Ok, let’s face the facts. Phenom X3 and new Athlon X2 are nothing else but a Deneb core (Phenom X4) that either failed the quad-core validation – or lower-core parts were needed more than quad-cores. Production cost was the same in any case.
Intel was the first manufacturer to introduce this “element” into the mix, way back in late 1990s. First “expensive turned cheap” processor was a certain Celeron processor that shared the same die as more expensive Pentium III processors. But the caveat was that specific boards recognized that CPU as Celeron with whole amount of cache, and those beasts were more overclockable than PIII processors (due to difference in FSB – 100 MHz vs. 133 MHz). And as the song goes, “here we go again”. Korean enthusiast web-site Playwares found out that Advanced Clock Calibration feature on SB700/750-equipped motherboards could be the way how AMD is creating X3 and X2 CPUs, and started to play with them on Biostar’s 790GX motherboard.
As you can see in picture above, really interesting thing happened. One press on Page Down key in BIOS turned X3 into an X4, and by the stroke of luck, this X3 didn’t had a broken down core, but was one of those CPUs that was “cored-down”. Sadly, I don’t have Athlon X2 or Phenom X3 CPU here (have ASUS and GigaByte 790GX+SB750 motherboards) to test myself, but those motherboards have the same BIOS feature as tested Biostar one.
Unless this story is a hoax, all we can say is – it looks like AMD is not certain how many heads its Dragon platfrom has. It morphs 😉