As for it being a counterfeit, every example I have seen on the Internet has misspelled words and/or non-idiomatic English on the box and/or CPU. The people who do it are generally not native English speakers.
As for it being used, I've often wondered why Intel only secures one end of the box with a white label. The other end is secured with either clear tape or a slightly fancier tape. Someone may have opened the box by pulling the clear tape off (or cutting it and then pulling it off). Then they scratched the CPU and possibly worse, reassembled the box contents and placed tape over the open end. This sort of thing happens all the time on ebay and Amazon marketplace.
Or it could have been a combination of the above. They took a genuine Intel box and placed a counterfeit CPU inside and taped it up. In any case, there is no way Intel would have shipped a CPU with a scratch as you described.
I work for Intel Customer Support and let me tell you that Intel is always evolving our boxes, labels and any other collateral so changes are expected, having that said: the label is legit. Intel removed the hologram in Sept 2014. And about the scratch that you are mentioning, I understand it is not on the CPU, it is on the inside of the plastic cover.
I don't believe this is a "counterfeit" unit but we will need to inspect the unit itself.
I hope this helps,
Thanks for your replies.
The scratch is on the metal part of processor itself, not the plastic shell, the way it reflect lights is identical with text on the processor's metal surface and edge of the processor's metal surface, aside this curvy scratch on right part of the processor's metal surface, a shorter fainter wider straight scratch got a symmetric one on left part of the processor's surface, the way they reflect lights are all identical with text and edge on the processor's metal surface, metal and plastic have different patterns on light reflection, I have examined these multiple times.
Did you noticed the context of white label is arranged differently?
And the size of white label is different.
And the thickness and font of context on the white label is different.
Also as I mentioned it should be a new boxed processor.
Regarding evolve of the boxes, if Intel decide to evolving its boxes and any other collaterals without proper announcement for everyone, then it will creating opportunities for counterfeit, every counterfeit could be genuine, vice versa. Who knows which is newly evolved or just badly forged counterfeit?
More suggestions are expected.
I understand your concerns and your comments are very valid.
I still believe the label is valid but until you inspect the unit itself it is going to be hard to tell.
If you purchased it from a serious retailer store you should be fine.
Thank you for your reply.
Photo of the white label with no holographic label you provide has same tight context arrangement and font and S-spec arrangement as other genuine ones, even it is not the same processor type, but what I received has not.
Compare to photo you provide and other genuine ones, my first line of the white label's content has a relatively big gap between barcode beneath it and has most noticeable font difference compare to yours and other genuine ones, and gap between all the other barcodes and text on it are bigger than yours and other genuine ones.
At least a forged white label and used processor is what I received.
Regarding inspect the processor itself requires break the seal and open the box, I am afraid after I open it all those scratches and suspicious labels will become my responsibility.
The OP probably has sorted this out but here's my take. I assume the tiny scratch in practice won't affect thermal transfer, however, it's an expensive item and I expect it to be perfect, especially if it's the boxed version. My logic is that, if Intel manage to produce such delicate electronics, they must have some very high quality control in place, therefore a scratch that size would be very unlikely to have happened at the manufacturing facility. Just imagine a scratch that size on the silicon die.
Intel does have very high quality controls and they make sure all their components are working properly before they leave the facilities.
In order to see if the scratch is in the CPU per se, the owner would have to remove the plastic shell and verify that. We are not sure if this was done and if it was the plastic shell or not.
What I can assure you indeed is that Intel does have very high quality controls for all of their products and they make a big effort providing a high quality product to the customer.