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Old 05-04-2011, 09:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question unlocking cores? huh?

So I hear of people "unlocking" processors. what does this mean? how is it done and is there risk. ( such as if it fails does it destroy the processor) feel free to give indepth explinations or link me to somewhere it does. I typically can understand anything regaurding hardware. Thank you for any help you can give
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

Here is the basic explanation from Tom's Hardware. Depending on what CPU you are using it is likely that someone has already unlocked its extra cores if they are available, just do a search of " core unlock" and you should find reviews/guides specific to your interests.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

To be a bit more specific there are certain Phenom II and Athlon II CPUs that can unlock by a certain feature on certain motherboards. For instance one CPU is the Phenom II 555 BE that is very popular with unlocking to either a tri-core or a quad core to be a full blown 955. The problem with doing this is as the article said, you can have a very unstable CPU when unlocking. Since X4s are so cheap these days you're better off just buying one.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

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Originally Posted by PP Mguire View Post
To be a bit more specific there are certain Phenom II and Athlon II CPUs that can unlock by a certain feature on certain motherboards. For instance one CPU is the Phenom II 555 BE that is very popular with unlocking to either a tri-core or a quad core to be a full blown 955. The problem with doing this is as the article said, you can have a very unstable CPU when unlocking. Since X4s are so cheap these days you're better off just buying one.
Yep. I have the Phenom II 555BE. I was SUCCESSFULLY able to unlock the 3rd core only. Unlocking the 4th core would cause a boot loop. If you're wanting a quad core, go with the Athlon X4 for cheap, or the Phenom II 840. I would much rather choose the 840 over the Athlon though.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

What makes it economically viable for AMD to even sell processors with a locked core included? Are they simply just processors with a failed core?
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

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Originally Posted by aikbix View Post
What makes it economically viable for AMD to even sell processors with a locked core included? Are they simply just processors with a failed core?
When AMD makes CPU and 2 cores are stable but 2 aren't rather than throwing away the chip they sell it as a dual core with 2 cores locked. Sometimes the other cores can be unlocked and used without any issues, but other times they are completely unstable.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

^ Yep. My wife's computer has an Athlon II x3 that was able to unlock the fourth core.

To actually answer your questions, unlocking a CPU is basically checking to see if the locked cores are usable or not. Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not. Even if cores do unlock they may not be stable (as 35g700 stated).

You must have a motherboard that has ACC (or something similar, sometimes called a core unlocker). this will have an option in the BIOS to let you try. My Asus board actually tells you to hit a certain key to go into the ACC when you boot.

Unlocking any cores available will not destroy your CPU, but it may cause other problems like a boot loop or OS instability if the cores are whacked.

Not all AMD CPUs have locked cores. Any Athlon II x2 will be a true dual core. Every x3 will have a potential core. I think all Phenom II x2s have two potential cores, but be sure to do some online searching before you buy to be sure.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

Are there ever any issues with processors that contain locked cores, or are they relatively stable as long are they are not in use?
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

No, AMD chips are 4 individual cores, completely seperate so turning 1 off shuts it out. Intel on the other hand works in pairs, so a quad hasx 2 sets of duals.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: unlocking cores? huh?

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Originally Posted by patonb View Post
No, AMD chips are 4 individual cores, completely seperate so turning 1 off shuts it out. Intel on the other hand works in pairs, so a quad hasx 2 sets of duals.
Oh that makes sense then. I thought it was sort of a cheap move. But I guess it doesn't really matter, considering the design.
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