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Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards Show Up In Germany

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the maybe-they're-just-resting dept.

Graphics 76

An anonymous reader writes "Several fake NVIDIA cards — probably GeForce GT 440 — have had their BIOS reflashed to report themselves as GeForce GTX 660. They were sold under the brand "GTX660 4096MB Nvidia Bulk" but only deliver 1/4 of the speed of a real GTX 660. Investigations are ongoing into who did the reflashing, but several hundred of them have already been sold and are now being recalled."

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Don't buy American. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47772371)

Which part of "American product" did they not understand?

Re:Don't buy American. (0)

qbast (1265706) | about 4 months ago | (#47772387)

They looked at 'Made in China' sticker and thought it is safe.

Re:Don't buy American. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47772397)

yeah it's too bad if nvidia had done this and sold them with the name 660 Bulk, it would have been business as usual.

Re:Don't buy American. (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 4 months ago | (#47772851)

I forgot the name of the site but they have bunch of cards like that listed for sale for what seems like stupid cheap prices. gl4ss piss off amd bitch boy

Re:Don't buy American. (2)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 4 months ago | (#47772861)

aliexpress was site that has tons of fake geforce cards like that. just look through them and see this is not an isolated issue.

Re:Don't buy American. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47773413)

This one Looks Real ATI Radeon Graphics Nvidia Video

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/GTX660Ti-2GB-384bit-2048MB-DDR3-Nvidia-Geforce-PC-Desktop-Video/1506452210.html?s=p

Re:Don't buy American. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47773783)

I forgot the name of the site but they have bunch of cards like that listed for sale for what seems like stupid cheap prices.

gl4ss piss off amd bitch boy

Were published on Amazon at least a few weeks ago.

Re: Don't buy American. (1)

BlackHeron717 (3762173) | about 4 months ago | (#47774543)

I have heard of a practice where companies produce items with virtually the same product number as a performance model with just a slight, misleading name modification, and then sell them on black friday at severely discounted rates to make people believe they are getting great deals, when in actuality they are getting a terrible product for the break neck prices. This would confirm your comment, that if they find Nvidia is the one behind this, it is just business as usual. They didn't sell out if their overstock so why not just ship it abroad to offload the dead merchandise.

Re: Don't buy American. (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 4 months ago | (#47778815)

This is NOT nvidia's doing, it would be straight up illegal.

No big mystery, you whore. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47772401)

"Point of View, headquartered in the Netherlands, is listed on the Nvidia website as Nvidia's product partners. The production of many products of Point of View is done in China."

interesting case.... (5, Informative)

MeistaDieb (3647703) | about 4 months ago | (#47772415)

The cards were all sold by the Distributor "Kosatec". Kosatec itself bought the cards directly from Point of View in the Netherlands (proof was given by invoices and transport packaging). The statement of Point of View is that they have not produced the cards... Could get real interesting :-D

Re:interesting case.... (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 4 months ago | (#47772471)

There's also the delivery company that could have switched them. I know for a fact not all delivery companies are to be trusted equally.
Or, if either Kosatec or POV uses a company to handle their warehousing, a third company.

Re:interesting case.... (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47772773)

It would be interesting for an intermediary to be involved since producing/obtaining correctly faked GPUs is a comparatively specialized task. Not rocket science, pick the cheapest Nvidia silicon that is close enough to not react horribly to drivers expecting the real thing, tamper with the identifying portions of the firmware, replace any packaging, stickers, or other labels; but it's hardly the old 'purchase thing from best buy, return brick in the box' scam.

This doesn't mean that it isn't one of the intermediaries; but if it is they are working with considerably more sophistication than the 'fell off the truck' level of supply chain skimming.

Re:interesting case.... (2)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 4 months ago | (#47772909)

For the packaging, make a deal with whoever cleans up at an assembly line for desktops. Plenty of PC vendors wind up with pallets of packaging to dispose of.

Not faked GPUs... (4, Informative)

OmniGeek (72743) | about 4 months ago | (#47773585)

I've read the Heise articles in the original German, and the GPUs were not faked; the cards were an older generation graphics card (~10% of the graphics throughput of the claimed item) with the video BIOS hacked to zero out the card manufacturer ID and the GPU type twiddled to fool the driver into thinking it was the newer card. According to the articles, NVidia is tracing the GPUs through the supply chain by their internal serial numbers.

