Intel Selling CPU Unlock Cards

In a move that has certainly gotten the ire of many users, Intel has begun the sale of security cards that unlock features your processor already has. Originally broken by Engadget, the story unfolded when a shopper first noticed an upgrade card for the Pentium G6951 processor on sale at a local Best Buy.

Sure enough, the $50 card was authentic and Intel’s official website confirms that the software download unlocks multiple features already present on the CPU. has conducted a series of tests on the matter and confirmed the cards unlock Hyperthreading and a whole 1MB of L3 cache.

In a questionnaire conducted by BBC, Intel explained their new business model

“The pilot in a limited number of retail stores will center on one Pentium processor, one of our value brands, and will enable a consumer to upgrade the performance of their PC online….This saves the user from buying a new system or taking it in for a physical upgrade.”

So now consumers are expected to buy prepaid CPUs? Light the torches!