Intel Charging $50 to Unlock Hardware CPU Features

By Wesley Fenlon

Intel's testing out a new business model: selling codes to speed up low-end processors.

Console gamers have been raging about paying for on-disc DLC for most of the current console generation, and apparently Intel didn’t want PC users to feel left out--the chip company is testing out a new business model with CPU Upgrade Cards. For $50, Best Buy shoppers in select markets can buy a download code for the Pentium G6951 processor. By activating said code at the Intel Upgrade Service site, lucky G6951 owners can download software that unlocks more cache space and doubles the HyperThreading capabilities.

We probably won’t be seeing upgrade options spread across Intel’s entire line of processors.  Imagine the backlash--and piracy--that could result from a widespread handicapping of Intel processors. That said, we can imagine some less-informed consumers jumping on a cheap processor upgrade, thinking they’d just found a great deal, and retailers like Best Buy will no doubt enjoy selling cards alongside laptops for that extra bit of profit.

Image credit: Engadget