Intel ‘cpu’ Upgrade Service: Intel Corporation has introduced a card upgradeability service for one of its new processors appropriately called the ‘Intel Upgrade Service’.Â This will initially be a feature of the Pentium G9651 which is based on the i3-530 processor.
In terms of FSX the Pentium G9651 is a “low” (budget) end cpu, and simmers are unlikely to specifically seek it out to use in their favourite sim!
Basically, the Pentium G6951 (Nehalem, Westmere, i3-530) is a dual core (Clarkdale) setup with a clock speed of 2.8 GHz, plus 3 MB shared L3 cache.Â You can then purchase (for a modest sum circa $US50) an upgrade card with embedded PIN, access the Intel website, download a firmware upgrade, and you have an upgraded PC.Â The “upgrade” increases the L3 cache with an additional 1 MB (4 MB total) and Hyperthreading is enabled.Â Apparently this turns this processor into a Pentium G6952. Â These features are already present on the G9651, you just have to pay a little extra to unlock them.Â (For Reference: The i3-530 is clocked at 2.93GHz with 4 MB L3 cache and has HT enabled.)
The slight vague feeling of unease for simmers, is that if this is a success, will Intel widen this to include all of their processors and will it really affect us in the FSX virtual world?
The only CPU coupled that proved to be the friend and servant of FSX smoothness is the overclocked I7 8xx or 9xx… Of course coupled with the apropriate components… Other than this expensive setup, I presume the rest of the setups frustrates a simmer who wants to make FSX populated with max settings and today;s sophisticated add-ons…
Another consdieration not mentioned here, is what does it do to a windows system? Does it invalidate the installation? The CPU and Motherboards are two components that Microsoft have deemed as changing your computer and therefore would likely trigger a licence renewal. Has Intel and Microsoft talked about this? Does Intel know if this is the case? Additionally, if this does happen users of OEM versions will find that Microsoft may demand they repurchase their version of Windows again… Questions that need an answer.
Good point but this “unlocking” may not “trigger” a Windows hardware change wrt to a MS licence change. It is like a “firmware” update which normally does not trigger a hardware change. Further, in Australia MS are pretty good when you phone in with a hardware change, so I don’t see this one off as an issue.
Thanks for your comments