CPU shown as engineering sample?

thefrenchie

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Hi all,
I'm running an Athlon X3 445 Rana unlocked to a 4 core Athlon (showed an a Phemon B45 IIRC) and it has been running fine with no problems. I open system properties and suddenly find it says it's an engineering sample. So I check CPU-Z and that says the same thing, it's a 1.6ghz sample again. I haven't tried rebooting yet and my motherboard is an M3A790GXH.
Any explanation for this strangeness?
Thanks
P.s here is an image
 

thefrenchie

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The CPU was bought in november from ebuyer.com. It was working fine until it did that. It happened after I'd pushed it to 100% which I haven't really done until now.
 

notty22

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Are you saying that the cpu used to report something different in software ?
 

thefrenchie

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I doubt it was a glitch because it was stably encoding video at 1.58v and the chip normally runs at 1.4v. Maybe I got lucky and maybe it means I could really push this chip hard with a major overclock. However, it could always be my funky motherboard, they are notoriously unusual as a whole. People have had a lot of problems with them.
 

mrmez

Splendid
An engineering sample or ES can be a pretty big deal to places like AMD or Intel. They almost always have traceable serial numbers, as they are loaned out under very strict terms of use.

In the past Intel have been known to offer nice exchanges for the return of any ES. You may like to try contacting AMD to see if they can verify exactly what it is. If they confirm it IS indeed an ES, they will likely want it back, and id assume offer you any AMD chip of your choice in return.

As for Intel CPU's, they usually had 'ES' or 'Engineering sample' on the heat spreader... which kinda gives it away.
 

thefrenchie

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Hmmmmm, I think I will email them later, however I just want to ask. Would a normal chip run stably at 1.58 volts without freezing or locking up? Because if not, then this chip must have made it's way to retail from a bin somehow.
I've just rebooted the PC now and it's gone back to the X3 445 that it is, the 4th core has relocked itself.
 

vvhocare5

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Nah, this is urban legend stuff. Intel and AMD give out lots of ES parts and they dont track them once they are shipped out. We are talking thousands for every stepping they produce. They are marked as ES so they do not get sold or returned for warranty replacement.

They are given to the press, to PC and server manufacturers, and to any company they have a relationship with. The CPUs are marked with an ES on top which Toms will usually show in pictures - and reported with CPUz. ES parts may be for a stepping that is never released to the public because it has flaws, so its part of why you dont want to pay for them - but if the price is right - go for it.

In this case the modification seems to be confusing CPUz
 

thefrenchie

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Hmmmm that's strange because I bought the part from a legit site and it looked retail when I built the PC. I'm emailing AMD now to see what they have to say about it.
Also, I just noticed that it says it's a TWKR. Is it worth seeing if I can sell it? I'm sure people would pay.
 

simon12

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You don't want it to run over 1.5V. Have you set the voltage in the bios?
 

thefrenchie

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It automatically set itself to 1.58v, now I rebooted again and it has gone back to a Phenom X4 B45 at 1.4v. It'll probably go back to an Engineering Sample after a reboot. It was an Engineering Sample the last 3 times I booted it. However, the B45 has gone from the name.
I've never tried overclocking it past 3.4ghz but it ran stably then at 1.425v.
I'm waiting on a reply from AMD too, if they want it back, I'll see if I can get it replaced with a real Phenom X4 or even an X6.
 

thefrenchie

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Well it clocks down to 1.6ghz with a max multiplier of x8 instead of x15.5 so it becomes noticeably slower than my ULV notebook.
I'd try doing it but I can never be sure what it'll reboot as. I'm leaving it running for now because this time it booted as a real Phenom.
 

thefrenchie

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UPDATE: I had to check the BIOS anyway and I saw a mindblowing multiplier setting for my CPU. 6300mhz is the limit apparently. Sorry for the poor quality but I only had my phone's camera.

This really seems to be an ex TWKR CPU.
Any thoughts?
 

jimmysmitty

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Well, interestingly enough if it is a ES I wonder how AMD does it. I know one guy contacted Intel (this was back in 2007) about a QX6700 ES he got and Intel sent him a unreleased Core 2 Quad QX6850 for reporting it. Not sure if AMD would do the same since ES chips are meant to be with testers, not consumers.

As for the maximum frequency, thats only with the multiplier at 200MHz. If you can increase the BCLK, then it can go higher. so say 250MHz BCLK at 31x yould be 7750MHz. But you wont be able to hit that unless its cooled with LN2. I would say on air you can probably hit about 4-4.5GHz on air. Then if you do water cooling, you can probably hit 5GHz+.
 

thefrenchie

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Well I emailed AMD and they didn't want to know so I think it may well be worth giving them a ring and speaking to a real human being. It may be an ES that they assumed would be OK going out as an X3.
I tried overclocking to around 3.8ghz and it worked fine at just over stock voltage for the X3 which is 1.4v, I haven't tried it at 1.55v which the CPU states is the max when it's an ES.
Unfortunately, the CPU has a mind of it's own. It's hit or miss what it will boot as. I will try fiddling with ACC to see if there is a specific combination which works more reliably to have it boot as the ES.
 
"Stock' voltage is around 1.325v --- 1.4v is the specified 'Max' voltage.

1.58v is too much (unless you are under DIce or LN2).

When you 'unlock' an AMD processor you bork the system readings, sensors and ID. AMD sold the CPU as an X3 445 and you have claimed:

... I tried overclocking to around 3.8ghz and it worked fine at just over stock voltage for the X3
So what's the issue here, again?
 

loneninja

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I've got a Phenom X4 9850 that I bought just after the launch of the Phenom II 920/940, got it retail from newegg. It's paired with a Biostar 790GX based board(not sure exact model number and I'm not on the computer to check). It occasionally reads as an engineering sample, but when it does a simple reboot makes it show Phenom X4 9850 again. I attribute it to some sort of software glitch within my BIOS or something else unknown.
 

jf-amd

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Lots of engineering samples "escape" over the course of the development and sampling to our partners.

The fact that you bought it from a vendor would be of interest to AMD as those parts are supposed to be legally sold.

Someone having an engineering sample is not a real concern (it happens often) but somebody buying one is a big concern.
 

jf-amd

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I have had to deal with this before. Generally I'm willing to give someone the real thing, but only if they are only going to work with our investigations department.

If you tell me you want a new processor but don't want to get involved, it's not going to go to far.
 

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