Future Phenom II X4 could have unlockable cores

— 3:08 PM on March 23, 2010

Silicon Madness has gotten some dirt on future Phenom II X4 940T and 960T offerings from AMD. Those CPUs will reportedly be based on the same Thuban design as six-core Phenom II X6 models, but with two cores disabled—unless users go poking around, that is.

On the specifications side of things, Silicon Madness tells readers to expect a full 6MB of L3 cache and the Turbo Boost-like functionality we talked about this morning. The Phenom II X4 940T will have a base speed of 3GHz, while the 960T should be rated for 3.3GHz (100MHz slower than the Phenom II X4 965). Once the Turbo feature kicks in, though, users will likely enjoy higher clock speeds for individual cores and thus higher performance in apps that only need one or two threads.

Also, with motherboard vendors like Asus making a point to include core unlocking features in their motherboards' BIOSes, odds are you'll be able to go in and unlock extra cores in the 940T and 960T. Successful unlocking should, as always, hinge on whether or not AMD disabled cores at the factory because they were defective.

Equally interesting, an image that looks a whole lot like a leaked roadmap suggests the Phenom II X4 960T will have a 95W power envelope. If accurate, that number could imply improved power efficiency compared to the Phenom II X4 965, which has a 125W thermal envelope. Right now, the fastest Phenom II X4 with a 95W TDP is the 3GHz Phenom II X4 945. (Thanks to VR-Zone for the tip.)

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