Recently a forum member neo posted what could be one of the coolest posts of the year: Comparison: Intel i350-T4 Genuine vs Fake. The post takes a look at a genuine Intel i350-t4 purchased from Dell and compares it to a counterfeit adapter purchased from a Chinese seller.
Can you spot the fake?
While at first the counterfeit cards may work, many users are reporting in that thread that the counterfeit cards are failing early. As an anecdote, we purchased two of these knock-off Intel adapters about eight months ago and both have run into issues. That compares to zero issues with the Intel OEM cards (population is probably on the order of 100 genuine cards.)
Why are people buying counterfeit cards? They cost around $60 each versus the standard cards that can cost upwards of $300. This is not a small problem. In the thread users are reporting purchasing through both ebay and third parties being fulfilled through Amazon.com. Other sites like Alibaba have dozens of listings for similar cards. What we can see is a few of the latest ebay listings and some of the totals (as of this writing as the numbers are increasing):
Just those three examples show over 1000 cards sold.
If you want a great read, check the Comparison: Intel i350-T4 Genuine vs Fake thread in the STH forums. Individual components are compared between the cards sourced from both Dell and ebay. It is amazing how close the less durable cards look to the originals. Anyone that purchases these cards should take a close look so they can spot fakes. Users are reporting that they are coming with Intel driver CDs and everything to make them look legitimate.
We did contact Intel about this matter but have not received a response to date.