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Unmasking Mis-Labeled CPUs 157

Syniq writes "The folks at Tom's Hardware had an interesting story about a new free utility from Intel that checks the frequency of your processor to let you know if that PIII-500 is actually a PIII-500 or a PII-300 over-clocked and relabeled by the retailer to snag a little extra cash. An interesting story, but is this really all that common? Has anyone personally experienced this from an actual company (i.e. Dell, Gateway, Compaq, etc) and not from MrSmiley on Ebay?"
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Unmasking Mis-Labeled CPUs

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  • Why not use the little extra speed to increase the base level of the chip? Becuause IT'S THE SAME CHIP! The only difference between 300, 333, 366 celeron's is the stamp on them. Intel's yeilds were very good on this chip, 'cause core design/manufacturing had been pretty well worked out with the P2. TheCeleron 300(333/366)A is the same core as a P2. It was STRICTLY a marketing move. This has been pretty well documented.

    For a production machine/server? Yeah, I'd use the real thing. For a home machine? OC a celery and sink the extra money into a great video card or bigger monitor. My machine has an extra cooler, and it's ROCK solid as win 98 machine can be. Has been running at 450 for almost a year.
  • (the original came out FINE in the preview..grr)

    I tell you..that guy is getting SO popular! When I first started buying from him, he was just another guy tryin to make a buck. Now look at him...he's got his own occasional spot on UF [] and now a mention on Slashdot. Wonder what the slashdot effect does to one's sales! sigh...there goes buying from 'the little guys' ;)

    If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...

  • by goldmeer ( 65554 ) on Monday November 22, 1999 @07:38AM (#1513003)
    Intel's number in the US/Canada is:

    While fraud is illegal in all 50 states, you may find it hard to get overburdened prosecuting attorney's to wave there "I care" sticks at these people.

  • k6-2 450
    128 MB pc-100
    Voodoo3 3000...

    Okay, it plays acceptably... but in high traffic, it's 12-15fps, highly unplayable (me + 3 or 4 bots)...

    time for a better fps... hmmmmmmm, 1gigahertz Athlon?

  • Back in the day this would have been similar to using a celeron vs. the pentiumII cores.

    I don't see the similarity here. The current Celeron and Pentium II cores are identical with the exception of differences of FSB speed, some bus interface differences, and the added on-chip L2 cache of Celeron. Whereas a 486SX was inferior to a 486DX because of the lack of a math coprocessor, which necessitated software emulation of floating point ops.

    So it's not similar to using a Celeron vs. Pentium II/III. First generation Celerons, however, did not include any L2 cache, which made them much slower, and perhaps a comparison would have made sense in that case.
  • Most recently, with the Mustang, it's advertised at about 310 HP, but people who have bought them, and hooked them up to Dynos (after losing drag races), found out that most 99 Mustangs are putting out somewhere in the 270-285 HP range.

    I know this is off topic, but many people are starting to use pressurized dyno rooms to get a denser air volume. This, in many cases, is where the difference really is. Keep in mind, the engine really did produce that much HP, just not on the street!

  • They practice this type of business. This happened to a good friend of mine who bought a pre built computer from them. They claimed that it was a P2-333, but it was a P2-300. He went for months wondering why he was getting speeds lower than a regular P2-333 would get in benchmarks and games. Later he gets a new motherboard and finds out... oh... its a P2-300. He tried returing it, but they said that they sold it as a PC running at 333 mhz. This is a warning to those of you who live in Columbus and/or visit MicroCenter for prebuilt computers. Do not trust them. Build your own PC. You will save some money if you do it right.
  • > My machine has an extra cooler, and it's ROCK solid as win 98 machine can be.

    But it DOES crash every now and them, right? So how can you be sure? I care too much about stability to overclock. I also care too much to run Win98. Celerons are so cheap, just buy two.

  • What is the advantage of using Intel's utility ?
  • Actually, it turns out that a lot of PC games have CD copyprotection, and it's not the kind where "Insert CD to continue." [Well, you need the CD in it to play the game... so much bloat...]

    Basically, they do lots of standard fudging techniques (680 MB CDs, invalid TOC, etc), plus a few unique ones - unreadable tracks (tracks burned such that they don't conform to ISO spec, or tracks with bad checksums [similar to PlayStation]) that are checked at run time, or digital signatures/keys that checksum the entire CD in such a way that copies will always fail (how, I do not know).

    Check out: GameCopyWorld ( [] for more info.

    Standard disclaimers apply. (BTW, making image copies of CDs, even your backup copy, can take ages because of these protections [CD-ROM drive just grinds to a halt reading errors on a CD]).
  • If the K6-3 is anything like the K6-2, then it'll have the processor type and speed on the top of the chip, in nice embossed letters that can't possibly be peeled off or otherwise removed like a label or sticker. Are Intel processors marked in such a permanent manner, if at all? I have to ask, because all the recent machines I've got are K6-2s. :)

    Of course, your system may have a heatsink/fan that's pretty much impossible to remove (with or without invalidating your warranty).

    Also, the BIOS only reports what the jumpers on the motherboard set it to use. I had to underclock my PC to be able to install Win95 on my K6-2-450 due to a fun bug in Win95; the BIOS reported the processor as being a K6-233. Before you all flame me, the ONLY reason I installed Win95 was to be able to play Half-Life and use WorldCraft... :)
  • I work at a major computer retailer and this is more common than you might think, even among the larger manufacturers. The most constant offender is emachines who just pops whatever processor they feel the need to inside a computer. I've had numerous complaints from customers who got k6-2's instead of celerons and emachines response is simply "We use whatever parts we have on hand (often refurbished I might add) and if we substitute parts its for equivelants only."

    Beyond emachines, I do know that, according to intel, this is the reason they put in anti-overclocking measures (although I suspect thats a bunch of bunk). Intel has also quite a few times in the past put out utillities to discover what your cpu really is and then to assist you in reporting fraud to them.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    mislabled my beowulf cluster. Turned out to be a bunch of Timex Sinclairs.
  • There are locals that will be quite trustworthy; there are locals with shifty eyes; ditto for mail order folk.

    The part that is illegal is the vendor is making claims in advertising that are verifiably false. Unfortunately, they can write some fairly "sharp" things that are misleading, but not actually false.

    The utility is definitely good for Intel, as it can provide them information that can allow them to pursue people that are overclocking or misreporting things. That can work for both good and for ill...

