Monday, February 23rd 2009

Phenom II X3 Can be Unlocked to Phenom II X4?

It is a well-known fact that AMD has been carving out triple-core and dual-core Phenom/Phenom II series processors out of complete Agena/Deneb dice with one or two cores disabled. In a fresh revelation, a Korean enthusiast claims to have discovered that it is rather easy to unlock the disabled core on Phenom II X3 processors, provided the motherboard supports the Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) feature that is meant to enhance overclocking using AMD's Overdrive software. The enthusiast claims the soft-mod to have worked in his/her case, where a Phenom II X3 710 was paired with a Biostar TA790GX 128M motherboard. The CPU was overclocked to 3.12 GHz, with a vCore setting of 1.37 V.

The method employed: Set the appropriate BIOS setting for the Advanced Clock Calibration feature to "Auto", save settings and restart. The system will be able to deal with the disabled core, and off load some work to it. The processor with the "additional" core was tested to be Prime95 stable and was able to boost 3DMark06 CPU score by as much as 1,000 points. Let the screenshots below speak for themselves:
The method:
The Result:

Sources:Playwares, VR-Zone
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99 Comments on Phenom II X3 Can be Unlocked to Phenom II X4?

#1
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
SeanG said:
The fact is you would still be running a broken 4 core cpu because thats why amd disabled it in the first place.So why bother?
Did you even read my post... seriously? :banghead:

I will go over it's strong points again real quick for you.

-AMD allows us to clock each core separately
-1 core even running 500mhz will get performance gain
-I love kittens
-The price is significantly lower (despite what you said)

Now here's a real good question for you. Why are you running that 9950 at 3Ghz? It didn't come from AMD like that, so why bother? In your words since it didn't come right from AMD like that, right now you should be taking a performance loss (this is of course in sticking with what you previously said).
Posted on Reply
#2
HossHuge
Could someone figure out how to unlock the shaders on the HD4830 please.

Thanks in advance!!
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#3
Neo4
PhenomII X3 into X4

Guys it works and its very stable on my CPU OC'd to 3 GHz and 1.25vcore. Seriously!
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#4
ShadowFold
We gotta figure out what's different with these biostar boards so we can rework it to work on all boards. I kinda wanna see my Kuma become an Agena :D
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#5
Neo4
Best of luck on that ShadowFold as you can imagine I'm seriously high right now!
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#6
Wile E
Power User
SeanG said:
The fact is you would still be running a broken 4 core cpu because thats why amd disabled it in the first place.So why bother?
That's not always true. If the demand for the tri-core is higher than the amount of dice coming out with a bad core, they will disable a core on a fully functioning die to make it a tri core. It's better to disable a core and still sell it, than it is to make a quad core that sits on the shelf, waiting to be sold.
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#7
Neo4
My CPU is running at 3 GHz and undervolted to 2.5v and running just fine. Granted I need to do some stress testing to see if it's completely stable but my games haven't crashed yet nor have I needed to reset the BIOS. Cool-N-Quiet stopped working with the 4th core enabled but I can live with that even though its nice to see it throttle down to 800 MHz when its idling.
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#8
OzzmanFloyd120
Neo4, I'd like to see more screen shots to prove it's real. No offense, but I'm skeptical.
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#9
Neo4
Go to the TechPowerUp! home page and read the article yourself. I've read 3 of them myself in the last hour because I have a Google alert set to Phenom II and this news just broke today. Go back to my earlier post several pages back and see my desktop screenshot when I first asked the gang what the heck I was looking at. As far as I know I'm probably one of the very first to see this. Do you realize what a stoke of luck this is? Talk about your "best bang for the buck"!
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#10
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
Now your done for Neo4, I see you live in Peoria, Il. I'm coming to find you and take that processor/mobo!
Posted on Reply
#11
Neo4
1Kurgan1 said:
Now your done for Neo4, I see you live in Peoria, Il. I'm coming to find you and take that processor/mobo!
With a name like Kurgen I believe you but I'm no "Highlander" so I couldn't defend myself. :respect:
Posted on Reply
#12
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
SeanG said:
Theres a big difference between unlocking a vid card that was disabled and will run better and unlocking a core on a cpu that was disabled cause it wasnt running right in the first place.If it was going to run right AMD would of sold it to you as a quad core and made $80 more.:cool:
Is it really that hard to comprehend that if Graphics card manufacturers would disable perfecty good pipelines just to fill the lower markets, that CPU manufacturers would disable perfectly good cache or even entire cores to fill the lower markets?

