Fake Core i7-990X CPU
I'm sure most readers have come across fake electronic hardware, either personally or through reading/watching news articles. CPUs are no exception, and in the forums here at CPU-World there have been many threads discussing fakes. Some of them are very well made, and sometimes produced in very large quantities. Others are relatively easy to spot. One that is easy to spot is an Intel Core i7-990X discussed on the Intel forums.
CPUs are faked for many reasons, and are sold in varying markets worldwide. Sometimes that will mean a large OEM company using fake processors in widely used product ranges, and often nobody will be any wiser. As an example, one user in our forums commented that 2-3% of used Pentium systems he finds in Australia have fake Pentium processors in them. Processors are faked to make them appear to be more expensive (and usually faster) models.
At the extreme end of the scale, it is sometimes possible to take a $1 chip and remark it to appear to be a $1000 chip. Depending where such a chip is purchased, there is often no way to get your money back, and it can be far more costly than just buying another processor (for example, if a 1 GHz processor is remarked as a 3 GHz processor, the extreme overclock could damage other components such as motherboard and memory). This is obviously no joke for the buyer, who may have spent their annual budget on parts that now have to be replaced again.
In the case of the i7-990X shown in the Intel forums, anyone knowledgeable about processors would know it was not genuine, as the chip is in the wrong package (ie the wrong size), and fits the wrong socket. Unfortunately, not every consumer is as knowledgeable as most who frequent this site, so fakes like that can easily be sold on eBay and other outlets for a huge profit. It's unknown exactly which processor it was originally as the user who reported on it had not yet had a chance to test it, but one thing is for sure - it is a socket 775 chip and not a socket 1366, which it should be.
As a final thought, when buying parts (new or second-hand) from an unknown retailer, or through a private sale (eg on a forum where the seller is not known) you may not have any options to recover the cost of your investment. On the other hand, buying expensive components from large, established retailers usually means you will get genuine parts that they purchased either from the manufacturer or from an authorized distributor, meaning a far lower chance of a fake product slipping through, and a far greater chance of getting either a refund or replacement if your goods do not work as advertised (ie fakes or faulty goods). The manufacturer is under no obligation to help you if your goods are fake.
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