$40 Sempron 140 gets its second core unlocked

— 5:19 PM on August 12, 2009

Fancy a full-featured dual-core processor for $40? You should probably hit eBay. There may be an alternative for folks who don't mind doing a little tinkering, though. A Thai site by the name of Vmodtech.com has posted screenshots of a purported Sempron 140 processor with its second core unlocked.

The $40 Sempron 140 came out last month, and it's apparently based on the same 45nm dual-core silicon as Athlon II X2 processors. Except, of course, AMD disables one of the cores by default.

We'd already heard of core unlocking on Phenom II X2 and X3 processors—namely through a semi-official BIOS feature in some motherboards—but this may be the first evidence of a similar feat on the new Sempron. CPU-Z screenshots show Vmodtech.com used an ASRock M3A790GXH/128M motherboard with a 790GX chipset, and the article mentions enabling ACC to get the job done. If we recall our chat with Gigabyte correctly, its BIOS trick (which relies on deprecated AMD firmware) should also work.

Incidentally, Vmodtech.com's CPU-Z shots also show the former Sempron 140 overclocked from its base 2.7GHz to just over 3.7GHz. That's with a 1.536V voltage setting and DDR3 RAM clocked at 1.47GHz. Not bad for 40 bucks, assuming you're lucky enough to get an unlockable chip with that much overclocking potential. (Thanks to Fudzilla for the link.)

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