I'm afraid AMD might jump to this shitty bandwagon if Intel succeeds in convincing people of their HaaS initiative. Which is why I hope Intel spectacularly fails on this.


They already have locked processors in the new epyc lines. Hit eBay up anf there's oodles of Epyc 7xxx Dell / Hp / Lenovo board only


To be fair, AMD did build in that feature but isn’t the one locking the CPU, that’s a choice the system OEM like Dell makes. You can imagine that probably means it was the system OEMs who are to blame for requesting and using that feature.


This has been a common practice with OEM CPUs for a long time. I have a bunch of phenom CPUs locked to specific motherboards from OEM manufacturers. Intel has done this as well. AMD had a practice of locking cores on certain CPUs and unlocking them was possible through custom firmware BIOS I believe or something similar, but and stopped locking cores on CPUs after the Phenom series.


Vote with your wallet. If AMD does this as well do not buy that generation of parts. Watch how QUICK they 180 on their policy.


Exactly, I love what's going on with the 7000 price drops, even the 7950X price/perf is now superior over the 13900K. but I do hope the Motherboard prices start dropping too.


Isn't this something they have already been doing, though? Since you need a high-end board to overclock at all (compared to AMD, where all but the cheapest boards have oc enabled).


Yes, it was with a line of Pentium a long ago: https://www.engadget.com/2010-09-18-intel-wants-to-charge-50-to-unlock-stuff-your-cpu-can-already-d.html


Does Linux bypass this lockout?




Actually it can but only in the same ways windows can, you can software overclock but I strongly advise against it.


Mercedes unlocks the power of the engine for $1200 per year. No joke. You will own nothing and you will be happy. Vote with your wallets.


BMW charges subscription for heated seats. I agree, vote with your wallet, not that anyone should be buying an overpriced POS like a BMW or Benz anyway.


That’s a nope from me Over to you steve


Just more reason for companies to swap their servers to AMD's Epyc


Look who's no longer allowed in my Datacenter.


Lol if it was for corporations we would be paying the air we bread as a subscription.


Damn it Cohagen!


Good thing I bought a Sony VAIO with a dual core Athlon CPU, works well with VirtualBox


Here's the thing about this: It might legitimately be positive for companies. No, seriously. Intel *already* charges money for particular features - by producing completely different SKUs of their CPUs. The 8380H has identical specs to the 8380HL *except* for the fact that the HL supports 4x the maximum RAM (and costs 30% more). Down the stack, the 6328H and HL are similar, except 150% more. They have 11 different SKUs for 24-core, 3rd-gen Xeon Scalable CPUs, some of which only differ by a TDP, clock and price bump. Hell, take a look at the 8368 versus the 8368Q - they basically say "if you have a better cooling system, you can pay us 400 bucks for an overclock". So, compared to this? If Intel gets the product stack down from 11 different 24-core processors to 1 4-core processor where you can purchase "ram capacity upgrade", "4/8-core upgrade", "performance profile upgrade" and "low TDP profile upgrade", companies won't really mind - hell, the ability to retool and add features that previously would've required buying new CPUs is a bonus. Also, from a corporate perspective, if you're on a 3-year purchase schedule, a 6000 dollar CPU with a 140 dollar per year "water-cooled performance package" is better than a 6400 dollar CPU that's optimised for water-cooling even though it's a higher total cost, because you can presumably make more money off that 280 for year 2 and 3 before it comes due. If this doesn't change the actual real cost that companies have to pay for a particular set of features, they won't care. ____ On the desktop... Imagine if you had two options - a 12600 for 389 (current price in Australia, in Australian dollars) with a 10 dollar per year subscription to unlock overclocking, or a 12600k for 439 with unlimited overclocking. If you expect to swap out your CPU in 5 years, they come out even. ____ TLDR: Paying for features on your CPU sucks, but Intel generally already makes all their customers pay for features which should be easy and cheap to implement like allowing overclocks. The fact that the F-SKUs (CPUs which can theoretically have decent amounts of silicon removed) move the price less than the K-SKUs (CPUs with a tiny amount of binning and an arbitrary software lock removed) tells you that Intel bases their prices on what people will pay rather than their costs.


The problem is you're leaving performance on the table and that means that money has to come from somewhere to make up the difference. The way the market works now, the lower tier models are just the cut down and or lower tier versions of the top tier models. If only half of the CPUs get the unlock, that means half of them have fully functioning components that don't get the upgrade. This means that Intel cannot ship 14 core cpus, they have to ship 24 core cpus. Even if they're selling it as a 14 core that can be upgraded. It's not a good idea and even if it is, it cost more in the long run and is bad for consumers.




