Next iMac to see this crippled processor scheme?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Thermonuclear, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

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  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    I can't see what's so bad with this. This has existed before with multipliers. You have to pay more for unlocked model. Most people don't need HT so they don't want to pay extra for it. The people who need/want it can now pay for it.

    This exactly what is going on with i5 and i7 iMac. You have to pay 200$ more for HT. If you can get it for 50$ from Intel in the future, I wouldn't complain.
     
  3. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    The badness is, to me, adequately described in Doctorow's commentary at the link. And it's not like paying for a different model, it's paying twice for the same model.

    DRM is fundamentally flawed. It can, and will, always be evaded. Only three days ago someone posted the master key unlock codes for Intel's HDCP DRM brainchild, and no one will be surprised if a crack appears for the above before too long.

    I will not buy a DRM product, nor will I recommend any such to others.
     
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #4
    This is actually pretty common practice in the computer industry but you usually only see it with high end servers and things. IBM does this with their machines. to unlock the full potential you pay more money and your system becomes completely unlocked.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    No, it's not. Pentium G6950 which is the predecessor of G6951 mentioned in the article had no HT. What this means is that Intel is integrating HT to every CPU but then disabling it on some of the chips and asking extra $ for it. Currently they have offered a more expensive model with HT so basically, this doesn't change anything.

    In fact, this is a good thing as you can later on buy the HT support if needed, making your purchase more "future-proof". Before you had to buy a new CPU or a whole new computer since laptop CPUs are soldered.

    You aren't seeing the whole picture. It's not same as paying twice for the same chip. This is something what Intel has been doing for years but now they are giving you an option to do add it later on rather than buying a new chip.
     
  6. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    The question is: Do you own your hardware or are you merely licensing it?

    Once someone buys into the licensing argument, they have set themselves up for all sorts of future restrictions and costs set by license terms wholly controlled by the manufacturer.

    Just yesterday Intel admitted that their super duper HDCP DRM was totally busted. Did they admit technical fault? No. Did they apologize to the manufacturers? No. Did they offer refunds to consumers that incurred extra costs? No. Did they offer a technical fix? No.

    Instead, Intel said that they would work to sue and prosecute anyone who dared sidestep their broken HDCP. And sadly, they have the law on their side (to some extent). I'll take a guess here and suggest that Intel will also go after any user that dares tamper with their remote CPU unlock scheme.
     
  7. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Unfortunately, we already screwed ourselves in that department when we went and purchased hardware that absolutely requires proprietary software to work (that we are only licensed to use).

    Your router and phone are perfect examples of that; I recall Motorola getting into a lot of controversy on slashdot or something for making their phones brick themselves when one attempts to install unsigned firmware.

    I'm kinda sitting here, eating popcorn, waiting to see a build of iTunes that no longer supports a given iPhone or iPod, and the firmware updates? Oh yea, those don't exist anymore for that either because the firmware updates require the latest version of iTunes! Oops! Sorry your iPhone with corrupt firmware is now a brick! Hrmmm...

    Makes me wonder why hardware companies don't just give up on selling hardware and lease it out instead. They could then eliminate the pesky customers that buy hardware and seem to keep it forever (I'm using a G4 PowerBook to make this post ;))
     
  8. BlackViper macrumors member

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    #8
    It is paying twice for the same chip. The problem that I see is this forces everyone to pay for higher price component than they need, with the justification that some will want to pay for an easier upgrade. Before, Intel was cutting costs by selling defective hardware at reduced prices(a core duo with one bad core became a core solo); now they are selling intentionally crippled hardware so they can charge you again to use something you already have.
     
  9. Pachang macrumors regular

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    #9
    Philosophical arguments about property rights aside....
    If intel does this it will be a sign of a lack of competition if anything.

    dw about what the iMac has. It's not like apple are going to buy little codes to unlock speed in iMacs and they definitely aren't going to ask users to do it.

