AMD Athlon II X4 630

Asus M4A785-M motherboard
AMD Athlon II X4 630 CPU
2GB DDR2-800 2 x 2GB RAM
WD 640GB SATA Caviar Black HDD
Windows XP Pro SP3


Hello,

I am not an expert in this so forgive me if I use the wrong language when referring to components.

I had a computer built for me with the AMD Athlon II X4 630 processor, which, if I understand correctly, is a dual-core processor that can act like a quad-core.

Once when booting up I hit whatever button activates the quad-core feature, and now it says "4 cores are activated!" I think this is called overclocking but I am not sure, and again, I understand this is what this processor is specifically designed to do.

I cannot find a way to go back to dual-core, not as the computer is booting up and not in the BIOS or anywhere else, and I think I am noticing less performance in quad-core mode, for example it takes forever for new windows or tabs to open in IE8, it just hangs there and then finally opens.

When I click on "My Computer" properties, it no longer shows the Athlon processor, it just says "AMD Engineering Sample," and what used to be 2.8 GHz clock now says it is 1.6 GHz.

Does anyone know what I've done, whether I'm in a good mode or whether I need to go back to dual-core mode and how to do that? I've checked everywhere including AMD but I can't find any information on this. Even in the reviews of the X4 processor, it doesn't talk about this switch from dual- to quad-core.

Here's a page that talks about this CPU if that helps: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1073/1/

Thank you.

John
13 answers Last reply
More about athlon
  1. Athlon II X4 is a true quad core and should always operate with 4 cores functioning, if it is only showing as a dual core than something is wrong.

    Overclocking is a term used for speeding the processor up beyond stock speeds.
  2. No, no, you have only a single core CPU with the engineering sample that can boost four threads when it feels like.
  3. Where did you buy the chip?
  4. doive1231 said:
    No, no, you have only a single core CPU with the engineering sample that can boost four threads when it feels like.


    Utter nonsense.
  5. Thanks for the replies, I had this computer built for me with the components listed.

    If this is a true quad-core and always intended to run with 4 cores, why would there even be a dual-core mode (which is its default mode), why would you have to activate it from dual- to quad-core mode, and why does the info in System Properties change from "AMD Athlon II X4 630" in dual-core mode to "AMD Engineering Sample" in quad-core mode?

    Thank you again.
  6. cjohn said:
    Thanks for the replies, I had this computer built for me with the components listed.

    If this is a true quad-core and always intended to run with 4 cores, why would there even be a dual-core mode (which is its default mode), why would you have to activate it from dual- to quad-core mode, and why does the info in System Properties change from "AMD Athlon II X4 630" in dual-core mode to "AMD Engineering Sample" in quad-core mode?

    Thank you again.



    There is no such thing as a dual-core mode for a quad-core CPU. Please explain exactly what you did before the problem occurred.
  7. When I first got the computer and started the computer up, in the boot up screen it said click "something" to activate quad-core mode. I don't recall what that was, it might have been the "4" key. I didn't do it because I wasn't sure how the whole dual-/quad-core thing worked and it wasn't in the documentation, so I left it alone while I got used to the new system.

    Then one day I hit the quad-core key by accident and the whole screen flashed bright and said "4 cores are activated!" and then it started up Windows.

    It seemed to run the same but in the System Properties it identified the CPU as "AMD Engineering Sample" where previously it had said "AMD Athlon II X4 630."

    Also I do notice it hanging sometimes, as I said when opening windows or tabs in IE8 or moving from one software program to another, in that respect it seems slower than before I hit the "4 cores" key during the boot (it can sometimes take 30 seconds to open a new window).

    That's the best I can describe it, as I said I'm not an expert in computer hardware or how it functions.

    I can take it back to where I got it and walk through it with them and ask them to explain what's going on.

    Thanks.
  8. I agree, this sounds very dodgy to me. Take it back and ask them to explain.
  9. Thanks, I'll let you know how it turns out.
  10. Here's what AMD said about it:

    "Thank you for contacting AMD Global Customer Care.

    It sounds like you may have activated a function of your motherboard's BIOS. Some motherboards include a feature that will 'unlock' cores on some of our processors. In some cases people have had good luck with this and their previously dual core (for example) processors will run stably as a quad core. However doing this will void the warranty of a retail boxed processor.

    I would recommend double checking the motherboard features/manual to see if there is any mention of this kind of functionality and to see how it is activated. Or you can try contacting your motherboard manufacturer (ASUS) directly to get more information about this motherboard. Further they should be able to tell you what this function then did to your processor. And hopefully how to revert the change.

    Generally when we see a processor not being identified properly within the BIOS or in Windows that indicates a BIOS problem."
  11. UPDATE: ASUS had me disable the ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration) core unlocking function on the motherboard, stating it was for upgrading dual-cores to sort of 'virtual' quad-cores.

    They said this was not necessary in my case because my AMD was an actual quad-core, as was stated by others in this thread. It was intended for the Phenom line of AMD processors.

    AMD agreed with this, saying that running my CPU in its normal mode was as fast as it needed to be.

    I still have the issue with slow performance, and the only thing I can think of is that I'm running Windows XP and not Windows 7, but none of my software is up-to-date enough for Windows 7. This new computer is slower than my previous one, which was a P4 laptop with 1GB RAM and a 40GB HDD (to show you how old it was).

    Thank you everyone for your assistance.

    John
  12. Take it back and have the people who sold it to you fix it. It's difficult for us to tell exactly what happened without being able to sit in front of your PC.
  13. Thanks everyone.
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