AMD wants to prevent unlocking of Phenom II cores by introducing a microcode update. At the Computex Gigabyte revealed to fight against this course of action.
As you probably know unlocking of additional cores of current Phenom II X2 and X3 CPUs is possible - certain motherboard and processor combinations are required though. But there is a reason that those cores are disabled: The cores did not pass AMD's quality tests. So the chance of running a stable system with the deactivated core is rather small.
Gigabyte fights against AMD's microcode update (1) [Source: view picture gallery]
AMD wants to block this option for the future and will release a microcode update for Phenom II CPUs. This microcode will be installed via the motherboard BIOS and will block activation of disabled cores.
At the Computex motherboard producer Gigabyte talked to our colleagues of tomshardware.uk
and revealed to resist AMD's plans and to maintain the old microcode of Phenom II. Gigabyte does not want customers to have to choose between a BIOS update that provides fixes and improvements and a BIOS with the ability to unlock cores.
Gigabyte plans to offer both options. They want to store the old microcode in the second BIOS chip while users will be able to install normal BIOS updates on the primary chip. While booting the system the new BIOS will be used but the old microcode will be saved as extra information so unlocking of CPU cores will still be possible. More interesting articles about unlocking of cores:
• Athlon X2 7750 BE: Unlock all four cores