Phenom II X3 Triple to Quad-Core Mod Possible?

There are some rumors circulating this morning that it is possible to enable the fourth hidden / disabled core in a triple-core Phenom II X3, by simply enabling Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) in the system BIOS on motherboards outfitted with SB750 southbridges and AMI BIOS derivatives.

So far, a couple of stories have surfaced that claim to have unlocked the fourth core in a triple core processor using ASRock M3A790GXH/128M and Biostar TA790GX motherboards. And in their testing, the processors simply worked just like a quad-core.

Although we do not have either of the ASRock or Biostar motherboards used in the reports in house at the moment, we tried to replicate their success with an Asus M4A79T Deluxe motherboard, which also sports and AMI BIOS and an SB750 southbridge.

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Tri-Core Vital Signs

Regardless of the ACC setting used in the BIOS, however, we could not enable the fourth core on our Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition. Sorry.

If these rumors do turn out to be true, and the fourth core in a tri-core Phenom II X3 can be enabled via a BIOS setting, we expect a rash of user modified BIOS files to hit the web post haste that enable the necessary functionality, even it motherboard manufacturers patch their existing BIOS files to prevent core unlocking (if it is in fact possible). But be aware, depending on AMD's binning process, enabling the fourth core may not be possible with all Phenom II processors. It's likely that some X3 processors will be perfectly functional X4s that simply have a core disabled, but it's also possible that the majority of Phenom II X3 processors have a defective or marginal fourth core that was disabled for a reason.

We hope to have more information as this story unfolds. We have reached out to AMD to see if they have an official statement on the matter but have yet to hear back. We'll update this post as necessary with new information as it comes in.

Via:  HotHardware
bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

This is cool. I miss the days of modding ATI 9500 to 9700 and what not. Always fun to see if you can get something extra.

rapid1 5 years ago

Yeah, but this is a real hit or miss. General knowledge is that AMD makes all there processors from the same die yield. So the reason a tri core exists at all is because the fourth core was found faulty through testsing, by AMD. So the release it for a tri core rather than a quad. So from the get go it failed at the factory. So if you enable a tri to a quad it would seem your going to loose something by default. 

amdcrankitup 5 years ago

It would be interesting to see if its possible and if it is and it performs then you have to ask AMD Whats up!!Be very interested to see where this goes and of course you have nothing to loose, but on the flip side may gain something!

Super Dave 5 years ago

Perhaps this would be a great marketing strategy for AMD...kind of like when you purchase a box of Cracker Jacks or a Lottery Scratcher ticket!Wink


tanka12345 5 years ago

Interesting. I once read where you could do this on a graphics card to enable extra cores.

amdcrankitup 5 years ago

I found this link apparently showing the 4th core being implemented take a look!  Course I like to Marco or Dave get a hold of one of these and verify this  or even one of our guys!

On a non related note I,ve noticed I,ve been here a year this week,Woo HOO and just went over a 1000 post cant beleive it took me that long!

digitaldd 5 years ago

I saw reports on a few websites of folks being able to get the 4th core enabled but the system wasn't stable at any speed, even if they under-clocked it. Could it be the folks who either can't get core # 4 enabled or the ones where the system isn't stable with the 4th core enabled are the ones that had the faulty forth core and the ones where it works are ones which were binned down due to higher demand for cheaper parts? Maybe we'll have a database of batches in a few months thta guarantee a 4th core un-lock..


Stay Tuned..

rapid1 5 years ago

Yeah digitaldd thats what I was saying or like someone else mentioned it's kind of like a scratch of lottery ticket. However the odds seem more like the lottery ticket scenario to me. I guess if you have the money to waste, but price wise between the true quad core and the tri core it makes the odds even more pointless to me. Really the difference price wise is what 30-50 dollars for a guaranteed quad core. You still invest the same for the MB, PSU, RAM right. That makes the odds longer to me, I think I would just pay the 45 dollars for the guarantee. Rather than spending the money on everything else and then having a 60/40 or 70/30 percent chance of having a 4th core you could release. I don't mean to undercut the idea but if I was getting a 3 core it would be for the extended overclock ability that's been seen in the reviews. More so than betting I would get a hidden 4th core!

bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

I think it's kinda cool still though. Its just like the old graphics cards. Some unlocked the extra pipes fine some had constent artifacts. I wouldn't recommend getting one just to do this, but if you have one why not try.

SqUiD267 5 years ago

It really does suck that the 4th core could be corrupt or sumthing.

yoda8232 5 years ago

Only some tri-core's do this, both 710's and 720's can but special ones of each you won't know until you buy it and set it up.

Neo4 5 years ago

[quote user="yoda8232"]

Only some tri-core's do this, both 710's and 720's can but special ones of each you won't know until you buy it and set it up.


I got lucky with mine although its overclocking potential isn't equal to just using 3 cores. In Vista64 mine will clock between 3.5 and 3.6 GHz depending on HT frequency. At 260 it's OCCT stable at the lower end with ~1.5v. Believe me I'm not complaining. LOL


amdcrankitup 5 years ago

Ive been studying on some OC results of the phenom 720 and found out that there is two different 720,s the Hecka and the Denab which the denab was used in this thread to try to enable the 4 th core. It seems that only a handfull of boards support this mod! But after a lot of studying I also found out that the only one of the 2 the Denab will allow this mod. I,ve got the Hecka and all I get from it is they are technically the same die just difference batch! in short, heka is just deneb with 1 core disabled, so basically, there is no 720 deneb, even though all 720s are just denebs with 1 core disabled. Because of this trickery you could call a 720 a heka (its official amd codename), or deneb (the die it is based on). The only difference here is naming, there are no seperate deneb/heka versions of the 720, and all chips are the same! But Im thinking there has got to be some kind of difference in the two just havent been able to pin it down. Maybe manufactued in a differet plant with a minor technicel specifications. But I,ve practically looked all day and it appears the denab OC,s better than the hecka but not a great degree! Funny its driving me nuts to find the technical diffrence but if anyone can find a hecka that this mod works on I would be thrill to see it!Even at the AMD world OC champion used a denab!  What was his name Kingpin? This just an observation I noted while looking at Ocing specs and results!

mentaldisorder 5 years ago

I kind of want to say that there is more to it.  I feel like they would make less of a profit if the chips are all quads with a locked core.  However, it may be cheaper for them to just use those chips, I can't even think of how they would design them with three cores, the heatspreader would probably be less effective, but I'm only speculating, like you.  I'll check the cpu I got from Marco and see what batch it is.

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