  • There's an AMD equivalent to the CPU identification application - it's actually better than the Intel one because it does Intel as well as AMD chips, in a lot more detail as I recall.

    The downside is that I believe it is Win32 only.. but then isn't the Intel one? There is some source code made available.

    Look here [] - this may require you to enter your email address as registration.


  • AMD chips are easy to check. The speed is etched into the CPU itself. Just take the CPU fan/heatsink off and see what it says. That's the one thing that I don't care for is that OSes will see it as a K6-family but will not ID the exact chip. Seems that they just don't have enough of a hold in the industry yet. Personally, though, I will never buy an Intel chip again. :)
  • It's the same as claiming a car is 300 HP, when the only time it get to 300 HP is when you inject Nitrous Oxide in the cylinders. The problem is:

    1) Getting the prosecutor to understand.
    2) Getting the prosecutor to care.

    It's a fairly clear-cut case of Fraud, at least in my opinion.
  • A friend of mine owns a computer store here in the midwest and he's had all kinds of problems like this. He does about 5 million a year in sales used to constantly wheel and deal to get better pricing. He's been sold hundreds of remarked chips, perfect illegal counterfeit copies of windows and office, complete with the holograms and perfect copies of microsoft's wheel mouse. Once he realized what was happening he started buying boxed set processors from one vendor and all his software from another. Even though none of his customers ever found out (that I'm aware of anyway) it caused him some pretty serious probs. The overclocked chips crash more often, run hotter and die a lot quicker. I'm not totally against overclocking as long as you know what you're doing and cool accordingly, but to overclock a chip 3 or 4 steps up without some serious cooling is just asking for trouble IMHO. Of course there are exceptions to every rule (including this one :).

    The big players order chips months in advance and when they guestimate too optimistically they aree stuck with thousands of chips. They sell these to a chip broker who unloads them to the mail order places etc. If the broker is legit then you're ok, if they're not then the chips get marked up. I've seen a few and you can't tell if a chip has been remarked, they do a really good job. I have a copy of Office97 that looks perfect but it's a counterfeit.

    It's a major problem
  • by TurkishGeek ( 61318 ) on Monday November 22, 1999 @07:50AM (#1513023)
    Well, there really IS a "MrSmiley" on Ebay and he seems to be a honest Ebay user, judging by his Ebay feedback []. Perhaps I have too much time on my hands today, but do you think it's completely germane to mention someone's Ebay name as an example for crooks that pop up on Ebay from time to time?

    I guess we should be more careful when we make up those names.
  • My current dreambox was put together from parts, too...I got my processor, a C300A, from Fantasy Computing [], a small computer reseller. It took a few days extra to get it--the lady who ran the store revealed that she hadn't been able to get the one she'd originally sold me and had to scramble to find another--but it overclocked to 450 MHz like a dream, and still does. I wholeheartedly recommend this company.

    With as many things as customarily go wrong for me with computer upgrades, it's nice that this, of all things, went right.
  • A short while ago i purchased what ws labeled as a pentium 120 and motherboard from a computer swapmeet. Opon closer inpection I found it was in fact a pention 133, and was even clocked as one. It seems fairly obvious to me that at least some of these people dont really have a clue.
  • It is a sad fact, but a lot of these local stores will quite happily ripoff anyone if they think they can get away with it. I know, I used to work for one. Common tricks were (in the olden days):-

    1. Removing the print on 486's/Pentiums and reprinting them as the next model up. (They sadly got away with this 99.99% of the time - the systems were soak tested before delivery)
    2. 66 Mhz Ram for 100 Mhz (again, got away with it all the time - how to YOU know your memory is 100Mhz??? V.Hard to tell. I left before the days for 100Mhz RAM, but I know someone that works there still)
    3. For our own systems we had a hacked BIOS image that reported standard SIMMS as EDO, when they were just FPM.
    4. Some HDD Manufacturers used to sell drives that had failed some QC test on the cheap. (I don't believe they do anymore). We used to have low level format utilities that would format a 2BG drive full of bad sectors into a 1.6GB drive. We would then sell them.
    5. Got Mutsumi 6x cd-drives that reported themselves as 8x (no idea where they got those from.....)
    6. Cheap N Nasty far east motherboards that had the ink removed and sold as Intel boards. (No offense - some of the best boards are made out there (Abit), but these were S*!t)
    7. Usual fake Microsoft Mice. (These are VERY common) We got them in for 2 quid each, sold them for 16.
    8. Sold OEM win95 licenses to anyone who wanted one (ie. without a new machine). Mind you, a lot of people do this.....
    9. Fequently sold components that were knowingly stolen.
    10. Faulty stock was found out to be faulty by selling it 3 times and if it was returned three times, then it was considered faulty.

    You may think that is pretty bad, but it gets a whole lot worse. If a customer gave us a faulty machine to fix, and there was not any real problem (ie. Misconfiguration) then they would break the machine, and charge them for the component that was misconfigured. (eg. Couldn't get your CD-Rom to work under DOS madam? Im afraid it was broken. That will be 49.99 please) Their old CD-Drive was sold again in the following days.
    I am ashamed to admit I ever worked for this place. I resigned after 2 Months when they asked me to break a single mothers machine that was in for repair when there was nothing wrong with it.
    What gets me even more worked up is they fact that they got away with it. I quit over 3 years ago now, but they are still operating where I live (Edinburgh, Scotland) and have even moved to bigger premises to accomodate customer demand.

    They guy who owns it made (in 1996) between 15 and 20K profit a week. As far as he was concerned it was a license to print money.

    Please don't flame me for being nasty to local shops. I believe there are good local shops out there, and that they can get you a good deal. But be careful. VERY Careful.
  • It will only be able to categorically state the nature of the chip for AMD K6-3 chips and above (presumably Athlon) since it's only these chips which have embedded CPUID - There's no way of knowing with the older chips, as far as I know..


  • McDonald's only scored a partial victory, on the grounds that some of the information on the leaflets was correct (e.g. the deliberate targeting of children in it's advertising campaigns.) The couple who did it are now still actively involved in boycotting the company, and the high regard with which McDonald's held among businesses in the UK was dented considerably. (Which just goes to show, we need more judges who will not accept arrogant corporate bullying tactics as gospel. Kudos to that judge in the UK, and Judge Jackson in the US for this....)
    With local computer stores, word of mouth is usually enough to stop people going there for large purchases, and as I said, in the case of the place I worked, they did eventually collapse. The real worry would be if larger corporate manufacturers used the same tactics. It tends, however, to only be middle- and high management who think they can get away with this for any length of time. If a large mfr. tried this then a leafleting campaign would work, as long as the facts on the leaflet hold up in court, should things progress that far. As a British politician found out at the weekend, deception can only go so far.

