Newegg Ships Fake Intel Chips; Supplier Threatens Journalists For Reporting It

You know what's even better than weird news? Weird news well-flavored with legal stupididy, that's what. Our saga today starts with a shipping oddity; specifically the fact that forum member Dreadrok ordered a Core i7 920 from Newegg and received a completely fake processor. It's a good fake, too—if it weren't for a few misspellings on the outside of the box, we'd believe it was completely legit, particularly if we didn't take the time to scour the box looking for the telltales.

This is a fake box, not a real one. You have 10 seconds to find the differences. Go!

Dreadrok initially faced skepticism over the veracity of his claim so he put up a YouTube video that captures all the products in question, including his "heatsink/fan," by which we mean the block of something wrapped in masking tape with a sticker on top to make it look like there's a fan in t he box from the outside. You can watch the video below:

has been notified of the problem, as has Newegg; it appears that the well-known and well-trusted company bought a lot of 300 fake processors in a shipment of 2000 ships total. All 300 of the fake processors came from the supplier D&H Distribution. Newegg has claimed that the fake processors were actually 'demo units', implying that Intel shipped out 300 entirely fake kits complete with fake processor, heatsink, fan, packaging, and a freakin' fake installation guide that consisted of a bunch of sheets of paper held together by a single staple. We won't even go into the misspellings.

This situation already qualifies as unusual given Newegg's longstanding reputation, but here's where it takes a left-hand turn and plunges straight into weird. As of today, the two websites that reported on the problem—[H]ardOCP and Icrontic—have been hit by a cease-and-desist letter courtesy of D&H Distributing. From the letter:
It has recently been brought to our attention that you are responsible for publishing on the internet, and specifically on your websites, untrue statements respecting allegedly counterfeit Intel Core i7 processors which you allege were sold to Newegg by D&H. This letter places you on notice that these statements are false. You have no basis for publishing these false and malicious statements about D & H. These false allegations are defamatory and disparaging to D&H”s business and business relations and have caused grave and irreparable damage to our client. [we] demand that you (i) cease and desist posting such defamatory material about D&H.; (ii) remove the contact and any reference to D&H from your website; and, (iii) post an immediate retraction and apology which shall remain posted for not less than thirty days."
Right. Because threatening the press with noisy letters works so very well. Reports indicate that Newegg is arranging RMAs for any affected customers. If D&H did provide Newegg with fake CPUs you can bet Intel will be extremely interested in where those chips came from.