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Asus M4 Motherboards Do AMD Phenom II X6

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 52 comments

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.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    ben850 , March 26, 2010 10:45 PM
    2.8 ghz phenom II x6 for 199$????? F me sideways
  • 22 Hide
    scook9 , March 26, 2010 10:48 PM
    dammmmmm

    beats the hell out of intels 6 core prices
  • 19 Hide
    dco , March 26, 2010 10:47 PM
    wow if those price predictions are true that's insanely cheap, they're really putting up some hard competition for intel.
Other Comments
    Display all 52 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    icerock , March 26, 2010 10:39 PM
    yeah, with the core unlocker it's easy to unlock latent cores, but it depends on the cpu if the unlocked cores are stable or not ... so the performance boost is not guaranteed.
  • 27 Hide
    ben850 , March 26, 2010 10:45 PM
    2.8 ghz phenom II x6 for 199$????? F me sideways
  • 4 Hide
    RazberyBandit , March 26, 2010 10:47 PM
    This is good news for ASUS owners. Let's hope other manufacturers follow suit.

    From that lineup, it would appear Thuban's are fully capable of being dropped into existing AM3, as well as AM2+ motherboards, provided they have the 790GX/FX and SB750 chipsets. Though, I see no mention specifically of the 790X Northbridge, as found in the M4A79XTD EVO.
  • 19 Hide
    dco , March 26, 2010 10:47 PM
    wow if those price predictions are true that's insanely cheap, they're really putting up some hard competition for intel.
  • 22 Hide
    scook9 , March 26, 2010 10:48 PM
    dammmmmm

    beats the hell out of intels 6 core prices
  • 3 Hide
    hunter315 , March 26, 2010 11:01 PM
    Nice to know ASUS is keeping those of us who bought boards recently well updated. Glad to know my board will support Thuban, as i might end up grabbing one later in the year.
  • 1 Hide
    yannifb , March 26, 2010 11:01 PM
    I am waiting for the 885g motherboard to build some HTPC's for people. Im hoping they'll have an ATI Radeon 5200 at least.
  • -6 Hide
    yannifb , March 26, 2010 11:01 PM
    I am waiting for the 885g motherboard to build some HTPC's for people. Im hoping they'll have an ATI Radeon 5200 at least.
  • 7 Hide
    stm1185 , March 26, 2010 11:23 PM
    Oooh AMD every cycle I think im going to go back to using an Intel chip, bam theres another great deal. Ill have to see if Intel will have a similarly priced 6 core in the fall when I upgrade, but if not AMD prob will get another system out of me.

    I cant afford to spend more then $300 on a cpu; and I do a lot of rendering, so extra cores do provide a noticeable benefit. That 3.2 6 core to replace my old 4 core 2.6, sounds dreamy.

    I wonder if it can OC on air to 4ghz stable.
  • 1 Hide
    mdillenbeck , March 26, 2010 11:37 PM
    Could you clarify if the prices you stated are expected MSRP or are they tray prices?

    I haven't purchased a quad core yet, and six 2.8 GHz cores might be worth while for video editing... but $$$ is a factor (just don't have $800 to build an i7 system right now).
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , March 27, 2010 12:02 AM
    I bet Monday there is a news article that MSI is updating the bios on their K2 line and up.
  • 12 Hide
    thegreathuntingdolphin , March 27, 2010 12:10 AM
    A freakin 3.2 ghz six core cpu for only $295??? I wonder what its overclocking potential is. A 4 GHz six core CPU for under $300 sounds really nice...
  • 6 Hide
    naterandrews , March 27, 2010 12:29 AM
    What is most impressive about the 6 core Thuban's is the TDP! 125w @ 6 cores while my quad core 965 runs at the same! AMD is doing a great job at manufacturing.
  • 6 Hide
    eshaw380 , March 27, 2010 12:48 AM
    I just bought a Pii 965 a few months ago, and it rocks! But a Thuban for $300 is just to much insanity to wrap my head around...I think I need to take my pills...And im glad they are including us AM2+ owners. I love my board and dont see any benefit of going AM3 yet, I mean come on I already have 8gb ddr2.
  • 6 Hide
    rambo117 , March 27, 2010 1:30 AM
    gosh, dontcha just love AMD's socket compatibility... :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 27, 2010 1:39 AM
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20100324131614_AMD_Reschedules_Launch_Schedule_for_Six_Core_AMD_Phenom_II_X6_Processors.html

    From that source and a few others, it seems these cpus will have individual core clocking as a feature similar to turbo boost on the Intel cpus. If thats true, the 3.2ghz (3.6ghz) cpu should easily take down some i7s and *maybe* come close to the 980x.
  • 3 Hide
    tpi2007 , March 27, 2010 2:43 AM
    Wow! I mean, we all know that Intel's Core i7 is in a league of it's own, but a 6 core Phenom Black Edition at 3.2 Ghz for 295$ is the definition of value for money!

    If I were to build a computer in the next two months I would certainly look into this. I mean, sure, Core i5 750 is all good and the i7's too, but this looks so good you almost don't have to think much. Unless there is some unforseen caveat, if we can extrapolate from the Phenom II X4 955 architecture, like I said, this will be value for money!
  • 0 Hide
    mindless728 , March 27, 2010 2:57 AM
    nice to see the AM2+ M4A78-E is supported, thanks asus

    better than what happened with my M2NSLI-DELUXE (NO PII support officially)
  • 1 Hide
    shreeharsha , March 27, 2010 3:28 AM
    Where is the 890FX motherboard....
  • 1 Hide
    Lutfij , March 27, 2010 4:15 AM
    Still looking into the Crosshair edition of the mobo 890FX
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