Mainboard Makers Promise to Enable Additional Cores on Future Quad-Core AMD Chips

Asrock, Asustek Computer to Transform Quad-Core Chips into Six-Core Processors

by Anton Shilov
04/20/2010 | 04:58 PM

In a bid to attract enthusiasts to their products, Asrock and Asustek Computer will implement a special capability that will allow to turn on disabled processing engines on the forthcoming quad-core AMD Phenom II 960T processors, effectively transforming them into six-core microprocessors.

For years manufacturers of mainboards competed with each other in terms of the best overclocking capabilities of their platforms. However, the emergence of multi-core central processing units (CPUs) some mainboards started to provide abilities to re-enable cores that were disabled by chipmakers. Apparently, the latest and forthcoming mainboards from Asrock and Asustek Computer – based on AMD 800-series chipsets – will be able to turn on the disabled cores of code-named Zosma processors – the quad-core chips that are based on the code-named Thuban design, the chip that has six cores.

 

Asrock, the company originally found to make inexpensive solutions for Asustek Computer, recently officially said that select AMD 800-series chipsets-based mainboards will feature Unlock CPU Core (UCC) technology, which will allow end-users to re-enable additional cores on Zosma processors.

“How many cores do you desire? The answer must be “as many as possible”. […] Asrock has exclusively equipped [select motherboards with] UCC function in the BIOS […] to unlock the mind-blowing performance of AMD’s upcoming PhenomII X4 960T CPU. Just a simple switch of the BIOS option ‘UCC’, users can unlock the extra CPU cored to enjoy an instant performance boost,” a statement by Asrock reads.

Initially, the UCC will be available on Asrock AMD 890 GX Extreme3 motherboard, however, going forward it is highly likely that the feature will be a part of other AMD 800-series chipsets based mainboards from Asrock. Moreover, there are also reports that AMD 890 GX-based motherboards from Asustek Computer can also unlock “extra” cores on Zosma processors.

Even though Zosma processors are based on the Thuban design and support Turbo Core technology to dynamically overclock cores when it is needed, it should be clear that far not all the forthcoming quad-core Zosma chips will be able to unlock the additional cores. Hence, just like with overclocking, re-enabling “extra” processing engines remains largely a lottery.

Forthcoming Desktop Microprocessors from AMD

Model

Code-name

No. of cores

Cache

TDP

Clock-SpeedTurbo-Speed

Platform

Availability

Phenom II X6 1090T

Thuban

6

9MB

125W

3.20GHz

3.60GHz

AM3

Q2 2010

Phenom II X6 1075T

Thuban

6

9MB

125W

3.00GHz

3.50GHz

AM3

Q3 2010

Phenom II X6 1055T

Thuban

6

9MB

125W

2.80GHz

3.30GHz

AM3

Q2 2010

Phenom II X6 1055T

Thuban

6

9MB

95W

2.80GHz

3.30GHz

AM3

Q2 2010

Phenom II X6 1035T

Thuban

6

9MB

95W

2.60GHz

3.10GHz

AM3

Q2 2010

Phenom II X4 960T

Zosma 

4

8MB

95W

3.00GHz

3.40GHz

AM3

Q2 2010