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Counterfeit Intel Retail Processors Rev. 3.1
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Hazards Of Using A Fake Retail Processor

  1. Shorter Warranty

    The fake retail processors are not backed up by the three-year warranty that real retail processors have. If your processor dies after one year (due to the problems listed below or otherwise), you will not be able to get it replaced by Intel. For more information on the warranty of Intel processors, take a look here.

  2. Shorter Lifespan

    The thermal dissipation of such low-quality coolers is poor. Their fans would very likely use cheap sleeve bearings that have relatively short lifespans. The higher temperatures the processor has to endure and the higher risk of the fan failing will result in a shorter processor lifespan.

  3. Poorer Performance

    Current Intel processors have thermal protection built-in. When the processor temperature reaches a certain threshold, the processor will automatically reduce its temperature by inserting idle cycles, a feature known as thermal throttling. This reduces the performance of the processor. If the cheap cooler fails, the temperature might continue to increase to the point where the processor is forced to shut down, resulting in loss of data.

  4. Damage To The Motherboard

    Although this phenomenon is rare, a bad fan can damage the motherboard with devastating consequences.

  5. Higher Noise Level

    The three main concerns when it comes to manufacturing cheap fans are cost, cost and COST. No, the noise level is of no concern to them at all. Such fans will use sleeve bearings which are cheap but also very noisy.


The New ES Hazard

As mentioned in our report on Intel Core 2 engineering samples, some dealers may be substituting the OEM processor they usually use in the fake retail kit with a new source of ES (engineering sample) processors from China. These processors are being sold for as little as US$ 5.70 each, which makes it very enticing for dealers to substitute the OEM processors they used previously with these engineering samples.

This is really bad news as engineering samples are not covered by any warranty. Legally, they are stolen processors, so you won't be able to return them to Intel for a replacement even if it dies after just 1 hour of use. This is a real problem as many of these processors are not fully-functional to begin with. Some of the ES processors we have seen have damaged logic units, reduced clock speeds or one of the cores disabled.

When it comes to retail boxed Core 2 processors, it's best to avoid fake Core 2 retail kits even if they are being sold at really attractive prices. It's one thing to end up with an OEM processor, it's quite another thing to end up with an engineering sample. For more details on these engineering samples and how to identify them, please read our report on Intel Core 2 engineering samples.


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Hazards Of Using A Fake Retail Processor
The New ES Hazard


• How To Identify A Fake Intel Retail Processor
   - Box Print Quality
   - Box Seal
   - Seal Sticker
   - Label


• How To Identify A Fake Intel Retail Processor
   - Plastic Container
   - Plastic Container Locks
   - Documentation


• How To Identify A Fake Intel Retail Processor
   - Fan Label
   - Smell???
Intel's Advice

<<< Counterfeit Intel Retail Processors : Previous Page   |   Next Page : How To Identify A Fake Intel Retail Processor Part 1 >>>

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