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PHII X3 720BE 4th core question

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April 1, 2010 4:57:13 PM

I tried unlocking my X3 720, and I managed to get it detected by CPU-Z, however, when I run benchmark tests, they always fail at the 4th core. However, I have yet to experience BSODs or things like that. However, no BSODs or crashes. Is there anything I can do to be able to remedy this? I haven't yet tried sweeping the -12 -> +12% in the Unleash option of my Asus mother board, could that help? Or this core is really unusable (at most)
April 1, 2010 5:50:14 PM

Dude, first stop with the ''howevers''... :lol: 

Seriously, unlocking core is a hit/miss situation, that is yo are not guaranteed a succesfull unlock. The cores are locked because they are defective and tshis may be the reaso why you are experiencing those poblems wit benchmarks.

You may try tro OC the thing, but i would not advise you to tamper with the volatages. :D 
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April 1, 2010 7:29:04 PM

Starges said:
Dude, first stop with the ''howevers''... :lol: 

Seriously, unlocking core is a hit/miss situation, that is yo are not guaranteed a succesfull unlock. The cores are locked because they are defective and tshis may be the reaso why you are experiencing those poblems wit benchmarks.

You may try tro OC the thing, but i would not advise you to tamper with the volatages. :D 


Yes it is a hit/miss situation but if his PC booted fine w/o crashing then it is most likely a fully working core that may beed some voltage to attain stability.

Just because the core's are locked does not necessarily mean they are defective. I run an unlocked 550 daily at 3.8Ghz, so in other words I am running an x4 955BE ;) 

AMD churns out defective cores and fully working cores, it's a marketing strategy that has been working since the release of the 550 and 720.

At the OP, what voltage did you give the CPU when you unlocked the 4th core?





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April 1, 2010 7:59:56 PM

OvrClkr's right. Locked cores are not always the result of imperfections within each chip, but an imperfection found within the sample chips from the same wafer that were tested when manufactured. Not all chips on every wafer will have the same imperfections as these samples, so some may be perfectly fine while others are not. But if the samples taken aren't up to full spec, then the entire wafer is binned according to the results of the samples taken. That doesn't mean all the dies cut from that wafer share all the same imperfections as the samples. Some perfectly good dies will get through, and that is the entire reason unlocking is such a big deal.
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April 1, 2010 9:22:46 PM

RazberyBandit said:
OvrClkr's right. Locked cores are not always the result of imperfections within each chip, but an imperfection found within the sample chips from the same wafer that were tested when manufactured. Not all chips on every wafer will have the same imperfections as these samples, so some may be perfectly fine while others are not. But if the samples taken aren't up to full spec, then the entire wafer is binned according to the results of the samples taken. That doesn't mean all the dies cut from that wafer share all the same imperfections as the samples. Some perfectly good dies will get through, and that is the entire reason unlocking is such a big deal.


So what are you saying? That AMD doesn't test every CPU they put in a box? I think they do. It doesn't sound like AMD can afford to go solely by samples and inadvertently throw out perfectly fine quadcores and label them tri or dual core without further testing. I realize lots of people right and to say that with a little tweaking and extra volts, they were able to get stable with the unlocked. But it seems to me I've read just as many who tried and gave up or didn't want to lose the temp sensor ability when they "unleash" the locked core.

I didn't need to turn on "unleash" on my BIOS since my 955 BE is guaranteed to have 4 stable cores and boy is it sweet at 3.8 Ghz on stock volts. But when I tried unleashing, there goes my temp monitor.

Not trying to discourage the core unlockers out there but iIMO it's usually a case of you get what you pay for most of the time. You might be better off overclocking the three cores than unlocking the fourth, running stock and possiblu still be unstable.
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April 1, 2010 9:40:56 PM

hundredislandsboy said:
So what are you saying? That AMD doesn't test every CPU they put in a box? I think they do. It doesn't sound like AMD can afford to go solely by samples and inadvertently throw out perfectly fine quadcores and label them tri or dual core without further testing. I realize lots of people right and to say that with a little tweaking and extra volts, they were able to get stable with the unlocked. But it seems to me I've read just as many who tried and gave up or didn't want to lose the temp sensor ability when they "unleash" the locked core.

