Best AM3+ CPUs for 2018/19

AM3+platform remain increasingly popular even as new Ryzen processors enter the market. A quad core CPU is the soul of your gaming computer and determines the overall performance. AM3+CPUs followed the AM3 CPU lineup and boast a 942 pin-count which exceeds its successor. Similarly, the AM4 makes no radical changes to its predecessor.

With that said, picking out the best AM3+CPU is not a walk in the park. If you want to overclock your PC, you must arm yourself with revved-up CPU that eliminates crash downtimes. Paired with RAM, graphic cards and a workhorse motherboard, this generation of processors bolsters your arsenal for gaming or optimal office productivity.     

Below, we look at handpicked AM3+CPU throwing more light on operating frequency, performance, processing technology and compatibility.


Top Pick - AMD FX-8350

The AMD FX-8350 is in the driver’s seat across many platforms in the CPU world for obvious reasons. It gives more bounce to the ounce with dynamic productivity for software performance.

Best AMD AM3+ CPUs for Gaming

1. AMD FD8350FRHKBOX FX-8350 FX-Series 8-Core

AMD FX-8350 offers eight-core architecture at cheap twice the price. With a base clock of 4.0GHz and a turbo maximum boost of 4.2GHz, it takes on extreme workloads like gaming. The processor comes in extremely tiny size and incorporates more cores carving out a class of its own. You’ll unleash maximum, unrestrained processing performance for all conditions. Bear in mind the AM3+ socket CPU mates with AM3 architecture motherboards.

You can milk aggressive performance for macro-tasking and severe applications such as video editing or 3S modeling. It hits all cores and gives you more parallel processing oomph needed without guzzling more power. If you want to create a multimedia workhorse engineered with versatile, tweaking-friendly operation, the AMD FX-8350 will not go off the boil. The processor also upgraded the AMD Bulldozer microarchitecture with the Piledriver microarchitecture for improved power efficiency.     

It comes with eight cores featuring eight threads. It also offers 8MB L3 Cache and 4x2MB L2 Cache but it does not give the best-in-class performance at this price point. It lags behind other versions at this price point. However, it excels with maximum productivity software performance. For video editing and 3D design, it runs on all cylinders due to the high cache and eight cores. This CPU represents the best bang for your buck in typical productivity tasks. It makes overclock a breeze. When overclocked, this beast unleashes plenty of juice.

Do note it tends to overheat and increases power consumption but it has an innovative cooler making it overclocking-friendly. All in all, this potent eight-core CPU sets blistering productivity performance records that go beyond extreme. The ultra-low voltage processor costs less than the expensive power guzzlers and monsters out there.

         Pros

  • Powered by AMD Overdrive technology
  • Bulldozer architecture transforms overclocking potential
  • Peak performance for mega-tasking and extreme applications like 3D modeling
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    Novel 32 nanometer die shrink engineered to decrease leakage
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    Varied hyper-transport technology

Cons

  • The cooling fan gets loud
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    Incompatible with other motherboards
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    CPU temperature hikes during marathon sessions

2. AMD FD8320FRHBOX FX-8320-FX-Series 8-Core

The AMD FD8320 represents the 2nd generation CPU in the FX series by AMD. With eight cores, it gives a significant boost in overclocking speed while it’s one of the fastest CPU at this price point. It sports a base frequency of 3.5GHZ and a maximum Turbo boost of 4.0GHz. You also get better processor performance in a small power envelope. However, gaming will break out a sweat of this eight-thread FX chip compared to a quad-core Intel. 

It’s unlocked for higher overclocking potential and comes with the latest line of advancements in the AM+3 platform. You can forego a top-dollar CPU with a faster clock speed for its impressive overclocking potential. The eight-core architecture has phenomenal gaming stability and reliability. Importantly, the FX-8320 hits a snag in overclockability and screams for more Vcore to exceed 4.8GHz. Fortunately, an excellent cooling pushes your overclocking limits.

