my cpu didnt need any cores unlocked, but the option is right there in the BIOS next to the overclocking stuff. also, the OC Genie works wonders. got my CPU from 3.0 to 3.4 ghz stable, and i got to 3.6 myself. i only have stock cooling though, so i dont keep the OC on. if you plan on OCing full time, id be sure to pick up an aftermarket cooler as well.