With one of the best overclocking tricks since the one with the pencil, many unassuming Athlon II X3’s hide an unused but perfectly functional 4th core under that shiny heatspreader.  The flick of a BIOS setting will tell you if you can try to pull this trick off, though stability testing is very important as some of the cores on these CPUs are disabled for a good reason.  Legit Reviews did exactly that with an AMD Athlon II X3 445 and it turned out that they were unlucky enough to receive one with a faulty fourth core.  They did get plenty of benchmarks from the three cores that worked though.

“The AMD Athlon II X3 445 was a processor I was looking forward to working with when the opportunity had presented itself. Not necessarily because it is going to be the fastest processor out there, but it only has three active cores. Whats that mean? Well, that most likely there is a fourth core under the heat spreader. With any luck I would be able to unlock the fourth core, and be able to test the AMD Athlon II X3 445 as a Quad Core as well. Fortunately there was a fourth core on the AMD Athlon II X3 445…”

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Click Here to go to Processors  Processors