I dare not ask how you would fit Lizard and Spock into this scheme.
It's an interesting argument. Exactly the same argument could be made on both sides for commercial server software that is locked to given number of users. The comparison is very similar and I'm sure there are many people who would make the same counter argument in that case.
An early poster pointed out that it's common for cpu manufactures to hard lock features out (either because of defect or purely to create bigger range of product), do you object to this as well?
You argument that every cost that goes along with locked cores is already paid however just doesn't fly for me. The R&D costs of chip development are astronomical and it's exactly this portion of it that Intel are offering a compromise over.
The physical difference between your uber cpu and a z80 is half a teaspoon of sand and some subtlety in the arrangement. You don't think you actually paying that much for the physical material in your processor are you? If a cpu manufacturer just sold their top cpu design at it's best configuration with the development costs spread evenly then they would find themselves priced out of the entry level market (sell far less chips and the top ones would end up being far more expensive). All the variations in cpu's are a way to spread those design costs around while not forcing people to pay for what they don't need. What's being proposed here is brilliant in principle, put the extra stuff on the chip (Which doesn't cost them much) and give people the upgrade opportunity, which should be far cheaper for all concerned than stamping out another piece of nearly identical silicon when the customer discovers the new generation of games aren't quite fast enough. My primary concern is that if this is a boot time driver update then Intel's "upgrade" only applies to whatever operating systems they deem fit to support.
We lost the right to remain silent some time ago.