    It's up to us to make sure that people like that can't get away with it, and McLibel in the UK, and the M$ anti-trust case proves that it is possible to beat them.

    Anyway, my $0.02 have run out so.....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My roomie in college, about 3 years ago, bought a computer from a small, but national, comp company. He was suspicious about the performance, so he scratched off a label that was stuck on the back of the CPU, and found some numbers that he sent to Intel. Intel id'ed the chip at a lower mhz than he paid for. Turned out the company had done this for all computers shipped at that time. They ended up getting exposed by one of those "investigative reporters" and had to refund customers.
  • Well I hate to say this but I really don't think so. With the backing of Microsoft I don't think they could loose if they put fritos in computers. Besides I think that intel machines are more oriented to math intensive operations wheras AMD chips are focused on graphics rendering. No I really don't know what you like but I sure would like good math preformance instead of a bunch of pretty pictures.
  • Sounds like a Mindcraft thing to me. . .

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Monday November 22, 1999 @07:11AM (#1513036) Homepage
    Well, maybe Dell and Gateway don't overclock PCs, but there are a lot of little local PC shops that do.

    I'm not sure why, but there are an awful lot of really crooked people who run local PC sale/repair places -- it's as bad as trying to locate an honest mechanic. It's probably for the same reason; more people don't really understand either of 'em to any real depth.

    I was in our scummy local place (needed an ethernet card Right Now) and I actually saw a PC being marketed as a 500 Mhz, and down the tag a bit it said "Clock Speed Increased for Maximum Performance". It made me sick 'cause I could see my folks dropping $2000 and getting screwed by these kind of scumballs.

    Is there some kind of 800 number you can call to report this sort of thing? Hell, is it even against the law?


  • It's easy to see how it'd be possible to get away with this, particularly with home users. The SOHO set tend to be less pathological about bleeding edge equipment; they keep their pc until it won't run most of the new games. Upgrading from a P120 to anyPII/III/Whatever gives a demonstrable increase in speed, so the user is less likely to notice if it's a 400 or a 450 or a 500...
    Of course, it'd take bastardy of a truly prodigious nature to take advantage of this; the third time you try it with a geek your name is probably mud, so you'd have to be very careful about whom you sold the dodgy systems to.

    Of course, there's always the Apple manoeuvre; drop the speed by 50,000,000 Hz across the board.
  • by bmc ( 80269 ) on Monday November 22, 1999 @07:13AM (#1513039)
    I'm sorry to see that it's an Intel utility for Intel chips. I just bought a K6-III-based system, and I'd love to have some verification that it's really a K6-III, and not a K6-2 or something else entirely. Operating systems just identify it as a K6-family chip. It does claim to be a K6-III in the BIOS, but that would seem to be fairly easy to fudge.

    Also, I doubt that the Compaqs and Dells of the world misidentify what they're selling, but how many home users really buy from them? I bought from a web retailer who offered a competitive price and a good warranty, but I have very little information on the company itself. Maybe this is just as dumb as buying from eBay, but I'd like to think there's some kind of middle ground.
  • Well, I have been in the industry for about 15 years, with PCs that is... And in just about every class of chip, from the 286 on up, AMD has always seemed to produce a faster product in the end. Also, AMD doesn't allow a chip to go out with major bugs just to rush it into use the way Intel seems to. With the introduction fo the Athlon, AMD has finally taken a significant lead in performance, reliability, and overall compatability. Maybe if Intel spent more time working on their product and less time on the Bunny people and their marketing, then I would use them more. As it is, I manage the network for a fairly large ISP and ALL of our PC based servers run on AMD, have never even had a crash on a system. Last job I had was mostly Intel and I tell you, crashes and problems were a daily occurance. AMD 4ever
  • I worked for a retailer of questionable integrity a few years ago. I don't think they would ever go this far, but I wouldn't put it past them.

    I was one of 2 techs working there. I would always attempt to fix the problems that customers were having. The other tech usually replaced whatever hardware he couldn't figure out in 5 minutes with a new piece of Acer garbage. Sound Blaster Sound card doesn't work? Here's a new Acer that works fine! Bad blocks on your hard drive? Here's a brand new Maxtor!

    Needless to say, that shop went out of business a year after I left. I was replaced with someone with 1/10 of my experience, since the owner made more money off of unexperineced employees. (Could charge the customer for their flub-ups.) They deserved to go out of business.

    Any shop that's still open and their only source of income is h/w sales and repairs, probabbily isn't honest, since the market has changed such that you can't make a living off of h/w sales alone. You need to add some other sort of value to make it. I'm sure there are some mom and pop type computer shops around that are honest...I've just never found one. So watch out.
  • This type of utility is nothing new...there's a much better one that's been out for a while, and it doesn't limit you to Intel's Pentium III to get this info. In fact, it works with AMD, Winchip, Cyrix chips, and more. It's probably the most useful piece of software I've used.

    H. Oda!'s WCPUID []

    The Intel ID program is old news. WCPUID provides more information than just about the CPU and is not proprietary.

  • Are Intel processors marked in such a permanent manner, if at all?

    Yes, they're etched, too, but that doesn't deterr a motivated overclocker. A little machine shop can peel the top few .001" off and BAM! Just re-etch it.

    Some companies were doing this with AMDs, too, IIRC. That was the bigger problem, since AMDs are pretty aggressively clocked at their rated speed.

    I don't know if it's still done, but it used to be you could tell a remarked processor with a micrometer (they were about .007" thinner than spec, IIRC).

    -- I'm omnipotent, I just don't care.
  • During my lean times,(when I couldn't afford the latest technological toy) I've done work at various Mom+Pop computer shops, and I can tell you that overclocking isn't exactly foreign to them. Granted, with the 'locked' (grin) PIIs and PIIIs, things have become a bit more difficult, but the practice remains. In one instance, a shop had orders for a dozen custom-built K6-2 450's. Unfortunatly, they were short four processors and didn't have time to order from their regular vendor. They substituted 350s, tagged the heatsink down with cyanoacrylate, and overclocked them. The owner figured when/if they came back with instability problems, he'd swap out for the correct chip, blame it on the customers inevitable Windows goff and cover his losses with the repair fee.

