Author Topic: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?  (Read 2566 times)

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Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 05:50:55 »
I bought a 9600K described only as 'QRNE' without realizing it was an engineering sample labelled 'confidential' on the processor itself.

Intel's support tech confirmed that these days, unlike before, companies are indeed allowed to sell such CPUs, only with the proviso they can't claim to provide Intel's manufacturer warranty (and the seller didn't).

The price was just under the typical bottom of the price range for barely used 9600K, or alternatively what ES units have been priced in the past. So it was fairly priced for an ES, just that the seller omitted to specify that it was an ES, instead making it look like just another plausible bargain on a regular 9600K.

The seller has already instructed his bank to refund me and instructed me to keep the processor, which I of course can't do because it would be quite dishonourable. So do I want to accept the refund and send the processor back (cross-border shipment, say twenty bucks or so), or do I want to keep the processor and return the refund?

In other words, are 'confidential' QRNE units consistent with 'normal' 9600K and thus 'safe' for business use (not an act of negligence) or not?

I have no time to test it thoroughly. Several hours of hands-off Prime 95 or a run or two of 3D Mark is the max I can do, and I'd rather not have to — I literally can't spare the time or attention/stress investment before 17 June (basically working 2 shifts Monday to Saturday), hence keeping the money and buying a warrantied CPU would be convenient, and I could delay the sending back of the 'Confidential' CPU to the seller by a week or two without much issue.

But as a last-minute thought, if QRNEs are generally accepted as normal 9600Ks (it seems even high-end OEMs use them as such without even letting the buyers know that something is different about the CPU), then perhaps I should keep it?

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 06:02:02 »
I've ran ES CPUs in the past, never had a problem.  Check the revision number in CPU-Z, these ES vs retail screenshots show the same revision meaning it's exactly the same CPU, yours may well be too.
                               
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 06:12:13 »
The seller made their choice.
This also tells you how much the seller paid for it, don't feel bad.

Are they fine to use, typically yes. Would I use it in a mission critical system? Only if the numbers match retail like Suicidal_Orange said. Otherwise it may have some oddball math error or something, this isn't likely to effect you, but you wouldn't want it making a mistake on something important.
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Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 07:12:02 »
Thank you. I had thought it might have been sourced at an extreme bargain (the seller is a medium-sized OEM and somewhat of a recognizable enthusiast brand), which would explain the preference for leaving it with me in lieu of getting it back, which they did say was not worth the hassle. Still, I'm sure they could also sell it again for the same amount.

I wouldn't normally be concerned with possible errors, but I'd rather not find out that the use of an ES resulted in defaulting on some contractual terms about keeping data safe and such like, or overheating issues, or anything which could result in something like a 10 fps drop.

I guess I'll just send it back when the money arrives, then.

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 07:44:43 »
I'd at least check it and probably keep it (refund refused) but if you don't want it and neither does the seller you could always put it back on ebay as a charity auction. 
                               
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 09:37:32 »
They probably bought these at 5-20$ a pop by the barrel..

They didn't indicate clearly, it's their mis-step.

Testing it perfectly is impossible on your end, because you don't have access to the corner cases which Intel can test for with their specialized and super top secret chip tester. It's among the highest trade secrets, many companies have attempted espionage to steal it.


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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 12:42:09 »

They didn't indicate clearly, it's their mis-step.


Really?  Advertesing it under a strange code is dodgy, not having a warranty is dodgy and not having a pic of the actual item is dodgy, let alone all three in the same listing.

If they really are a reputable company they would only be selling the final version not one with known errors and I'm very surprised they would take it back let alone give it away, even if it was really cheap.
                               
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Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 15:07:32 »
Just checked with CPU World, seems the R0 stepping covers both QRNE confidentials and SRG11 normal retails, just like the P0 stepping includes QQPL (ES) and SRELU (normal). Does this change anything?

And yeah, they included 'QRNE' in the description but didn't mention 'confidential' or 'ES'. Later, they claimed reputable brands were using those along with normal retail versions and the price had been lowered to the point ES CPUs normally cost. Can't complain about a fair price for something, except when they are making it look like a bargain price for something actually better. So I have no qualms about the return.

They actually offered to give me a normal 9600K free of charge, but I refused.

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 19:12:53 »
P0 is what's in the crucial 'revision' box in CPU-Z on the review screenshots so yes, if you trust CPU World (and why wouldn't you) it confirms your ES is a retail worthy CPU.  It's just one of the first ones made and comes with a limited edition heatspreader to prove it :cool:
                               
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Offline jamster

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 08 June 2020, 20:04:14 »
I would not run an engineering sample CPU in a trading system that was responsible for routing orders  into a stock exchange.

I would be perfectly happy to run an engineering sample at home. Especially if I'd gotten it for a bargain.

Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 09 June 2020, 12:09:54 »
I've done some searching, and the results (not in English, sorry) show that R0 was basically a new stepping prepared while retail 9600Ks from the P0 stepping were already there, so it was not a prototype of 'the whole thing' but only of its new stepping. This makes me less apprehensive about it, but thus far as I haven't even installed it yet, I'd rather avoid the hassle of a potentially bumpy ride.

P0 is what's in the crucial 'revision' box in CPU-Z on the review screenshots so yes, if you trust CPU World (and why wouldn't you) it confirms your ES is a retail worthy CPU.  It's just one of the first ones made and comes with a limited edition heatspreader to prove it :cool:

So would it be okay for a business machine for moderately sensitive corporate jobs or does it make me look reckless re: risk of data loss?

My other worry is the possibility of tech support seeing DxDiag logs and using the ES processor as an excuse to not look for other causes of software/game crashes/bugs.

I've already got the refund and still have the processor, so I have some breathing space now.

I'm not exactly looking forward to a trip to the post office and paying two or three dozen bucks for crossborder shipment, but better that than a nagging conscience, even if the seller may have paid like twenty bucks for this unit. If I do decide to keep it, I'm going to return the refund, and that was like 15% less than the current retail price of a  perfectly normal 9600K.

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 11 June 2020, 04:38:36 »
Two very distinct groups you're worrying about.

Game tech support - First I would hope they are tech savvy and can check and accept “it's the same as retail” but also where on the box does it say no ES?  It's an Intel i5, that's supported, do your job and fix your game.  Unless you have other exotic hardware that could be causing the issue the chances of you having a bug no-one else does are incredibly slim anyway and if they get multiple similar reports they can't deny the problem.

Unfortunaetely you also worry about lawyer world where at the end of the day if they can convince 12 average Joes you did something risky it doesn't matter if you did, you're guilty.  Before this thread you thought ES = bad as would most people.  If you can afford a witness from Intel you might sway them...

Technically and morarally speaking it is perfectly good to use as LeslieAnn (legit tech support person) agreed above, but if you think your clients are scummy enough to try and sue you for negligance (how will they know what you're using?) it might not be worth the risk.  What a stupid world we live in.
                               
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Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: i-5 9600K QRNE (ES) — consistent with normal retail 9600K?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 11 June 2020, 14:58:41 »
The reason why it isn't mentioned in the listed ad is due to Intel flagging that client to no longer receive discounted samples or review samples.  It has been a breach to sell ES CPU's or those obtained from their Retail Edge program (which highly discounts the CPU's twice a year from retail associates at certain levels of training, imagine being able to get a CPU w/ full warranty for a 1/4 of the retail price.  Now I'm guessing Intel will allow certain OEM's and vendors to offload ES CPU's as you mentioned the rep stated so, but I would have zero issues running an ES CPU as long as it meets or exceeds retail specs.