Counterfeit AMD chips sold by Amazon accidentally to customers

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A few years back AMD fans were in an uproar on the internet about being sold fake AMD processors on some of America’s biggest retailers. The story then was that a rather large batch of chips had been sold over to various distributors, two of which were Newegg and Amazon. In 2011, the US Navy bought 59,000 chips for their missile systems, only to discover they were fake and had backdoor hardware to allow for remote intrusions. More recently, a slight scandal gripped European distributors as was duped into buying and then selling Geforce 9600GT cards that had been strapped to coolers from various Geforce GTX 760 cards and rebranded as such. Now Amazon in the UK has been selling counterfeit chips to customers, but it looks like things didn’t get too out of hand before things were sorted out.

The chips in question were fake versions of AMD’s A8-7600 quad-core APU and were boxed and sold as such. Turning them over, though, reveals a socket 939 pin layout, definitely not the same as AMD’s FM2+ socket used for their APUs today. Funny enough, the chips bought by two Amazon customers were working, functional Athlon 64 X2 5200+ processors, so if you were looking for one of those anyway it might have not been so bad.

amazon counterfeit chip scandal
The fake chips on the left and a real socket FM2+ processor on the right.


Though the possibility is high that other chips are sitting in Amazon’s warehouse that are equally fake, not too many people appear to have bought them. The affected buyers were eventually given the right chips and sent on their way. Amazon is reportedly now looking for the source of the chips, as they were sold by the company direct, not through a third-party seller online. In previous cases like these, the chips were often products that had been replaced with the fake CPUs, boxed up, and returned by the original buyers and sold as open box specials.

When contacted by Overclock3D in the UK, AMD released a press statement about the incident and promised to look further into it and their supply chains to assist Amazon in finding the responsible parties. AMD also pointed to a reference guide that consumers can use to verify the authenticity of the AMD products that they buy. If you’re still not sure, there’s also a validation tool available online that will check your serial number against a database of known and registered processors made in AMD’s factories.

AMD Press Statement

“It is apparent that this isolated incident is not related in any way to AMD’s manufacturing or packaging, however AMD takes any reports of product tampering very seriously. As part of our ongoing efforts to help ensure consumers and businesses are sold only genuine AMD processors, we thoroughly investigate these extremely rare incidents in an effort to determine the source of the altered products, and consider all available legal remedies – including both civil and criminal prosecution – against persons found to have engaged in fraudulent actions affecting AMD products.

We are working in close cooperation with Amazon and the local enforcement authorities to conclude this incident quickly and ensure that the rigorous quality and reliability standards that AMD is known for are maintained. In addition, while AMD already implements extensive security measures to ensure the authenticity of our products, we are currently evaluating further measures to implement additional security measures for maximum future support.”

Source: Overclock3D