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Intel letting customers upgrade underpowered chips

The company is offering the program on its Intel Core i3 processors and says performance will be boosted after taking advantage of the service.

Intel's Upgrade Service promises better performance.
Intel's Upgrade Service promises better performance.
Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Intel is once again offering an upgrade on underpowered processors.

Dubbed the Intel Upgrade Service, the chipmaker's program allows customers who are running the low-end Core i3-2312M, Core i3-2102, and Pentium G622 to pay a fee to upgrade the performance of their processors.

According to the company, the upgrade will deliver better application, video, and photo performance, along with improved "responsiveness for everyday PC activities." In benchmark testing, the Core i3-2513 delivered performance that was 11 percent faster on applications and 15 percent faster on digital-media creation, Intel said.

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In order to take advantage of the upgrade, which essentially turns on performance features that haven't been enabled in the processor, customers must download the company's Windows application. In addition, they need to buy an upgrade code, which is inputted online to activate the update. From there, they need only to wait for the upgrade to complete, reboot their computers, and they're all set.

Intel unveiled its upgrade service last year. At the time, the company allowed customers with the Pentium G6951 to pay $50 to upgrade their processor. Intel's upgrade page currently doesn't list the price of its service, but tech blog Engadget is reporting that it's still the same $50 fee.

Intel did not immediately respond to CNET's request for confirmation.