Asus is loading M4 motherboards with 6-core processor compatibility thanks to some tasty firmware.
While we have yet to wrap our fingers around the upcoming hexacore AMD Phenom II X6 "Thuban" processors, Asus isn't wasting any time getting primed and ready for the big reveal. The company said on Friday that its M4 series motherboards will receive a BIOS update providing compatibility with the new processor.
Asus provided a list of motherboards, shown below (model – chipset – bios):
- M4A89GTD PRO - AMD 890GX/SB850 - 1104
- M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 - AMD 890GX/SB850 - 1104
- Crosshair III Formula - AMD 790FX/SB750 - 1503
- M4N72-E - NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI - 2005
- M4N82 DELUXE - NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI with NVIDIA NVCC and ESA support - 1803
- M4N75TD - NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI supports NVIDIA Clock Calibration (NVCC) function - 0903
- M4N98TD EVO - NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI supports NVIDIA Clock Calibration(NVCC) function - 0603
- M4A79 Deluxe - AMD 790FX/SB750 - 3204
- M4A79T Deluxe - AMD 790FX/SB750 - 3004
- M4A78T-E - AMD 790GX/SB750 - 3204
- M4A78-E - AMD 790GX/SB750 - 2405
- M4A78-E SE - AMD 790GX/SB750 – 1405
Outside its 6-core readiness, Asus also pointed out another fine feature in the series: the Core Unlocker. This feature should take advantage of the Phenom II X6's overclocking abilities.
"Core Unlocker was developed by ASUS to easily activate latent AMD CPU cores," the company said in this press release. "Without requiring any additional upgrades, ASUS motherboards with Core Unlocker deliver more performance by unlocking extra CPU cores—providing more value. To experience an instant processing boost, users simply turn on a switch on the new M4A89 Series or intuitively press the number "4" key during the power-on self test in existing M4 series motherboards."
Although AMD hasn't officially announced a release date, the Phenom II X6 chips are expected to feature a starting price of $199 for the 2.8 GHz Phenom II X6 1055T. The meatier 3.2 GHz Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition should cost around $295, however nothing is officially etched in stone.
AMD's Phenom II X6 chips are expected to hit the market sometime around April 26.