    This will only effect people who buy intel cpus retail. It's a dumb idea if you ask me.
     
  10. AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    The only "novelty" in this seems to be Intel officially selling these upgrade codes for subsequent unlocking by customers themselves.

    Otherwise it's nothing really new. It's what the industry has been doing for years: Manufacture different chips on the same silicon, disable/enable some clock speed, shaders and functionality afterwards (in hardware) - and then sell accordingly.

    I don't see Apple following suit on selling unlock codes. This is confusing to the average Joe consumer and some will be "hacking" the scheme. Apple does not want to be associated with "Hack your Mac to unlock more power" headlines.
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    How? If the price of G6951 is the same as G6950 (87$), how are people paying more? Nobody is forcing you to buy the upgrade :rolleyes: It gives you an option to upgrade your CPU without buying a new one.

    And the point being? So in your opinion, it's not right that Intel is suing people who broke the law? Everything can be cracked but that doesn't make it legal.

    Intel only cares about money, just like any company. Intel dominates the market and has no viable competitor so they can do whatever they want, as long as it's legal. As I and AppliedMicro said above, Intel has been doing this for ages. Now they are just changing the way they do it.
     
  12. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    And maybe Intel won't be happy with the prospect of initiating civil and criminal prosecution. After all, lawyers cost them money. Much more easier would be for Intel to remotely brick your machine as a punishment for you doing something they didn't like.

    Sound far-fetched? See: http://boingboing.net/2006/03/07/add-intel-drm-to-you.html

    The bit about Intel's mandatory remote "system renewability messages" is creepy and scary.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #13
    They don't want to punish you, they want money. Bricking the machine wouldn't bring them any money so why would they do that? Besides, they have no right to do such thing. 8 million dollars is much more than what their lawyers cost
     
  14. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I'll also point out that Apple's hands aren't entirely clean on this issue.

    Back in 2002, some people figured out how to use the developer CHUD tools on the then new 700 MHz iBook G3 to bump the clock to a stable 800 MHz. What did Apple do? It took away that option from the tool and also modified the OS/X kernel to adjust the processor clock back to 700 MHz if it had been changed. The check and reset was done several times a second, if I recall correctly. Did any of this help the user? No, except maybe to help the user to spend more money for the higher priced model with the exact same CPU.
     
  15. RichardI macrumors 6502a

    RichardI

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    #15
    Geeze, you guys will argue about anything. The fact is, the i5 is not tested in turbo mode, hence no time spent testing, hence less cost to manufacture. Cripes don't you know how the manufacturing world works?
     
  16. richpjr macrumors 68030

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    #16
    I don't get the gist of the argument. People are not complaining about paying $200 for an i5 and $300 for an i7 (or whatever the cost is) yet this is essentially what this technology would equate to - except you have an upgrade route if you chose the cheaper CPU initially. Additionally, the manufacturing costs would go down substantially by only making a single version of a CPU instead of multiple versions, potentially reducing consumer cost. How is this a bad thing?
     
  17. TMRaven macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Intel already does this with the lynnfields, and other cpus. The i5 750 and i7 860 are EXACTLY THE SAME, except i7 860 is just an i5 750 with hyperthreading unlocked-- but you pay 100usd more to go from i5 750 to i7 860 (200usd more when accounting for apple's price gouging) I rather pay 50usd more than 200usd more to have such a feature unlocked.
     
  18. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    The transition from hardware "owner" to hardware "licensed user" is like the transition from "landlord" to "sharecropper". The new landlord can change the lease terms anytime he feels like it.

    Case in point: Four years ago, Sony introduced the PS3 and promised, among other things

    1) Regular updates to add features and to fix bugs, and

    2) Support for a third party OS (specifically, Linux).

