Large numbers of counterfeit Intel CPUs are circulating in China: Retailers are attempting to RMA en masse
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A report by Chinese outlet HKEPC indicates that the country's Intel CPU retailers are facing a major counterfeiting issue. The report indicates that Chinese CPU retailers have been attempting to RMA large numbers of counterfeit processors. Intel stated that it will refuse to accept RMAs on counterfeit parts and may even initiate legal action against sellers.
Retailers themselves are as much the victim as consumers here. Malicious third-party resellers are evidently modifying or replacing the IHS (integrated heat spreader) on processors. The report indicates that, for instance, the IHS on an Intel Pentium G5400-an entry level Coffee Lake dual core part-was modified to make it appear as if it was a Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K.
Even worse, some scammers are selling Intel CPU PCBs without a CPU die-customers are effectively left with a piece of green silicon.