Ivy Bridge productions CPUs sold on eBay
Next Intel micro-architecture, code-named Ivy Bridge, is still a month away, however you can already buy unreleased processors. It's not unusual to see pre-production, or engineering samples of not yet released CPUs sold before they they are announced. In this case, however, we're talking about production models. Several Ivy Bridge production SKUs, including i5-3570K and i7-3770K, are sold in countries like Russia or China. Two IB processors can be also bought on eBay.
At the beginning of March a user in Intel community forums complained about possibly defective Core i5-3570K processor, that he bought in Russia. The user provided CPU-Z screenshot, and a picture, that shows a chip with S-Spec number SR0PM. Intel representative suggested that he has a fake processor or engineering sample, although we suspect the processor might as well be genuine, and the problem could be due to the fact, that the chip is not yet supported by the motherboard.
In China one can buy third generation Core IB microprocessors from Taobao shopping site. Production Core i3-3570K sold by a number of sellers for prices, ranging from $231 to $300+. Here is one listing, that offers this model for 1550 RMB, or $246. Other Ivy Bridge processors are also available. Core i7-3770K sells for $440 - $475. You can also purchase production chips from Xeon E3-1200v2 series, such as Xeon E3-1230v2. For instance, this seller has Xeon 1230v2 for $225.
Buying on Taobao is a bit of a challenge if you don't know the language. In this case you can turn to English-speaking Taobao agents, who will handle all negotiations with Taobao sellers, and reship the processors for 10% or higher fee. Some IB CPUs also surfaced on eBay, and you can grab either production Core i5-3570K for $319 or Xeon E3-1230v2 CPU for $299. The processors are shipped from Hong Kong, but that still will be faster than dealing with Taobao agents.
Update (March 31, 16:00pm): Core i5-3570K on eBay is sold out. Two E3-1230v2 processors are still available. All in all, in the past three days the seller sold eight Core i5 production chips and eight Xeon E3s.
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