Intel's Suicidal New Business Model: Charge Twice For The Same Product

Geeks and nerds everywhere, prep your fingers for some angry typing in the blogosphere, this one is going to get messy.

Intel has decided it doesn’t make enough money selling you a single product once, so now it’s experimenting with selling you that product twice.

This genius marketing strategy is in place at Best Buy, where customers purchasing certain Compaq systems are offered a $50 upgrade card to unlock threads and cache capability that are otherwise unavailable to the system.

You read that right, Intel builds CPUs and sells them to you, only to then slyly sidle up to you to ask if you wanted unlock a little more of that CPU’s juicy goodness.

Intel has been looking for ways to build DRM into their hardware since 2004 when their Trusted Platform Module had geeks all riled up.

Has anyone purchased one of these deliberately crippled systems?

Written by Toby Leftly

Toby is a Mac nerd, a hardware nerd and a web nerd, rolled into one. You can find him at or on Twitter.

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  • zothen

    Greedy idiots!
    Must be time for to sell a few more!

  • Apple kind of does the same when ordering something online in the apple store, you can upgrade your computer or laptop with more memory, power, software, etc.

    And why not just charge the 50$ extra anyway and give the whole thing?
    Or make it downgradable if you are tight on budget for a while…

  • G

    Its like having a cloud computer but not in the cloud..

    If i play Crysis and require another few FPS, Intel will start sending me monthly CPU use details and charge details of the extra power my PC used.

    I jest, However will probably become reality soon enough.

  • sinfondo

    That’s exactly what they’re doing. You can either buy the fully enabled product, or pay less for a temporary downgrade. When you pay $50 you’ll cancel the downgrade.

  • Joe

    Sounds like standard practice when a company is about to hit a major dowturn.

    Squeeze out every last drop from the DRMLEMON they have now and then grow a completely new lemon tree and go back to the standard model.

    Only in 08 is when I heard of Intel DRM plans, now I see they really went with it all the way and greatly regret the purchase of a Lenovo U350, because its my portable Entertainment system =(

    I feel downgraded….

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