I didn't need to turn on "unleash" on my BIOS since my 955 BE is guaranteed to have 4 stable cores and boy is it sweet at 3.8 Ghz on stock volts. But when I tried unleashing, there goes my temp monitor.

Not trying to discourage the core unlockers out there but iIMO it's usually a case of you get what you pay for most of the time. You might be better off overclocking the three cores than unlocking the fourth, running stock and possiblu still be unstable.


yes, thats exactly what AMD do. hence why so many people (including myself) can unlcock cores with no issues whatsoever. do some research, and you will find out why.

demand for dual cores was higher than initially anticipated, so AMD started binning perfectly good quads to sell as duals. they were either not going to sell, or sell as duals.

@OP: check out this link http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/535501-amd-phenom-ii-...

and yes, you may need some more vCore to get it stable. and the NB may need a boost too.
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April 1, 2010 9:59:24 PM

hundredislandsboy said:
So what are you saying? That AMD doesn't test every CPU they put in a box? I think they do. It doesn't sound like AMD can afford to go solely by samples and inadvertently throw out perfectly fine quadcores and label them tri or dual core without further testing. I realize lots of people right and to say that with a little tweaking and extra volts, they were able to get stable with the unlocked. But it seems to me I've read just as many who tried and gave up or didn't want to lose the temp sensor ability when they "unleash" the locked core.

I didn't need to turn on "unleash" on my BIOS since my 955 BE is guaranteed to have 4 stable cores and boy is it sweet at 3.8 Ghz on stock volts. But when I tried unleashing, there goes my temp monitor.

Not trying to discourage the core unlockers out there but iIMO it's usually a case of you get what you pay for most of the time. You might be better off overclocking the three cores than unlocking the fourth, running stock and possiblu still be unstable.


The temp monitor is not necessary since the CPU temp is what you should be looking at, not individual core temp.



I have tested my B50 against a 955 and there is no diference, nada ;) 



99.99$ for a fully working x4 955be that can do 3.8Ghz stable @ 1.4v , on the other hand 4.1Ghz requires at least 1.475v but im not complaining.

Same goes for the x2 555, if you get lucky you end up with a fully working x4 965be C3 rev.
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April 1, 2010 10:10:15 PM

HundredIslandsBoy, sometimes you actually get MORE than what you pay for. That's the nature of the beast when it comes to dual and triple core AMD Phenom II processors. (Athlon II X3's, too.)

When I bought the 2 CPUs in this house that have successfully unlocked (720BE and 550BE) I didn't buy them with every hope they'd unlock, I bought them because they were more than $100 less than the 955 at the time and offered the best performance I could afford. That was 9 months ago when the 955BE was $255. (These were $119 and $102 at the time.) I didn't even bother to unlock them until just over a week ago. Not because I didn't think know they could or if they even would, but because they were already performing as well as I had ever expected them to. The fact that they unlocked and were stable was simply an incredible bonus.

And if AMD's methodology seems erroneous and wasteful, think about how much money they'd have to spend testing the tolerances of every CPU they make instead of just a handful of samples per wafer... Does Mercedes takes every car they make out for a 100,000 mile test drive and collision tests? No. They take a few out of the thousands they build and test the hell out of them. That's how it's done.
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April 1, 2010 11:02:48 PM

Okay, I'm glad you guys wrote in with the success unlocking stories. I agree they can't stress test every CPU which could be the reason some on Newegg get DOAs which I've yet to see with almost a hundreds new CPUs I've unboxed over the last 10 years or so. I've seen several of the videos for motherboard manufacturing and it look each motherboard gets checked so the assumption followed that.

Well lets hope there's more dual cores turned into working quadcores. Quadcore sales will slow, price drop!

Good read on same topic
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/278243-10-dual-quad
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April 1, 2010 11:48:01 PM

hundredislandsboy said:
Okay, I'm glad you guys wrote in with the success unlocking stories. I agree they can't stress test every CPU which could be the reason some on Newegg get DOAs which I've yet to see with almost a hundreds new CPUs I've unboxed over the last 10 years or so. I've seen several of the videos for motherboard manufacturing and it look each motherboard gets checked so the assumption followed that.

Well lets hope there's more dual cores turned into working quadcores. Quadcore sales will slow, price drop!

