Am3 vs Am3+: Everything You Need to Know

September 14, 2022
Am3 vs Am3+
Table of Contents

All AMD and Intel processors come with a single socket selection. Depending on the socket selection, the CPU offers different features and functionalities. AM3 and AM3+ are the two most popular CPU sockets for AMD processors. However, most of us think that AM3 and AM3+ are the same sockets. But you may not know there are several differences between AM3 vs AM3+ sockets.

So, what are the differences between AM3 vs AM3+ AMD sockets? In fact, AM3+ is an upgraded version and a successor of the AM3 socket. AMD brings more and more improvement to their AM3+ sockets. These sockets have bigger pins than AM3, which eliminates pin-bending issues. This socket also provides better VID support and ensures great CPU power-saving capacity.

Moreover, CPUs that come with AM3+ sockets are much more powerful than AM3. Here I’m going to explore all the facts about these two most popular AMD sockets as well as highlight some best processors based on these sockets. So, let’s get started.

What is AMD Socket?

It’s likely that you have seen a CPU socket if you have ever constructed a system, witnessed someone creating a system, or have simply looked into computer hardware in general. So, what exactly is the CPU socket, you ask? To put it simply, a CPU socket is only a means of connecting a processor to the motherboard.

Both Intel and AMD produce unique kinds of sockets. There are several AMD sockets available for selection. These include AM1, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, FM2, FM2+, and many more. Each and every socket comes with several exclusive features. Here I’ll explore only the AM3 and AM3+ sockets. Let’s get started.

An Overview of AM3 Socket

Socket AM3 or AM3 socket is a CPU socket related to only AMD processors. Launched in February 2009, the AM3 socket was the successor of the previous model, AM2 and AM2+. Motherboards that come with socket AM3 use HyperTransport technology have a 200 MHz FSB and accommodate SDRAM.

Now you may ask what SDRAM is. The term “SDRAM” refers to a broad category of dynamic random access memories that are coordinated with the microprocessor’s preferred clock rate. The number of commands the desktop CPU can handle in a given amount of time tends to rise as a result.


You will find socket AM3 in four types of processors; of course, they are AMD processors. Athlon II, Opteron 1380, Phenom II, and Sempron are those processors. AM3 processors come with up to 6 cores and feature up to 3.5 GHz of clock speed. These CPUs provide exceptionally potent computational capabilities.

Socket AM3 is intended for desktop use. S1 Socket for CPUs and C32, as well as G34 sockets for servers and workstations, are their rivals. AMD created package ASB2 for the tiny form size desktop, mobile, and embedded markets. The Socket AM3+ socket replaced the Socket AM3.

Best AM3 Processor List

ProcessorsPhenom II X6 1100TPhenom II X6 1065TPhenom II X4 975
Core6 Cores6 Cores4 Cores
Cache6 caches6 caches4 caches
Base Speed3.3 GHz2.9 GHz3.6 GHz
Boost Speed3.7 GHz3.4 GHzN/A
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

An Overview of AM3+ Socket

So, now you may be interested to know about the AM3+ sockets, right? AM3+ socket is another CPU socket for dedicated AMD processors. In fact, AM3+ is the more upgraded version of AM3, actually, it is a successor of the AM3 socket. AM3+ was released in 2011, 2 years after AM3.

The AMD Vishera range of CPUs all utilizes Socket AM3+. This socket was created for CPUs that employ the AMD Bulldozer microarchitecture while strategies that align with AM3 AMD processors. The AM3+ Socket standard differs from the AM3 socket in a few significant ways.


The AM3+ socket architecture has one more pin than the AM3 socket, totaling 942. Improved power control and power quality criteria, including enhanced maximum current support, is provided by the AM3+ socket. Through a straightforward BIOS change, several manufacturers have added AM3+ functionality to some of the existing AM3 motherboards.

The AM3+ processors come with up to 8 cores and feature up to 4.0 GHz clock speed. These processors are capable of running several compute-intensive workloads in parallel. Although nominally pin-compatible with AM2 as well as AM2+ boards, AM3+ CPUs cannot function with them.