I would speculate that someone bought up a truckload of obsolete cards, reflashed the BIOS images, and relabeled them with plausible product ID labels. Could have been the Chinese manufacturer, could have been someone elsewhere in the pipeline.

Re:Not faked GPUs... (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 4 months ago | (#47779663)

whose fucking bright idea was it to install the BIOS on a fucking EEPROM??
What happened to hardcoding it?

Jusssayin'

Re:Not faked GPUs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47783087)

whose fucking bright idea was it to install the BIOS on a fucking EEPROM??
What happened to hardcoding it?

Jusssayin'

Ever heard of BIOS updates to fix glitches, instability and compatibility with external hardware like high refresh rate monitors?

The GPU BIOS is flashable for the same reason the motherboard BIOS is flashable: so it can be serviced without a recall.

[Also, the BIOS contains x86 machine code, not just GPU code; the video BIOS is an extension of the motherboard BIOS. The actual video card machine code that implements OpenGL/Direct3D is downloaded onto the thing at runtime by the driver software when the OS starts. It needs to be flashable so that the PowerPC version can be burned on instead if necessary.]

Re:Not faked GPUs... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 4 months ago | (#47784589)

Every BIOS in consumer hardware has been on EEPROM (or flash) for more than a decade, easily.

Mask ROM is not worth the effort, except in very specific cases.

3rd shift stuff from the Chinese manufacturer (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#47773873)

3rd shift stuff from the Chinese manufacturer may of done this as well.

Re:interesting case.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47775473)

Perhaps the real cards went to card-starving Russian gamers willing to buy from the mafias..

Re:interesting case.... (1)

geogob (569250) | about 4 months ago | (#47772529)

It will get intestesting if it traces back to manufacturing. Lets hypothise a second that the production plant has problem reaching their production goals. It would be quite a nasty twist if they simply took the products of another production line which was working under its nominal rate and rebranded the products.

If (and its a big IF) the deception occured at that level, it will raise an important question on the quality and authenticity of any other products comming out of those work and countries. So in other word pretty much anything.

Re:interesting case.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47772753)

If (and its a big IF) the deception occured at that level, it will raise an important question on the quality and authenticity of any other products comming out of those work and countries.

It says nothing about the country. Sketchy businessmen exists everywhere.
The only thing that says something about the state of the country is if law enforcement doesn't work and the people responsible gets away with it. That would tell us that the country is more interested in protecting its own citizens than business from other countries.
Apart from the pirate bay case I can't really name any situation in a western country where law enforcement prioritized foreign businesses over local citizens.

Re:interesting case.... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47772783)

You wouldn't even need to be having production issues. As with most vendors, Nvidia has a bunch of options for sale and the nicer ones cost more. Even if you have the capability to stuff boards with the nicer chips just as easily as the cheap ones, a bit of fraud will do wonders for your BoM costs.

Re:interesting case.... (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 4 months ago | (#47772809)

or they just did a run off the books at night producing hooky product

Re:interesting case.... (1)

nanoflower (1077145) | about 4 months ago | (#47775157)

Which has happened more than once in China. It does get shut down when discovered but there's so much manufacturing going on there that the problem will just pop up in another area.

Re:interesting case.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47772545)

Given the horrible unhanded tactics of both Nvidia and AMD in the card wars it wouldn't surprise me if Nvidia did it themselves to see if they could get away with it.

Wrong generation label (3, Interesting)

DrYak (748999) | about 4 months ago | (#47772651)

Yup, historically, there have always been official card, where the manufacturer try to pass an older chip as a "low-entry" of the newer generation.
(like the GeForce 4MX, which was basically a variant in the GeForce2 familly and thus lacked the programmable shaders of the GeForce 4 Ti familly, but got quite successful due to brand-name recognition)

Re:Wrong generation label (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47773293)

(like the GeForce 4MX, which was basically a variant in the GeForce2 familly and thus lacked the programmable shaders of the GeForce 4 Ti familly, but got quite successful due to brand-name recognition)

I bought a GF4MX and was happy. It was successful not because it fooled people, but because of what it actually offered: Performance in between GF2 and GF4, at a GF2 price. If your games didn't have shader support, which was typical back then, you got acceptable performance at rock-bottom price.

