View Full Version : Intel Wants $50 for Software Unlock of CPU Features

09-20-2010, 08:36 PM
The Pentium G6951 dual-core LGA1156 processor may not have made any headlines when it was known to be almost identical to the Pentium G6950, until now. Intel designed the G6951 to support "hardware feature upgrades" by purchasing them and enabling them using a software, so users with this processor installed can upgrade their systems by enabling that are otherwise locked for the SKU. The $50 upgrade fetches support for HyperThreading Technology, enabling four threads on the processor; and unlocks the disabled 1 MB of the L3 cache (Clarkdale has 4 MB of L3 cache, of which 1 MB is disabled on the Pentium SKUs).

There isn't much value in buying a $99 Pentium G6951 and the $50 Upgrade Card upfront, but later down the line, companies can opt to mass-upgrade system performance without touching any of the hardware inside. The service works by the purchase of an upgrade key that the user has to feed into the software, which is then verified by Intel's activation server, following successful verification, the software unlocks the processor's features. This is a one-time process, portable between software reinstallations.

Source: http://www.techpowerup.com/131311/Intel-Wants-$50-for-Software-Unlock-of-CPU-Features.html

09-20-2010, 09:06 PM
Wow! That's something new.

09-20-2010, 10:09 PM
Very creative idea, indeed.

09-20-2010, 10:19 PM
Very just imagine.... Buy bottom of the line with option to upgrade to top dog that's the way to go! Possibilities are ENDLESS! This is probably what my buddy was hinting around at he told me to wait on buying the 980x because something way better was on the way.

09-21-2010, 04:27 AM
I know they say one time but I wonder if you still need the software installed for the features to continue working. That'd suck if you enabled them in Windows and then they stopped working because you switched to Ubuntu.

09-21-2010, 05:38 AM
I think it writes to the CPU so if you reformat to whatever os it shouldn't matter.:)

09-21-2010, 07:42 AM
im sure there will be hacks to this.

09-21-2010, 02:57 PM
Ya your probably right.

09-22-2010, 03:10 AM
im sure there will be hacks to this.

Possibly, although I'm guessing this might be the first time Trusted Execution Technology makes a foray into the consumer market. Time will tell if any hacks are friendly enough to be widespread.

Actually, the idea of TXT becoming accepted by the general public scares me more than the idea of being nickel and dimed for features.