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A US reseller has warned consumers to be on the lookout for ersatz Athlons. ComputerNerd USA recently received a shipment of counterfeit AMD Athlons. It said its suspicions were aroused after staff noticed that the packaging on the chips appeared to have been tampered with. The plastic cartridge back covers on the fakes were different to the original AMD covers. They were made of a shinier plastic and all the corners were rounded, whereas all angles should be straight with straight intersecting edges. The chips were marked as Athlon 650 0.25 micron (C types) with serial numbers on the case of 219936022369, 219936022600 and 219936022907. Inside, the serial number on the circuit board had been removed and replaced with a smaller sticker with different printing. The serial numbers on the inside sticker differed slightly from those on the cartridge: 219936022781, 219936022780, 219936022802. In addition, the metal clips holding the CPU circuit card looked like they had been opened and reclosed, while some of the resister pads (R121, R147, R158) on the circuit card showed signs of being removed or resoldered. ComputerNerd came across the products on the grey market as it is not an authorised AMD reseller. It said it believed its supplier had been duped by one of its sources. The company added that it feared the counterfeiting operation may be large scale because of the nature of the copying techniques. Richard Baker, European marketing manager at AMD, said he expected the company to look into the matter. He added that AMD had billion dollar factories perfecting the internal workings of chips, so punters would be unwise to buy chips made by "somebody in their back yard with a pair of tweezers and a soldering iron". In January, ComputerNerd was treated to the wrath of AMD's legal eagles when it was told it was breaching the vendor's patents by selling overclocked "Nerdlon" units. ® Related Stories AMD takes legal action against Athlon overclockers Dodgy CDs doing the rounds Fake ASUS motherboards circulate in Europe AMD US lags behind Euro Athlon demand

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