There has been some renewed excitement over AMD's triple-core Phenom X3 processors after at least one user claims to have been able to unlock the fourth core. The post appeared on Korean website Playwares.com backed by what appear to be legitimately looking screenshots. Using a Bisotar TA790GX motherboard, all it supposedly took was changing the "Advanced Clock Calibration" in the BIOS to 'Auto,' which reportedly unlocks the disabled core.
Citing un-named motherboard makers, DigiTimes says the report has caused an upsurge in demand for AMD's Phenom X3 chips. Those same sources also described the credibility of unlocking reports as very high, but cautioned that it might only apply to specific batches of CPUs and not the whole tri-core lineup.
Not surprisingly, AMD isn't commenting on whether or not the disabled cores can be re-enabled. And until we see it for ourselves or from a reputable source, we remain skeptical that it can be done.
Acer's making a bid for your living room with its new AX3200 desktop PC. Sporting dimensions of just 10x4x14 inches, it should have no problem wiggling into an HTPC environment. Nor will it have much trouble mingling, as Acer's new desktop comes with a Blu-ray drive, an HDMI-out port, and support for Dolby Home Theater 5.1 surround sound.
Other components include a triple-core AMD Phenom 8450 processor clocked at 2.1GHz, a 640GB hard drive, 4GB of memory, a multi-card reader, and a bevy of ports including no less than nine of the USB 2.0 variety and an eSATA port.
"Offering 64-bit Windows, a Blu-ray drive, and significant memory, the Acer AX3200 packs plenty of power for tackling the demans of multitasking and the latest digital entertainment," said Stephanie Eggert, senior manager for Acer America's Retail Desktop Product Planning.
With all that the $680 PC comes with, a cut had to made somewhere and that happens to be in the graphics department. Gamers will find little to lust over with the integrated Nvidia GeForce 8200 GPU.
The AX3200 is available now through Fry's, though it's currently priced $70 over Acer's MSRP.