Intel is testing the market for upgradeable CPUs, where extra performance features can be unlocked after you pay a fee and enter a code.
The idea is being tested on their low-cost Pentium G6951 processor, where a $50 upgrade will unlock an additional 1MB of L3 cache and HyperThreading support. These features are already on all versions of the chip, but remain hidden unless you cough up the extra cash.
This isn't exactly a new idea. Video game makers have been charging users for years to "download" new features and weapons, a process which simply unlocks parts of the disc you already paid for.
Shouldn't the price of processors be based on the cost to develop and manufacture them? If Lamborghini sold you a V-8 car that turned out to be just a V-12 with four of the cylinders disconnected, wouldn't that suggest that they were overcharging for the V-12?
Giving you something you can't use like this is a bit like waving a red flag at the hacker community. How long before some 15 year old kid comes up with a way around the locks?