I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (5, Interesting)

flowerp (512865) | about 4 months ago | (#47772433)

I made a test order of one of these products for evaluating whether they are any good for mining. The 4 GB video RAM on the card and the supposed graphics chip on the card would have made a very good deal.

But it became apparent immediately that this was an outdated Fermi gerneration chip, despite the card being recognized as a GTX 660 by the driver. The card ended up on my scrap heap because it was useless for my purpose (high power consumption and low performance)

At the time I assumed it was some kind of OEM product (relabeling older chips under newer product names is very common in the GPU business). But the investigation of the c't magazine seem to indicate that there is some VBIOS tampering going on and that this is not happening with nVidia's blessing at all.

I'll be following the story closely to see what the outcome of this clusterfuck will be.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (4, Interesting)

r1348 (2567295) | about 4 months ago | (#47772521)

It's just some hacked electronics, not so uncommon. I bought a 32Gb mSDHC card a few months ago on Amazon, and I received a "32Gb mSDXC" card, complete with fake Samsung packaging, that on a better inspection turned out to be an old 2Gb mSD card with hacked firmware to show up as 32Gb to the host system. Of course any file transfer beyond the 2Gb limit was failing miserably.
No biggie, I contacted Amazon and received a full refund, and the dealer was soon after banned from Amazon, apparently I wasn't the only one being scammed.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 4 months ago | (#47772589)

No biggie, I contacted Amazon and received a full refund, and the dealer was soon after banned from Amazon, apparently I wasn't the only one being scammed.

Meanwhile, not everybody found out in time, not everybody bothered complaining, and the fraudster pocketed a lot of money. After being banned from Amazon he started a new company under a different name and does it again.

The only way to prevent this is someone pressing criminal charges and someone going to jail.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (4, Funny)

drolli (522659) | about 4 months ago | (#47772803)

Better: If you scam on Amazon, you should be forced to work in Amazon mechanicalturk.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

Threni (635302) | about 4 months ago | (#47773117)

Or in china, where all of these 2mb/32mb cards come from!

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about 4 months ago | (#47782801)

Might be, but that's really up to Amazon to do. I won't sue someone for a 20€ scam, it's just not worth the money and time.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 4 months ago | (#47779675)

shit, that's the most awesome scam ever, how did they even think they'd get away with that??

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about 4 months ago | (#47782807)

I guess they were hoping on people laziness or lack of technical knowledge...

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

antdude (79039) | about 4 months ago | (#47779755)

Did you have to prove it by mailing it back to them for them to try it and reproduce this issue?

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about 4 months ago | (#47782795)

I did have to mail it back without charge, while I added a detailed description of the problem, I don't know if they actually tested it or not, but a few days later I've got my money back.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

marciot (598356) | about 4 months ago | (#47785521)

I bought a 32Gb mSDHC card a few months ago on Amazon, and I received a "32Gb mSDXC" card, complete with fake Samsung packaging, that on a better inspection turned out to be an old 2Gb mSD card with hacked firmware to show up as 32Gb to the host system.

These guys are obviously very good at what they do, but not very ambitious; they should direct their talents towards coming up with a fake 2GB card that stores 32GB of data.

AMD vs. Nvidia mining (1)

DrYak (748999) | about 4 months ago | (#47772661)

out of curiosity: what miner do you use?
in my (limited) experience, Radon-based miner completely out-perfom GeForce at mining.

Re:AMD vs. Nvidia mining (1)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | about 4 months ago | (#47772791)

Nvidia for FP usage - ATI for integer, seriously !

it's horses for courses

if you want bitcoin mining now you have to use ASIC but previously the integer cores in the AMD units where the dog's dangleies

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (3, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 4 months ago | (#47772835)

Indeed, this is nothing new. It takes all of 10 seconds to find fake video cards being sold on eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-GT... [ebay.com]

The sellers will simultaneously lie and tell the truth to skirt the rules and not get banned. Not that eBay actually cares about counterfeit goods.

