4 516 found in the newly introduced eMachines T5010 runs at 2.93GHz, is 64-bit capable and includes 1MB of cache and a 533MHz bus to shuttle data. The chip lacks hyperthreading along with the 800MHz bus found in chips such as the Pentium 4 520, which are listed on Intel’s public price list.

Gateway, whose eMachines-brand desktop line uses mainly AMD chips, chose the Pentium 4 516 for a specific reason.

“As always, it’s a matter of trading of balancing the best features for the price. We selected this [Pentium 4 516] product because we wanted to give customers a well-rounded Intel P4 configuration for under $500,” a Gateway spokesperson said in an e-mail.

Yeah, but if the “Intel P4 configuration” is really more like a typical Celeron configuration, there are several impolite terms for what they are doing. It’s hard to figure exactly what kind of price break Intel is actually giving the manufacturers, but TigerDirect is selling some of these chips priced individually. The model 506 (like the 516 but 2.66 GHz) is selling for less than some Celeron D models.

Posted at 10:29 am. Filed under Brands, Celeron, Companies, eMachines, Gateway, Intel, Microprocessors, Pentium 4, TigerDirect

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