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Well, i saw there's an option to enable the 2 disabled cores on an AMD Phenom II x2/x3. How i do it? My motherboard is: Asus M2N68-AM Plus.

Is there any risk that would make my processor "die"?

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migrated from Feb 19 '11 at 2:46

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2 Answers 2

According to this Wikipedia article:

Some versions of the Phenom II X2 and X3 have one or two cores "deactivated" to enable AMD to target the lower end of its market. As a result, with the correct motherboard and BIOS it is possible to unlock the deactivated core(s) of the processor. However, success is not guaranteed, because in some cases the core(s) may have been deactivated due to faulty silicon. Hardware enthusiast websites have collected and summarized anecdotal reports that, overall, indicate about a 70% success rate but these reports likely have self-reporting bias, and more importantly, it is impossible to know whether an unlocked core is truly bug-free or just works "well enough" for the particular individual making the report.

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This functionality is controlled through your motherboard's BIOS and is called 'core unlocker'. It should not, in theory, destroy your processor, but since the cores are disabled since they are not to spec, it may cause instability in your system. If you experience instability it may be a sign that the cores you enabled truly are bad; you may either choose to deal with the instability if it is not too bad, or in the worst case have to disable them again.

Looking at the Newegg page for your motherboard, it does not appear to support this (though it may be wrong).

Also note that, at least on my motherboard (ASUS m4a87td evo) there is a physical switch on the motherboard, near the ram, you must flip to be able to do this.

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