I went looking for a Santa today. I wanted him to give me a C1 stepping chip. I went to three retail stores.
I hate going to computer stores, because I know what I am likely to get before even stepping inside.
Today, I asked to look at a PIV processor, and told the salesperson that I needed to see the codes on the retail box. Once I had a box in my hand, I then explained what I was looking at, and what I wanted.
I got what I expected. Not the processor, the usual arguments.
First, I got “Why do you want to do that, they’re all the same.” Now I have to tell Mr. Computer Man nicely that he’s wrong in order to find out what I need to know. Then I explained steppings to two out of the three. Today, that was like explaining dilithium crystals to a Taliban man. The fruit of my explanation? “Why do you want to do that, they’re all the same.”
I didn’t even dare go into the week of manufacture. 🙂
In two of the three cases, I got a fairly vociferous argument about it, which got worse when I asked them to check for a particular code. You’d think I was asking them to move bags of cements rather than at most a few boxes. Mind you, none of these stores were crowded, one was actually empty.
In one particular case, I had one lady who had plopped herself like Jabba the Hutt on a seat two feet from the store’s PIV processors, and you’d think I had just asked her to run a marathon to just look at a handful of them.
No one had a 1.8A chip, period. No one had a 2A or 2.4B C1 stepping. (In all three cases, I had to point out the product on display to the salesperson to tell him what he was selling).
However, I did see a few items of note.
Most of the CPUs I actually saw were manufactured in week 33. That’s late August. However, their packing dates differed by quite a bit. I saw one week 33 with a packing date of early October. I also saw week 33s with packing dates of 11/21, and 12/4.
This means Intel was still putting out B0 chips from their assembly plants two weeks ago. That 12/4 chip (it was a 2A) probably had just been received by the place.
This is not at all good news for Internet buyers. “Fresh stock” isn’t going to necessarily mean “C1 stock” for sometime to come.
I could of course order a C1 stepping chip, but the problem is the latest info from the CPU databases seem to indicate that the later the week, the better. Maybe, data is very light on the ground.
Probably going to wait two weeks, keep looking at the database data (and please, if you get a C1 of any type, please consider inputting the information, that helps us all), and see if I have better luck at a computer show.
And if I don’t see what I want then, I’ll wait some more. After all, if I tell you it’s best to wait, that applies to me, too. 🙂