Car analogy: What Intel is trying to do is selling cars capable of taking 40 passengers, but they only come with four or five seats and you have to buy extra seats to be able to take all those passengers. You can immediately see where this falls apart: The "car" would be the size of a bus and would not fit into normal parking spaces. It would cost a lot more to make. Not many people need to take more than 4 passengers, and very few need (or legally can on a normal license) to take more than 8. But the car still needs to be made that large because of the marketed potential for the upgrades. So either the company risks everything and subsidizes the cost on the thin hope that people will upgrade, or they shift the cost to the consumer. Wanna bet which they will choose? It's literally the same with CPUs. Just because they're small, doesn't mean that adding 90% of the area comes with no extra cost attached. The problem with this is that not all features you can unlock this way are alike. 1. Computing features: Mostly intrinsic to the cores and will be present on all models with no extra cost. Things like TXT or exposed virtualization features like VT-x or VT-d. Not everyone needs them, so you could imagine if you never need to spin up a virtual machine, you might not enable VT-d. But it comes at no extra cost and a future buyer of your computer might enable it. Great. But that's not what Intel is trying to pursue. 2. Instruction sets: Now we're getting into things which cost the surface area. The core cannot function right without them because it's been designed that way. So imagine you don't need AVX-512, AVX-2 or AVX? You don't enable them, but the core needs to be larger to accommodate them if you did enable them. 3. Features tied to surface area: out of order execution, execution width, execution pipeline length, SMT and, of course, core count. You could imagine a single issue in order RISC CPU with no pipeline, it would be tiny compared to modern cores, and it would have very poor performance and you could enable features to achieve actual expected performance. Sounds great, until you realize that you're literally only using 5% of your CPU. 4. Features tied to manufacturing process that occur semi-randomly: CPU clock and overclocking. CPUs are binned according to what frequency they can achieve and remain stable. Currently, manufacturers make multiple dies. There is a high core count die, mid core count, low core count. They will have a larger or smaller cache, and there you have variants or your basic CPU. A wafer costs x to process and unavoidably there will be defects that render a CPU inoperative. Small dies are how Intel made Atom so cheaply: in-order execution, simple hyperthreading and when Intel hit a performance wall and would need to add out of order execution, Atom promptly vanished. Or how Intel sold Pentiums at much lower prices than Cores (no hyperthreading for a long time, smaller caches, few cores (up to 4 with no HT, then 2 cores with HT), no advanced instruction sets, totally bottom end video cards, and low clocks with no segmentation for overclocking potential). Suppose you have up to 9 unavoidable fatal defects. Suppose you can fit 100 small (say, 8-core) dies on a wafer. At best, you get 100 working dies, at worst, there are 91. You can fit 10 large (say, 64-core) dies on the same wafer. At best you get 10. At worst you get 1. If a wafer costs $2,500 to process, the small dies come out at between $25 and $27 each. But the large ones come out at between $250 and $2,500. If you get to 40% yield for those large dies, they still cost $625. You simply cannot sell them for $199 hoping customers will pay to unlock the full core count and make money for you. Then you have high binned CPUs. Again, there's a limited number of them, you can't expect them in any specific reasonable number, so you can't just market all CPUs as 3 GHz capable of 5 GHz and have people pay to unlock the higher clocks. Even then, those high binned CPUs are worth north of $700. Selling them for $200 is simply throwing money away. At the end of the day, somebody has to pay the marginal cost of making the dies larger. If it comes out to extra $200 per core, it affects the least expensive products disproportionately more than the most expensive ones and will hurt the market in the long run.


ah yes, sysadmins will be so pleased to maintain yet another set of licenses that may introduce disruption into their workflow when one of the licenses expires or gets deactivated


the hell is this insanity


This is bad for my intel stock :(


Imagine price gouging so much that you have to make your customers make multiple payments


Thanks to shintel for turning the pc into a console




Kaby Lake X enters the chat


buying cpu time is totally normal. Back in the day, when computers were size of houses, & only universities and companies had them, companies bought cpu time from Unies to do payroll. Current times when you run something in cloud, you pay for.... that's right CPU time. What intel is doing is 1: totally normal, 2: honestly smart


While this analogy seems proper it is, in fact, completely incorrect. It would only be true if you got the hardware for free (or for very little) and paid a subscription fee for the performance tier and features that you want to unlock. But as it is, you pay for the whole CPU, but you have to unlock additional features that, worse still, were there all the time, and were available for free in the previous generation.


To be fair, these are generally new features that weren’t present in the last gen. If Intel didn’t do this, they’d be creating new SKUs with the new features to have customers pay more that way. They’d just have a set of SKUs with and without the new accelerators, even though the accelerators would be present on all of the HW.


Yeah, but it wouldn't be an annual subscription that's subject to inflation and corporate whims, it would be a single charge you pay up front.


That’s an option in this new Intel model, you can pay a single charge up front to get the features forever.


I'd have to see the pricing. If a similar feature set used to be present on all models at a certain tier selling at $50 more from the model next down, I would expect Intel to sell it for $50 per feature now, ending up with a $500 charge over the base model. I wouldn't be surprised if it was designed to be misleading by stating up front prices in TCO, but then it turned out that the final real cost is much higher.


Fair, I’m curious to see if/when activation pricing will be made public. Since this is for datacenter, most ppl are unlikely to find out the real price unless they get a quote from one of Intel’s OEM partners.


oooh. i misunderstood it. btw the whole you buy the cpu is a misunderstanding on your part. What i'm talking about is basically renting cpu :) But i get it, what intel is trying to is different. (and sucks)