Right now it's rebadging Fermi (400/500 series) generation parts as modern Kepler (600/700 series) parts. However it's an old scam, and if you go back a few years you can find G7x (7xxx series) cards that were being rebadged and sold as GT2xx cards [anandtech.com] .

The method of the scam hasn't changed: flash a hacked vBIOS to change the device ID so that it shows up as the desired card. And as long as sellers aren't prosecuted it will keep happening. There's just not much risk in this kind of fraud on the individual level. Though the scam in TFA is large enough that it's certainly going to attract more attention than the perps would like.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 4 months ago | (#47772867)

go look at aliexpress, 100x worse on that dump of a site

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#47772929)

From the eBay page:

It's a nvidia chipset if you think it's a fake one so please don't bid thank you

Is this really definitive proof that it's a fake?

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (2)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 4 months ago | (#47773361)

The RAM and the board connectors are proof. A real GTX 780 has 3GB of GDDR5, and no board ships with VGA. VGA is only found on low-end (or old) cards, so it's a dead giveaway.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#47774039)

Haha. Oh dear.

Surely this sort of thing hurts eBay's image - aren't they motivated to stamp on this stuff?

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47803277)

eBay just wants to collect their fees. If the seller doesn't do a good enough job with the word trickery AND the buyer has the technical know-how (and isn't lazy), the buyer can dispute the item and get a refund. eBay obviously would rather collect fees from those who either unknowingly or willingly accept the scam rather than shoot down all possible income.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

3.1415926535 (243140) | about 4 months ago | (#47779265)

Also, the stickers have the old logo on them, which was replaced years ago.

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 4 months ago | (#47779703)

DVI+HDMI connectors are a good indicator of a modern board, VGA? Who the fuck uses DSub15 any more??

Re:I bought one of these for Litecoin mining (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 4 months ago | (#47774845)

"I made a test order of one of these products for evaluating whether they are any good for mining."

Anyone should know nVIDIA cards suck for mining. AMD cards are far faster at hashrates with scrypt.

Actually more like 5-6x difference in performance (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47772581)

[Disclaimer: These performance results are from gpuboss, which I first heard of today when I searched for gpu comparisons.]

6x better floating point performance (theoretical max GFLOPS)
5.8x better 3DMark score
5x difference in passmark score (4.8x better passmark direct compute score)
4.2x higher Civ5 framerate (* this is a very poor metric)

* Framerate is a VERY stupid comparison. 72.2 fps = 13.85 ms; 17.3 fps = 57.80 ms. Why it's stupid: we're not told how much CPU time was spent on the main thread (yet IO time is fair game). For example, 1.29ms CPU would tell us 4.5x faster, 2.86ms CPU would tell us 5x faster, and 5.06 ms CPU would tell us 6x faster.

Re:Actually more like 5-6x difference in performan (1)

armanox (826486) | about 4 months ago | (#47772879)

Unless the firmware flash improved performance...

Update: it's 4.5x b/c it's overclocked by ~11% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47772989)

FTFA, as translated by Google:

Compared with a GeForce GTX 660 reference card Fire Strike reaches the "Nvidia GTX660 4096MB Bulk" in 3DMark only 949 instead of 4266 points, so not even a quarter of the power.

First, note 4266/949 is a 4.5x difference.

Second, the picture embedded in the article shows 900MHz GPU clock and 1066MHz memory, where the reference 440 uses 810MHz and 900MHz, respectively.

p.s. The number I quoted earlier at 5.8x 3dmark score from gpuboss was actually the "3DMark vantage texture fill score." The passmark score reported by gpuboss has similar numbers to what's reported by TFA as 3dmark; both seem to agree that the "stock" chips should be 5x difference on that benchmark.

Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (4, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47772643)

Back in the late 90's there was a serious issue with videocard's and their bios being reflashed to something else. Wish I had the magazines with the articles on it still, but it ended up being a rather large investigation. Happened with ati, nvidia, matrox cards quite a bit.