They are only going to sell so many high end processors, and the supply is far greater than the demand, so you have to use the supply to fill other demand.

Look at history, it is pretty obvious that this practice is common, even in the CPU industry.
Posted on Reply
#13
Wile E
Power User
newtekie1 said:
Is it really that hard to comprehend that if Graphics card manufacturers would disable perfecty good pipelines just to fill the lower markets, that CPU manufacturers would disable perfectly good cache or even entire cores to fill the lower markets?

They are only going to sell so many high end processors, and the supply is far greater than the demand, so you have to use the supply to fill other demand.

Look at history, it is pretty obvious that this practice is common, even in the CPU industry.
Yep, just like I mentioned above. It is better for them to disable a perfectly good core and sell it at a lower profit margin, than it is for them to make it a quad core, and not sell it at all, potentially causing an overstock issue.
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#14
Neo4
X4 3DMark Vantage, 2.5vcore results.
Posted on Reply
#15
SeanG
Neo4 said:
X4 3DMark Vantage, 2.5vcore results.
Why does cpu-z say its a 940?
Posted on Reply
#16
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Neo4 said:
Guys it works and its very stable on my CPU OC'd to 3 GHz and 1.25vcore. Seriously!
Congrats!

Now see how quickly X3 720 BE sells. You have at your disposal a DDR3-supportive AMD quad with unlocked multipliers.

SeanG said:
Why does cpu-z say its a 940?
940 is the pin-count for AM3/AM2+/AM2. You've been looking at "package".
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#17
Neo4
You got that right!

Look under "Specification" it will say that its an "X4 20 processor" with my previous BIOS it said "X4 20 Black Edition" which is closer to the truth. The previous BIOS also correctly identified it in the processor name string. But I'm not complaining you understand.
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#18
Neo4
Man, I'm tired and a little drunk I made two mistakes that I know of. The original desktop screenshot I took on the 18th was in the AMD Phenom II OC'ers Club thread and my vcore is undervolted to 1.25. Guesss, I'll pop another top!
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#19
devguy
I read on Guru3D and some German site that any SB750 motherboard is capable of this unlock, provided one uses a Phenom X3 manufactured during the fourth week of 2009 (0904). I just checked my heatspreader and found I am one of these lucky ones and am pondering picking up an SB750 board.

Neo4, since the unlock worked for you, I assume you have an 0904 batch processor. I noticed on my serial number that in the serial after the only character (in my case a 'B'), it lists 904. I was wondering if you notice the same thing on your serial, or if mine is just a coincidence? The serial number is on the box, or if you bought yours OEM, it is the bottom line on the heatspreader. If yours matches too, then there may be a convenient way for people to cherry pick "unlockers" online by simply asking for the serial number. Of course in B&M, one could just look at the manufacturing date through the little window.
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#20
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
mine was a 0904 to bad its dead lol
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#21
Neo4
You say the number is on the box? Do you mean the number on the 3D sticker?
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#22
showstopper41
Neo4 said:
Guys it works and its very stable on my CPU OC'd to 3 GHz and 1.25vcore. Seriously!
Could you tell us you mainboard model and your processor code?
Posted on Reply
#23
erocker
Senior Moderator
Mine is a 0903 and it doesn't work.
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