FNT: Are core unlocking, overclocking forms of theft?

— 5:15 PM on May 7, 2010

This week's Friday Night Topic is a doozy, sent in by long-time TR reader liar, who writes:

I was showing my 16 year old around my computer using Windows Task Manager and Everest, looking at how they reported things differently on my GA-MA770T-UD3P F3 motherboard, with an AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition CPU. He noted that Everest showed 3 cores, and WTM showed all 4 cores. Then he asked where the other 2 cores came from on an X2 chip. I told him I'd unlocked the cores in bios. And he asked me if I wasn't *stealing from AMD*. Which question lead to a..comprehensive conversation of (on) ethics. And gave me the idea of forwarding said topic to you, perhaps for further discussion with the members.

Does unlocking the fourth core on a Phenom II X3 raise any ethical problems for you? What about overclocking a cheap CPU to perform like an expensive one? Any of this ever make you pause and wonder for a sec? Why or why not? Discuss.

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