What is the difference between am3 and am3±An In-Depth Analysis!

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Key Takeaways

  • AM3 and AM3+ are CPU sockets used by AMD processors.
  • AM3 socket was released in February 2009 and replaced AM2 and AM2+ sockets, supporting HyperTransport technology, a 200 MHz FSB, and SDRAM.
  • AM3+ is the successor to AM3 and is compatible with AMD processors based on the Bulldozer microarchitecture, released in 2011.
  • The primary difference between AM3 and AM3+ is the pinhole size, with AM3+ having larger 0.51 mm pins compared to AM3’s 0.45 mm pins, reducing the risk of CPU pin bending.
  • AM3+ offers various improvements, including faster VID frequency, improved cooling support, and increased power distribution efficiency, making it better suited for advanced microarchitectures. The choice between AM3 and AM3+ depends on individual preferences and needs.

AMD’s processors use the AM3 and AM3+ sockets. AM3+ sockets replace the previous generation AM3 sockets. What makes each one unique and its specs are things we’ll uncover. Is the AM3+ socket the same as the AM3 socket? If AM3+ were inserted into AM3, would it be too big?

Too many unknowns remain about this central processing unit (CPU) sockets to provide satisfactory answers at this time. If you were wondering, “What is the difference between AM3 and AM3+?”, you should find the answer here. To learn more, check out our article.

What is the CPU socket?

You have undoubtedly encountered a CPU socket if you have ever created a system, assisted in constructing a system or researched computer hardware.

What is AM3 socket?

The AM3 socket is an exclusive CPU socket for AMD microprocessors. The AM3 socket replaced the AM2 and AM2+ models when it was released in February 2009. Socket AM3 motherboards have HyperTransport technology, a 200 MHz FSB, and SDRAM support.

When comparing AM3 to AM3+, what are the key differences?

Midway through 2011, AMD released their newest socket, AM3+, marking the end of official support for Windows XP on AMD’s part. The AM3 socket, designed to work with DDR3 SDRAM, was released in February 2009 as a direct replacement for the AM2 socket. The AM3+ is compatible with previous generations of AMD processors and was developed for CPUs based on the AMD Bulldozer microarchitecture. Let’s move on to identifying their primary distinctions.

The gauge of the Pinhole:

The pinhole size is the primary distinguishing feature between AM3 and AM3+ sockets. The Pinhole in the AM3+ socket is more prominent than in the AM3 socket. Compared to the 0.45 mm pins of the AM3 socket, the AM3+ socket uses 0.51 mm pins. Thanks to the larger diameter of the new pinholes, CPU pin bending is no longer a problem.

Assistance with VIDs:

The AM3+ MB supports a serial VID frequency of 3.4 MHz, allowing a quicker connection between the CPU and the power controller. The previous MBs only provided connectivity of 400 kHz. Thus, this is a significant improvement. As a bonus, this highly efficient connection has resulted in enhanced management and reduced energy use.

Support That Keeps It Cool:

Due to support +’s for the CCR, the cooler’s holding frame is now a cooperative effort. To cool the VRMs and CPU power choke nearby, the CCR directs air sucked into the radiator downward.

However, this feature is only present in some AM3+ sockets. Gigabyte’s AM3+ motherboards use the old-fashioned retention introduced with socket AM3 MB, even though the company also offers boards for the newer socket. This feature has been integrated into ASRock’s AM3+ MB lineup.

Disturbing Activity in the Central Processing Unit:

The AM3 and the latter MB do an excellent job of keeping the CPU quiet, but the latter MB goes the extra mile by cutting noise up to 22%.

Availability at Present:

This redesigned socket AM3b can handle more giant pins, increasing the current capacity of the AM3+ from 110 A in the Socket AM3 MB to 145 A in the AM3+ socket MB. It shows that the most recent models can provide for a 32% increase in demand.

Since the VID used by AM3+ chips is 3.4 MHz and the VID supported by socket AM3 is only 400 kHz, the enhanced electrical requirements of the socket include support for a new VID.


Although visually identical, the cooling systems for these two sockets are very different. The modern socket features a CCR (Combo Cooler Retention Module), allowing for more efficient cooling of all internal components.

Energy Backing:

AM3+ is more efficient at power loading than the AM3 socket. CPU power efficiency has improved thanks to AM3up +’s 11.8% increase in power distribution efficiency. The AM3+ features many VDD Tolerance Load Lines, which boosts OC performance and provides a stable power supply.

Which is better, the AM3 or the AM3+?

The above comparison suggests that the more contemporary AM3+ technology is better suited to powering computers with advanced microarchitectures. This socket was among the first to support DDR3 memory from AMD. Therefore, whether you use an AM3 or AM3+ CPU depends entirely on your taste.

Users’ perspectives will vary greatly. The AM3 CPU is more suited for casual gamers, while the AM3+ is better suited for competitive players. For those with more disposable income to spend on PC sets, AM3+ processors are undoubtedly the finest option, but AM3 processors are just a little behind.


It’s not a good idea to install an AM3+ processor into a motherboard designed for AM3, as the AM3+ is too large to fit in the AM3 socket. The AM3 motherboard is compatible with AMD’s AM3 processors exclusively. However, if your motherboard has an AM3+ socket, you can utilize any CPU you like, including AM3+, AM3, AM4, Ryzen, and others.


What is the difference between am3 and am3+?

Compared to the older AM3 socket, the newer AM3+ socket offers improved performance. AM3+ eliminates numerous limitations of AM3. Now AM3+ socket delivers excellent power circulation and current delivery and avoids pin-bending difficulties. These two are not interchangeable in any way.

Is Ryzen compatible with AM3+?

So, due to being a backward model, AM3 or AM3+ cannot hold the Ryzen processor. However, the Ryzen processor can fit in an AM4 socket and will run flawlessly without any problem.

Can an AM4 cooler be used with an AM3+ processor?

AMD is creating new CPUs daily, yet they are trying to preserve the standard mounting holes for all CPUs. This ensures that all AMD CPUs can use coolers made under the standard. The AM4 cooler is compatible with AM3 and AM3+ CPUs because it uses industry-standard mounting connectors.


  • Sehrish Kiran

    With years of experience in research and writing, I have honed my skills to provide valuable insights and captivating content. My journey through different fields and topics has equipped me with a well-rounded perspective that enriches my articles.

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