Lessons of 911 2180

The Facts

There is an article at Tom’s Hardware which purports to review an upcoming Northwood processor.

As part of the article, there is a picture of the purported processor. Update: There was a picture of the processor, it’s just been yanked, but don’t worry, I saved a copy. 🙂

It has an sspec of QFF8ES A4, and a type identifier of 80531.

Type identifer 80531 was used by Intel for non-Northwood 478-pin PIVs.

If you look carefully at the first picture in this article on the 2.0 Ghz PIV Willamette, you’ll see that that CPU also has an identifying code of QFF8ES A4, and a type identifier of 80531 (though it’s not the same processor as the one shown in the recent article).

If you don’t want to look so far, here’s a far clearer picture from [H]ardOCP (click on the first image). Again, QFF8ES A4, type identifier 80531.

Intel never recycles items like sspecs or type identifiers.

Occasionally, we’ve noticed websites put the wrong picture up for a processor, but the picture of the processor shows a code ending in 3.3G0K rather than 2.0G0K.

The Opinion

The only plausible legitimate explanation we can come up with for this is that the person at Intel responsible for programming the thingamajig that stamps out identifying numbers changed some parameters but not others, after all, such chips normally never see the light of day.

I think someone has some explaining to do.

Update: We now have a new page of laughs.

1) Claimed to have an unlocked processor, which is quite irrelevant to the subject at hand.

2) Stated that they never claimed to have a 3.6GHz processor, which is also just as irrelevant. What they claimed to have was a 3.3GHz processor, and they showed a “photo” as proof.

3) Stated that their source “had originally asked us not to publish a photo of this special CPU.” So just what was that original picture? If it wasn’t the real one, then what else could it be? If that wasn’t the chip, than what was it, and just how did it get those 3.3 markings?

4) Stated that they now could put up a picture of said processor, then put up two pictures.

The first picture put up is a picture of an engineering sample of the 2.8GHz. Go here (click on the first picture under “The CPU”), and you’ll see another 2.8GHz engineering sample with the same sspec and batch number.

The second picture is a “special Pentium 4 CPU from an undisclosed source.” Well, if you look at the code and placement of the Intel watermark, it’s the exact placement you’d expect to find on a Willamette made in early June, 2002. Northwoods don’t have code printed on the bottom of the chip, and the watermark is placed to the left.

This is getting just too silly. I think they just overclocked the 2.8, myself.

I don’t know about you, but it’s going to be very difficult to take the two authors of this piece seriously in the future. If you’re going to fake it, at least do it well!


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