How to Unlock a Core Phenom X3


Core's Phenom X3 triple-core processor is actually a quad-core processor with one core disabled. Provided you have the capability within BIOS, you can unlock this disabled core and, in some cases, the computer still runs well. This is significantly cheaper than purchasing a quad-core processor. However, before you decide to buy a triple-core processor and unlock the disabled core, remember that the disabled core is disabled for a reason. These cores are disabled because they do not reach the quality control standards on the production line. Although there are many cases in which these unlocked cores actually function perfectly, others are less reliable or just plain faulty.

Things You'll Need

  • Motherboard with an ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration) in the BIOS
  • Switch on your computer and enter the BIOS setup. You can access the BIOS by pressing the appropriate key on the keyboard. This is normally "Del" or "F2." If not, refer to your motherboard manual.

  • Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate through the options on the BIOS screen. Navigate to the "Advanced" menu. Scroll down to the "CPU Configuration" menu. If you do not find this, then your motherboard probably does not support unlocking cores or altering CPU settings.

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the screen until "Advanced Clock Calibration" is highlighted. Press "Enter" on your keyboard and set it to "Auto." Press "Enter" again. Change "Unleashing Mode" to "Enabled." The final setting, at the bottom of the page, allows you to select the number of CPU cores to use. The default setting for a triple-core Phenom CPU is "3Core(0,1,2)." To unlock the fourth one, choose the setting "4Core(0,1,2,3)."

  • Press "Esc" until you reach the home screen. Scroll right through the menus and open the "Exit" menu. Choose "Exit Saving Changes." Boot into Windows.

  • Stress-test your CPU by running games or CPU-intensive applications or by running a CPU stress-test program such as Prime95. If the computer is unstable and/or crashes, go back into the BIOS and revert the settings to default.


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