ALWAYS A SYMPATHETIC shoulder to cry on, the INQ's been passing round more Kleenex than usual lately to hardware reviewers claiming to be getting an icy cold shoulder from Intel.
'Intel won't send us an [...insert any product you can think of...] and it's just sooooo unfair!' seems to be the rallying cry from the cheap seats.
"I'm a performance analyst that has his own media company," Hamid Najii from www.HotOverclock.com told the INQ, between sobs. Najii told us that despite pestering Intel repeatedly for core i7 920 samples – even second or third hand ones – not only did he not receive any kit, he also didn't even get a reply from his Intel EMEA rep explaining why Chipzilla wouldn't send him any goodies.
Najii, who runs his Farsi-language review site from Iran, says he will now have to go down to the souk and pick up an i7 920 for a whopping $440 just in order to get his review done. Worse still, Najii sniffs, is that last year alone he had to cough up some $2,618 on Intel kit just to help his readers mull-ah over which CPU to choose.
"We are covering Intel in our media," complains the riled reviewer, adding that he has good relationships with Intel's partners, and never has any problem getting kit from Nvidia or AMD.
"I know some not so well-know media and Overclockers who have two i7 965s and we don't have one i7 920," bemoans Najii, noting he doesn't understand Chipzilla's grudge against him as he has "very nice relations" with Intel partners including ECS, ASUS, DFI and Jetway.
Of course, one could posit something about US export laws to Iran being problematic for a big US firm like Intel, but even reviewers in the States have reported being snubbed by choosy Chipzilla reps.
"Requests for Core i7 have gone largely unanswered, or been blown off in face-to-face convos," the INQ was told by tech blog Icrontic's news editor. Another writer chipped in, "We can't get jack from Intel. It's always 'We don't have any kit to give away right now' and 'we'll get back to you'."
After much sympathetic nodding and encouraging back patting, however, it does appear to us at the INQ that all this sniveling about not being given free Intel hardware to play with is a tad OTT. There are, after all, literally thousands of so called 'tier four and five' review sites on the Interwibble, and for Intel to provide kit to all of them is as unrealistic as it is impractical.
As spIntel's Czar of PR, Nick Knupffer, is quick to point out, "We would love to give free sample CPU's to all of the worlds reviewers but, unfortunately, we can only support so many."
Knupffer adds, "Supplies of Core i7 are plentiful for those eager to purchase one: if you combine Core i7 and the Xeon 5500 series, Intel expects to ship our one millionth Nehalem-based processor this week."
Still, Intel, would it really hurt you to send Hamid an email, even to politely refuse his request?
Ignoring him really is more than a little rude. µ
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