AMD cracks down on honest vendors

— 12:49 AM on January 20, 2000

Speaking of getting one's panties in wad, AMD has called in the lawyers for a little unnecessary litigation and/or harassment according to a very credible report over at the HardOCP. Kyle writes:

We just got word from an EXTREMELY RELIABLE SOURCE that Advanced Micro Devices legal counsel contacted undisclosed retailers that have been altering AMD Athlon K7 CPUs that then allow Overclocking. AMD has demanded that these undisclosed retailers immediately stop sale of the altered units. They are stating that the retailers reworking the Athlon CPUs is violating either Copyrights or Patents held by AMD.
Do read the rest at the HardOCP. Kyle is very credible here, because (A) he's a straight shooter by nature with a history of telling it like it is, and (B) he has a raft of vendor contacts. No doubt this info is coming from vendors contacted by AMD's law firm. (Kyle has even posted contact info for the law firm, if you're interested.)

Intel has, in the past, cracked down on vendors selling re-marked processors--selling, say, an overclocked Pentium II 266 as a Pentium II 300. However, AMD's new legal push isn't like that. AMD appears to be cracking down on vendors selling modified or overclocked Athlons into the enthusiast market, clearly marked as "overclocked" or "modified" CPUs, where customers know exactly what they're getting. No word yet on whether they're going after makers of "Golden Fingers" Athlon overclocking cards, but the talk about patents makes me wonder.

Whatever the case, sicking a pack of lawyers on enthusiast resellers isn't going to benefit AMD any. These folks are an influential lot with plenty of influential "early adopters" as customers. If AMD scares these resellers away, they'll scare off potential customers at the same time, who can just as easily buy a Celeron 400 and overclock it to 600MHz as buy a modified Athlon. Sheesh. And just when I thought AMD was really starting to "get it." Is there something about turning a profit that instantly makes large companies turn nasty?

More on this story as it develops.

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