Intel charges $50 for unlocking CPU features

Pilot program for Pentium G6951 adds cache and hyperthreading
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Intel has launched a scheme where a model of the firm's processors has features locked by default which may then be unlocked by the customer for a fee.

The company said it was "rolling out a small pilot program offering performance upgrades on Intel Pentium G6951 Processors" which involves selling cards in retail which provide the tool necessary to upgrade the processor.

Systems equipped with the Pentium G6951 will have half of the 1MB L3 cache unlocked initially, as well as hyperthreading disabled. The $50 upgrade unlocks the full cache and enables hyperthreading which will provide a modest boost to performance.

While hardware unlocks have been somewhat rare in recent years, Intel may be hoping the idea of post-purchase add-ons will be more acceptable for customers with heightened awareness of post-purchase upgrades thansk to the popularity of DLC in gaming.

Intel has more details on the Intel Upgrade Service reseller web site.

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