ComputerNerd, de welbekende leverancier van overclocking gereedschappen, waarschuwt in een persberichtje dat er mogelijk grote aantallen geremarkte Athlons in de omloop zijn. Naar eigen zeggen kreeg ComputerNerd een lading met fake Athlons afkomstig van de grijze markt. De processors zijn herkenbaar aan de plastic achterkant van de cartridge. Deze is vervaardigd van een ander materiaal dan de originele Athlon. Tevens tonen de metalen clips sporen van mishandeling:
Plantation, FL. March 20, 2000. ComputerNerd USA is issuing this alert to Athlon buyers that it has recently received a shipment of counterfeit Athlons. The plastic cartridge back cover on these CPU is not exactly the same as the original AMD cover. This may assist in identifying the counterfeit without having to open the case, and also suggests that the counterfeiting operation may be large scale.
Since it is not an authorized AMD distributor, ComputerNerd USA purchases large numbers of Athlon processors from several suppliers on the gray market and opens them for testing with the Advanced POW!er Boost overclocking controller. It is therefore able to detect CPUs which have been opened and remarked which would be accepted as original AMD products by customers that do not open the case or do not carefully check for signs of internal tampering.
The counterfeit CPUs were marked as Athlon 650 0.25 micron (C types) with serial numbers on the case of 219936022369, 219936022600 and 219936022907. The paper sticker inside the cartridge on the circuit card with the original serial number had been removed and replaced with another sticker with slightly smaller size and different printing than the original AMD sticker. The serial numbers on the inside sticker were nearly but not exactly the same as on the cartridge (219936022781, 219936022780, 219936022802, respectively).
The metal clips holding the CPU circuit card showed signs of having been opened and reclosed, and some resistor pads (R121, R147, R158) on the circuit card showed clear traces of removal or resoldering. The cores were marked K7650, indicating that the original AMD CPU was probably an Athlon 500 since many of these CPUs were produced with 650 MHz cores.
The plastic CPU back cover is made of a different kind of plastic than the original product (two of the three CPUs had the cover break on removal, whereas the original plastic cover never breaks on removal). Surfaces of the plastic are shinier than the original product. The most distinctive difference, however, is that all corners and angles of the counterfeit plastic cover are rounded, whereas on the original part all angles are sharp with straight intersecting edges. [break] Gamers Depot is er super snel bij met een reactie van Drew Prairie / AMD. Hij adviseert resellers om geen procs op de grijze markt te kopen: [/break] This is the reason why we always recommend that resellers everywhere avoid the "gray market", and only buy through certified distribution, because you never know who you're buying from, and what their doing to the chips before you get them. We're not aware of this particular problem, but I will pass this onto our legal team for further investigation.
Het idee om processors te remarken is niet bepaald nieuw. Anderhalf jaar geleden was er ook al veel ophef over de circulatie van fake PII's. De Athlon is dankzij z'n Gold Fingers ideaal voor overklokkers, maar ook gevoelig voor remarking.