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  • jive - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    althought this is old thread I felt I needed to post it here. I was astonished to find out the entire iX line of intel desktop cpus lack support for ECC memory. Although it's niche market but when considering workstation or file server build upon pc hardware there is real demand for ECC memory if you run long simulations or other HPC stuff.

    It's odd that no-one has noticed this, or if has hasn't bothered to mention it. I chose 555BE for my next workstation CPU just because of this reason.
  • Snoopykins - Saturday, February 13, 2010 - link

    I would LOVE to build a computer with this idea. Does anyone know if the Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 would work with this? It is included in a build on another website. the build is as follows:

    A. Rosewill R220 (CASE)
    B. Stock AMD CPU Cooler (might upgrade)
    C. Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 (GPU)
    D. Cooler Master RS-460 (PSU)
    E. Seagate 500GB Barracuda 7200.12 (HDD)
    F. Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 (Motherboard)
    G. Patriot 4GB DDR2/800 (RAM)
    H. AMD Athlon II X4 620 (want to swap with phenom II 550 BE)
    I. Samsung SH-S223C (Optical Drive)
    J. Windows 7 Home Premium OEM (OS)

    This came to $647.00 total according to them. Could I swap out the CPU for a Phenom II 550 BE and unlock it? If so is any idea how likely I am to be able to unlock it? A response would be AMAZING as I am not very good at this. Thank you all for your help, Snoopykins
  • Venatorus - Sunday, November 21, 2010 - link

    dude, you got that build from a maximum PC magazine :) Reply
  • Oceanborn75 - Sunday, January 30, 2011 - link

    NO it won't! for the simple reason this motherboard doesn't accept ANY 125w CPUs...the phenoms X2s are 80w CPU's and as soon as you unlock the 4 cores it becomes a 125w one....
    Maybe it will work unlocking a third core but I have no idea how on that board
  • computerfarmer - Saturday, February 06, 2010 - link

    I too am waiting for the AMD Phenom II x2 555 to be released. Any news on when? Reply
  • woobri - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    When's the 555 going to be released? Looking to give this unlocking a try...

    [First post!]
  • bupkus - Tuesday, February 02, 2010 - link

    Perhaps because of this article NewEgg has bumped the price of both of their Phenom II X2s. Reply
  • bupkus - Wednesday, February 03, 2010 - link

    Ok, back to $90 for the 550. Reply
  • chromatix - Saturday, January 30, 2010 - link

    I wonder if the reason the 910e is so interesting is because, as a high-quality part, it might still overclock well, and the fourth core might also turn out to be available. The low multiplier might be a handicap though.

    Even ignoring the overclocking possibilities, though, this would be a good chip for a HTPC, since the low TDP allows for silent cooling, and it has plenty of performance for encoding videos. The fourth core would then be a nice bonus if available.
  • chromatix - Saturday, January 30, 2010 - link

    Self-reply for a correction: I forgot it was already an X4, not an X3. Sigh. Reply
  • computerfarmer - Saturday, January 30, 2010 - link

    The last 2 articles on these CPU's were good reading.

    I am looking for these to buy and finding them not available. I live in Canada. None of the stores or online places are listing them. Has any one found them for sale?
  • qwertymac93 - Sunday, January 31, 2010 - link"> Reply
  • computerfarmer - Monday, February 01, 2010 - link

    Newegg does not have any of these new CPU's.
    Does anyone know when they will be available?
  • computerfarmer - Monday, February 01, 2010 - link

    AMD Athlon II x4 635 is now available at for $130.99. Still waiting for others. Reply
  • computerfarmer - Monday, February 01, 2010 - link

    Newegg does not have any of these new CPU's.
    Does anyone know when theyt will be available?
  • qwertymac93 - Sunday, January 31, 2010 - link

    check Reply
  • techwriters4breakfast - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    the reviews deliberately omitted the core unlocking possibility, because there was no mention of this when the 550 debuted this past summer.

    i suppose anand wanted to avoid the angry emails from readers demanding to know why their 55x didn't unlock.

    btw there may be an option under acc that has values of +/- 1 to 10 that may help for unlock attempts that do not remain after reboot.
  • AdamB5000 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    I tried this with my new 550BE. It unlocked but it would crash Photoshop and showed flickering issues with BF2. I tried underclocking the cpu and raising voltages with different combinations and nothing worked.

