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8 Posts

04-04-2021

United States of America

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P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-08, 16:55 PM

Lenovo has confirmed to a reputable review site that it is vendor locking AMD CPUs to its hardware - see here. I recently ordered a P620 with the AMD Threadripper Pro without knowing about the vendor lock. In fact any compatible AMD CPU placed in the P620 would also become locked to the motherboard. It's very disappointing for those who have a legitimate need to make CPU changes down the road.

 

Would Lenovo consider enabling a CPU unlock feature for the P620 in a future BIOS update?

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104 Posts

01-04-2021

Russian Federation

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Re:P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-08, 19:05 PM

Don’t think it is possible to reverse, locking is not a programming, it is a physical process as I understand. 

There was a thread here recently with a link describing how it works and why it was designed that way by AMD. Lenovo is not a culprit here, they are just responding to the demand of high security computing. 

Also CPU is not fused to the particular motherboard but to the model, so you can swap CPUs around, considering it is still the same Lenovo MB type.

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5225 Posts

02-22-2010

United States of America

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Re:P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-08, 20:55 PM

I think @Cromanin is on the right track with this.  I'm working to get more details though and will post back here when we have more info.




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8 Posts

04-04-2021

United States of America

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Re:P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-08, 21:28 PM

Thanks for researching this. AMD appears to have enabled a feature in BIOS to disable the vendor-lock on their CPUs in the past - see here. Lenovo should likewise leave the decision to lock the CPU to us when we buy the P620. 

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104 Posts

01-04-2021

Russian Federation

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Re:P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-09, 6:18 AM

I think you are right - the vendor can disable CPU fusing, I recall Dell did not (does not?) do it. But once fused - it is irreversible. 

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4 Posts

03-11-2021

Switzerland

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Re:P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-11, 0:03 AM

You speak my mind here. I can understand the economics of providing a locked down CPU as part of a complete system build. I would also understand the concept if the CPU is only sold through the system integrators. Everything is closed (and secured).

What is difficult to understand for me is what happens when AMD makes the Threadripper Pro freely available and please correct me:

1. The customer is only informed of the lock down after purchase of the new CPU (at the time he install it and powers up the system).

2. As part of the fusing process the customer is practically "dispossessed" or "disseized". No guarantee that the CPU will work in a P620 "refresh" or gen 2 model.

3. Since the Threadripper Pro is not a gaming/overclocking CPU, isn't the most likely scenario that something on the motherboard fails before the CPU dies? The customer is at the mercy of each and every little component (e.g. capacitor) on that MB (which has a limited availability anyway).

4. With the current chip shortage (aka famine) the customer is in pratice not guaranteed to even receive a replacement board - or in other words the options are limited to the availability to one particular MB model

5. Not providing an option to disable the fusing is also difficult for me to understand. In order to install any Linux distro Lenovo recommends to disable Secure Boot - including the Redhat Enterprise Linux which is widely used in enterprises. Without being an expert, and please correct me here, would that not compromise the system security even more - regardless if the CPU is locked or not?

 

https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/thinkcentre_pdf/ts_p620_redhat_enterprise_linux_8_installation_v1.0.pdf

 

https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/thinkcentre_pdf/ts_p620_ubuntu_linux_20.04_installation_v1.0.pdf

 

https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/thinkcentre_pdf/ts_p620_debian_10.03_installation_v1.0.pdf

 

I ordered the P620 based on the  excellent longevity of their laptops, paying with my own cash as a saleried employee.

 

Lenovo, please implement an option to disable the fusing of NEW CPUs, now with the general availability of Threadripper Pro and their WRX80 motherboards to everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Posts

04-23-2021

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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  • Message 7 of 9

Re:P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-23, 12:06 PM

My goodness,

 

I've just deployed a few P620's for my company and on the back of them being good was about to pull the trigger for myself on a base spec model for gaming with the view to upgrade CPU. I

 

I'm currently using an HP Z4 that I upgraded from a 4 core Xeon to a 12-core upgraded myself. I had an unrelated USB issue and the motherboard was replaced under warranty on-site by HP. Prior to raising the case, I explained I had upgraded the CPU, and they just said it would not be covered under warranty in the event of failure. 

 

The P620 is a well engineered workstation - but my decision to upgrade to AMD via Lenovo is largely motivated by the current hardware drought we find ourselves in. 

 

Very glad I came across this thread first!

 

Very disappointed to discover this - what a **bleep** MOVE LENOVO!

 

 

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4 Posts

03-11-2021

Switzerland

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  • Message 8 of 9

Re:P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-23, 20:38 PM

Dear Experts from Lenovo,

 

is there an official channel to apply for the BIOS setting to make the fusing of replacement CPUs optional?

 

My employer has a "Customer Influence Channel"  for his own (software) products where customers can apply for features (and other customers and partners can optionally vote on them to help prioritize)?

 

Many thanks for your support!

 

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5225 Posts

02-22-2010

United States of America

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  • Message 9 of 9

Re:P620 - Vendor Lock for AMD Threadripper PRO

2021-04-26, 20:50 PM

I've been talking with our architect team, and the best way I think we can try to explain what's going on with this is that AMD's vendor lock is a security related feature that is somewhat akin to Intel's Boot Guard.  Not enabling this feature would have likely been a major concern for enterprise customers that are highly security conscious and want that hardware Root of Trust (RoT).

 

The major difference between AMD's implementation and Intel's is that Intel's Boot Guard resides in the PCH, which is the onboard chipset and a component that is not removable.  AMD's implementation has this feature being part of the CPU, and the fact that the CPU is removable creates the controversy.  

 

We're evaluating options internally, but I don't expect to get any quick changes/updates since this is directly related to platform security features.  Certainly the question of "can it be disabled?" is something we're looking at, but I don't have any outlook on it at this point.




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