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Web sites that sell "binned" CPUs ... scam?

Level 7
I've inquired with a few well known overclocking websites that sell what they called "binned" CPUs ... for example a 9900KS that runs at 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 Ghz ... but when I research their "guaranteed" values, they list their "test" setup as:

1. Water cooled
2. RAM at low frequency 3600Mhz
3. An most important AVX at 2,3,even 4!

AVX is used A LOT in gaming and flight simulation so when they list a CPU (9900KS) at 5.2 Ghz but with AVX at 2 and RAM at 3600Mhz, that's essentially a 5.0Ghz CPU ... not impressed and certainly not worth almost 2X the cost.

For example, I've managed to get several 9900K CPU's operating at 5.0 to 5.4 GHz with AVX 0 and RAM at 4166Mhz with water cooling ... passes Prime95 and Intel's own Diagnostic test and various other benchmarking tools. I find it hard to believe I just keep getting "lucky" with CPUs, so are these sites being "opportunistic" and taking advantage of the human ego? Something just doesn't add up.

I do understand there are slight variances with CPU manufacturing, but when I approached Intel they suggested otherwise and simply state do NOT exceed our specifications. Intel also indicated they do NOT provide anyone with information regarding CPU quality control, strictly internal, not public information.

So this seems to me to put the "Binned" concept along the lines of urban legend evolved out of "the internet" and propagated but not from any official source.

I can see some advantages to improving heat transfer when done correctly, removing the IHS and using a special water block and mount for direct contact ... that's real and quantified.

Trial and error and luck, seems to really rule the day. Sure there is some "science" to the process of overclocking but what I've seen on "the internet" amounts lots of suggestions but nothing technical to support the suggestions. Other than going thru the BIOS and reading the descriptions of each parameter and hooking onto "set this to XYZ for overclocking", but no description of exactly what that parameter is controlling.

So with this said, is there really any definitive guide to all the BIOS/EFI values for Asus motherboards?

Cheers, Rob.

Level 8
I don't know where to start...:rolleyes::o

Intel spec CPUs to a common base level....we all know that base level may be exceeded given variation in the yourself have given examples of attaining non stock performance...that if done with various CPUs is binning

As an overclocker I have binned many CPUs...the variance is real and the results of selecting the best silicon is real.

If a company bins CPUs it has to be to some criteria...if those criteria seem inadequate to you you would have to bin your own CPUs

AVX is not used a lot in might be used in some and it might be used in a minor are not hammering all core AVX

And all core is not single core overclocking.

A 9900KS is a binned 9900K by the way....binned by Intel

Non-stock performance is NOT an indication of 'binned' CPU ... it's an indication of better cooling, voltage increase, RAM profile, and a few other BIOS/EFI settings.

Can you please show me any verifiable documentation from Intel (source) that suggests the 9900KS is "binned by Intel"?

Sorry, but AVX is used considerably in games and specifically in simulators like Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D ... I'm a software engineer and have worked very closely with Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, and others in both official and unofficial capacity. AVX is most definitely used in just about every game released within the last 4 years or so.

If you want a way to confirm AVX, use Visual Studio 2019, attach to process (game or sim executable) and trigger an application memory dump to file, search for the AVX instruction in the dump file. Just about all modern games/sims today use AVX if available.

Cheers, Rob.

Not applicable
I have seen a couple of sources marketing/selling binned 9900 chips, and from my understanding the chips is not binned by intel, but from enthusiast overclockers working for those shops, and then marketed as "binned = tested to perform better than average chips outside intel's specifications"
I dont have any knowledge about this 9900 binning stuff deals at all, but this is what i suspect, i can also be wrong

I know however that intel has special chips (dirty expensive), that wont reach regular users unless you are a very special person

Level 8
Binning happens all along the manufacture process be it CPU, GPU or ram.
9900KS is pulled from 9900K stock and given higher clocks at the factory.
Binning simply means exactly what it says. To take better performing silicon and put it in a different bin than another.
There are a few sources that buy up a lot of CPUs then bench them using the same profiles and separate (Bin) them and sell the higher performing ones at a premium while dumping the spuds at cost or even a discount. Heres a list of 9900KS chips that vary from $600-$1200 all with an AVX offset of 2. This company has been at it for a long time and is reputable even giving a warranty on their chips after delidding which voids the factory warranty.
In the end there are three ways to look at it. Either pay a but load of money buying up chips and bin your being stuck wit spuds, pay for a binned chip or just get lucky on your own. I paid Silicon lottery to bin and delid and Ive gotten lucky like twice. I skip the method of binning myself and getting stuck with spuds.

Level 7
AVX 2 is essentially running the CPU at 200Mhz lower ... so a "binned" 5.2Ghz CPU AVX 2 is sorta pointless as most games/sims use AVX these days. Sure, I can crank up my non-binned 9900K to 5.5 Ghz with AVX 5 but it's really running my game/sim at 5.0Ghz.

So if these external to Intel overclockers take this task on themselves and they can't get stability with AVX 0, then they really aren't accomplishing that much at all, other than making a big profit (so I guess in that sense they accomplish something). Exclusing world record team events where they might get very special CPU's from Intel because it's a good marketing tool for them, the "retail" channel has no "official" binned CPU defined by Intel.

And then there is the issue of what motherboard was used, how often are CPUs being inserted and removed on the same motherboard, sockets deteriorate (all repeated activity does) ... and then there is consistency with application of paste, waterblock/heatsink torque, etc. etc. ... there are just so many variables involved in the "testing" it would be impossible to determine a CPU "bin" when we're dealing with very small differences of 0-300Mhz ... all those variables can easily produce that type of variance.

Cheers, Rob.

Not applicable
i am not going to dig into this because i have very little knowledge
but i saw somewhere online before that intel cpus being auctioned from the "top bins" to folks with big wallets (selected clients), by intel as it seemed
No further knowledge about this, i am not interested really...

I am sure some people in here know the real story, but i have a feeling they wont speak out.. ))

Not applicable