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scuff gang

unbinning a processor

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Posted · Original PosterOP

if you dont know what binning is Here’s a simplified example. Intel has standards for performance, power management and thermal output for its Core i5 CPUs. If a CPU fails to meet those standards, Intel will bin it as an i3 processor instead. However, since Core i5 processors have four cores and i3 processors have two, Intel will disable two (likely defective) cores on the processor in order to sell it as a two-core processor.

my question is if the cores that were disabled not defective, could you in any way re-enable the cores. I know that they would most likely be at a lower clock speed but what if


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Last time I heard about people actually doing this was in the Phenom days:

https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/phenom-ii-x3-enable-and-unlock-the-4th-core.html

 

You could probably try to do something.. But I feel like the motherboard BIOSes are probably too robust to attempt anything really.


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It's not just microcode, they're fused off. Because of a physical disconnect, you can't reenable them.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Fasauceome said:

It's not just microcode, they're fused off. Because of a physical disconnect, you can't reenable them.

so the core is completely gone? no chance of re-fusing? 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, minibois said:

Last time I heard about people actually doing this was in the Phenom days:

https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/phenom-ii-x3-enable-and-unlock-the-4th-core.html

 

You could probably try to do something.. But I feel like the motherboard BIOSes are probably too robust to attempt anything really.

i still have a phenom x4 rig lying around lol


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This was only reeeeeeeeally a thing (recently, at least) with the Athlon II and Phenom/Phenom II X3s, largely because AMD didn't feel like getting rid of the parts that otherwise worked very reliably. 

I very highly doubt you'd be able to do something like that on anything modern.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Electronics Wizardy said:

They normally laser off the disabled units so there is no ways to re enable.

i dont understand why they would go through the hassle to sell a binned processor


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I actually still have an ASUS Formula V from that era that comes with a core unlocker feature because AMD was known to just turn cores off in that era to sell them as lower tier processors. Nostalgia man.

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Just now, scuff gang said:

i dont understand why they would go through the hassle to sell a binned processor

Because it would be more expensive to make a separate chip for every sku. And you want to make multiple skus for every possible customer so you can sell the highest price unit you can. It makes sense money wise for the company.

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8 minutes ago, scuff gang said:

if you dont know what binning is Here’s a simplified example. Intel has standards for performance, power management and thermal output for its Core i5 CPUs. If a CPU fails to meet those standards, Intel will bin it as an i3 processor instead. However, since Core i5 processors have four cores and i3 processors have two, Intel will disable two (likely defective) cores on the processor in order to sell it as a two-core processor.

my question is if the cores that were disabled not defective, could you in any way re-enable the cores. I know that they would most likely be at a lower clock speed but what if

No, it can't be done. The CPU die might be shared across a product family, but the PCB it is connected to is specific for model you bought and has hardware level disabling of the features. It is actually a combination of microcode and hardware, but you can't change either, so it is impossible.

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15 minutes ago, scuff gang said:

i dont understand why they would go through the hassle to sell a binned processor

if their CPUs were coming out really well, they'd have no pentiums, but they have a market for every SKU that they have to fulfill so they purposefully handicap chips to make lower tiers.

 

not everyone can afford an i9


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56 minutes ago, scuff gang said:

i dont understand why they would go through the hassle to sell a binned processor

Product segmentation. They want to sell a whole range of processors, not just the most expensive (and often most profitable) ones. They can save money by just manufacturing a handful of different CPU dies, and then disabling features and binning for silicon quality in order to differentiate a single CPU die into multiple product segments. This way AMD and Intel can still sell $200 CPUs while also selling the $500 and $750 ones.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
54 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Because it would be more expensive to make a separate chip for every sku. And you want to make multiple skus for every possible customer so you can sell the highest price unit you can. It makes sense money wise for the company.

it would be a good BUYER BEWARE super cheap cpu instead of going through the hasl3


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24 minutes ago, scuff gang said:

it would be a good BUYER BEWARE super cheap cpu instead of going through the hasl3

Imagine th PR nightmare of leaving it as "buyer beware"? You MIGHT be able to enable things and maybe not, at your own risk... then the nets bottom 5th in the IQ department start just pushing all the buttons trying to get over 9000 and break something or corrupt their installs or lose files or god knows what and then take to the streets screaming about what the big bad CPU company did to them.


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29 minutes ago, scuff gang said:

it would be a good BUYER BEWARE super cheap cpu instead of going through the hasl3

How is it buyer beware? The chip meets the listed specs. They buyer doesn't need to know exactly how a product is designed of made.

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20 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

How is it buyer beware? The chip meets the listed specs. They buyer doesn't need to know exactly how a product is designed of made.

I was thinking he meant to not permanently disable anything, allow you to turn it back on at your own risk.


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1 hour ago, scuff gang said:

i dont understand why they would go through the hassle to sell a binned processor

Scammers would buy cheaper chips, re-enable or spec-it-up to the more expensive part, and sell it as the more expensive part. This is also why processors for the longest time had locked multipliers.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
42 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

How is it buyer beware? The chip meets the listed specs. They buyer doesn't need to know exactly how a product is designed of made.

like kilrath said, instead of going through the hassle of lasering it off just disable the cores but make it easy to turn re-enable the cores as an option 


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15 minutes ago, scuff gang said:

like kilrath said, instead of going through the hassle of lasering it off just disable the cores but make it easy to turn re-enable the cores as an option 

Because then a consumer could buy a cheaper sku instead of a more expensive sku. Companies want to make money, and letting consumers buy the cheaper parts and unlocking the full performance will lower revenue.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Because then a consumer could buy a cheaper sku instead of a more expensive sku. Companies want to make money, and letting consumers buy the cheaper parts and unlocking the full performance will lower revenue.

but the reason why the bin the processors is because the dont make the original requirements

 


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3 minutes ago, scuff gang said:

but the reason why the bin the processors is because the dont make the original requirements

 

Thats true for some of them. Some are just cut to make a lower end sku.

 

A company like intel  or amd has no reason to allow consumers to unlock more performance from a chip. If a consumer wants a faster chip, they could have bought the higher end sku.

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38 minutes ago, scuff gang said:

but the reason why the bin the processors is because the dont make the original requirements

In addition to what @Electronics Wizardy said, there's also the issue that... well, the cheaper part didn't meet the requirements of the more expensive part anyway. You're playing the "silicon lottery" way more than what most people use the term for.

 

Imagine buying a Ryzen 3600 because people said you could unlock two cores to make it a Ryzen 3700. Then you do just that, everything doesn't work, and you don't really have a way to revert it back because well, you need a working CPU to muck with the CPU. And you've also voided your warranty because companies don't really look fondly to such modifications. Now you have bunk CPU that works better as a paperweight than a CPU.

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