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Difference Between AM3 and AM3+ Socket

Question – What is the difference between the AM3 and AM3+ socket ?

Answer –

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.

Please feel free to ask more question about the Difference Between AM3+ and AM3  Socket in the comment section below

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  1. Rikasa
    May 25th, 2011 at 19:59 | #1

    Can you provide us with a list of the motherboards that support the AMD bulldozer processor ? Which one is the cheapest one ?

  2. kemme
    July 5th, 2011 at 23:34 | #2

    About point 6.

    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.

    Makes no sense.

  3. Third Eye
    July 17th, 2011 at 00:41 | #3

    I know that this is not a forum BUT, kemme is right – it makes no sense …. I believe they left off a ‘+’ on the last AM3.

  4. billy
    April 3rd, 2012 at 20:06 | #4

    i just ordered a ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B and i want to know if its gonna fit on my cpu/motherboard.cpu is am3+ and as i can see the zalman is a am3…should i cancel it and order another one?

  5. Havel
    March 20th, 2014 at 16:53 | #5


    I would like to know the difference between the difference between socket AM3 plus and the Intel Pentium LGA1150. I going to upgrade my system and would like to know if the two processors are compatible with the same type of motherboard.

    The MB that I have in mind is the Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H MB. Thanks in advance for your answer.


  6. July 13th, 2015 at 13:35 | #6

    Amazing how many items come through my house reuiqring assembly with sockets or hex keys. These guys take the socket wrench out of my hand and replace it with a drill They’ve gotten me back to the sofa ahead of schedule on many a weekend. Make sure to adjust the torque on the drill to avoid over tightening can pretty easily damage what you’re working on OR twist the drill out of your hand. Only concern I’ve noted is that the finish seems to have tarnished over time.