I just got myself an AMD 435 and I was able to unlock the 4th core with no problems! I have been looking at several sites including Toms for reviews for the 435 and all of them only do benchmarks for the 435 with just the three cores enabled and then at the end of the reviews do they briefly talk about unlocking the forth core. Are there any review sites where they show the benchmarks when the 4th core is enabled? I had some trouble finding them. Any info on this would be great.
Oh yeah here is what i got
AMD II X3 435
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Samsung 500gig SATA2 16mb
PNY GTS 250 1gig
Windows XP 32bit will get 7 64bit later
It depends more on the strength of you graphics setup than whether its crossfire/sli. With only a GTS 250 I doubt you'll see much of a difference unless you're on one of the very few CPU dependent games.
If you want to see the improvement bench you CPU before and after with 3dmark. Or compare your new quad to a Athlon II x4. Its the same chip as the athlon x4 if its anything like the Phenom II x3s.
If you got all cores and 6 MB of L3 you got a great chip that means that you have a Phenom II x4 that they disabled a core and cache on consider yourself very lucky to have gotten that. To compare yours look at a Phenom II x4 925 and 940.