The elitist age of enthusiasts fiddling with jumpers, making electrical connections with pencils and tinkering with BIOS settings is gradually fizzling out, and just to prove it, MSI has launched a Windows utility to unlock latent AMD CPU cores.
Previously a feature that could only be accessed via the ASCII-ridden world of the BIOS, MSI’s new Windows Unlock CPU Core gives you access to any of your CPU’s cores that have been switched off.
The company says it’s “convinced that technology should be easy, accessible and simple to use, for everybody. This is why we developed software which allows users to unlock cores on their mainboards without the hassle of being a BIOS expert.”
The simple Windows app features a basic but good looking interface, and lists all the cores that are potentially available in your CPU. Those that are disabled are greyed out, but you then just need to click on Enable Unlock CPU Core and restart your system to get access to the disabled cores.
You can then get to choose which cores you want to disable, giving you plenty of flexibility. Seeing as cores are often disabled for a reason, it may be that one of the latent cores is faulty, but that another one is actually fine. As such, you could potentially enable five cores on an AMD Phenom II X4 960T, rather than all six.
Of course, there’s also a slight problem here, which is that it now looks as though AMD is never going to release this chip to retail (opens in new tab), which would make the ability to choose which cores to enable ultimately pointless. Even so, the easy access of a Windows utility may be appealing to those with triple-core CPUs who want to have a go at enabling that fourth core.
MSI says that the Unlock CPU Core Windows app supports all of its AMD 800-series motherboards, and you can download the app, along with the latest BIOS, for the 890FXA-GD70, 890GXM-G65, 880GMA-E45 and 870A-G54 from here (opens in new tab).