    In another, a store was selling two identical K6-3 systems, both containing 400mhz processors, but labelling some as 400s and some as 450s. Plus, they were charging $70 more for the '450'.

    I've also seen stores passing 66mhz SDRAM off for 100, and NON-PC-100 for PC-100. Some boards will run 66 well enough on a 100mhz bus (DFI, most MVP3 based, etc) and will sell those customers the slower memory at the faster price.

    You don't even want me to get into the older horror stories, like the fellow who was substituting V chips and a manual clock tweak (in the customers old board) for a new 286. Or the woman who just couldn't sell a bunch of DX4-120 systems, so she stuck a sign reading 'Pentium 60 Closeout' and sold them fifty bucks cheaper than a REAL P60. This same woman just LOVED when the 5x86 came out; Now she could refit $20 DX2 MBs with 5x86-133's and truthfully label the computer as a '133mhz Pentium-Clone'.(Note the hyphen)
  • Flame?

    AMD Athlon Chips may outperform the Intel at FP, but I would have to say, in q3 my amd k6-2 450 sucks......

  • Checking /proc/cpuinfo does give info about the CPU's model and such, as best it can guess. I have a K6-2 @ 450mhz at home. I'll check it later today and see exactly what /proc/cpuinfo says.

    As far as the clock speed though, it simply reports what it's running at. If you overclock a 300mhz to 500mhz, it's gonna report 500mhz.

  • Several years ago I bought a 486-DX4 100Mhz Compaq from a MicroCenter store. The box said "Intel Inside" and I never had any problems with performance. However, it didn't take long for 100Mhz to seem underpowered. Taking the cheap way out, I purchased a processor upgrade (unusable, thanks to a Compaq design "feature") and proceeded to remove the old processor. After removing the heatsink, I was surprised to find that it was an AMD 486 100 clone. I didn't have any problem using the AMD, but I just wonder who made the extra $ from that bit(nibble?) of mislabelling.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hi people. I almost poured hot grits down my pants when I found my pc had been overclocked !!! Truth be told...I would have poured hot grits down my pants anyway !!!
  • by Haven ( 34895 ) on Monday November 22, 1999 @08:13AM (#1513050) Homepage Journal
    I worked for best buy as a service technician, and we got tons of Compaq computers coming back that just died. The processor had died... upon inspection they had put AMD k6-2 350's in the machines and clocked them up to 400. Compaq had to buy the people all new computers with true 400s in them. I had to give a statement to compaqs lawyers saying that they were 350s clocked up and sold as 400s.
  • Lets not forget the practice of putting used parts in machines. Which they got sured for big time. Unfortunately, it still occurs with that microscopic advisory on the bottom of their boxes that states it may contain some refurbished parts. At least NEC is dropping the line.
  • I agree with you on this. If the customer asks to have his 350 overclocked to 400, well fine. But shops that just do it and market it as a 400, should be put out of business. There are several in the Detroit area who do this. Makes me sick...
  • The way the AMD K6III is marked on the chip is very hard to change. The speed is very clearly marked on the chipface, partially etched into the metal on top. Just pop your fan off and take a peek. Some of the older K62 chips had black painted on markings that could be faked pretty easily. I have a K6III 450 at home, overclocked (intentionally) to 500, runs great, just watch the voltage and make sure you have a really good fan.
  • Actually the BIOS will pick up only the speed from the board, not the CPUID, that is digitally embedded in the silicon of the chip. Yes the K6III has it etched on the chip.
  • Labels and etchings have been counter-fitted over, and the ultimate speed of the CPU is not generally known at mask time.

    However, a *physcial* tab could be put on the chip along the lines of

    500 450 400 350

    etc. All tabs above the rated speed would be broken off, leaving the "true" speed identified.
  • I remember those days. For a while, I had a Epson(Olivetti) XT board with a V-20 (Siemens stamp, stolen out of a Wyse terminal) clocked to a whopping 23.2MHz. As a bare chip, I could only ever get it up to about 18MHz. A pair of smallish heatsinks stolen from a 12v power-supply and some Radio-Shack 'Heat-sink' compound are what made the final 5.2 MHz difference. I would have gone farther, but that was the fastest clock I could get out of the oscillator.

    If I remember, the V-20 was designed for a 16MHz clock, but I may be wrong!
  • I purchased two OEM Intel pII 450 chips about a year ago from millenium technology. They had the best price according to pricewatch. Had all sorts of problems with my system being flaky. Sent them back for two replacements, and my system wouldn't even boot. Turns out they were altered chips, they had reprinted the numbers on the chip. Fortunatly I refused to pay it and my credit card company took it off my bill. This left a real bad taste in my mouth for intel. I ran all there utilities on these fake chips to find out what they were. There utilities always thought they were pII 450s. I woulda never known but I found others with the exact problems on deja news and a website detailing the problem. I am quite careful who I order from now. Best price doesn't mean much if they sell you crap. I also had a company that had a good track record, just not ship me a 1200 dollar monitor. Thank god my credit card company also took this off. These incidents have left a real sour taste in my mouth for web shopping.
    Dustin Tenney
  • Besides I think that intel machines are more oriented to math intensive operations wheras AMD chips are focused on graphics rendering.

    You are dealing with obsolete information. This may have been true of the K6 family and earlier, but the Athlon's FPU beats the Pentium III convincingly and across the board even for pure numerical calculation. The question really is, in the long run can AMD stay ahead since they have considerably smaller resources than Intel. This will become especially difficult for AMD once the Itanium ships, because it looks like AMD has a long road ahead to build a competitive 64 bit architecture. Luckily for AMD in the short run it will be quite a while before the Itanium is much of a factor due to costs and availability of software that will take advantage of it.

  • I'm no expert, but their advertising seems to b legal. They've stated that they've overclocked the system, covering their butt. They've given a fair representation of the product, and haven't (criminally) misled the customer.

    It's uncool, but appears legal.
  • To argue that "poor helpless people" can't see the fine print that says that a machine was overclocked to the advertized MHz doesn't help much. Did you ever get help when going to a used car dealer? Did you ever get help when you went to purchase a stereo? Ok, maybe the used car dealer is dealing in used equipment and we're talking new equipment, but the idea is that things aren't always as they appear. Let's go back to the stereo. You see a 5-disc CD player for $400 and one for $200. Same thing, right? (same MHz, right?) but you bring the $200 product home and it only works for 2 months before the tray stops rotating or the laser gets out of alignment.

