Playing with components is a staple of the computer industry. One demographic of PC users that will never die off is the overclocker and tinkerer. Thankfully, manufacturers recognize this community and purposefully stick little features and hidden gems into products. Just recently, many people posted information on how to unlock a HD Radeon 6950 and turn it into a 6970. Well, a close simile, not exactly a 6970. This is done with a simple firmware flash.
These types of things are found all of the time in computer components. To save money, manufacturers use the same chip production for many products. They just disable certain features. One well known manufacturer that caters perfectly to the tinkerer market is AMD. They purposefully release black edition processors that have unlock multipliers. One other recent practice has been releasing processors with dormant cores. Some lucky people have the ability to unlock and take advantage of those cores.
The Athlon II X3 455 happens to be one of those processors. On the surface, the X3 455 is only a triple core. However, hiding in the shadows is a sleeping core and cache that has the possibility to be accessed. The X3 455 comes with a stock speed of 3.3GHz. There is a max TDP of 95 watts. In continued AMD fashion, the X3 455 is a 100MHz step up from the X3 450. The Athlon II still remains AM2+/AM3 compatible. Stock settings give 1.5MB of L2 cache.