There was also the massive, and I do mean massive counterfeiting of fake Intel and AMD cpus, the most common thing that was done was resilkscreening the cpu. They would turn around and take a cyrix, or lower end amd/intel cpu scrub off the designations, then reapply them, and sell them back on the market. You didn't know that they were fake until you plugged them into the motherboard and surprise that $600 intel cpu was a resilked el-crapo cyrix chip.

In all these cases, the primary source for these were from SE-Asia, mainly Thailand, and Vietnam. It was so bad, that these things were showing up in legitimate supply chains from major distributors like Ingram Micro, Supercom, etc. Even the packaging was legit, serial numbers on the packages were legit, so it was a very well organized scam.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47772665)

not even re-silkscreening, just outright selling P2-450Mhz but when you got it, it had a large passive heatsink, turns out it's a P2-300Mhz. Oddly enough it did work for years, but as soon as you turned on something that used MMX (eg some videos, or Diablo II) instant BSOD after 3 minutes, every single time.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (2)

prefect42 (141309) | about 4 months ago | (#47773027)

You were unlucky. I ran a P2-300 at 450 for years with no bother. It was a sweet spot of Intel producing much better chips than they needed, so you could easily overclock them without any special tricks. I had no trouble with MMX or anything else, stable as a rock.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47773661)

It was more of meeting demands of the lower-end chips, so they started rebranding the more powerful chips as slower ones.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47778527)

The celerons were the same way, it was an excellent generation of cpu's that were rock solid for ocing. You could take an off the shelf 200, 266 or 300, and simply bump up the FSB muliplier, while adjusting the side bus divider and "magic" would happen. Getting 400/500/600+Mhz out of them on air cooling only wasn't only possible, it was super easy. Huge business with mobo manufactures, intel wasn't too happy though.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47779949)

Ahh, that brings back memories of the Celeron 300A.
Pretty much all of them would be rock solid at 450, and they outperformed a P-III 500 for most applications.
You could also stick a pair on a dual Slot1 BX board and have a pretty beastly budget SMP box.
Rather useful for kernel compiles ;)

The Pentium 75 Mhz ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 months ago | (#47774513)

... not even re-silkscreening, just outright selling P2-450Mhz but when you got it, it had a large passive heatsink, turns out it's a P2-300Mhz ....

The Pentium 75 Mhz was the real rebranding/remarking king due to its often successful "overclocking". The story goes something like this. There is a single production line for the Pentiums of speeds ranging form 75 to 120 Mhz. Intel tests the chips at 75, 90 and 120 Mhz to determine the speed an individual chip is capable of running at. Note that these tests are far beyond what over clockers can do, often involving specialized hardware probes and such. Normally chips are tested until they fail and branded for the highest speed that they properly executed at. However when orders for Pentium 75 exceeded inventories the testing was abbreviates, chips were only tested at 75 and branded and sold as such if the test was successful. These chips were never tested at 90 or 120 Mhz and many of these chips would have successfully passed testing and been branded at these higher speeds had they been tested at these speeds. The Pentium 75 became legendary for overclocking, and remarking by third parties.

Re:The Pentium 75 Mhz ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47776461)

I understood that this is still the process used today, i.e. the chips that tolerate the overclocking the best are marked as i-7's, etc.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (2)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 4 months ago | (#47772799)

PIII "E"* series processors always annoyed the fuck out of me, every time I came across one I was like "Oh, here we fucking go again!" because that "E" guaranteed trouble.

*"E" being early Coppermine stamps, not the Core series Pentiums.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47772899)

I ran into this with RAID controller cards, way back in the day. The part numbers on the chips had apparently been scraped or burned off. The systems identified them as ATI, but the cards were such crap that the mounting plate was misattached and you couldn't make it fit in the system without filing and carefully remounting the card. The boss tried to say "oh, just bend it and force it, that'll put extra force to keep it in place". The customer was *ballistic*, and should have been ballistic, at the complete crap we were selling them.

The place was amazing: they had a bunch of H1B visa employees who didn't dare leave, had no ability to say "this is a bad idea" to the main sales guy who'd assemble complicated bids out of ideas he saw in Wired, and I was supposed to make everything work together with my MIT secret sauce. I got out of there *amazingly* fast.....

