Behind the scenes: How ASUS achieves AMD core unlocking

Nick Holland
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We caught up with ASUS’ engineers recently to discuss how exactly the company had cleverly engineered core unlocking for AMD CPUs within its latest 8-series chipset motherboards.
Having previously outlined that this feature is incredibly important to add value to an AMD purchase, yet, AMD removed the feature from its latest motherboard chipsets meaning that enterprising engineers had to get their thinking caps on pretty sharpish to think up a solution before motherboards had were due to ship.

ASUS engineers explained they designed and programmed an entirely new hardware circuit to simulate the functions of the older chipsets! This way at the press of a physical button on the board – such as the upcoming Crosshair IV Formula (photo half way down the page) – or a software switch in the BIOS, like the M4A89GTD series – you get the same unleash of potential CPU power as you would from previous generation AMD motherboards, but with the important added features of SATA 6Gbps, USB 3, and ASUS own MemOK! and TurboV EVO functions.

With the fact that AMD’s new “Zosma” Phenom II X4 960T quad core CPUs can be unlocked to reveal all 6-cores underneath the heatspreader, ASUS 890GX and 890FX are suited up to be an ideal combination to get the maximum amount of hardware for the minimum quantity of cash. We’ll have the pair soon for testing and as soon as the 960Ts are launched by AMD, we’ll not only detail the results and benefits of 6-core core CPUs right here on Tech in Style, but we’ll also put together an “ideal build” and overclocking guide too!

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