    This could be arguing apples and oranges, but I think what I'm really trying to say is that people need to know a little more about what they buy. That is why the magazine Consumer Reports [] exists.

    But what about those situations where the chip has been overclocked and there is no fine print? Maybe it is time that BIOS chips reported the CPU configuration. It seems that overclocking has gotten much more exposure in the last few years, and it seems that a new chipset comes out for each new processor, so why not create a hook in the chipset (for the BIOSs' sake) that reports what the chip should be running at and what it is running at? In the startup screen of your computer, report if the machine is running above it's spec'd speed. It'd be a benefit to the hackers out there who like to overclock because they can see what they've achieved, and it would be informative to the consumer because they could see that their machine is the correct chip. If Intel can write a program to detect their CPU configurations, then this should be a snap.

    I guess the big thing is that Intel has been cracking down on overclockers for some time new because (supposedly) of the abuses by the resellers overclocking and repackaging. This at least would bring to the surface situations which might normally be hidden without extra software. Maybe it'll hinder Intel's efforts to block overclocking? Who knows.


  • by InitZero ( 14837 ) on Monday November 22, 1999 @08:39AM (#1513064) Homepage
    I was in our scummy local place and I actually saw a PC being marketed as a 500 Mhz, and down the tag a bit it said "Clock Speed Increased for Maximum Performance". It made me sick

    I don't see the problem. A computer store over-clocked a PC to squeeze out every little bit of speed. Further, it labled the product as having had its clock speed increased.

    Had the computer store not let the consumer know that the chip had been over-clocked, I can see why the dealer might be walking the line. But there was full disclosure.

    Light overclocking is a relatively safe way of getting a few more cycles out of your processor. Don't flame a store just because they overclock.


  • Computer manufacturers like Gateway, Dell, Micron, et al. aren't going to have remarked cpu's in their computers...the profit is far outweighed by the almost-certain cost. The big computer builders buy their CPU's either from Intel, or from a major reseller that's well-known and trusted. The computer builder wouldn't knowingly put remarked chips in their machine, because a scheme widespread enough to affect the bottom line at all is almost sure to be discovered (at least with computers that aren't 'sealed box' systems), and the resulting class-action suit is sure to cost more than they saved using the remarked cpus in the first place. The reseller they purchased the cpus from won't do it for similar reasons...their business is built on trust. A major computer maker isn't likely to buy from an untrusted source, or a fly-by-night company. The other source of remarking would be Intel itself....and they wouldn't remark their own cpu's...they test them beforehand, and if they run reliably at the rated speed, then they sell them that way...unless they need a batch of slower chips, in which case they just mark them down...not up (hence the possibility of overclocking). Now one or two might slip through the cracks, but big companies don't like playing russian roullette. Not that they wouldn't screw you if they thought they could get away with it. But they know they couldn't get away with it. Small local companies, on the other hand, are much more susceptable to this sort of thing...they tend to purchase from cheaper suppliers, and often don't ask question about *where* the chips came from.
  • Ford did this.
    Most recently, with the Mustang, it's advertised at about 310 HP, but people who have bought them, and hooked them up to Dynos (after losing drag races), found out that most 99 Mustangs are putting out somewhere in the 270-285 HP range.

    Ford is doing nothing about it, because it's an engine defect, and replacing the engine is about a $8000/car proposition.

    Glad I bought German!

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • Thanks - that's exactly what I was looking for (and yes, I keep a Win32 partition around.

    As other have guessed, I don't want to remove the heatsink for fear of voiding my warranty. I probably spent about $100 for the three-year warranty (not its actual cost, but as compared with buying from another retailer), so I'd feel silly voiding it within the first couple of months. I've had enough bad luck with other systems that having a warranty makes a big difference to me.

  • I have a motherboard I salvaged from a friend's junkpile that's a bogus 386SX-20 system. The motherboard has "386-20Mhz" silkscreened onto the board, and all the chips (bios, etc) have a little "20Mhz" stamped onto them. But the CPU itself is a surface-mount 386SX-16 (clearly marked as 16), and there's a hand-soldered 20Mhz crystal on the board (messy solder job, I might add).

    I'm not sure if this machine was sold under dubious circumstances... for all I know it may have been sold honestly as a "souped up" CPU. But I seriously doubt it... :)

    I think it's pretty cool, so I keep it around. One of these days, I'm going to try to pop a 25Mhz crystal in there.
  • I remember a few years ago with the introduction of the PPro 200 there was an organized ring selling relabled 160's as P200's. They estimated 200,000 chips had been relabeled and sold and with the raids they found 500K more ready to go out the door. They were in business for around 6 months before Intel forced the investigation after so many complaints of thier chips burning up in Europe. The heart of that problem was the white ink intel used to mark the chips could be wiped off with a little alcohol or paint thinner, and a new label rubberstamped on with model paint. I thought they had fixed that by etching it in, are they still inking the chips? I'm running AMD (overclocked;)) so I wouldn't know.
  • LOL! Dat's a good wun.
  • >However, a *physcial* tab could be put on the chip

    This is an good idea but what if a retail store snaps them all off and then says to the buyer that they were damaged during shipping?

    Besides a software solution is better because its easier for a user to install and run software rather than unplug all of the the computer, open up the case, find the cpu...
  • I once worked for a UK PC seller. I only worked for them for a couple of days, but in that time learn't so much that I'm wary of almost everyone in this industry.

    I took up the post because of their good reviews in the UK computer press. Once I started with them I realised that the reason they got the good reviews was that the review machines were produced on a totally different production line to those sold to the public. The casing was of a far superior quality, and the disk cabling was tied up and routed together. The publicly sold machines were shoddy by comparison - for example I managed to damage a soundcard on removing a cover because the loose cabling got caught in the case.

    They had a problem with disk caches on Windows98 machines where the ATX powerdown would cause the drive to power off prior to a cache flush, causing lost data. They knew of the fix for this, but didn't bother to contact customers until a fault was reported. What b*st*rds!

    I also had a customer ring up and complain that the NICs we had supplied them with did not work, and would I supply Windows NT drivers for them. No-one in the factory could tell me what type of card they were sold, and the serial number did not match. I just emailed them every NIC driver I could find. Even Emailing them was difficult, as the access to outgoing internet mail was so contrived, mainly by the managing director being so bloody ignorant on security.

    They also treated the customers like dirt - once they had the money they didn't want to know. I was told off by the boss for taking too long to resolve a problem - despite the fact that the customer was satisified when all was working.

