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Yet Another Phenom II X2 555 BE Unlocking Help Request... Sorry

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May 17, 2011 1:35:07 AM

This isn't your normal cry for help. I think there is something strange going on with my CPU/mobo/ASUS bios. My motherboard is an Asus M4A88T-V EVO/USB3. It has the option to unlock cores automatically or manually. In manual mode, you can select individual cores. But here's the first strange sign, when you select manual mode, it lists core 2-6 (you can't select core 1 for obvious reasons), despite the CPU only have 4 cores.

When you try to unlock cores 5 or 6 you get nothing. Everything boots fine, there's just no extra cores. It does, however, unlock the two hidden cores (core 3 and 4) just fine. Boots fine. No BSODs, crashes, etc. during the past couple days of tinkering.

Now the second weird thing. Windows appears to be completely stable. CPU-Z reports a Phenom II X4 B55. But when I open Chrome, it will randomly have "semi-crashes". For example, I'll be in the middle of browsing and it will suddenly jump to te "Oh Snap" page (Google's error page). If I hit refresh, sometimes I can go right back to browsing. Other times I have to hit refresh several times before it will stop giving me the "Oh Snap" page. However, all the while, Chrome never ACTUALLY chrashes. It remains running every time this happens.

My first action was to disable core unlocking and check chrome again. With core unlocking turned off, Chrome operates as it should, so it would appear at first glance that the hidden cores are no good.

Now kicking myself for not just spending the extra $40 for a QA'd quad-core, I decide to check if I can at least salvage one hidden core. Starting with cores 1, 2, and 3, boot up, go to Google and it "Oh Snaps" on me within 30 seconds. So I think, okay, core 3 is a dud. So I try 1, 2, and 4. Same thing. So now I'm thinking both cores are defective. For a while, I try adjusting voltages and clocks to jump-start the hidden cores, but no luck. Then I remember the options for cores 5 and 6. Figured I might as well give it a try, but no good, upon booting to Windows, CPU-Z reports a single core CPU, meaning cores 5 and 6 are not there at all (so why are they listed?). My next thought was maybe "core 2" is one of the hidden cores and it has always been crashing because I've always had core 2 selected when manually unlocking. So now I test each core individually with core 1. Cores 1 and 2: I get the "Oh Snap" page. This makes me think I might be onto something. Next I try cores 1 and 3 with the same result. So now I'm thinking cores 2 and 3 are defective, so that MUST mean core 4 is my other healthy core. However, when I boot up with cores 1 and 4, it exhibits the same problem as the others. Uhhh... wtf? For kicks and giggles I decide to enable core unlocking but manually disable all cores except core 1. As usual, it boots fine, but when I open Chrome, I get the "Oh Snap" page. So now the evidence suggests I have 4 defective cores and zero good cores. But this can't be correct because when core unlocking is disabled, it operates flawlessly on two cores. In fact, I'm typing this post in Chrome on the 2 default cores.

Does this mean my problem is stemming from the ASUS core unlocker in the BIOS? That's the only logical explanation I can come up with.

If core unlocking disabled = 2 stable cores and core unlocking enabled = 0 stable cores
Then system instability must be a function of core unlocking software

Right? :/ 


This is a brand new build, with fresh, up-to-date drivers. According to the Asus website, my motherboard Bios is the latest version.

Here are the stats for the rest of the system:

AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE 3.2GHz
ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3
XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB
G.Skill Ripjaw DDR3 1600 2x2GB
Xigmatek Gaia 120mm CPU cooler
WD SATA HDD 160GB
BFG 550W PSU
Old DVD drive for installing stuff.

Also, I guess this is fairly important to mention. When playing FFXIV with the extra cores unlocked, the game doesn't crash, but my avatar twitches insanely. Not twitching like lag. In fact, the game runs smoothly even when this is occuring. It looks like it's body parts are jerking all over the place in diffrent directions. But still, no crashes, freezes, or BSODs when this is happening. Occasionally upon boot into Windows, my USB keyboard and mouse won't register and I have to reset the system. This has happened when the extra cores were unlocked and also when the extra cores were NOT unlocked.

