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Will an AM3 processor work in an AM3+ Motherboard?

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March 16, 2013 4:44:38 PM

Hi guys,

I am buying a gaming PC, and I have seen that, on AMD's side of things, that a Phenom would be best for gaming.
However, I was previously going to get an AM3+ processor, but the Phenom is AM3.
My question is this: I am considering buying a AMD Phenom II X4 965, which is AM3 socket, and an Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 AM3+ motherboard. Will the Phenom still be usable on this motherboard?

It may be a dumb question, but I want to be sure before buying.

Also, if you have any tips about the Phenom or an alternative (though I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking with this one), tell me please!

Thanks!
March 16, 2013 4:50:12 PM

I am writing this message from a computer with a AM3 processor in an AM3+ motherboard, so yeah, it works.
I have a similar setup: M5A78L/USB3 + Phenom II x4 955 BE
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March 16, 2013 4:51:21 PM

Yes it will work. You just cant put an am3+ cpu into a am3 mobo
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March 16, 2013 4:52:04 PM

csf60 said:
I am writing this message from a computer with a AM3 processor in an AM3+ motherboard, so yeah, it works.
I have a similar setup: M5A78L/USB3 + Phenom II x4 955 BE


Fair enough XD
Do you use the Phenom?

DERP just read it again XD sorry for the stupidity.

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March 16, 2013 4:53:56 PM

You are mistaking Phenom for Phenom II. Phenom I AM2+ whereas Phenom II is AM3.

AM3 CPUs should work in AM3+ socket motherboards. I've heard a few unconfirmed reports of issues, but I've never seen any myself and chances are that those reports were just due to faulty hardware rather than incompatibilities and even if they were incompatibilities, it would have merely been BIOS defects.

However, anyone telling you that you're better off going for a Phenom II x4 such as the 965 instead of getting a newer model such as the FX-4300 is wrong. You'll get similar if not better performance while using much less power and having more overclocking headroom. Oh, and a similarly priced FX-6100 can have an advantage in a few of the most intensive DX11 games such as Crysis 3 that can scale across the extra cores, granted it has a disadvantage in games that don't scale so well (the newer FX-6300 has no such disadvantage, but it's a little more expensive).
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March 16, 2013 4:56:28 PM

blazorthon said:
You are mistaking Phenom for Phenom II. Phenom I AM2+ whereas Phenom II is AM3.

AM3 CPUs should work in AM3+ socket motherboards. I've heard a few unconfirmed reports of issues, but I've never seen any myself and chances are that those reports were just due to faulty hardware rather than incompatibilities and even if they were incompatibilities, it would have merely been BIOS defects.

However, anyone telling you that you're better off going for a Phenom II x4 such as the 965 instead of getting a newer model such as the FX-4300 is wrong. You'll get similar if not better performance while using much less power and having more overclocking headroom. Oh, and a similarly priced FX-6100 can have an advantage in a few of the most intensive DX11 games such as Crysis 3 that can scale across the extra cores, granted it has a disadvantage in games that don't scale so well (the newer FX-6300 has no such disadvantage, but it's a little more expensive).


Hmm. I was told that the Phenom would be better, but I'm not too sure now. Is the FX AM3 or AM3+?

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March 16, 2013 5:02:30 PM

So the FX-6100 has 6 cores, but a lower clock speed. I am still being turned to the Phenom, mind you. I played AC3 and NFS most wanted on it before, with the same graphics card I will get, and it was staggeringly good.
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March 16, 2013 5:22:20 PM

FX 6300 is the best price/performance AMD CPU.
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March 16, 2013 5:33:38 PM

Yep. The 4300 is better than a quad core Phenom II, and the 6300 is the best for a mid-range gaming PC.
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March 16, 2013 5:36:07 PM

MentalTiger said:
blazorthon said:
You are mistaking Phenom for Phenom II. Phenom I AM2+ whereas Phenom II is AM3.

AM3 CPUs should work in AM3+ socket motherboards. I've heard a few unconfirmed reports of issues, but I've never seen any myself and chances are that those reports were just due to faulty hardware rather than incompatibilities and even if they were incompatibilities, it would have merely been BIOS defects.

However, anyone telling you that you're better off going for a Phenom II x4 such as the 965 instead of getting a newer model such as the FX-4300 is wrong. You'll get similar if not better performance while using much less power and having more overclocking headroom. Oh, and a similarly priced FX-6100 can have an advantage in a few of the most intensive DX11 games such as Crysis 3 that can scale across the extra cores, granted it has a disadvantage in games that don't scale so well (the newer FX-6300 has no such disadvantage, but it's a little more expensive).


Hmm. I was told that the Phenom would be better, but I'm not too sure now. Is the FX AM3 or AM3+?



FX is all AM3+ at this time. That includes both Bulldozer/Zambezi models (FX-41xx/42xx series, 61xx/62xx series, and 81xx/82xx series) and the newer Piledriver models (FX-43xx series, FX-63xx series, and FX-83xx series).

Per core, Phenom II was better than FX-x1xx/x2xx CPUs of similar or even somewhat higher clock frequencies, but the FX-x3xx models have caught up and at times surpassed the older AM3 CPUs, especially in overclocking.

Keep in mind that the main distinction between AM3 and AM3+ is that AM3 has DDR2 support whereas AM3+ lacks that, but has some power saving features and other additional features too. Their sockets are almost physically identical (AM3+ simply uses a few of the unused pins in AM3).
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March 17, 2013 2:31:32 AM

DarkSable said:
Yep. The 4300 is better than a quad core Phenom II, and the 6300 is the best for a mid-range gaming PC.


That may be so, but it really is more of a money saving exercise. I think it's now between the Phenom II and the FX6100.
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March 17, 2013 3:26:12 AM

Ok guys, I think I'm getting my head turned towards the Phenom II X4 965. I read reviews on both CPU's, the Phenom and the FX6100, but the Phenom just looks better. If anyone has any last words, speak them now!
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March 17, 2013 10:05:52 AM

it is better, if only because bulldozer was THAT bad.
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March 17, 2013 11:06:25 AM

It's a close call between the FX-6100 and the Phenom II x4 965. If you're interested in overclocking, the FX-6100 has the advantage, but if you're looking for the cheapest you can get with good performance, the Phenom II x4 965 is still a decent CPU. My own overclocked Phenom II x6 1090T BE is still holding up well.

Overall, the FX-6100 would only have an advantage when it comes to some of the more modern DX11 games such as BF3 MP, Crysis 3, Far Cry 3, and Metro 2033 where they can scale quite well across six cores. Otherwise, the Phenom II x4 965 will have the advantage unless you overclock or such.
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March 17, 2013 11:16:26 AM

Gah! Now I might go for the FX6100. Got more cores and can overclock if necessary. I think ill stick with the 6100. Thanks for you help, everyone!
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March 17, 2013 11:34:48 AM

Glad to help.
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!