Intel is investigating why more than 300 counterfeit Core i7-920 CPUs were shipped to reputable online technology retailer Newegg.
Newegg reportedly received the 300 fake processors in a batch of about 2,000 CPUs shipped to them from a partner, D&H Distributing.
Reports about at least one counterfeit chip began surfacing March 5, and some Websites have posted photos of the counterfeit product and the package that the fake chip arrived in.
There were several misspellings on the packaging-including a sticker on the outside box that spelled "socket" as "sochet." Inside the boxes, which were supposed to contain a stand-alone CPU, were fake processors and some other items.
In addition, there reportedly were "instruction manuals" that contained only blank pages.
A video of one of the boxes being opened was posted on YouTube.
Newegg officials issued a statement saying they were aware of the "shipping error that occurred with certain recent orders of the Intel Core i7-920 CPU" and that they were helping customers with the problem.
They also placed much of the blame on "one of our long-term partners" that "mistakenly shipped a small number of demo boxes instead of functional units."
However, Intel officials saw this as more than an issue of demo boxes being sent. In a statement, Intel said that it "has been made aware of the potential for counterfeit i7 920 packages in the marketplace and is working to [determine] how many and/or where they are being sold."
Intel is encouraging consumers who receive counterfeit chips to go back to the place that sold them or to authorities.
"The examples we have seen are not Intel products but are counterfeits," the statement said.
Throwing another twist into the story were reports that lawyers representing D&H sent cease-and-desist orders to two tech Websites that were among the first to report on the shipments of the counterfeit chips.