    There were other aspects of the position as well, such as me being asked to steal support contracts from my past employer to gain customer details, and used goods being passed on as brand-new.

    I didn't bother to turn up after 2 days. Unfortunatley they are still in business. Email me if you want to know their name!
  • The point is, the processors are actually running at the stated speed.

    How many "typical" users ever open up their computer? Of those who do, how many pull the heat sink off the CPU? If they do open it up for a look, it'll probably be a couple of years down the road when they are about to upgrade the CPU, at which point it'll be more hassle than it's worth to try to track down the original seller.

    I overclock my own CPU's by 20% to 30% all the time. It's as simple as changing a couple of jumpers on the MB usually, and it's reliable as long as you have a good heat sink and fan. The only drawback is the risk of reducing the life expectancy of the processor (which is still an order of magnitude greater than their useful lifespan in today's economy anyway). If a retailer did it, I think he'd be able to get away for years before someone called him on the carpet. Even then, chances are the dealer could weasel out of it by claiming the parts were mislabled, or that he had included the "enhanced clock speed" somewhere in the fine print.

    After all, if the sign says "500MHz", and the processor is actually running at 500MHz, then the dealer is sort of telling the truth...

  • The real problem is that microprocessor MHz has become the preeniment spec that consumers initially look at in this market. I've seen people compare completely different configurations and think that the one with the higher MHz rating (but perhaps lower cost) is better. The larger companies can take unsold machines and cannibalize them for replacement parts. Smaller PC vendors feel the sting of quick price drops in CPUs before other system components, which leads them to overclock rather than eat the cost of old CPU's.
  • I was realling thinking of the tab on the outside of the package, where it is observable, rather than the inside. Fuses accomplish the same thing, but I thought intelhad a problem with these (apparently I'm mistaken).

  • But they would like you to believe that overclocking is illegal. Just as you shouldn't be hassling with those MP3s that don't have proper copyprotection scheme.

    As if CDs had a proper copyprotection scheme, and even if they did, wouldn't hold.

    [I think they actually have one]
    when everyone gives everything,

  • Isn't Nitrous Oxide laughing gas? (Or is that Nitric Oxide?) I would be nervous about inhaling something more explosive than gasoline fumes at the dentist. I don't take the gas anyway... for some reason I prefer the needle (although it's still a pain).
  • I am glad to see this, I am about to purchase a 466 celeron bare bones system from a web based company. I havent bought computer equipment since 1992 because of money issues. Atleast with this I can be careful about overclocking issues.
  • No, Intel is the only x86 CPU manufacturer currently using a fuse-based ID'ing sysyem (the much maligned unique CPUID scheme). Since they are the only ones who actually burn the CPU speed onto the on-die fuses, the program is only going to work with their CPU's - and only the PIII line of those..

    Eventually, however, I feel certain that all manufacturers will end up doing something similar. And, no doubt, someone will make an OpenSource version available, when there are enough people with CPU's who can use the program to motivate someone to write one.
  • Processors are remarked and overclocked; but the culprit usually isn't the local mom-and-pop computer store, but their supplier. There are many cpu-selling wholesalers and middlemen in the world. Some buy trays of Intel OEM CPUs and re-sell them. Or they buy them from somebody else and then re-sell them. Usually, these folks are working on tight margins, well below ten percent. Many local computer stores use these people as a source of supply, and many get burned. Usually, the CPU gets passed on to the consumer, it works as advertised, and that's the end of it.

    On the other hand, I've seen some incredibly egregious examples. When Pentium-166's were current, it was almost impossible to buy a legit one for a while. People were buying 133's, and adding $100 to the price by calling them 166's. An educated eye could tell the difference, but you really had to know what you were looking for.

    It hasn't been as bad during the PII-PIII-Celeron era; the clock-locking has helped, especially in the US. But there are ways to defeat it, and since you can make upwards of $100 doing so, it's worth some effort.

    For example, I once bought two Intel Retail Boxed PII-400 CPUs from my local mom-and-pop shop. Usually I would go through authorized channels, but I didn't have time, and buying the retail boxed versions is fairly safe. But not completely. When I went to build the systems using these CPUs, I noticed that the two boxes had slightly different shades of purple. Upon further examination, I found that one was marked "100 MHz Sustem Bus", complete with misspelling. There were also slight differences in some typefaces. Clearly, one was a fake. Since I was a regular customer, I simply returned it to the dealer, and they exchanged it for me without hesitation. But it helped that I caught it before opening the box; if I had only bought one CPU, I might not have noticed.

    So, yeah, I buy all my CPU's either from a trusted dealer where they know me, or from name-brand channels. No, you won't get re-marked CPUs from Dell or Gateway, nor from authorized wholesalers like Tech Data. If you buy retail boxed, you're probably safe with the larger mail-order houses like CDW or who have relationships with the manufacturers. But as you slide into the gray market, the odds begin to turn against you.

    Here's a page that details some re-marking schemes. [] Slightly out of date, but interesting nonetheless.
  • If the BIOS is identifying the CPU as a K6-III, you still can't tell it "more than likely is".

    While changing the cpuid is difficult, modifying the BIOS to display whatever CPU you want on bootup can be done very easily.

    The best way to identify the CPU is thru the cpuid code, that resides on the newest-flashed BIOS, the fleshly-installed OS and the just-compiled open-source cpu probing programs.

    Motif: you can only trust yourself when it comes to hardware purchase. Always reflash your motherboard BIOS at least once.
  • in q3 my amd k6-2 450 sucks

    However, the K6-2 is also a previous generation, the K6-3 is a little more competitive in floating point and overall performance to the Celeron and Pentium II/III than the K6-2 and original K6 were. The K6-2 is, on the other hand usually significantly cheaper than even Celerons. The Athlon was just the first time in a long time that AMD has actually convincingly beat Intel in flat out performance. In price/performance, AMD has always been very competitive.

  • I've been going to a place for years now that's local (PC's for everyone in the Boston area.. just a customer, not an employee yaddah yaddah) and haven't had a problem with them. In fact, I picked up several chunks of what will be my dual Celeron system from them the other day.

    One of the first times I bought parts via mailorder, I did get burned... I got a 486 Moboard with fake cache RAM on it. This was a scam going around years ago, when cache RAM was soldered onto the board. They would take 8K (or something) ram chips, solder them onto the board, then hack the BIOS to make it look like there was more (I forget how much cache was usual back in those days... 64K? 32K?). Needless to say, the system locked hard very often. Eventually, I pinned down the problem when I started getting internal errors from GCC while recompiling the Linux kernel.

