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.