Good read on same topic
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/278243-10-dual-quad


If I had the money for a quad at the time of purchase I would have not hesitated. After purchasing the GPU/RAM/BOARD/CASE i had only 120.00$ left so it was either a 550 or a 720. Since I needed a few 120mm fans I went ahead and purchased the 550 and 3 fans. The 550 was installed on an Asrock 780a (NV chipset) :



At the time of putting the rig together I was not thinking about "if my dual will unlock or not" (and the fact that the 780a cannot unlock), I was more inclined to get 2 cores to do at least 4Ghz stable. After a weeks work of finding the sweet spot for all my voltages/frequency/multipliers I finally got a rock solid 3.995Ghz at 1.41v. Temps never reached 41c at LOAD with a mediocre Freezer 64. The performance at 3.8/3.9/4ghz was a amazing considering I paid only 99 bucks.

Then came time to upgrade the mobo/ram and use the Asrock as a backup. When I finally got the Crosshair i was eager to finish the builds ASAP and fire it up just to see if I got lucky :D  , changed ACC to all cores/enabled "unleash" mode/gave the core's -2 @ 3.9Ghz hit F10 and 3 seconds later the ROG poster showed my x2 as an x4. Went back into the Bios to change a few settings and i was done.

If i had 99.99$ to throw away right now I would get me a 555 and try to unlock. Those C3's are just plain awesome, even as a dual core. Gotta love AMD :) 

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April 2, 2010 6:25:33 AM

OvrClkr said:
If I had the money for a quad at the time of purchase I would have not hesitated. After purchasing the GPU/RAM/BOARD/CASE i had only 120.00$ left so it was either a 550 or a 720. Since I needed a few 120mm fans I went ahead and purchased the 550 and 3 fans. The 550 was installed on an Asrock 780a (NV chipset) :

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/OvrClkr/002-1.jpg

At the time of putting the rig together I was not thinking about "if my dual will unlock or not" (and the fact that the 780a cannot unlock), I was more inclined to get 2 cores to do at least 4Ghz stable. After a weeks work of finding the sweet spot for all my voltages/frequency/multipliers I finally got a rock solid 3.995Ghz at 1.41v. Temps never reached 41c at LOAD with a mediocre Freezer 64. The performance at 3.8/3.9/4ghz was a amazing considering I paid only 99 bucks.

Then came time to upgrade the mobo/ram and use the Asrock as a backup. When I finally got the Crosshair i was eager to finish the builds ASAP and fire it up just to see if I got lucky :D  , changed ACC to all cores/enabled "unleash" mode/gave the core's -2 @ 3.9Ghz hit F10 and 3 seconds later the ROG poster showed my x2 as an x4. Went back into the Bios to change a few settings and i was done.

If i had 99.99$ to throw away right now I would get me a 555 and try to unlock. Those C3's are just plain awesome, even as a dual core. Gotta love AMD :) 



Another testimony for the saying that goes on a lot around here around here that Intel is for profits and AMD is for the people!. Intel might beat AMD in clock for clock for speed but AMD kicks ass in dollar for dollar value comparison.
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April 12, 2010 1:41:07 AM

Hello guys, sorry I wasn't able to reply immediately. Here's the scenario:

When I run prime95, in about 3 seconds(yeah, that fast), the 4th core already errors out (no crash or BSoD though, just prime95 stating that the there are errors on the 4th). I tried upping and lowering the voltage, but it still doesn't change. I haven't yet tampered with the NB.
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April 12, 2010 4:18:13 AM

If the 4th core is giving errors immediately after all that, then your 4th core is totally unstable. Disable ACC or your mobo's unlock utility and go back to 3-cores. Having the 4th available and unstable will only cause problems in applications that try to use it.
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April 12, 2010 1:42:07 PM

Must be luck of the draw. If only that one box was stacked differently so when the Newegg shelf picker plucked it for your order....

Thanks for the update. I guess you can always try to find the maximum overclock for three "guaranteed" good cores you have.
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April 12, 2010 11:02:58 PM

hundredislandsboy said:
I guess you can always try to find the maximum overclock for three "guaranteed" good cores you have.


Exactly. Most games show no difference in performance on similarly clocked 3-core and 4-core CPUs. That's part of why the 720 was such a popular CPU for so long.

Though overclocking potential is always situational, these CPUs are typically capable of speeds in the 3.4 to 3.8 GHz range on solid air-cooling.
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