TOP 8 Best AM3+ CPUs 2020: Reviews and Buying Guide

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AMD always has a special place in the heart of many computer enthusiasts. While much smaller than its competitor – Intel, it has managed to put out generation after generation of great CPUs. And the AM3+ series is another great example of this Californian company.

Like previous architectures, choosing the best AM3+ CPU for your system is not exactly a breeze. If you’re on the fence about which model to go for, have a look at these specific CPUs below, which we believe are the most notable offers AMD is having right now.

See also:

Best AM3+ CPUs

1. AMD FX-8350 – Top Pick

AMD FX-8350

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Specifications:

  • Clockspeed: 4.0 GHz (base), 4.2 GHz (Turbo)
  • Cores: 8 (in 4 physical modules)
  • Cache: 8/8 MB
  • Power: 125 W

When the first generation of Bulldozer CPUs from AMD came out, many fans got thrilled and took notice. But the results were disappointing. They couldn’t keep up with the Sandy Bridge chips from Intel, even with the high-end models.

But with a wave of new CPUs that includes the FX-8350, AMD finally has something to offer.

Great performance at a good price has always been the core value of AMD CPUs, and the FX-8530 is not an exception. If you can find a decent motherboard for it, the system you get can outperform a typical Core i5 setup while spending less. This gives you plenty of money left in your budget to invest in a good graphics card.
This Piledriver upgrade has few differences compared to the Bulldozer architecture. AMD combines two cores in each module. They share lower silicon components such as fetch and decode parts, level-2 cache, and the integer pipelines.

But by saying this, we don’t mean it provides no additional performance. In fact, the FX-3580 shows its dominance in the multi-threading processing when all its 8 cores run at 4 GHz at the same time.
However, the single-threaded results still have a lot of room for improvements, which may affect your experience in many games.

Pros

  • Amazing multi-threaded performance
  • Cheaper than an Intel system with the same capability
  • Stable overclocking

Cons

  • Not a budget option
  • Average single-threaded performance
  • AMD FX-8320 – Alternative 8-Core Choice

2. AMD FX-8320

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Specifications:

  • Clockspeed: 3.5 GHz (base), 4.0 GHz (Turbo)
  • Cores: 8 (in 4 physical modules)
  • Cache: 8/8 MB
  • Power: 125 W

When you need a top-notch performance from an 8-core CPU while finding the FX-8350 a little over your budget, consider its little brother – AMD FX-8320. This is the cheapest offer when it comes to AMD’s eight-threaded chips.

At the default mode, the FX-8320 runs at 3.5 GHz, a slightly lower value compared to the FX-8350. But AMD gives you the ability to overclock it to 4.0 GHz when needed, so this should not be a big issue. In fact, many customers see this and the difference in price as a trade-off that they’d gladly take.

This is especially true if you’re owning a lower-end AM3+ chip and think that this is the time for an upgrade. While the FX-8320 can’t match the FX-8350 or its Intel competing model – Core i5-4570, it’s still a great alternative.

But keep in mind that this powerful chip still shares the same downsides of most FX CPUs. The single-thread performance still lags a bit behind, while the motherboards with Intel chipsets also provide more features like
PCIe 3.0 and USB 3.0 support.

Pros

  • Great upgrade for an existing AM3+ system
  • Cheaper than the FX-8350
  • Good multi-thread performance

Cons

  • Many compatible motherboards don’t support USB 3.0 or PCIe 3.0

3. AMD FX-9590 – Highest Speed

AMD FX-9590

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Specifications:

  • Clockspeed: 4.7 GHz (base), 5.0 GHz (Turbo)
  • Cores: 8
  • Cache: 8/8 MB
  • Power: 220W

We can’t honestly say a list of AMD FX series is complete if there is no FX-9590 in it. With a frequency that can be pushed to 5.0 GHz, this 8-core chip delivers the best performance available for any AM3+ motherboard.

Even though it has a huge leap in processing capability, the FX-9590 is still based on Piledriver. This is the same architecture that powers both FX-8350 and FX-8320.

Like other high-end FX CPUs, it’s fairly easy to overclock this chip. But you will need a complex, self-contained liquid cooling system to keep it running at the top speed in a stable fashion. Considering that 4.7 GHz is already an amazing frequency, overclocking is unnecessary for most users.

But even with that price and performance, the FX-9590 still can’t go head to head against top-notch Intel chips like the Core i7-4960X. And we haven’t even talked about the unbelievable 220W TDP, which may result in a huge electricity bill.

Pros

  • Top-notch clock speed
  • Perfect for heavy-duty applications
  • Can be overclocked to 5 GHz

Cons

  • Expensive
  • High TDP; need a liquid cooler when overclocking

4. AMD FX-6350 – Best Mid-range Choice

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Specifications:

  • Clockspeed: 3.9 GHz (base), 4.2 GHz (Turbo)
  • Cores: 6 (in 3 physical modules)
  • Cache: 6/8MB
  • Power: 125W

The FX-6350 is surely an interesting mid-range CPU choice. It has a bae frequency at 3.9GHz, which is almost equal to those of higher-end chips. But the main difference is that it has only 6 cores. But what does this mean for processing performance?

The great news is that, for most light applications, it’s hard to see any drops in performance compared to costlier CPUs.

AMD includes the “Wraith Cooler” – the heat sink fan that we usually find in high-end CPUs. It’s nice to have a great tool to dissipate the heat out of the box. This cooler is quieter and performs better than the noisy, smaller fans in the previous models.

