As per reports, many retailers in China are selling a large batch of fake Intel CPUs. This is reported just as retailers are attempting to RMA these Intel processors to get genuine chips. These CPUs are now nicknamed ‘Fake-U’ CPUs in many discussion groups.
Bait-and-swap of Delidded CPUs
This works by delidding the CPUs and swapping the Integrated Heat Spreaders. Since these CPUs are not soldered, it is easy to delid and swap the IHS. Enthusiasts delid Intel mainstream CPUs to change to a better thermal paste. As a result, there’s a better cooling and better overclockability. But this also gives a good opportunity to scam by switch and bait. One of the best-sellers of these CPUs is the one with the Core i7-7700K IHS. The core and the substrate usually end up belonging to G5400. These were also caught with Core i7-8700K and even the Core i9-9900K. Some even reported to have received processors without any CPU die.
Fake CPUs in the US?
There’s a chance it might not be limited to the 7th generation and just in the US since these are apparently sold on AliExpress and Amazon China. It is not known if the resellers are doing it intentionally or something that’s behind the supply chain.
Though these are sold in China, eventually it might circulate in some parts of the world. Aliexpress does sell internationally. switch-and-bait on these Fake Intel CPUs shouldn’t be hard for those with the resources and dubious intentions. It is likely these might be sold as used or new processors in eBay and Craig’s List. Irrespective of the marketplace and One dead giveaway of these CPU listings is that they are sold usually are a cheaper price to bank on pulse purchasers. As the saying goes, if something is too good to be true, it is.
As you’d expect, Intel refused to honour RMA for these counterfeit processors. Its response on China-based social media Weibo also reported seeing some of these FakeU to have a false trademark and SKU markings on the IHS with original details faded away. Intel also found some of the components have been found to be missing internally.
No fake AMD CPUs?
Not yet. Hopefully, this didn’t jinx it!
Pulling that off is unlikely as AMD Ryzen CPUs are soldered IHS. Der8auer did delid Ryzen CPUs and said these have no value to desolder and use another thermal cooling option in its place. It’s just easy to do this on Intel as its mainstream CPUs have been using thermal paste over its IHS for a very long time. So it is easy for scammers to get large quantities of old and obsolete/ dead Pentium and Core2Duo chips, either to swap the IHS or reprinting over them.
We also posted a guide on how to identify fake graphics card at an earlier date.