With all the premature appearances at online retailers, AMD's upcoming six-core Phenom IIs are all but a secret now. ASRock thought this was as good a time as any to start pimping the core unlocking feature of its 890GX Extreme3 motherboard, which it says will allow "CPU cores upgrade from X4 to X6 of AMD's upcoming PhenomII X4 960T processor [sic]."
AMD has yet even to announce the Phenom II X4 960T, of course, but the rumor mill tells us this CPU might be derived from the six-core Thuban design, with two of those cores disabled—either because of defects or to meet demand for cheaper parts. The Phenom II X4 960T is rumored to have a 3.3GHz base clock speed, 6MB of L3 cache, and Turbo Core functionality, which will increase clock speeds in lightly multithreaded scenarios.
According to ASRock, unlocking the 960T will be as simple as heading into the 890GX Extreme3's BIOS and toggling the "UCC" option. This option purportedly calls upon a UCC chip—that's short for "Unlock CPU Core," by the way—as well as a "specially tuned UCC . . . function in the BIOS." And the way ASRock sells it to readers, how could one resist?
How many cores do you desire? The answer must be "as many as possible". It seems a daydream for most users; however, ASRock brings magic to our fan again and makes your dreams come true!
See the two images below, taken from ASRock's press release, for a demonstration of the UCC feature in action.
Naturally, the company notes that success in unlocking extra cores depends on the CPU actually being used. Trying to unlock a Phenom II X4 960T whose extra cores were switched off because of defects probably won't help system stability.