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I was looking around Intel's Ark database and comparing some CPUs, specifically the i7-7700 and i7-7700k. I then noticed that some features are disabled on the K-Variant chip, like vPro Technology, Stable Image Platform Program, and Trusted Execution Technology.

Assuming these chips are just binned and the K-Variant chips are the ones capable of overclocking, why would Intel disable some of these features on their more premium chip? Are there K-Variant chips that do not have these features disabled? Is it possible to enable these features on a K-Variant chip?

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why would Intel disable some of these features on their more premium chip?

The reason the K Series (it's formal name) family or products does not have these features, is because those features you listed are being marketed to businesses, and overclocking the primary feature of the K Series is being marketed to enthusiast.

Intel positions TXT, in particular, as a purely business-focused part—it's an integral component of the company's vPro platform—so no doubt feels that it's irrelevant to the enthusiast (that is, gamer)-oriented K series. This is true, in a sense—the only systems likely to make use of TXT and TPM are business systems—but that's a chicken and egg scenario. If TPM were in every Intel chipset and TXT in every Intel processor, of course system and software vendors would start using them.

While the quote was written several years ago, it still holds true, TXT and vPro are both marketed the business sector.

What processor should I buy? Intel’s crazy pricing makes my head hurt

It's called product differentiation and a company like Intel will not offer a feature on one version of a product in order to make it separate from another product in the same product family.

In economics and marketing, product differentiation (or simply differentiation) is the process of distinguishing a product or service from others, to make it more attractive to a particular target market. This involves differentiating it from competitors' products as well as a firm's own products. The concept was proposed by Edward Chamberlin in his 1933 Theory of Monopolistic Competition.

Source

Are there K-Variant chips that do not have these features disabled?

The features are indeed not enabled, they are not disabled, they simply were removed.

Is it possible to enable these features on a K-Variant chip?

The feature cannot be enabled because it doesn't even exist.

  • I assume that this means that K-Variant Chips are aimed solely at Overclockers and Enthusiasts (hence the higher price tag), where Non-K Chips are aimed at more Business or Office use (hence the need for something like Trusted Execution)? – Mr Public Feb 4 '17 at 3:13
  • Intel has flat out said that, the overclocking capabilities, conflict with the vt-d feature. Since Intel ties those two features together, you lose one, you lose the other. – Ramhound Feb 4 '17 at 3:20
  • Alright, thank you for the response and explanation. – Mr Public Feb 4 '17 at 3:23
  • Quite literally, it comes to marketing and market segmentation. – Journeyman Geek Feb 4 '17 at 6:53
  • It is also possible that sections of the chip outside of the main execution path (as vPro would be) are more sensitive to overclocking or do not react as well to overvolting. It could be that they get too hot too quickly and become unreliable. The chip is perfectly functional without them, but is more reliable at higher speeds without them. I'd also expect the features to still be available on the CPU die, but for their connections to the CPU core to have been cut by laser to disable them. The K-series would initially start as "binned" normal chips and then be further separated after testing. – Mokubai Feb 4 '17 at 7:34

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