    I'm still happy with the X2 550's performance and stability at stock speeds. Shame it dropped $9 a week after my purchase (as did the memory I purchased).
  • Pederv - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    AMD makes both?
    Well that's confusing.
  • unclesharkey - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    I got an X3 425 and was able to unlock the extra core and the cache. It seemed to work fine but then when I went to start my system the next day I had to hit the power button a couple times to get it to start up so I set it back to default and my system starts up fine. I have not really played around with it much but you can unlock them. Reply
  • LucasBR - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Hey, i have an X3 720BE and i works fine at 0.75V idle and 1.15V burn. I think that now it's an 65W part... xD

    Unfortunately my chipset is 8200, so i can't unlock 4th core. At least it works fine at 3,6GHz with stock Vcore.
  • BernardP - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    For those who don't want to gamble with unlocking, there is a proper Phenom II X4 955 (not BE though) @ 3.2 Ghz and 95 W TDP in the pipeline. The part number is HDZ955FBGIBOX">

    The performance should be very close to the i5 750
  • blowfish - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Thanks Anand for a great follow-up article - exactly what I was waiting for.

    Looking at the AMD chips, however, it amazes me how much die area is taken up with the L3 cache - and it makes me wonder if it wouldn't be worth AMD making a 6 core cpu without L3, along the lines of the Athlon II X4. It would surely make a killer video encoding cpu - if you compare the Athlon II X4 with the Phenom II X4, video encoding speed is virtually identical clock-for-clock.
  • Eeqmcsq - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    "The performance is no different than the regular 125W Phenom II X4 910"

    Did you mean to say that the performance is no different than the 95w Phenom II X4 910? Also, I don't think the voltage table should compare the 910e to the 965, but instead, the 910e to the 910, since they are identical CPUs otherwise.
  • zarkness - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Does anyone know the chances of getting Phenom II X 4 unlocking to quad core?? Because i wish to buy one for my new comp build. Reply
  • zarkness - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    oppss..i mean Phenom II X 2 Reply
  • Smell This - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    It would be 'unofficial' but there is a thread at XS about the PhII unlocking that shows a success rate >70%. They keep a list of batch numbers with the success rates.

    I got one that unlocked and under-volted -.01v. At 100% my total draw at the wall dropped by 1/3 to 127w.
  • buzznut - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    I would like that link as well. Reply
  • Smell This - Saturday, January 30, 2010 - link

    Here are 32 pages in the 'X2 550 Unlocking & Overclocking Consolidated' thread.

    Includes everything from motherboards with preferable BIOS versions, ACC settings to help pesky unlocks, to NB/IMC overclocking.">

  • zarkness - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Can u give me the link to the site? thx alot ya Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    I think your best chances for successfully getting an unlockable chip would be to buy from a high-volume but low stock company (ie NOT Newegg and probably not even ZZF). Someone that does a lot of business so the chips aren't from last year, but just as importantly someone that isn't buying 10,000 at a pop and sitting on them. I don't know how Microcenters distribution chain works (do they have a huge warehouse that purchases in bulk, or is it more region-specific ordering), but they would seem to fit the bill if you're near one. Reply
  • jcgamo88 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    I did purchase a 620 with intent on unlocking it. Was un able to do so on both a MSI GD70 and DFI 790fxb. :( Reply
  • Taft12 - Monday, February 08, 2010 - link

    It's like doubling down in blackjack - the payoff can be huge, or you might bust :)

    Now the question is can you resist buying another CPU to try again :D
  • sciwizam - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Patientiently waiting and a self-initiated reboot later and my CPU was identified as a Phenom II X4 B55 BE. Four cores running at 3.2GHz, just like a Phenom II X4 955 but for $99.


    /typo police
  • MaDS - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    The Phenom II might prove incredible value for money when unlocked, and you consider it "THE best value for money" if done so, but as far as I'm concerned an L3-cache unlocked Athlon II X4 (if it works, ofcourse) fits the bill just as nicely and you get the added benefit of two extra cores in any case. So for people that can put 4 cores to good use, the Athlon II X4 might be the better buy.

    I unlocked my Athlon II X4 620, the full 6MB L3 cache is functional, rock stable and I can run it at 3.6GHz with a very slight voltage bump (and a not-top-of-the-line Xigmatek HDT-S1283 with silent fan).
  • Assimilator87 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    The problem with the Athlon II X4, is that only a small number of them were Phenoms with disabled cache. Most of them are a different die that doesn't have any L3 cache at all. Reply
  • MaDS - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Well, I don't know the passing rates for the Athlon II X4's versus the Phenom II X2's. If the passing rate of the unlocking of the X4's are really that low, the safest bet would indeed be the Phenom II X2.

    I'll just consider myself lucky then :)
  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    I'm another user who managed to get the cache unlocked on an Athlon 2 X4. :)

    Phenom 2 x4 910 performance at a much lower price, can't complain about that!
  • zarkness - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    May i know what is the batch of Athlon II x4 are u all using because i plan to buy one too... Reply
  • Taft12 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Almost surely it was the very first waves of Athlon II X4's could have their L3 cache unlocked. They needed to get a lot of these into the channel when the announcement was made since (unsurprisingly) a $99 quad-core CPU sold like mad out of the gate, and the non-L3 die production was just getting started.

