Intel investigating fake Core i7 chips

The chipmaker is trying to figure out how many counterfeit Core i7 processors might be on sale, and where they are being sold
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Intel is investigating the source of fake Core i7 processors, after a customer of an online PC shop bought one that turned out to be counterfeit.

The chipmaker has been made aware of "the potential for counterfeit i7-920 packages in the marketplace" and is trying to figure out where and how many are being sold, Intel said in a statement on Sunday.

"The examples we have seen are not Intel products but are counterfeits," the company said. "Buyers should contact their place of purchase for a replacement and/or should contact their local law-enforcement agency if the place of purchase refuses to help."

The Core i7 is a high-end chipset for PCs, based on Intel's Nehalem technology, which launched at the end of 2008.

On Thursday, a user called Nix reported on the HardOCP forum that he had ordered a Core i7-920 — a mid-level desktop model of Intel's high-end chipset — from the online store Newegg, only to receive "a fake CPU and a plastic mold of the heat sink and fan with a sticker on it".

A few other HardOCP members then reported similar experiences, while a YouTube user also posted a video of the counterfeit goods he had received.

Newegg sent a statement to HardOCP on Friday, saying its internal investigations of the issue had shown that one of its long-term distributor partners had "mistakenly shipped a small number of demo boxes instead of functional units".

ZDNet UK has approached Newegg for comment on the situation, but had received no reply at the time of writing.

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