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Large numbers of counterfeit Intel CPUs are circulating in China: Retailers are attempting to RMA en masse

Malicious third-party resellers have been counterfeiting Intel CPUs (Image source: Intel)
Malicious third-party resellers have been counterfeiting Intel CPUs (Image source: Intel)
Chinese retailers have been attempting to RMA counterfeit Intel processors in large volumes. Many of these CPUs appear to have had their IHS' modified. Some "processors" are even shipping without a CPU die. Intel stated that it will not honor RMAs on counterfeit parts.
Arjun Krishna Lal,

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. 

With the large number of counterfeit Intel CPUs cropping up in Chinese markets, it is advisable to avoid third-party resellers and to only buy direct from reliable sources like Amazon and Newegg.

An apparent fake Intel Core i7-7700K (Image source: HKEPC)
An apparent fake Intel Core i7-7700K (Image source: HKEPC)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Large numbers of counterfeit Intel CPUs are circulating in China: Retailers are attempting to RMA en masse
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-04-19 (Update: 2020-04-19)
Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - News Editor
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.