I'm completely at a loss with this CPU/motherboard. No combination of cores is stable when core unlocking is enabled, even the default cores. It HAS to be a software issue, right?

Has anyone encountered this or a similar problem before? If so, were you able to resolve the issue?
a c 100 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 17, 2011 9:25:26 AM

I am only guessing here but maybe only core 1 is faulty ie. AMD found core 1 was unstable so locked it therefore when you run it at stock cores 2 & 3 from the quad become cores 1 & 2 in the dual. Another possibility is the PSU is on the edge of what it can supply and is causing issues you could try running with the onboard graphics and see if that changes anything.
May 17, 2011 4:45:08 PM

Just to clear this up a bit...

You shouldn't be determining whether the cores on your CPU are working by whether Google Chrome crashes or not. Google Chrome is not and shouldn't be a test of stability. Furthermore, game glitches like that can be due to driver trouble and having your CPU causing an issue like that is a far stretch to say the least.

Run prime95 (and memtest86) on 2 cores. If both tests pass 3-6 hours then unlock your 2 latent cores and run prime95 again.
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May 19, 2011 11:26:43 PM

I know Google Chrome isn't a benchmarking application, but why would it operate incorrectly ONLY when extra cores are unlocked? Same with FFXIV...

Also, when I try to run Prime95 with unlocked cores, nothing happens. Prime 95 just closes immediately. Without the unlocked cores, Prime95 runs fine.
May 19, 2011 11:36:08 PM

ok i skimmed through what you wrote is the main problem that the 4 cores wont show? because when i tried unlocking mine it always said just 2 cores all i did was disable one core down to 1 load it up and it showed 3 cores on task bar manager then enabled the second one and al cores showed and worked fine and has done for almost 2 years
May 21, 2011 6:32:17 AM

No, the problem isn't that the 4 cores won't show. The problem is that no configuration of cores is stable when the core unlocking option is enabled in bios.

For example, if I enable core unlocker, and then manually disable cores 2, 3, and 4 so that only core 1 is enabled (core 1 is always enabled by default, it cannot be disabled), the system becomes semi-unstable. However, as soon as I disable the core unlocking option and it goes back to the two default cores, it is fully stable again.

I tried re-installing windows and all up-to-date drivers, but the problem is still present as soon as I start browsing the web or playing games. In fact, I even unlocked it to quad core and installed windows as a quad core without a single hitch. It might be possible that the super early (circa 2004) Windows XP install discs don't utilize more than one core, which is why I didn't encounter any errors...?

I removed the video card and ran the display through the on-board video, problem still persists. I borrowed my friend's 750W Corsair PSU, problem still persists. So that definitively rules out the PSU as the culprit.

The only thing that I can think of is the Asus core unlocker won't play nice with my particular 555. I've read of users having a 555 that is unstable with motherboard X but fully stable on motherboard Y. Another possibility as a member stated previously, "core 1" is defective and the default unlocked cores are actually cores 2 and 3 (or 2 and 4, or 3 and 4). Currently, the latter makes the most sense.
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 22, 2011 1:15:18 PM

Why are you still bugging on this?...You just answered your question...---->"However, as soon as I disable the core unlocking option and it goes back to the two default cores, it is fully stable again."-----....Its obvious that the extra two cores are faulty and this is why your "unlocker" isn't playing nice...
June 1, 2011 4:25:52 PM

rsnider said:
This isn't your normal cry for help. I think there is something strange going on with my CPU/mobo/ASUS bios. My motherboard is an Asus M4A88T-V EVO/USB3. It has the option to unlock cores automatically or manually. In manual mode, you can select individual cores. But here's the first strange sign, when you select manual mode, it lists core 2-6 (you can't select core 1 for obvious reasons), despite the CPU only have 4 cores.