    Local places, if they do rip you off, are at least in arm's reach. You can go to the attorney general of your state and hope they'll take action. You could even take them to small claims court. You could warn your local Better Business Burea about them. Action against a company that's in another state is a lot harder.

    And, finally, you get what you pay for... my local place does charge higher rates than the web vendors... but you know they've been around, and that they will be around in the future...
  • Its important to remember that not all small companies are at fault here. I personall co-own a very small system building operation and we are very much sticklers about our parts, even to the point that we refuse to use generic Dimm's.
  • White box houses - your corner clone shop - would be a place to expect this practice. The first computer I ever bought was a 386 DX/20. The clone shop owner took off the case and pointed out the heat sink he had attached to the processor, saying "See this heat sink? It's one of the things I do for my customers. The heat sink helps the CPU run cooler and last longer." A year or so later I took the heat sink off and found out I had a 386/16 installed in my 20mhz motherboard.
  • I hope you screamed bloody murder....
    Adjusting your order without asking, or adjusting price

  • At work we found that one of the computers was a Cyrix 166 (actual mhz speed) that was running at 200mhz. We noticed the problem when the computer started to crash very often. I put my hand on the CPU and got burnt by it! The poor thing was totally fried, I now have it as a paperweight.

    Another batch of systems from the same vendor had power supplies that fried the motherboard and memory. The 5 volt line was putting out 6 volts!

    We now exclusivly use Dell systems. They are well built and good quality IMO.

  • Our family bought a Zenon system from and it turned out that the memory they put in the system was PC66 and not PC100 as stated in the advertisement.

    Zenon's now out of business and I don't really want to spend my time pursueing a court settlement. I've done my best to warn people about Zenon. In the future, it's going to be self-built computers.
  • I apologize, I should have said Athlon along with AMD each time
  • Is that what Windows's told you? If the system menu is what your going buy, check in the case. Otherwise, rock on.
  • Just curious...Exactly why would this help AMD win the war over Intel? Do you really believe that AMD dealers are scumbags less often than Intel dealers? The only possible reason that I can think of for this is that AMD chips usually don't respond as well to overclocking and that therefore people might be less willing to try it.

    Seems to me that this is a bonus for Intel rather than AMD. Something is actually being done by Intel to help their customers (damn that's strange) aviod fraud.

    Fraud don't respect you and it don't respect brand names.
  • I have an AMD K6-3/400, and I wanted a utility to be able to make sure that I was running what I thought I was. I found a utility, called simply "CPUID" for Win32 (sorry about that) that will check chips from Intel, Cyrix, IDT, and Rise. It's available at
  • I had heard that this was only done for PC's outside of the country...I don't remember ever hearing that this was done inside the US?

    Either way, my Packard Bell 75 would only overclock to 90. At even 100 Mhz it would barely post...
  • It's not legal for a warranty to forbid you opening a product with user servicable parts inside. That's why the parts are called user servicible. And that's why many products say "No user servicible parts inside." And I believe it's fraud if they say that without it being true (ie, if you can pop a fuse out with bare fingers, it's user servicible, if you have to desolder a component, it's not...)

    So, you can freely pop open PCs, and remove and change parts, and your warranty won't change, except that it's only valid on the original parts, and of course they aren't liable for your mistakes.

    But, if you buy a system, break the 'do not open' sticker, swap the video card for a TNT2, and a few months later the RAM dies but not because of you, the company has to replace that RAM.

  • That's easy enough.

    If the CPU is square shaped and fits into a socket on the motherboard, it's a K-6... If the CPU is in a big black box and plugs into a slot in the motherboard, that's an Athlon.

    That's all assuming that they're AMD chips, but that's not too hard to verify.
  • Is there an Open Source alternative that works with ANY CPU?
  • Great! Intel has always said they multiplier (bus speed x multplier - CPU speed) locked the Celeron's to prevent these dealer fraud problems. They didn't care about overclockers.

    Anything that makes it easy to detect the fraud will mean that it's harder for Intel to have a leg to stand on for preventing overclocking of there chips. After all it's easy to detect fraud, right?

    Call me silly, but I took great pleasure in spending on other things the $400 I saved not buying a 450mhz PII and overclocking a Celeron 300 instead :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I haven't heard of any major companies doing this (I doubt it would sit well with their shareholders) but a few years ago there was a rash of it happening around here with local "mom & pop" computer shops.

    According to our of our suppliers (an actual manufacturer, not just an OEM,) Intel was cracking down on a some 'big' pac-rim companies that were doing this - buying P75's wholesale, and relabeling them... they did such a good job that Intel themselves couldn't tell.. they had to re-certify the chip... (and this is why all of the newer chips have it internally, to prevent this from happening again..)
  • I am of the opinion that employment is the only thing keeping people from being bums and staving off eventual death. Why would anyone risk it just to sell a few chips? Wouldn't someone eventually figure it out if they run a processor specific program (say a game) and then it wouldn't work? Even this crappy scam couldn't work for maybe say about a couple of days.
  • but I like my hardware to say what it is, in english, on it. Hmmm what NIC is this well it has a chip with on it. Nothing is more fun then guessing what hardware is especially if it is for a small company that has 10-15 different . It is a plesant suprise to look at the card and it says "3Com 3C905 B" that certainly helps so you don't have to try every driver there is for 3Com NICs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22, 1999 @07:20AM (#1513109)
    A while bank I ordered a PII400 from a web-based vendor. What I got was a re-marked PII233 (or PII300, can't remember). I called Intel and explained my situation. They asked me to call the vendor back and ask for a refund or exchange. The vendor told me to send them the CPU and they would "test it". Right. I called Intel back and they asked me to send them the processor. They sent me a boxed PII400 (with fan). The one I had received from the vendor was an OEM cpu. From talking to the lady at the Intel fraud department, I got the impresssion that this was a common occurence.
  • by slothbait ( 2922 ) on Monday November 22, 1999 @07:24AM (#1513110)
    The relabelling problem is a serious one for the Do-it-yourself audience, and I suspect a large number of Slashdot reader are also into DIY.

    I, personally, have never bought a prebuilt system. (neither have I ever owned an Intel processor). I get my parts from local hole-in-the-wall component stores which may be shadier than they look. I still wonder what kind of K6 I have in this system. Its supposed to be a 200, but the old K6's were very easy to relabel, so it might be a 166. I guess it doesn't much matter. I have run it at 166-233 without any troubles, but I do wonder.

