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Old September 25, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Default X2 unlock worth it?

I'm in the market for a budget gaming rig currently. I'm trying to decide between the AMD Phenom II x2 555 and x4 955. The only reason I'd get the x2 is with hopes of unlocking the 3rd and possibly 4th core. The $33 price difference is quite attractive.

The motherboard I'm getting is the BIOSTAR A870U3
Newegg link (Where I'm ordering it)
Their site

What are the chances that I can unlock those 2 cores with this mobo? Or that I can unlock them at all? I'm planning on eventually upgrading to a Bulldozer and the ASUS 99x
For other parts, I'm using 3 250gb drives in RAID 0 , an AMD Radeon 6870, a Haf 912, and 8 gigs of Patriot ram. It's currently $360 because I already own the hard drives and case, and a bunch of mail in rebates
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Old September 25, 2011, 01:33 PM
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More then 50% chance of an unlock. But if you're fine getting stuck wiht 2 cores if it fails, go for it.
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Old September 25, 2011, 02:44 PM
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Unlocking your extra cores is just luck of the draw...it's tough to put a number on it without polling some people that have tried.

However, I'm inclined to agree with supaflyx3...a while back I read of several X2 users that managed to unlock both cores and even get a huge overclock out of their chip. It may be that AMD's yields were better than expected and they were taking X4 chips and binning them down to X2 to meet market demand. However, as always YMMV. The flip side is you may end up with a chip that doesn't unlock.

IMO, it depends on how much risk you want to take. You may get a gem or you may get a lemon. Either way, best of luck! :)
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Old September 25, 2011, 03:01 PM
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Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

You have to order as a combo, that is the cheapest one, it even saves you $3 over the X2. It is an OEM CPU though, so you will need an aftermarket cooler.

Last edited by NI3; September 25, 2011 at 03:09 PM.
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Old September 25, 2011, 03:14 PM
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I'd stay with a pure quad core chip. I had the 550BE and it was ok for a couple of months unlocked all the time then the SATA controller will just fail on boot.
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Old September 25, 2011, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NI3 View Post
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

You have to order as a combo, that is the cheapest one, it even saves you $3 over the X2. It is an OEM CPU though, so you will need an aftermarket cooler.
Ooooh, didn't see that. What would you, or anybody else who sees this, recommend for an aftermarket cooler?
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Old September 25, 2011, 04:04 PM
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If you need to save those 33 dollars and can live with an x2 if it doesn't unlock, then go for it. IMO I would go for an x4 955 (can get them for $115 now). The extra few bucks guarantees 4 working cores (sometimes x2 unlock fine, but end up not being able to hold an OC or put out a ton of heat). Its always a gamble...pays off for some people and not so much for others.
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Old September 25, 2011, 04:08 PM
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CM hyper 212+
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Old September 25, 2011, 04:31 PM
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i have built 4 machines with 550 x2's
ive had 2 unlock and oc to 3.6ghz, they run fine but do need an aftermarket cooler
the other 2 did not unlock at all, but oc similarly on 2 cores

it only makes sense to buy them if a dual core will fully satisfy your needs, that way if it unlocks its just added headroom, if you need a quad spend the tiny amount more and dont kick yourself later
i used them in family type comps where any modern dual core would suffice (facebook games and such)
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Old September 29, 2011, 04:44 PM
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If you look at my Game Server/PVR in my sig you will notice a very strange chip. I was sold as a X2 AM2+ chip but in reality it was a Phenom II X4 chip with just the DDRIII control disabled (and two cores turned off). Once unlocked you ended up with a quad core with full Phenom II cache, it was just missing the DDRIII controller. It was dirt cheap (about $60) and so far it has been running for over a year in a server with great temps and no issues what so ever.
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