    Unfortunately, your chances of buying a new Athlon II X4 that is cache-unlockable today are very low.
  • AndrejM - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    I think there were very few unlockable Athlon II X4's out there. I ordered one only a week after it was announced, and I couldn't unlock the L3 cache (on a gigabyte mobo with all of those unlocking options available). The performance is still pretty kick-ass for a 100$ chip without L3 Cache, if you ask me. Reply
  • leexgx - Sunday, January 31, 2010 - link

    i be very unhappy to get an binned Phenom II with its cache off been sold as an Athlon II X4, as the new Athlons II run so cool where as the Phenoms do not (the stock cooler is no good for the Phenoms it needs to be 2x bigger like the Blue Orb II works very well at keeping it at least warm) Reply
  • Jovec - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    Using any AMD chipset motherboard with the SB750 South Bridge and proper BIOS support you'll have support for a feature called Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC).

    710 sb too, no?
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    woops, you're right :) Fixed.

    Take care,
  • coolhardware - Sunday, January 31, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the tip Anand! I enjoyed reading the article so much that I decided to build my own :-). It came out to less than $200 for the entire system, though I used old memory and storage.
    CPU: X2 550 $90.99 (+$5 for NewEgg bundled cooler special)
    Motherboard: ASRock A785GMH/128M $69.99
    Case: ASUS TM-211 $25.00 (used eBay bucks for $20 worth of the total)

    Here's more info:">

    Any comments or build tips are appreciated!
  • Zebo - Tuesday, February 02, 2010 - link

    Nice. But....

    Fry's regularly has Phenom X2 II 550 + some mobo for less than $100!

    Just google "fry's Phenom X2 II 550"... you'll see. Some mobos support unlocking, some don't but many of us in CPU forums have known this is a greatest deal since November at least even without a Frys combo but with it it makes it insanely sweet.
  • blyndy - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    "Often times it's easier to just disable two cores and sell the chip for cheaper than you'd like"

    Wouldn't it be better to lower X4 prices slightly and dropping the X2s altogether?
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Yes and no. Not all X4s are likely to work, so there's still a reason to disable some cores and sell this product. The problem then is that they get more demand than they have CPU cores that need to be disabled, so they end up using lower quality functional quad cores to make X2s. Also, I think that AMD and Intel have strictest quality control. What they consider to be a bad core, we may never notice.

    It is still revenue either way, just not as much as they possibly could. Also, cheaper quads all around would only hurt AMD's total revenue. I'd guess that this X2 BE probably won't be around long as people start snatching them up. I do enjoy the little bones that AMD throws out there for the enthusiasts.
  • vyseus - Thursday, April 29, 2010 - link

    I've got a new System unit, can detect if it can unlock the core?

    -AMD Phenom II X2 555 3.2 Ghz BE
    -MSI 7599 770 - C45
    -Kingston DDR1333 (CL9.0) 2+2Gb
    -Gigabyte Superb 550w
    -500GB/32MB WD
    -Sapphire HD5670 1Gb ddr5

    If can really wanna try, I'm going to upgrade the heat sink to corsair H50, also adding few fans to the radiator of H50 and the casing..

    Can i try to unlock since I'm pretty new on overclocking, or i need a change of motherboard..Thanks in advance
  • talha - Saturday, May 22, 2010 - link

    Hey, I've written article about this too:
    Check it out and tell me if you like it...
  • vinxander - Sunday, August 29, 2010 - link

    Can I unlock the two cores with this motherboard?

    Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H

    North Bridge: AMD 785G
    South Bridge: AMD SB710
  • mavantot - Thursday, May 19, 2011 - link

    guys pls help me how to unlock phenom II x2 (3.2ghz) 555 black edition part number hdz555wfk2dgm..its unlockable right??but how will i unlock the hidden cores using msi 880gms-e35 motherboard..pls help..thanks motherboard has a unlock feature but not like ACC advance clock calibration..only "unlock core" setting in the bios,,but then when i started to enable the unlock core setting and save the settings and boot up then after that my cpu cant start booting and turned off by itself., Reply
  • peroludiarom - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    Hi to all,

    I know that most probably you have already find your solution, but I think that the below article may help others that are interested in Unlocking and Overclocking Phenom II X2 family.

    I just wrote my first article about overclocking and unlocking Phenom II X2 555, and I want to share my knowledge with all of you:

    I Hope this will helpful for you.

    Vladimir Iliev

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