Want to overclock your CPU? Why bother with all those tedious BIOS tweaks when Intel can effortlessly turbo charge your chip on your behalf? The company has updated its
Intel Upgrade Service
to cover three chips from the new Sandy Bridge family, allowing owners of the low end Core i3-2312M, Core i3-2102 or Pentium G622 to transmogrify them into something else. Something a little more powerful.
The way it works is simple, if you have a system with one of these processors in and live in the US or Canada, you will be able to buy a scratchcard with a reference number on it. Reveal the code, install a small Windows application from Intel, type number into application then reboot your PC. Magically, your low end CPU will have transformed into, well, a slightly less low end CPU.
The 2312M becomes a 2393M, the 2102 becomes a 2153 and G622 becomes a G693. Benefits in each case are between 10-20% depending on the program and chip used.
Prices haven't been confirmed, but when Intel first launched remote upgrades last year they were $50 a pop. That seems like quite a lot considering the low price of processors these days, and it's much better value for money to buy a better CPU in the first place. Where it's intriguing is in the case of the laptop processor. If the program extends up to more powerful CPUs at a later date, it could be a worthwhile upgrade to make for a decent games machine.
On the other hand, it might just make you feel like you've paid for the same chip twice.