When it comes to gaming, the FX-8320 provides high definition resolution and frames per second. It has the best gameplay potential with new games hitting over 60fps. Your game will proceed seamlessly with superior quality resolution and it activates momentous in-game IQ setting. It’s patterned on piledrive architecture with better power efficiency than the Bulldozer. But you may get disappointed by its single core tests when taking on single-threaded tasks. With all the cores in sync for multi-threaded applications, this CPU packs a punch.     

At the end of the day, this multimedia brainchild delivers excellent results in editing, gaming, and media productivity. Go for this AM3+ socket to minimize CPU electrical noise to keep it down to a dull roar.

           Pros

  • Easily overclocked with enhanced stability
  • Engineered for extreme power requirements
  • High dynamic performance for computing tasks with multi-core operations
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    Creates an immersive gaming experience
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    Manageable power requirements

        Cons

  • It can get fried up when overloaded
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    Performance barriers

3. AMD FD6300WMHBOX FX-6300 6-Core Processor

The FX-6300 has remained on the map in the gaming world despite the Intel having evolved with four generations. It has survived these revolutions with impressive performance and overclocking abilities at a shoestring budget. If you thirst for a budget rig, this processor supports six cores. It also puts the likes of Intel i3 in the shade in the gaming and productivity departments. Though it’s nowhere near the beat i3 CPU, it outshines FX4300, Pentium G560, and Athlon X4 950. This lineup of AMD processors lacks preloaded graphics; you need to integrate a designated card for a full package.

The FX-6300 makes a hardworking workhorse with a broad range of overclocking abilities. When completely unlocked, it’s customizable with plethora multipliers. Alternatively, the Intel has made a quantum leap and this processor now locks horns with core i3 versions. It has poor single core performance and trails behind the Core i3 6300. The slower clock speeds places it behind the 6100 corei3 but the ability to aggressively overclock propels it to the apex.     

 In the same vein, the stock CPU cooler trembles under 4GHz speeds. You have to add a water cooler if you want scaled-up clock speeds. If you overclock it, it sizzles quickly and power consumption hits the roof. At its stock settings, the FX-6300 falls short of the Core i3-6100’s scorecard, but you can ramp up the clock speeds to get some steam up. Lastly, this processor will not bottleneck high-performance games if you stick with HD limits and 1080p. On the downside, gaming marathons throw a spanner in the wheels because of inefficient single core performance.    

         Pros

  • Most wallet-friendly processor that overclocks and gives revved-up performance
  • A variety of motherboards still compatible with its architectural synergy
  • Effortless to overclock with multipliers
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    Has versatile abilities at entry-level price point
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    Requires only a decent graphics card to take on all games at maximum settings

      Cons

  • AMD FX lineup plagued by poor single core performance
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    Multi-player gaming not supported
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    Guzzles more power than Intel processors

4. AMD Athlon II X4 640 Processor (ADX640WFGMBOX)

Looking for a compatible AM3+ CPU? Athlon II X4 640 offers a true quad core for a budget build with 2MB level 2 cache supporting nostalgic games or everyday office tasks. Give it 1.55V and it hits 3.85GHz without running out of steam. It’s not designed for overclocking and does not take on super-hardcore processing like gaming, but you will never have these at this price range. You get a decent quad-core processor for multi-threaded performance unique to these CPUs.    

As for gaming, it has hardware tessellation that improves the appearance of surfaces and crowd animations. Pair it with a system motherboard to establish a solid gaming or multimedia powerhouse. It boasts 45-nanometer manufacturing technology capable of simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing. Additionally, true multi-core processing translates to better multi-tasking so you can more irons in the fireworks in the shortest space of time. Users also agree it has a cooler and quieter platform with energy-efficiency.    

Since the Athlon II X4 640 lacks unlocked multiplier, you have to tweak the voltage and reference clock speed. Remember, it’s a low-cost quad core to build a solid HTPC and workstation. At that price point, you can create a complete system that rivals some high-end CPUs. It’s easy to accomplish tasks with its stable overclock and excellent performance. With 100MHz increase in speed against the previous generation, it is in the driver’s seat of the Athlon II series processors. On the flip side, the low L2 Cache restricts the potential.

