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Socket AM3+ vs AM4

Socket AM3+ vs AM4 - Worth The Upgrade?

Socket AM3+ Vs AM4 Comparison

With the surge in new technology, we’ve had a number of people move from PCs to laptops, tablets and even smartphones. But, for gamers and video editors, their PCs are their lifeline. Not that these people cannot switch to laptops but the real essence of their ‘jobs’ is only felt on PCs.

That said, it’s not like PCs have not seen an upgrade in technology. We’ve come from a time where 520 KB of RAM was enough to a time where even 16 GB of RAM may not be enough for someone.

When talking about building PCs, two brands come to name before any other: Intel and AMD. Whereas Intel is known to have the best performing PC components out there, AMD is not too far behind. Even though Intel’s products are priced higher compared to AMD, the latter comes with a loyal user-base that prefers cheaper solutions.

Over the years, AMD has come up with several new technologies. The AM3+ socket was one such technological upgrade. Nevertheless, the brand has gone a step above by launching the AM4 socket. So, users often have this question – “Is it worth the hassle upgrading from an AM3+ CPU to an AM4 CPU?” Let’s try and understand the difference between both!

AM3+ vs AM4 – War of the Sockets!

Let’s look at the detailed socket AM3+ vs AM4 comparison.

BasisAM3+ SocketAM4 Socket
Compatible MicroarchitectureThe AM3+ socket is for CPUs that use the Bulldozer microarchitecture.The AM4 socket is for CPUs that use the Zen, Zen +, Zen 2 and Excavator microarchitectures.
Backwards CompatibilityBackwards compatible with the components that are compatible with the AM3 socket.Backwards compatible with the components that are compatible with the AM3+ processors.
DDR4 Memory SupportDoes not support DDR4 memoryFirst from AMD to support DDR4 memory. This may be a significant factor for gamers when building their PCs.
Pin Slot Count942 pin count1331 pin count
Heatsink StructureThe heatsink holes are placed in a rectangular shape, with lateral lengths of 48mm and 96 mm, similar to heatsink structures of previous sockets like AM3, AM2 etc.The heatsink holes are placed in a rectangular shape, but the lateral lengths are 54mm x 90mm, therefore, some older heatsinks may not be compatible to AM4 due to the size difference.
Overall PC CostPCs built surrounding the AM3+ socket are relatively cheaper due to AM3+ being older technologyPCs built surrounding the AM4 socket are relatively more expensive due to AM4 being newer technology.

Socket AM3+ vs AM4 comparison – Summary

So, what we learn from the above comparison is that AM4 is a newer technology that runs PCs built on latest microarchitectures. It also is amongst the first AMD socket that has DDR$ memory compatibility.

Therefore, the question of whether one should buy an AM3+ CPU or an AM4 CPU has a subjective answer. Each user will have a different opinion. Professional gamers would bend towards the AM4 CPU, whereas a somewhat casual gamer would incline toward an AM3+ CPU. Users with more money to spend on PC builds are definitely suggested to go for an AM4 CPU, but those who may not have the stash to splash on the AM4, the AM3+ CPUs are not too far behind.

6 Best AM3+ CPUs on the Market

  1. AMD FX-8300 Vishera
  2. AMD FX-6300 Vishera
  3. AMD FX-8120 Zambezi
  4. AMD Phenom II X4 945
  5. AMD FX-8370
  6. AMD FX-8350

So, there you go! AM3+ vs AM4 – AM4 is a clear winner, but if its cost effective you’re looking for, AM3+ isn’t too far behind. If you have any queries, questions or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments section below!

Final Words

So, there you go! In the socket AM3+ vs AM4 showdown – AM4 has emerged as a clear winner. However, if you’re looking for a cost-effective solution, AM3+ isn’t too far behind. If you have any queries, questions or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments section below!

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