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Core 2 engineering samples from China, a question

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August 25, 2012 8:32:23 PM

I need to upgrade my laptop CPU. I've noticed that on ebay there's been a recent influx of Q9100 Core 2 Quad engineering samples being sold out of China for incredibly cheap. As long as the processor is functionally equivalent to the retail version, I'll be a happy man. But a comment on one of these ebay listings concerns me:

Quote:
Engineering Sample version, cpu info NOT displayed in BIOS


Is it true that engineering samples don't display info in BIOS, or should I consider this listing suspect? If the former, is there a way (besides benchmarking) to know that I haven't been ripped off?

Thanks.
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2012 8:53:10 PM

As a rule engineering samples are not supposed to be offered for sale. I would consider this extremely suspect.
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a b à CPUs
August 25, 2012 8:58:33 PM

It's not the engineering sample that doesn't display, it's the BIOS that doesn't recognize the CPU! It's most likely your Laptop doesn't start. That's why they are so cheap. And if it starts it will probably overheat very fast, because your the cooler is not made for this CPU and the fan management can not react to an unknown CPU. Bad news? Yes! Buy cheap and you buy twice. ;) 
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August 25, 2012 9:07:29 PM

(@Herr_Koos)

I'm aware that they aren't supposed to be offered for sale. Honestly, if it's a legitimate engineering sample of the model specified, I don't really care. I'm not breaking the law by buying one. And I actually have little doubt that these are legitimate, as I have read that these processors are being acquired for as little as ~$6 a piece in Shenzhen, meaning that resellers have virtually no reason to try to remark them or pull any tricks. They'll make 2000% profits off legitimate sales.

My only real concern is the comment about no BIOS information. I need to know if this is typical of engineering samples. Does anyone know?
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 9:42:34 PM

Are you sure you can even upgrade your laptop? Most are very limited as to upgrading a CPU. Just because it's the same socket does not mean it will work. If heat is not the limiting factor then the BIOS actually supporting more than 1 or 2 CPUs will be.
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August 25, 2012 9:50:22 PM

@anort3: Yes, quite sure. I'm very experienced with this. CPU compatibility is a matter of what the chipset will support. This laptop's chipset, PM45, supports 17 processor models, of which the Q9100 is one.

@noidea_77: I will reply to you shortly.
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a c 109 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 9:56:48 PM

And what the BIOS supports, my desktop's chipsets supports Core 2 based CPUs but the BIOS limits it to Netburst CPUs.
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August 25, 2012 10:14:20 PM

noidea_77 said:
It's not the engineering sample that doesn't display, it's the BIOS that doesn't recognize the CPU! It's most likely your Laptop doesn't start. That's why they are so cheap. And if it starts it will probably overheat very fast, because your the cooler is not made for this CPU and the fan management can not react to an unknown CPU. Bad news? Yes! Buy cheap and you buy twice. ;) 


Sorry to be the one to say it, but your post is nothing but a bunch of assumptions based on bad information. I suggest you read a little bit on engineering sample CPUs before further replying in this thread.

Firstly, the reason they're so cheap is because they're given away for free and often reach the black market having been acquired for, as I said, as little as $6 per processor, therefore reselling them at 1/3 retail yields huge profits.

Secondly, your claims that my "most likely my laptop doesn't start" and "it will probably overheat very fast" are totally without basis. Engineering samples are sent to companies planning on implementing the CPU (in, for instance, a retail computer system) in the near future. They're meant to be used for quality assurance in prototype designs and the like. They are working demonstrators of the CPU's capability. So obviously, they will have to facilitate heat management every bit as good as retail versions. I understand that, in the case that BIOS doesn't display info, it would mean that BIOS doesn't recognize the CPU. In the case of engineering samples, this can be assumed to mean that CPU identification facilities have been left out of engineering samples because they have no bearing on the performance of the processor. This does NOT logically lead to any of the assumptions you've made about their poor performance.
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a c 146 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 10:26:06 PM

i think yuo're missing the point. Laptop's spu support is typically locked to the bios. If the bios isnt setup to work with that specific cpu then it might not work at all. How does the bios know what cpu it should allow to work? By the model number it detects... and by your own given information:

[Quote :]Engineering Sample version, cpu info NOT displayed in BIOS [/quote]

so I hope you're paying a little more attention now and stop belittling people trying to help you.

Whether it actually works or not I dont care. Good luck to you.
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August 25, 2012 10:31:34 PM

jay_nar2012 said:
And what the BIOS supports, my desktop's chipsets supports Core 2 based CPUs but the BIOS limits it to Netburst CPUs.


