I heard that this processor has an unlock-able 4th core but you need to change voltage and keep it under a certain temperature for it to be stable. Is this possible and if so how would I go about doing this?
I assume you have an Athlon x3 or a Phenom x3. You do not usually need to increase the voltage but it is a good idea to keep an eye on the temps. You need a motherboard that supports unlocking and if you have one just activate it in the bios and it may just work, it may work but be unstable (requiring a voltage increase), it may no longer boot (and need to reset the bios), or it may just not work.
Some of the x3's do have a functioning fourth core, a lot have one locked because it is defective or doesn't pass certain tests at manufacturing,
depending on your motherboard, you go into bios and look for their core unlock feature, usually called A.C.C. or similar, read mobo manual
and remember it is not guaranteed to be a fully functioning stable core,,
more voltage may be required but I've done two X3 435's with no V increases, and one was clocked to 3.5GHz for a few months till it got irksome and I left it at 3.2 for about 18 months till I built a W/c rig
And I guess the recommended temperatures would be dependent on the cpu? And does the computer already know the temperature or do I have to buy something extra for that? And are aftermarket liquid coolers significantly better or quieter than their air counterparts? I read the more expensive air coolers can warp your motherboard over time due to the weight.
The board support ACC so it should be simple to enable it in the bios see what happens and go from there. Use HWMonitor (free download) to check your temps and Prime 95, OCCT or intel Burn test to stres the CPU to see if its stable (assuming you can unlock it anyway). As for coolers closed loop liquid coolers are not massively better than air coolers and since they cost around as much as your CPU I would forget about them. If you want to overclock I suggest a Cooler master 212 EVO if not the TX3 evo will be good enough or you may get away with the stock cooler.
Most likely its going to be broken core, it is the reason they locked it anyway.
You got to be lucky SOB to get 4rh core free. with price difference so small just get working quad core and be happy.
I had X3 AMD i could unlock easily but it would random blue screen, no-mater what you do.
@3.5GHz I started getting too many hangups and bsod's, (mostly because the psu is a cheap p.o.s. I suspect)
but they became once then twice a session and it interfered with my WoW duties so I backed it down to 3.4 for a while, then settled at 3.2Ghz,
Al in one liquid coolers are a touchy subject hehe, the really bad ones are worse than aircoolers, and even the best ones can be beaten by good air coolers, a lot of the overall situation still depends on your cases airflow set up, which ever you opt for, but good air often beats bad water
as mentioned, any mobo with a 710 or higher chipset will support acc, mine was an asrock m3a770de, nice plate and cheap as anything now too, but if budget allows, get a higher model ofc (Lol, just checked your link )
Thanks for B.A., just reading over my post, i should point out that my O/c numbers are with four cores, but as we mentioned, you are not guaranteed that core is good.
let us know how things work out man,