The news has been floating for a while now, but we want to re-iterate to ensure as much people as possible are aware of the situation. As you know, for many years we could distinguish engineering samples from retail by using CPU-Z. The engineering sample CPUs are marked with "(ES)", as identified by a flag in the processor register. With the launch of Haswell-E, this is no longer the case and some engineering samples are showing up as retail.
In particular the engineering samples from the USA factory present themselves as retail when using CPU-Z. A lot of the USA CPUs have found their way to the review media and, because they overclock well, also in the hands of extreme overclockers.
Why the engineering sample CPUs are no longer showing up as ES in CPU-Z is a question we don't have an answer to. Either CPU-Z is not detecting the right flag, or the flag is simply not enable on those CPUs. The consequence of this situation is that the moderating staff can not detect if a CPU was retail or engineering sample anymore. However, note that this has always been the case with AMD CPUs. With this news post we would like to stress the following items:
If you are using an ES Haswell-E that shows up as retail, please inform your fellow community members and don't enable points if you're not in the Elite League
Beware of reports of highly overclockable Haswell-E configurations by general media and in reviews
We hope we can rely on the community to maintain the fair playing field we try to provide at HWBOT. If you are using engineering samples, please move to the Elite League. Thanks!!