    Well, Sony makes most of its PS3 money from license fees from games. Sony bean counters decided that PS3 Linux users weren't buying enough games and in fact, some of these users weren't buying any games at all. So, A PS3 update just a few months ago completely removed the capability to run Linux. It would be like Apple saying "We've decided you can't run Windows on your iMac anymore because we don't make enough money from it". And if you try to circumvent any of these after-the-sale DRM restrictions (and live in the US), then the manufacturers can go after you with the DMCA that's supported by your tax dollars.
     
  19. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #19
    I think this would be useful actually. Pay for a lower end iMac and if you find out 6 months later you need the speed, just pay the difference and you're upgraded without reinstalling everything and having to buy/sell the hardware.

    This is assuming they keep locked processors prices at the same low level as processors with the same specs without unlockable features would be.
     
  20. flopticalcube macrumors G4

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    #20
    This is a practice that dates from the beginnings of IBM when they would "upgrade" a mechanical tabulating machine by shifting a belt to a lower-ratio gear thus making the machine go faster. You paid handsomely for this upgrade. Plus ça change...
     
  21. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #21
    I worked for Honeywell back in the 60s and we had a machine that could be upgraded in the field by simply switching a little jumper. It was leased and the cost was cheaper if you leased the slower version.
     
  22. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

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    #22
    Yes, but when you lease something the hardware isn't yours. It's like if you purchased a 4 bedroom house but one of the bedrooms was sealed off and you had to pay another $30,000 for it.

    Except the reality of the situation is it's more like you paid for a big mansion and they wanted $1 million to unseal a closet that was in the attic or something.

    The difference between selling an i5 and an i7 made in the same chip (this only applies to the P55 chips), is the i5 was not specced or tested or confirmed to the same abilities the i7 was. There may be reasons why, and there may not. Perhaps the i7 has 99.9999999999% reliability with HT enabled and the i5 only has 99.9% reliability or something.

    The reason it gets creepy, is right now overclocking and unlocking a processor is considered free game; you bought the chip and could do whatever you want with it to try and wring out more performance.

    Now Intel is saying wait, we want to make $$ off that idea.. what if they start going after motherboard manufacturers that make boards that are easy to OC with? oh boy.
     
  23. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

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    #23
    Ah

    Another IBM "innovation" was their mainframe products.

    A friend who works on mainframe computers says his company paid handsomely to get a mainframe "cpu upgrade" which entailed an IBM service person visiting their site (they expected a new cpu), lifting a hidden panel and flipping a switch which in turn doubled the processor speed.

    It was probably a $20,000 upgrade that they could have stumbled across themselves if they'd been inquisitive.

    This is more of the same.

    Frankly, I've got the i7 and I'll go for the top end as often as I can afford it.

    It goes back to my adage about computers: "buy more than you need and you'll never be unhappy because you won't hit the wall. If you buy less than you needed and you hit the wall you'll feel doubly bad because getting out of that situation is always more expensive than if you paid for the fastest you could afford in the first place."
     
  24. flopticalcube macrumors G4

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    #24
    Pay more, cry once. Pay less, cry many times.
     
  25. CampDavid macrumors member

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    #25
    This happens a lot in every walk of life. BMW will sell you a 116i, a 118i or a 120i. All three are the same car with the same 2.0litre engine. The only difference is software and a boot badge.

    I personally think Intel are being fairly honest with this method. It allows them to mass produce the processor meaning cheaper chips for all while those that need the extra features pay to use them. While you buy the processor in reality you are buying the right to use the technology, meaning that this is actually he fairest way of selling chips

    It also offers some interesting support options. How about the option to buy the processor for a small amount then enjoy a free 24 hour trial with any features that you want. No need to come on here and say "will the i7 or a high clock i5 be right for Logic" when you can run the tests yourself. At the end of the 24 hours you pays your money and takes your choice. No need to needlessly buy tech that you don't need.

    This way of "licensing" processor tech could be good for home users too. Home and educational discounts, meaning companies pay more, you pay less, in the same way Mac Pro users pay a privilege for increased expansion now.
     

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