Jag Venugopal's Blog

September 21, 2010

Now, buy a scratch card to upgrade your Intel CPU

Filed under: Digital Living — Jag @ 2:29 am
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Some Intel CPUs now come with upgradeability built in to them. If you don’t like your CPU’s performance, buy an upgrade card at your local Best Buy, scratch to reveal a unique code, enter the code into your computer and you’re off and running.

I can almost visualize the collective apoplexy of the Internet in the coming few weeks, but I view it as a net plus. For one, the benefit to Intel is that it can produce fewer lines of processors, thereby reducing costs. It doesn’t have to manufacture a low-end and a high-end processor. It can manufacture just the high-end version and license its capabilities on a piecemeal basis. The cost of producing a more powerful processor is not much more than the cost of producing a less-capable one, especially in large quantities.

As a second benefit, Intel can sell processors at lower cost, and then reap incremental revenue from the upgraders. In this manner, Intel does not lose the low end of the market, by just producing high-end processors. But does not leave any money on the table either by selling only low-end ones. PC manufacturers will love it because they will get to share upgrade revenue with Intel, advertise lower prices for their computers and yet claim high end performance with a strategically placed asterisked disclaimer.

As for me? I’ definitely not saying that I’ll wait until someone on the Internet hacks the CPU firmware to enable the upgrade for free. That’s bad. And illegal. And perhaps a contravention of the DMCA. I’ll buy my upgrades like a good boy.

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