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.

Comments: 4

you're clueless

2012-02-06 12:10:14
Posted by: CACK

the "extreme overclock" would cause nothing but instability. show me one example where the mainboard or memory has been damaged by overclocking a chip and i'll eat my hat

there are two dangers: voltage and heat. if you keep those in spec nothing will go wrong


2012-02-06 20:21:40
Posted by: gshv

The CPU does not operate independently from the motherboard. Cheap motherboards are designed to work with processors within their specs, and good boards are designed to work with processors overclocked to certain limit. If you run your CPU above that limit then you also run your board out of spec, which can burn some components, like VRM. Additionally, if you burn the processor, it may take down your board as well. Here is one article that may be useful to you (remove spaces):

www.overclock. net/a/about-vrms-mosfets-motherboard-safety-with-high-tdp-processors

It links to another thread, where you can find examples of how people burned their boards:

www.overclock. net/t/943087/uh-oh-did-i-waste-my-phenom-ii

There are plenty of other examples on the net.

I do not expect you to eat your hat, but simple apology to Debs for you "clueless" comment would be in place.


2012-02-07 16:08:03
Posted by: Bobnova

Both of those examples involved raising the CPU voltage, which creates more heat. Clock speed alone won't kill anything.
While it is possible to "padmod" socket 775 and older Intel CPUs to run a higher voltage at default settings, it is also very obvious when it has been done.

While CACK's presentation wasn't the politest in the world, he is correct.


2012-02-07 16:36:43
Posted by: gshv

Unfortunately, this is incorrect. Dissipated power is directly proportional to processor frequency, and to square of core voltage, so overclocking the chip without raising the voltage still increases the heat, although not as much as when you raise the voltage along with it.

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