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How to Select an Socket AM3 Processor

The AM3 term refers to a CPU socket type for an AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) processor, and these are meant to support varied types of memory (such as DDR3) as well as help to power your computer efficiently. These components fit into your motherboard and can give your computer a power boost when you add the AM3 or help you build your own computer from the ground up.

What Are Some Types of These Processors?

The type that you select depends on several factors. The AMD brand offers several lines of its processors, and you may want to select one based on considerations like speed or features.

  • Athlon processors offer multi-core performance and allow you to multitask with efficiency and speed. This line of Athlon II processors uses ATI Radeon HD graphics for seamless, smooth images and glitch-free applications. Made for media, the Athlon AM3 series is quiet and stays cool while using less energy.
  • Another series to consider is the Phenom processor line. These processors deliver up to 3.4Ghz to boost your chipset with a quad-core design and a processor meant for gaming, media viewing, and music, with many features that focus on entertainment. ATI Radeon graphics deliver rich colors and smooth gaming when you install the Phenom processor. 
  • The Ryzen 3 processor series is another option to consider. It includes four cores for increased performance as well as speed and responsiveness. It can upgrade your chipset and create a much more efficient, task-oriented machine.

What Do Bus Speed, Cores, and Clock Speed Mean?

Shopping for a socket AM3 means making decisions based on terms you may not be too familiar with, which includes bus speed and clock speed.

  • The bus speed is the time it takes for the processor to communicate with the motherboard, and if you're using applications that are memory-heavy, a higher bus speed can be helpful. Bus speed can affect how fast the processor works, with these speeds varying from double to triple digits and being measured in GHz. 
  • The clock speed sets the tempo for the processor; thus, the faster the clock is, the more the CPU can take on. You'll see clock speeds expressed in either GHz or MHz. 
  • Does it matter how many cores you choose? You'll see models that range from two to four to even six or eight cores, so what's the difference? You'll only need multiple cores for heavy-duty applications such as gaming, video editing, or multimedia software. Otherwise, two or four cores should be plenty.

What Models Can I Choose?

There are several models in each series to consider.

  • The AM3 socket FX 6-core Black Edition has an L2 cache of 6144 and a wattage of 125.
  • The Ryzen 7 1700X 8-core model offers 3.4 GHz of power for your desktop computer.
  • You can select the AMD Phenom II X4 965 for a 3.4 GHz model with 125 watts.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by AMD.

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