Intel to Sell "Upgrade Cards" for Select Sandy Bridge Processors

You might recall that Intel toyed with the idea of "Upgrade Cards" for its Pentium G6951 processor around this time last year. For fifty bucks, you could buy one of these cards containing a software code that you would download from Intel's site, and just like that, your Pentium chip would suddenly have an additional 1MB of L3 cache to play with, along with Hyper-Threading enabled. Some scoffed at the idea of paying additional money for features already baked into their CPU, while others saw it as a cost-effective way to improve performance. Get ready to debate the concept all over again.

Intel is bringing back its Upgrade Cards, this time for a trio of a Sandy Bridge processors. Here's how it breaks down:
  1. Core i3 2312M (2.1GHz, 3MB cache) ---> Core i3 2393M (increased processor frequency and cache)
  2. Core i3 2102 (3.1GHz, 3MB cache) ---> Core i3 2153 (increased processor frequency)
  3. Pentium G622 (2.6GHz, 3MB cache) ---> Pentium G693 (increased processor frequency)

Source: Intel
It isn't clear exactly how much additional clockspeed (and cache, where applicable) these upgrade codes will provide, though according to Intel's internal benchmarks, you can expect the Core i3 2312M to run 10-19 percent faster, the Core i3 2102 to run 12-15 percent faster, and the Pentium G622 to run 15-23 percent faster. In other words, double digit performance gains across the board.

Intel also didn't reveal any pricing information, though as mentioned previous Upgrade Cards ran $50. Alternately, you could learn to overclock...
Via:  Intel
OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

"Where's GeoHotz when we need em, what a high level of greediness from Intel. People who bought  those Low Cost chips are people with very low income, trying to get the most bang for the buck on their low budget build. Damn Intel, you had freaking record profits and you cant give those poor folks an added free bonus? I hope that if this turn out to go all the way, some one hacks the software and make it available for all."


Paul: "Alternately, you could learn to overclock..."

'Right ON, but messing with voltages and settings is not for all."

hellonearthis 3 years ago

Selling chips locked down to 80-90% performance seems wrong, what next 50% artificial speed of will they lock out cores and get you to pay more to unlock them. What a stink marketing ploy.

AKwyn 3 years ago

This is downright low in the fact that these chips are hard to overclock and the only really overclockable chips end with a K. I mean come on, the features should already be available in the processors!

If anything, I'm sure the thousands of people complaining to Intel will make them change their minds.

realneil 3 years ago

[quote user="TaylorKarras"]If anything, I'm sure the thousands of people complaining to Intel will make them change their minds.[/quote]

I personally feel that Intel will not listen to it's customers concerning this. They sell enthusiast grade CPU's for those of us who like to tweak or just play games with a fast PC.

Their marketing people have probably identified a market segment that would want Frankenstein chips that you can "overclock" with your wallet. Some people don't have any interest in changing any setting on their PC at all. They'd rather just 'USE' what they have.

Would I buy such a CPU? No

And also, what's to stop hackers from digging into these things and circumventing Intel's plans? It will be a nice little bit of bragging rights for whomever gets it done,.....

Drake_McNasty 3 years ago

This is complete BS, they shouldn't be doing this at the i3 level! I understand they can get away with charging more for the k series but people buying the i3 don't have enough money to buy this upgrade. I'm guess most of them will never even hear about the upgrade cards unless electronic stores get on board with this.

And no Intel doesn't have to listen to it's customers because no matter how they screw people over they still have enough customers to turn record breaking profits.

This is not cool.

IOlsen 3 years ago

Doing it to an an i3 is BS... It would have been extremely cool for Intel as a company to do it to the Celeron procs and be able to bring them close to the Pentiums speed or feature set and or vice versa, and or both , and Pentiums to close to the i3s & so on, so fourth. Anyway its in the now. Right now i don't care. There my 2 bits for this thing.

OSunday 3 years ago

It's kinda of like overclocking for non tech savvy people... at the same time, won't savvier people just download the software or whatever it is the upgrade cards utillize and "hack" or modify it to make the processor run faster without the physical card (something similar to overclocking) or will the cards contain actual hardware the processors will take advantage of through use of the software??

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