Several reports on the web have surfaced about a possible issue with Core i7 920 orders at NewEgg – this is one of Intel’s most popular processors (about $270). Apparently, a small number of them are stand-in/demo boxes with a dummy CPU and fan inside. From the couple of YouTube videos (if they are authentic), it looks like dummy boxes that could have been used to validate a design or on the shelves of a store (for illustration purposes).
HotHardware says that both Newegg and Intel have been notified, and that the problem would be limited to 300 boxes on a shipment of 2000. I’m not sure how such a percentage of dummies could make it into a shipment, but I guess that it’s technically possible for someone to sneak those in. You would think that barcodes and other controls would prevent that.
Anyway, Newegg is reportedly issuing RMAs (return authorizations)to those who have received a dummy, so it should end happily. Again, note that this has not been confirmed officially by Intel or Newegg, so take this with caution.