Recently, shoppers on Amazon have reported fake AMD CPUs for sale.
The main CPU to watch out for is the AMD A8-7600. What appears to be happening is that customers are buying an AMD CPU from Amazon like normal, but when they receive the chips, the CPUs aren't working. Enough buyers looked closely at the bottom of the chips and realized that things just weren't matching up.
Apparently, someone is taking older or less expensive CPUs and delidding them. Then they are taking newer CPUs that have more value, delidding those, and then putting the IHS from the new CPUs on the old CPUs. Then they are able to sell them, and unless you look at the pins to realize that something is wrong, you would never notice.
According to Computer Base, a German news site, the cores being used are the AM2 Athlon X2 cores.
Currently, the fakes seem to be exclusive to the AMD A8-7600, and the situation appears to be limited to Amazon in the United Kingdom. However, users should be aware of potentially fake CPUs. The users did not report which seller they bought the product from, but all listings show up as new.
This could easily spread over to other products if the people behind it are successfully making a profit. For example, it would be relatively easy for someone to start doing this with Haswell products, switching the IHS of a Celeron with a Core i7, because both products are LGA1150.
It's a bad situation to be stuck in and not know what to do. Even worse, if you successfully manage to crush the CPU into the incompatible socket, it could cause serious damage to your motherboard.
We reached out to both Amazon and AMD for comment. Although we have not heard from Amazon, AMD issued this response:
It is apparent that this isolated incident is not related in any way to AMD's manufacturing or packaging, however AMD takes any reports of product tampering very seriously. As part of our ongoing efforts to help ensure consumers and businesses are sold only genuine AMD processors, we thoroughly investigate these extremely rare incidents in an effort to determine the source of the altered products, and consider all available legal remedies - including both civil and criminal prosecution - against persons found to have engaged in fraudulent actions affecting AMD products. We are working in close cooperation with Amazon and the local enforcement authorities to conclude this incident quickly and ensure that the rigorous quality and reliability standards that AMD is known for are maintained. In addition, while AMD already implements extensive security measures to ensure the authenticity of our products, we are currently evaluating further measures to implement additional security measures for maximum future support.
An AMD representative would not confirm whether or not the fakes exist, but for what it's worth, we were told that this is an open investigation. However, AMD did offer some tips on how to check for a CPU's authenticity:
- Each AMD PIB has a unique serial number that helps AMD track distribution and helps ensure that buyers are receiving authentic AMD products of the highest quality.- Serial numbers are also used for verification of PIB authenticity for warranty service.- Each PIB has a 3D AMD hologram label on the box that helps users verify the authenticity of AMD PIB products.
AMD also has a guide listed on its website to help verify the legitimacy of CPUs.