Best AM3+ Processors List

ProcessorsAMD FX-9370AMD FX-8350AMD FX-8150
Core8 Cores8 Cores8 Cores
CacheL2:8/ L3:8L2:8/ L3:8L2:8/ L3:8
Base Speed4.4 GHz4.0 GHz3.6 GHz
Boost Speed4.7 GHz4.2 GHz4.2 GHz
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

AM3 vs AM3+: Key Differences

Now is the epoch to talk about the differences between AM3 vs AM3+ sockets. Since AM3+ is the updated version of AM3, it comes with several upgrades. This section will define all the differences between these two AMD sockets.

Dimension of Pinhole

The first and foremost difference between AM3 and AM3+ sockets is in their pinhole dimension. The AM3+ socket features a relatively bigger pinhole than AM3. While the AM3 socket comes with 0.45 mm pins, AM3+ features 0.51 mm pins. CPU pin bending is no longer a concern because of this increase in pinhole diameter.

Power Support

Compared to the AM3 socket, AM3+ has a more effective power loading. The power distribution efficiency of AM3+ has increased by up to 11.8%, improving CPU power savings. Additionally, the AM3+ has a lot of VDD Tolerance Load Lines, which improves OC performance and offers a consistent power output.

Current Supply

The socket AM3+ can withstand greater current from 110 amperes A of Socket AM3 MB to 145 amperes of AM3+ socket MB since this new socket AM3b can accommodate thicker pins. It indicates that the latest models are capable of meeting 32% higher current needs.

As AM3+ chips employ a 3.4 MHz VID and socket AM3 can only accommodate a 400 kHz VID, the upgraded electrical requirements of the socket also contain support for a new VID.

Cooler Support

The Combo Cooler Retention Module, or CCR, is now supported by AM3+, turning the frame that holds the cooler into a two-party system. The CCR ensures that air drawn into the radiator is directed downward to cool the VRMs and CPU power choke surrounding it.

However, not every AM3+ socket has this functionality. Although Gigabyte makes motherboards for the new AM3+ socket, they continue to utilize the outdated retention featured in socket AM3 MB. AsRock has been using this functionality in its AM3+ MB portfolio.

AM3 vs AM3+: Which one is best?

According to the comparison presented above, AM3+ is a more recent technology than AM3 that runs Computers with the most modern microarchitectures. One of the initial AMD sockets that enable DDR3 memory was this one. As a result, choosing between an AM3 or AM3+ CPU is an individual preference.

Every user will have a different point of view. A casual gamer will favor the AM3 CPU over the AM3+, while professional gamers would select the latter. AM3+ CPUs are undoubtedly the best option for those with more money to invest in PC sets, but AM3 CPUs are not far behind those without the funds.

The FAQs

Are AM3 and AM3+ the same?

No! Not Ever. AM3+ socket is the upgraded version of AM3. AM3+ eliminates several limitations of AM3. Now AM3+ socket offers better power circulation, and current supply as well as eliminates the pin bending issues. These two are different from each other.

What CPUs can fit in an AM3+?

Launched in 2011, the socket AM3+ is compatible with socket AM3 CPUs as well as intended for AMD Bulldozer microarchitecture-based processors. In other terms, the AM3+ motherboard is compatible with AM3 CPUs. The AM3+ AMD Socket is also used by the AMD Vishera range of CPUs.

Will Ryzen work on AM3+?

While AMD Ryzen is one of the popular processors in the market, it is a frequently asked question Will Ryzen work on AM3+? No, as neither motherboards with am3+ sockets nor those with am3 sockets are functional with Ryzen CPUs because they all require am4 sockets.

Which is the best AM3+ motherboard?

There are a lot of AM3+ motherboards available in the market. So, you have a lot of options to go for with several reputed brands including ASUS, AsRock, MSI and much more. AsRock 970M pro3, ASUS TUF 990FX, and MSI 970 are some of the best AM3+ motherboards.

Wrap Up

Although the AM3+ is a modified version of AM3, both these two AMD sockets have some dedicated features and functionalities. Here I discussed all the facts as well as the differences between AM3 vs AM3+ sockets. Overall, in this AM3+ vs AM3 conflict, AM3+ prevails. This new AMD socket is unquestionably a superb socket.

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