Okay, I wasn't aware of that, probably because Dell's BIOS support is so good and frequently updated (my laptop is Dell) as to make it virtually a non-issue in Dells. Top and bottom is, I know for a fact that this laptop model supports all 17 processor models supported by the chipset, because I've seen this model sold by Dell with the full range of these processors included.
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a b à CPUs
August 25, 2012 10:48:43 PM

Actually sometimes the batch of engineering samples are not the final revision of the CPU. So yes ,overheating can be a concern because they are not always the exact CPU that hits the shelves for retail. I would stay away but that's just me.
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 10:51:53 PM

Quote:
probably because Dell's BIOS support is so good



:lol: 


Quote:
I know for a fact that this laptop model supports all 17 processor models supported by the chipset, because I've seen this model sold by Dell with the full range of these processors included.


You are still assuming. Very likely there were at the very least different BIOS revisions between the varoius models. If you are lucky your board will support 2 or 3 CPUs. Hell you could be right and we all could be wrong. All I can speak from is experience. Either way good luck.
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August 25, 2012 10:58:46 PM

anort3 said:
You are still assuming. Very likely there were at the very least different BIOS revisions between the varoius models. If you are lucky your board will support 2 or 3 CPUs. Hell you could be right and we all could be wrong. All I can speak from is experience. Either way good luck.


Okay maybe I'm assmuing, but would BIOS revisions really drop support of certain processors? They're all modern processors released within a 3 year period.
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:06:31 PM

Yes. You don't have much experience with laptops obviously. It's not even close to the same as working with desktops. Find your exact motherboard model and either post it or find it on the Dell website to see what's exactly compatible with it. Don't assume anything.
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a c 146 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:08:51 PM

I would not bother with engineering samples. Engineering samples are not a finished product and can have flaws like heat problems or BIOS prolems.
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a c 283 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:09:16 PM

transmoderata said:
Okay maybe I'm assmuing, but would BIOS revisions really drop support of certain processors? They're all modern processors released within a 3 year period.


Maybe not "drop" support, but rather never had support in the first place...

And yes, getting an ES is a bad idea, in general. If it's less than $10, go for it, but otherwise, I'd say forget about it.
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August 25, 2012 11:15:16 PM

anort3 said:
Yes. You don't have much experience with laptops obviously. It's not even close to the same as working with desktops. Find your exact motherboard model and either post it or find it on the Dell website to see what's exactly compatible with it. Don't assume anything.


Now you're contradicting yourself by telling me it only depends on the chipset, exactly what you told me wasn't true...
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a c 283 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:17:39 PM

transmoderata said:
Now you're contradicting yourself by telling me it only depends on the chipset, exactly what you told me wasn't true...


How did you get that out of what he said there? He was talking about the BIOS, you just read too much into it, seeing what you wanted to see.
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:21:52 PM

transmoderata said:
Now you're contradicting yourself by telling me it only depends on the chipset, exactly what you told me wasn't true...



Were in any of my posts have I mentioned chipset?
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August 25, 2012 11:23:25 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
How did you get that out of what he said there? He was talking about the BIOS, you just read too much into it, seeing what you wanted to see.


difference instances of the same laptop model aren't going to have different motherboards. I have a Precision M4400, meaning that I have a Precision m4400 motherboard which has the PM45 chipset. This motherboard supports processors with the Penryn microarchitecture. This is straight off wikipedia.

You guys know there's such thing as flashing the BIOS, do you not?
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a c 283 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:28:30 PM

transmoderata said:
You guys know there's such thing as flashing the BIOS, do you not?


Yes, but if there was never a BIOS that supported the ES CPU's in the first place (old OR new), it doesn't matter.

That, on top of OEM BIOS' being EXTREMELY restrictive on what CPU's they support, almost definitely means that the ES CPU's will not work.

I don't care what the chipset supports, if the BIOS won't support it, it won't work.
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August 25, 2012 11:33:40 PM

anort3: Okay, my laptop's motherboard is part number F412N. See if you can use that information to figure out anything I haven't already stated and didn't already know.
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:39:10 PM

transmoderata said:
anort3: Okay, my laptop's motherboard is part number F412N. See if you can use that information to figure out anything I haven't already stated and didn't already know.



Need your exact laptop model as well.
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:41:39 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
I'm looking now, and I believe that it's a Dell Precision M4400. I haven't really been able to find much in the way of CPU support, though.



Yeah me too.
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a c 283 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:42:32 PM

anort3 said:
Need your exact laptop model as well.


I'm looking now, and I believe that it's a Dell Precision M4400. I haven't really been able to find much in the way of CPU support, though.
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August 25, 2012 11:48:16 PM

Yes, I said Precision M4400 above.

Btw, thank you for trying.
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:49:10 PM

From what I see it is identical to a Latitude E6500 as well but that's not helping much either.
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a c 283 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:49:26 PM

The closest thing I can find is found in this thread http://forum.notebookreview.com/hardware-components-aft...

A quote talking about CPU support

Quote:
Here's what the Dell Tech Support Rep told me in an email after talking with tech support on the phone:
Quote Originally Posted by Dell
I checked into the processor issues and as long as it's Intel Socket P it should work, there are no blacklisted processor in the BIOS that Ican see, but only the processors that are shipped with the system are tested and warrantied to work with the system. So Icannot guarentee that it will work, but the specifications match. You might also want to try to use our community forums at:
Home - Dell Community and post there and more than likely someone has had first hand experience with the model and processor.