Pros

  • Very affordable quad core
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    Multi-core processing for mega-tasking
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    Improved digital media and 3D gaming experience
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    Cooler and quieter performance

      Cons

  • Not ideal for extreme-duty processing such as heavy gaming

5. AMD Phenom IIX4 840 Edition Deneb 3.2 GHz 4x512 KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor-Retail HDX840WFGBOX

The Phenom IIX4 840 is another quad-core processor that gives a bang for your buck. It comes at a wallet-friendly but packs more efficiency and speed than the Athlon II. Though not designed for heavy-duty users, it works like charm for everyday applications and gives a double whammy at its price. Don’t get excited yet because the CPU lacks L3 cache but it’s very similar to other Phenom IIs. It has support for DDR2, DDR3, HyperTransport 3.0 and more.

With high clock frequencies and quad-core processing technology, you can multitask without downtimes. Its Operating Frequency clocked at 3.2GHz guzzles 95W representing the cream of am3 CPU for your next build. You need top-quality RAM, graphics card, and motherboard to establish a more robust processor for gaming or office productivity. You can squeeze out lots of processing power in multithread applications. For overclocking, the IIX4 840 boasts a locked multiplier and you can push the reference clock to 240MHz. It renders a peak overclocked speed of 3.85GHz. You milk mild overclock from the low-end chip.

Though you can’t hit top-end stock performance, the Phenom IIX4 840 offers high efficiency for office computing and workstations. You won’t get much in overclocking with bursts of 400MHz. Compatibility with previous chipsets enhances their performance. It works like a stink paired with a designated graphics card and handles computing demands in multithread applications. It has an impressive bang-for-the-buck ratio to revolutionize your current or future system. When it comes to the bottom line, the high-performing IIX4 840 is hard to beat at this price point.     

      Pros

  • Ultra-competitive pricing
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    Fantastic price-to-performance ratio
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    Compatible with AM3 and AM2+ motherboards
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    Works with DDR2 and DDR3 memory
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    Compatible with older chipsets for improved performance

    Cons

  • L3 cache omitted
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    Oscillating performance based on application
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    Phenom IIX4 840 lags behind the Athlon II series in speed

6. AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz 4x512 KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor-Retail HDX945WFGBOX

The Phenom II X4 945 offers a perfect overclocking chip with an expertly-engineered quad core at 3.4GHz. It handles HD video encoding and professional 3D rendering without even breaking a sweat. It ranks nick and tuck with the similarly-priced Core i5 750 in gaming performances. Interestingly, the II X4 945 cuts the cost of building a PC on your AM3 architecture to the bone. It will overclock easily to 4.1GHz which surpasses some of the AMD’s six-core processors.

Christened Deneb, the core boasts 6MB Level 3 cache which hits the sweet spot for multitasking or rendering. It has a cross-cutting base core frequency of 3GHz. It works with a variety of new gaming motherboards compatible with the processor like the ASUS M5A78-M Plus/USB3. It will boost speed and productivity if you thirst for an upgrade with solid overclocking. Its fully-fledged four cores and four threads broaden your compatibility repertoire. Similarly, DDR3 RAM support provides sanctuary for price-conscious buyers.

AMD chips lack integrated graphic accelerators; you have to pair with a card to get off to a flying start. It will not synchronize with other architectures configuration and pin other. A CPU may fit into the socket but this does not mean it’s compatible. However, the Phenom II X4 945 does not come with heatsink but includes thermal paste.

As long as AMDs continues to push out AM3+ sockets, Phenom II processors will continue having a significant impact on the market. When it comes to the bottom line, the Phenom II X4 945 DDR3 support means you can avoid the ever-rising DDR4 RAM prices.

