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Your Computer Is More Powerful Than You Think

Haswell ProcessorHaswell Processor

 

What would you say if you went to buy a car, but found out that the engine was locked out, preventing it from going more than 30 miles an hour? Then, the vendor would offer you to unlock it, if you paid for their brand new update package? This is the type of behind the scenes, underhanded deal that many industries practice yet want to keep quiet. In the case of Intel with computer chips, it's unfortunately very common place, and most people have no idea it's going on.


The latest series of processors Intel announced is the Haswell, and this one has 22 different versions. The CPU you buy is actually able to do far more than what it allows, but because of a series of locks, the company prevented it from doing so, because it wants you to pay much more if you need a processor that can go faster, even though it is the exact same product. This is called market segmentation, or product binning, and has been going on for a long time.

 

Back in 2010 there was outage when Intel went so far as to offer unlock codes on little cards that sold at BestBuy. Even in the early days of computing, what distinguished a 386 SX and a 386 DX was a fuse deliberately cut off during production to prevent access to some extra functions. Unfortunately, the problem is a lack of competition. The only other serious chip maker for desktops is AMD, and Intel has always managed to stay ahead. So even though it seems wrong, we still play the game, because they have the legal right to do it, and we need our computer systems.