That seems to suggest that it actually might work.
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 25, 2012 11:57:01 PM

I can't find anything concrete at all. If I was you I would contact Dell directly and ask them.

The pocessor being a possible engineering sample is a whole different issue.
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August 26, 2012 12:01:08 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
The closest thing I can find is found in this thread http://forum.notebookreview.com/hardware-components-aft...

A quote talking about CPU support

Quote:
Here's what the Dell Tech Support Rep told me in an email after talking with tech support on the phone:
Quote Originally Posted by Dell
I checked into the processor issues and as long as it's Intel Socket P it should work, there are no blacklisted processor in the BIOS that Ican see, but only the processors that are shipped with the system are tested and warrantied to work with the system. So Icannot guarentee that it will work, but the specifications match. You might also want to try to use our community forums at:
Home - Dell Community and post there and more than likely someone has had first hand experience with the model and processor.


That seems to suggest that it actually might work.


This is about upgrading from T9600 to QX9300 (presumably retail versions), which I was almost sure would work to begin with. It's a similar upgrade to what I'm trying. But it doesn't address the ES issue.

Btw, to everyone who has replied so far: I own an apology. I really didn't understand that BIOS had to explicitly enable support for certain processors, which led to a lot of misunderstandings on my part. I have successfully upgraded the CPU on a Dell laptop on 2 occasions, based on knowing solely what the chipset would support, but maybe I got lucky both times?
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August 26, 2012 12:05:48 AM

transmoderata said:
This is about upgrading from T9600 to QX9300 (presumably retail versions), which I was almost sure would work to begin with. It's a similar upgrade to what I'm trying. But it doesn't address the ES issue.


They did talk about an ES in that thread, but I'm not sure that the reply that I quoted was addressing that specifically.

I suppose it's possible that any CPU that will work with that chipset really will work. It just goes against what most people would actually think for an OEM BIOS.
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a c 227 à CPUs
August 26, 2012 12:14:07 AM

You did get lucky those times. Dell only writes CPU support into a BIOS if they are offering a specific CPU with that board.
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August 26, 2012 12:24:11 AM

anort3 said:
You did get lucky those times. Dell only writes CPU support into a BIOS if they are offering a specific CPU with that board.


Well like I said, I've seen Dell sell this laptop model (i.e. specific board) with the full range of CPUs supported by the chipset.
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August 26, 2012 7:11:00 AM

First of all, laptop cpu's are normally soldered onto the pcb.
The fact that the chipset supports a cpu is a compatibility issue, different from upgrade which is a design issue.

Secondly, how do you know the engineering samples are not defective? Or they're not buggy? Maybe the've got some issues that were fixed afterwards?

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a c 109 à CPUs
August 26, 2012 10:35:01 AM

Ultrabooks and Netbooks have soldered CPUs, most laptops/notebooks aren't soldered, instead they are socketed, AMD APUs are soldered in, i think most Apple laptops have soldered CPUs..
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a c 146 à CPUs
August 26, 2012 4:55:00 PM

proton007 said:
First of all, laptop cpu's are normally soldered onto the pcb.
The fact that the chipset supports a cpu is a compatibility issue, different from upgrade which is a design issue.

Secondly, how do you know the engineering samples are not defective? Or they're not buggy? Maybe the've got some issues that were fixed afterwards?


Not really. Most are sockets just like a desktop. The only ones that are soldered onto the motherboard are net books and ultra books. Computers like this have CPU's that are very very low power consumption and low TDP, like the Intel Atom.
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a c 283 à CPUs
August 26, 2012 4:59:15 PM

^ And another thing to add to that is that this particular laptop is a workstation model, so even though we know it's socketed, it's far more likely that a workstation model would be anyway.
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a c 109 à CPUs
August 26, 2012 5:02:01 PM

Most notebooks have socketed CPUs.
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a c 146 à CPUs
August 27, 2012 11:52:48 PM

proton007 said:

Secondly, how do you know the engineering samples are not defective? Or they're not buggy? Maybe the've got some issues that were fixed afterwards?



I'd be more concerned that these aren't really intel chips at all but rather chinese knockoffs labelled as ES just to get them to sell and then if they don't work, oh well - no warranty and no support and being ES there was no way to guarrantee they'd work anyways. they weren't meant for production systems.
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August 29, 2012 1:22:15 PM

transmoderata said:
Now you're contradicting yourself by telling me it only depends on the chipset, exactly what you told me wasn't true...

well i am sure i got this in the wrong spot but i purchased an e8600 from china and it registered in my g41m-combo motherboard as the real deal but the temp was way down in one core and tried it on two machines and it did work well but i suspect the sensor in one core,i have returned it and am about to pay more and get a qx9650 and try to find out if it fits my gigabyte ga-g41m combo rev 2.0 so i have my fingers crossed. any help would be very help full.
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