Difference Between AM3 and AM3+ Socket
Question – What is the difference between the AM3 and AM3+ socket ?
1. Socket AM3 has 941 pins while the Socket AM3+ has 942 pins ( citation and confirmation from AMD needed)
2. newer Motherboards supporting AM3+ sockets are likely to have faster memory speed support and faster HyperTransport support. So, it may be preferable to buy an AM3+ based motherboard for the bulldozer processor, rather than buying a BIOS upgraded AM3 base motherboard.
3. Mechanically the AM3+ sockets have thicker hole size ( 0.51 mm) as compared to only 0.45 mm hole size of the AM3 socket. The bigger hole increases the current carrying capacity. This improves the power delivery capability. The wider hole size in AM3+ socket will ease the insertion of the CPU in the hole. This should reduce the CPU bend problem. ( Source : ASRock)
4. The AM3+ sockets will be marked with AM3b and some socket manufacturers have used black color to differentiate it with the white color AM3 socket. The AM3 sockets are marked AM3.
5. The AM3+ socket is intended for the newer AMD Bulldozer processors, while the AM3 socket is for all the earlier Phenom ii and Athlon ii Processors.
6. The AM3+ sockets are backward compatible with the AM3 socket. All the earlier processors that worked on AM3 sockets will also work on AM3 socket.
7. The bulldozer processors can also work on some of the earlier AM3 sockets with BIOS upgrade. Some of the manufacturers have made announcements for the BIOS upgrade.
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