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47773083)

How did this get upvoted? There was never any swapping of AMD for Intel, just taking of lower speed parts and marking them for higher speeds.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47774617)

How did this get upvoted? There was never any swapping of AMD for Intel, just taking of lower speed parts and marking them for higher speeds.

There was also counterfeiting in the sense that someone thinking they were getting a Intel based computer actually got one with a low cost AMD motherboard and CPU. Its not remarking, more plain old fraud, but it did happen.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47778615)

How did this get upvoted? There was never any swapping of AMD for Intel, just taking of lower speed parts and marking them for higher speeds.

Quite wrong, see back in oh '96ish both intel and amd used the same boards, so did cyrix. The way it used to be was, Intel was topshelf, AMD was middle shelf, cyrix was low. They all fit on the same board, had the same pin count, and all the rest. The 'guts' of the cpu's were effectively the same as well, this all changed a few years later when intel and amd finally went their own ways in terms of cpu design and manufacturing. You then saw the first generations of split mobo designs, some of the more interesting ones were Slot1/SlotA.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 4 months ago | (#47779741)

oh give me back the super socket 7, those boards were amazing. I was doing obscene things with K6/II processors, things that would turn your hair white. At 575MHz.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 months ago | (#47773447)

I had to tell a ton of folks back in the day they got scammed out of hundreds thanks to fly by night sellers when it came to the first gen Socket A AMD chips for this reason, the scumbags figured out a drop of solder in the right spot would unlock the multipler and with a little hacking they could get even the lowest Duron to report itself as the high end Athlon so they would OC the shit out of it and sell the systems as the much more expensive top line Athlons. It got to the point that when somebody brought in an Athlon the first thing I did was head into the BIOS because the problems with the systems nearly always came back to insanely OCed low end chips being sold as top shelf. Some of them were 60%+ over on the clock and the voltage because all that mattered was getting it to run long enough to make a sale.

But anybody who has worked shop for any length of time has run into these fakes, most are coming from Laos and Vietnam where they must have a pretty large counterfeiting industry going to whip off this many fakes.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (1)

Zeorge (1954266) | about 4 months ago | (#47773573)

I encountered this with sub-1MB computers with RAM. They'd basically do the same thing and make a 120 ns RAM chip 80 ns RAM chip. The difference for most, unless you were a total geek/nerd type, was negligible if even detectable on this low speed machines. In the DC area there were gabillions of little mom and pop style stores that would pop up in office parks and the many strip malls here. They would pawn these re-branded video cards, HDDs, CPU's etc. How they pulled it off I still don't exactly know how but they knew that it would be months before someone would fill up a HDD to capacity and just made sure that they sold to consumers and not businesses.


Just set the price point low-enough to be believable and tantalizing and they will come in droves.

Re:Ahh...so this strikes again huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47777633)

Fake cache was common back then too:

http://redhill.net.au/b/b-96.html

Along with remarked chipsets (third party chipsets were notoriously unreliable, to the point of trashing your data).

So.. Nvidia don't use signed firmware? (1)

Storebj0rn (692884) | about 4 months ago | (#47773259)

come on, this is 2014? with your own chips and your own firmware and a s**tload of OEMs ready to pull this kind of trick, they should have used signed firmwares. So if somebody tried flashing with a firmware mod, the chip would reject the firmware. signing key never leaves Nvidia premises This stuff is easy, as long as you design your own chips and your own firmware.

Re:So.. Nvidia don't use signed firmware? (2)

Slayer (6656) | about 4 months ago | (#47773407)

You have to tell them, that flashing firmware could be used for bypassing DRM, and they'd force push out signed firmware the minute after :-P

Re:So.. Nvidia don't use signed firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47775295)

Doesn't NVIDIA sell a lot of IP cores and those licensees end up building cards around them? If so, those vendors certainly would have a valid need to replace the firmware. I suspect this happened at the factory level. I'd guess a rogue employee at some factory did this as a way of getting some additional income....

Conspiracy! (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 4 months ago | (#47773607)

ATI's just declared war.

Re:Conspiracy! (1)

antdude (79039) | about 4 months ago | (#47779019)

Prove it. :P

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