      Pros

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    Superior HD video quality
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    High-performance quad-core for multitasking
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    Monumental gaming performance
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    Budget-friendly price
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    L3 Cache included

    Cons

  • May not work with AM3+ architecture

7. AMD FX-9590 8-Core 4.7GHz Socket AM3+ 220W Black Edition Desktop Processor FD8590FHHKWOF

The eight-core, overclock-ready MD FX-9590 packs a punch for optimized media-crunching tasks. You can overclock it for revved-up performance as long as you have the essential hardware. The chip has peak 4.7GHz to 5GHz stock clock speed offering the fastest out-of-the-box and consumer-oriented CPU. It best suits an adventurous PC builder or spec snob but any AMD purist thirsty for insane clock speeds can give this a whack. The drawback is current AMD FX-focused boards will not support the monstrous power demands of the chip.    

To push it to its best abilities, you need a sizable, more robust water-cooler to prevent throttling caused by poor ventilation. The chip has Piledriver architecture like other FX series unveiled since 2012. As a result, it has higher power requirements than Intel processors. With 4.7GHz core clock speed, the AMD FX-9590 can hit an astonishing 5GHz automatically if you don’t tax all cores. Like other high-end AMD chips, it’s unlocked to make overclocking a breeze. Importantly, the FX-9590 is still plagued by poor single-core performance.

The AMD FX-9590 has managed to race to the front of the pack with its multi-core muscle and higher clock speed. It has a sustained, core-aware media-processing that outpaces even the most expensive Core i7 chip competitors. Undoubtedly, it’s still the highest-performing AMD CPU out there to take on extreme multimedia or gaming tasks. Do note the CPU only works with AM3+ motherboards that support 220W TDP.

      Pros

  • Ideal for high memory consumption software
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    8-cores and Piledrive architecture
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    Budget build media powerhouse
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    AMD’s Eyefinity technology for superior quality resolution

    Cons

  • 5.0 GHz has lockups and freezes
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    Requires high-end motherboards with 220W TDP
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    Cannot support high memory usage for long

8. AMD Phenom Ii X4 965 Black Edition 3.4Ghz Am3 Quad-Core Processor 8Mb Cache 125W

The Phenom IIX4 840 and Phenom IIX4 965 (125W BE) come with the same socket along with architecture but have stark performance differences. If you stack them up against each other, the IIX4 840 will give you 24% better power consumption than its brother. However, the Phenom IIX4 965 still comes ahead with higher single-threaded performance. It trades the final jab with 15% better results in multi-threaded applications. With the clock multiplier unlocked, it will overclock like a can of corn for advanced performance. But overclocking will automatically vitiate its warranty.

The IIX4 965 socket AM3 chip also works with the older AM2+motherboard without upgrading components. You may want to upgrade the RAM or board and keep the processor, ultimately bolstering your arsenal in the long-run. AMD has upped the oomph but no significant changes to the chip architecture. It powers through gaming, encoding and day-to-day use faster than previous AMD lineup.

Speaking of overclocking, the IIX4 965 breaks into a gallop way ahead of its older AMD siblings. Phenoms are revered kings of overclocking and the IIX4 965 follows in their footsteps. You can squeeze out 4GHz out of this chip on an even keel with some more voltage. While the market has rivals with a TDP of 125 watts or below, the IIX4 965 TDP of 140 watts makes it power hungry.

All in all, you get supersonic speeds from this AMD brainchild ranking neck to neck with the Intel Core i7 CPU thoroughbreds. Like its Phenom counterparts, it’s an impressive overclocker that never trembles. It will breeze through any game and office tasks such as A/V encoding. It also relies on its unfettered backwards compatibility as a selling point against the Core i7-920 at half cheap the price.