When you try to unlock cores 5 or 6 you get nothing. Everything boots fine, there's just no extra cores. It does, however, unlock the two hidden cores (core 3 and 4) just fine. Boots fine. No BSODs, crashes, etc. during the past couple days of tinkering.

Now the second weird thing. Windows appears to be completely stable. CPU-Z reports a Phenom II X4 B55. But when I open Chrome, it will randomly have "semi-crashes". For example, I'll be in the middle of browsing and it will suddenly jump to te "Oh Snap" page (Google's error page). If I hit refresh, sometimes I can go right back to browsing. Other times I have to hit refresh several times before it will stop giving me the "Oh Snap" page. However, all the while, Chrome never ACTUALLY chrashes. It remains running every time this happens.

My first action was to disable core unlocking and check chrome again. With core unlocking turned off, Chrome operates as it should, so it would appear at first glance that the hidden cores are no good.

Now kicking myself for not just spending the extra $40 for a QA'd quad-core, I decide to check if I can at least salvage one hidden core. Starting with cores 1, 2, and 3, boot up, go to Google and it "Oh Snaps" on me within 30 seconds. So I think, okay, core 3 is a dud. So I try 1, 2, and 4. Same thing. So now I'm thinking both cores are defective. For a while, I try adjusting voltages and clocks to jump-start the hidden cores, but no luck. Then I remember the options for cores 5 and 6. Figured I might as well give it a try, but no good, upon booting to Windows, CPU-Z reports a single core CPU, meaning cores 5 and 6 are not there at all (so why are they listed?). My next thought was maybe "core 2" is one of the hidden cores and it has always been crashing because I've always had core 2 selected when manually unlocking. So now I test each core individually with core 1. Cores 1 and 2: I get the "Oh Snap" page. This makes me think I might be onto something. Next I try cores 1 and 3 with the same result. So now I'm thinking cores 2 and 3 are defective, so that MUST mean core 4 is my other healthy core. However, when I boot up with cores 1 and 4, it exhibits the same problem as the others. Uhhh... wtf? For kicks and giggles I decide to enable core unlocking but manually disable all cores except core 1. As usual, it boots fine, but when I open Chrome, I get the "Oh Snap" page. So now the evidence suggests I have 4 defective cores and zero good cores. But this can't be correct because when core unlocking is disabled, it operates flawlessly on two cores. In fact, I'm typing this post in Chrome on the 2 default cores.

Does this mean my problem is stemming from the ASUS core unlocker in the BIOS? That's the only logical explanation I can come up with.

If core unlocking disabled = 2 stable cores and core unlocking enabled = 0 stable cores
Then system instability must be a function of core unlocking software

Right? :/ 


This is a brand new build, with fresh, up-to-date drivers. According to the Asus website, my motherboard Bios is the latest version.

Here are the stats for the rest of the system:

AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE 3.2GHz
ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3
XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB
G.Skill Ripjaw DDR3 1600 2x2GB
Xigmatek Gaia 120mm CPU cooler
WD SATA HDD 160GB
BFG 550W PSU
Old DVD drive for installing stuff.

Also, I guess this is fairly important to mention. When playing FFXIV with the extra cores unlocked, the game doesn't crash, but my avatar twitches insanely. Not twitching like lag. In fact, the game runs smoothly even when this is occuring. It looks like it's body parts are jerking all over the place in diffrent directions. But still, no crashes, freezes, or BSODs when this is happening. Occasionally upon boot into Windows, my USB keyboard and mouse won't register and I have to reset the system. This has happened when the extra cores were unlocked and also when the extra cores were NOT unlocked.

I'm completely at a loss with this CPU/motherboard. No combination of cores is stable when core unlocking is enabled, even the default cores. It HAS to be a software issue, right?

Has anyone encountered this or a similar problem before? If so, were you able to resolve the issue?


I have exactly the same thing, I find the games crashing and the screen jumping with the cores unlocked only, and guess what, got the same MB and cpu. I think we will need a bios update when a new one is available. It must be a bios fault I think.
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