    Someone like Dell or Gateway would never try relabelling. If anyone ever found out, the company would lose all credibility with their customers and their market would completely dry up. Its the local companies, which often come and go quite quickly, which may be interested in some quick money and not too concerned about reputation.

    And I suppose its nice for Intel to provide this, but its really for them and not us. If the customer is willing to pay the huge premium that Intel charges for their high-end chips, than Intel really wants to see that money. That is where they make the real money...the massive margin on their current top-of-the-line.

    out of things to mutter,
  • As much as the PIII and Celeron locking is a pain for legit overclockers, it does make a useful way to keep fraudulent dealers at bay. When socket 7 boards were the rule of the land, AMD had a huge problem with people selling overclocked 233 and 266 -> 300 chips and they ended up puting notes in their manuals and all over web pages informing people to check their CPUs carefully. I'm glad to see they were being honest about it, even if it wasn't their fault.
  • I worked at a computer store in Vancouver and I personally witnessed the 'unmasking' of 2 PII '300's that were actually overclocked 233s. The alterations were being done at the distributor level and when the situation was reported to Intel they threatened to revoke the distributor's reseller liscence.
    Earlier this year, I was upgrading my boss' system (I now work at a cybercafe) and lo and behold, another remaked 233 sold as a 300. I think it was pretty common with the PII 300s


  • I have read a lot of comments talking about little shops that take advantage of customer's ignorance. And I have no doubt that there are many. But I have to give an example of an honest one. The shop I go to has been around for several years. And there's good reason that it has been (as the other comments state the bad ones fold). Its name is Unicorn (plug, plug) and is filled with the most honest techs you can imagine. No I don't work there, I just seem to live there. If something doesn't work, they replace it with no questions asked. Once I bought a power supply that had the wires marked wrong. After not listening to my Upgrading PC book about not trusting the colors of wires, I almost got electricuted and destroyed the power supply. They replaced it free, even after I explained what happened.

    Moral: If the shop has been around a while, and you hear good things about it, Then go there. Don't trust any "new" shops, unless you really know your stuff. But of course, all /. people know there stuff, now don't you ;)

    Steven Rostedt
  • I believe they were overclocking p75's or p90's to 133's. Big huge class action suit that almost put them out of business a few years back. Looks like their goodluck finally caught up with them
  • For those who mentioned getting bad hardware because they bought the cheapest stuff they could find on Pricewatch [], there's another site you should look at before you decide to where to buy. Check out Reseller Ratings [] to find out how lots of electronic retailers are rated by their customers. When I was shopping for PC parts a couple months ago, I went back and forth between these two sites extensively to find the best place to buy, and I didn't have any problems with my purchases (yet) even though I ended up buying hardware from 7 or 8 different sites. They list an absolute ranking for each site in several categories, and also display any submitted comments in case you're more interested in anecdotal rankings of the sites.

    I should point out that I'm not affiliated with either site, I've just been happy with the information found there. Your experiences may vary (and I'm sure I'll hear about it below :).

  • How many of you have taken the cover off your computer case and taken out a manufacturer-placed add-on card with a better one (ie better video card, sound card, whatever)? If you have, you have probably voided your warranty on the entire system.

    The reason Dell and Gateway can't let you *totally* configure your system (meaning, I want this video card, not any of the ones you guys offer) is because they are required by law to sell you a working product. Otherwise, the corporation is subject to a false-advertising lawsuit.

    So, if Dell and Gateway and Compaq are overclocking their CPUs, they had better watch out when the thing starts crashing and the CPU fails much sooner than its MTBF.

    On the other hand, if you buy a CPU, and place it on your mobo that you bought from a mobo manufacturer, why should it be illegal to overclock it? Yes, I might void my warranty, but it's my property - I should be able to change it. Is it illegal to hack at my Playstation or something similar to make it faster? I don't think so - I bought the object, I should be able to change it, granted I understand the consequence of losing my warranty.

  • Hey, I resemble that remark.
  • As someone who worked in a computer store as a techie as well as a salesman (much against my better judgement) I can concur that some of those I worked with were completely unscrupulous when it came to these things. However I made a point of being honest when selling machines, because the profit that goes to the company and any commission you get is categorically NOT worth losing your job over. To keep a long story short, the company I worked for folded soon after I left (I hope it wasn't anything to do with me?!), but many people came back to me, and I built them machines as a freelancer for a year before I went to college.. Moral of the story? If you can find a blatant geek at your local PC store, you'd hopefully do well to trust them. Avoid the most obviously shark-like salesmen, and always, if you can, take someone who knows what they're talking about with you, so you don't get blinded by jargon.

    I just thought I'd stick up for the honest small retailers (or their even smaller-fry employees) that could be tarred by a broad brush here.

    On top of this, I'm from the UK, I don't know if the US system is any different though.....

  • As if CDs had a proper copyprotection scheme, and even if they did, wouldn't hold.

    [I think they actually have one]

    Some CD-ROM's have copy protection schemes. This is especially common with game console CD-ROMs like the Sega Saturn. Even so, this is fairly weak since most CD readers can make a direct digital copy of any readable CD, which you can then write to a CD-R. I don't know of any audio cd's that have copy protection, although you need to be able to rip the digital samples off the CD (some CD readers used to interface directly with the sound card).

    In the end CD audio copy protection is a moot point, since most CD audio is made into MP3s and if one can play a CD on a computer one can make an MP3.

    DVD copy protection is a bit more clever, but they also have the problem that anything that can be displayed on a computer can be converted into another digital form.

  • The K6-III will ID and an AMD K6-3D+ (K6-2 is just K6-3D), it still has a stepping value of 5 because it still uses socket 7. Windows 95, may just id it as an amd K6 since neither the K6-2 or K6-III existed when it came out. If the bios is identifying it as a K6-III, It more than likely is, since that is pulled from cpuid, which, even by the most crafty of frauds is impossible to do without changing the silicon itself. I wouldn't see any big companies remarking cpus simply for the fact that these companies rely so much on reputation, to risk that would be death, also companies like, Dell, Gateway, Compaq, Micron, etc... are likely to get their processors from intel/amd themselves.
  • by crayz ( 1056 ) on Monday November 22, 1999 @07:38AM (#1513155) Homepage
    It says my Pentium III 600MHz is actually just a G4 running VPC. Sheeit.

Due to lack of disk space, this fortune database has been discontinued.