I've been upgrading my family's Lenovo Ideacentre 510A-10abr, which has the old AMD A12-9800 APU installed. I noticed the CPU doesn't clock above 3.99 GHz, but the A12-9800 is supposed to go up to 4.2 GHz. Is it the CPU that is locked, or is it the Lenovo BIOS that is locking the speed? Either way, is there a way I can get the full 4.2 GHz speed out of the A12-9800 in this desktop?
These are unlocked that doesn't mean your board supports an unlocked multiplier as most OEM computers don't. I have to ask why would you buy one at this point? unless you get it very cheap? If you are paying near the $400 price point I am seeing for those processors I just want to point out you could get a far faster ryzen apu or cpu, motherboard and memory for that.
Pokester, please read my original post. This was a pre-built Lenovo desktop I got over about 2 years ago from Office Depot for my wife and kids to use for general computing (web browsing, watching videos, word processing, etc.). It was less than $500 if I remember correctly and cheaper than the Intel version of the same desktop. I didn't know anything about Ryzen at the time and honestly didn't care about getting something that powerful, just needed something the wife and kids could use.
But this year my kids started doing some gaming, so I upgraded the desktop with an SSD, more RAM, and an RX 560 card. Honestly, the A12-9800 worked fine before putting in the RX 560, but I wanted to give the kids (and myself) a little better gaming experience long-term, so I threw in the RX 560. Total cost for all the upgrades was less than $200, which is still cheaper than building a "cheap" gaming PC.
Found this foreign Retailer that is selling a Lenovo PC with the same Processor and it indicates that it isn't locked:
AMD Specs also says it isn't locked.
I saw that you opened a Lenovo Forum thread but no one has replied yet. Best to open a Lenovo Support Ticket.
I would check your BIOS Settings that helps save power by throttling your Processor. Something like "Cool n Quiet" type Setting. This link might help give you some ideas: How to Prevent Drops in CPU Speed | Small Business - Chron.com
See if your BIOS Settings has anything like Turbo Core Settings for your APU.
Also check your Windows Plan for High Performance Power Plan.
I also read by overclocking your RAM will also cause your APU to run at a higher frequency.
According to Overclocker.com the easiest way to find out if your processor is locked or not is by changing the Multiplier one step lower in BIOS and see if the frequency changes after rebooting. If it does then it is unlocked if it doesn't then it is locked.
The best way to find out is by opening a Lenovo Support ticket to see if your APU is locked or not.
EDIT: See if there is a BIOS update for your Desktop.
Sorry I misread it thinking you were looking to upgrade to and buy that processor, not realizing you already had it.
Sorry that regardless of getting the intent wrong, that you did not find my answer helpful, in which I absolutely answered the real question of the ability to overclock the CPU and that you might still not be able to.
Yes it is an unlocked processor, but that means absolutely nothing if the motherboard doesn't let you change the clock speed and most OEM computers do not. So you may only have software as an option to oc the processor.
AMD discontinued their Overdrive software to OC those chips in Windows and the new software doesn't support the older chips, leaving no official software to do it from AMD. I have used Gigabytes software called EasyTune 6, you can get it at their website. Yes it has worked on non Gigabyte boards but no guarantee it will for yours.
Also like elstaci said, your best bet is to confirm with a support request to Lenovo. Sometimes they may even have a bios they will give you access to that can let you do things the released bios does not. No guarantees there either.
Another thing to realize is that even when you overclock these chips it makes little to know difference at all in how it will affect gaming. This has been illustrated time and time again by many review sites. Those old chips by comparison to, Intel and AMD's older as well as much newer Ryzen chips just are not good ant crunching numbers. AMD already had most of these chips running as fast as they would go to begin with and reported headroom for overclocking when you can is not much if any in most cases.
The good news for you is that if you wanted to update your system if your venture here doesn't go as planned, you could sell the ram you bought on Ebay and still use the SSD and 560 and any other components that are transferable to a new system.
I do hope you get to a performance level you are happy with, without spending another dime.