      Pros

  • Lightning-fast AMD chip
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    Cheaper than i7 lineup
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    Faster than the IIX4 840 in all tasks
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    Socket AM2+ compatible
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    Makes overclocking a breeze

    Cons

  • Guzzles more power than the Phenom IIX4 840

9. AMD 4 GHz FX-8370 Octa-Core Desktop Processor With Wraith Cooler, Black Edition FD8370FRHKKHBX

The native 8-core processor provides a multi-core performance beast for gaming, multitasking and high-end software. Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) improves parallelism engineered for scientific or 3D applications requiring heavy floating number-crunching. The FX-8370 offers a very energy-efficient TDP at 125W with two threads per module to give you eight cores for more powerful bursts of performance. But this should not get you to the edge of your seat yet as it works with branded motherboards. It also has a base clock of 4.0GHz but you can ramp it up to 4.3GHz.

It features a 32 nanometer die shrink engineered to decrease leakage for better efficiency, higher clock rate headroom and enhanced thermals. Even better, you get a Wraith Cooler without noise issues. To sweeten the deal, AMD has included thermal interface and an AMD-qualified heatsink designed for advanced cooling. If you want a CPU suited for noise sensitive environments such as a home office, then this processor meets your demands. AMD overdrive software included provides extremely configurable performance. It’s also based on revolutionary piledrive architecture technology.

At the end, FX-8370 gives you a decent option for a budget CPU build if you dread the price pinch of high-end models. It flexes its multi-core muscle whipping through gaming, media-editing and heavy software applications. It’s also super-safe to overclock and offers a workhorse for everyday use. Like its FX siblings, it will not perform excellently in single threading and gets instable above 4.6GHz. But you still attain staggering speeds and highly developed RAM management.

      Pros

  • Incredibly fast in multitasking
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    Effortless to overclock
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    Low power consumption
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    Advanced control of the RAM usage
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    Ideal for video conversions

    Cons

  • Not a perfect fit for a high-end gaming rig
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    Dismal single-threaded performance

10. AMD FX 4-Core Black Edition FX-4300 FD4300WMHKBOX

Lastly, we look at the FX-4300. It has dominated the entry level niche with unmatched single-threaded performance sparking a showdown with Intel chipsets. In addition to its lightning-fast single-core trump card, it costs less than other quad-core CPUs out there. It has been an aggressive competitor of the Athlon x4 950 and more pricey Intel Pentium g4560.

However, the FX-4300 lags behind the FX-8300 when subjected to multi-threaded applications. It’s nowhere near expensive versions in performance for all types of programs. At the coalface, this CPU matches the Pentium g4560 but outclasses the Athlon x4 950.

The flagpole feature magnetizing gamers and techies is the DDR3 rather than the DDR4 found in its nemesis. In the same breath, lots of folks possess old DDR3 in their previous systems. If you own an AM3+ compatible motherboard and RAM, this gives higher value for every penny spent. Even without a compatible motherboard or RAM, buying it doesn’t break the bank like an AM4 and LGA 1151 board with premium DDR4 RAM. It comes with four solid cores and four threads. The base frequency clocks in at 3.8GHz with a turbo boost of 4.0GHz. The TDP label reads 95W making it power-friendly.

On the whole, the CPU will work like a stink with most games or everyday office applications. If you tax all available cores, it falls prey to freezing and instability. It also runs at snail’s pace when handling video editing or graphic design. You will install and set it up in a trice. What has pulled the FX-4300 back is its high power consumption when stacked up against its Intel rivals. Thankfully, it costs less than Intel’s quad core alternatives.

      Pros

  • Better single-threaded performance
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    Ultra-affordable
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    Painless installation
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    3.8GHz stock speed and 4.0GHz turbo boost
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    Four cores and four threads

    Cons

  • Slow in a lot of applications

The AM3+platform still continue to command a vast and growing fan base while the glut in the market has slashed prices. Plethora AM3 motherboards and DDR3 RAM make it a lucrative investment. The market deluge of DDR3 makes it easy picking against more expensive DDR4. Armed with graphics card and RAM, the best AM3+CPUs create a more robust system. They also dwarf the Ryzen 3 processors in gaming tasks and productivity work. They fire up optimal performance at cheap twice the price while mating widely available RAMs and motherboard. Bear in mind the AM3+ platform does not support most of the latest technologies which may ruin your potential build and add costs.  

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