However, this is still a mid-range chip, and we can’t expect any miracle from it. While it can beat, for example, the cheaper Core i3-6100 in some tests, the Intel CPU is clearly the winner in other areas.

Pros

  • Best performance for a 6-core CPU
  • Including a Wraith Cooler
  • Can be overclocked

Cons

  • Outdated architecture
  • Only comparable to cheaper Intel CPUs

5. AMD FX-6100 – Best Value For Money

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Specifications:

  • Clockspeed: 3.3 GHz
  • Cores: 6 (in 3 modules)
  • Cache: 6/8 MB
  • Power: 95 W

Even if the FX-6100 can’t give you the best performance among all AM3+ 6-core chips, what sets it apart is the value you get out of it at an amazing price.

We can attribute this to the radical approach that AMD takes to deal with SMT (simultaneous multithreading). It has incorporated a lot of technologies to put two cores into each physical module. The result is a 20% performance boost – a decent outcome for an inexpensive CPU.

Like other AMD FX chips, the multi-thread performance of the FX-6100 is the biggest selling point. While still lagging the 8-core chips, it’s enough for most mid-range systems.

But this is a wrong choice if you’re seeking an AM3+ CPU with overclocking capacity. Even when you switch a hidden setting in the BIOS to enable it, the performance gain is still small.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Decent multi-threading performance
  • Low TDP value

Cons

  • No overclocking capacity
  • AMD FX-8120 – Best for Overclocking

6. AMD FX-8120

AMD FX-8120

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Specifications:

  • Clockspeed: 3.1 GHz (base), 4.0 GHz (Turbo)
  • Cores: 8 (in 4 physical modules)
  • Power: 125W

If the FX-6100 above is a disappointment when it comes to overclocking, this 8-core chip will satisfy most enthusiasts.

The FX-8120 is the cutdown version of the more-powerful FX-8150. The main reason behind this design is to reduce the price while not compromising too much processing power. This puts the FX-8120 in the same range as the Intel Core i5-3450 and other Ivy Bridge CPUs.

This chip has 8 cores in 4 modules, in which each core has its own L1 cache while sharing the L2 cache with the other core in the same module. AMD claims that this approach helps tremendously in single-thread tasks.

And after various tests, we can say it’s totally true, at least when you overclock it. This process is easy to do: you can find a lot of tutorials on the Internet for this. If successful, it can give you a 20% performance increase. This massive boost is a godsend if you do a lot of multi-tasking or video-editing.

But on the other hand, it’s not a surprise when the FX-8120 produces a lot of heat in the overclocking mode given that the default TDP is already 125 W. You should give thought into a liquid cooling system as the included cooler is not that great either.

Pros

  • Less expensive than other high-end CPUs
  • Easy and safe to overclock

Cons

  • Old Bulldozer architecture
  • Need a good cooling system for overclocking

7. AMD FX-4300 – Best For Office Use

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Specifications:

  • Clockspeed: 3.8 GHz (base), 4.0 GHz (Turbo)
  • Cores: 4 (in 2 physical modules)
  • Cache: 4/4 MB
  • Power: 95 W

Not everyone is a gamer or computer enthusiast that always wants to push the system to its limit. There is still a lot of demand from business and office customers, who just want a just-work setup.

If this is the case, the FX-4300 is a great choice for you.

Based on the new Vishere architecture using 32nm technology, the FX-4300 is an inexpensive quad-core chip that has enough power for daily use.

From Microsoft Office or even some light gaming, the FX-4300 proves it’s a decent option. On top of that, you can even overclock this chip to the 4.0 GHz frequency. Normal office workers may not need it, but this ability is still nice to have, especially for casual gamers.

But at the end of the day, the FX-4300 is not a CPU that you would want to put heavy-duty applications like video editors on. And at the same price range, Intel also provides more attractive offers.

Pros

  • Okay performance for most office use
  • Can be overclocked

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy applications and games
  • Don’t provide a great value like the Intel counterparts

8. AMD Athlon II X4 620 – Best for Starters

AMD Athlon II X4 620

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Specifications:

  • Clockspeed: 2.6 GHz
  • Cores: 4
  • Cache: 2MB
  • Power: 95W

As a response to Lynnfield – the newest Intel architecture, AMD has decided not to cut down the price of the Phenom II. Instead, it introduces a new cheap quad-core CPU – the Athlon II X4 620.

The entire Athlon II X2 lineup is a great choice if you want to spend as little money as possible on a decent chip. It can be used for web browsing, music, and movies at home with no issue. Compared to the Intel Q8200, it has a competitive performance while costing 40% less.

While it doesn’t come with the overclocking ability or a high number of cores, the Athlon II X4 620 is no amateur when it comes to multi-thread processing. But in the file decompression and game benchmarks, this CPU really struggled a lot.

Overall, if gaming and business software are not your concerns, the Athlon II X4 620 is a great start for AM3+ motherboards. This is also one of the best AM3 CPUs for older motherboards. And anytime you want a more powerful chip, upgrading it should not be a problem.

Pros

  • Super cheap
  • Also compatible with AM3 motherboards
  • Enough processing power for simple applications

Cons

  • Not a gaming chip

How To Select Your Next AM3+ CPU

Your tech-savvy friend or salesperson at the hardware store may try to get you to focus on engineering jargon like clock speed, cache, or cores. While this is not a bad thing and actually necessary, you should put your intended use at the top of your considerations.

Like other CPU series, AM3+ chips are also separated into many performance classes, from light to heavy applications. A graphics designer, for example, should not buy a low-end chip, and vice versa.

This list below should clear some misunderstandings people usually have about CPUs and who should buy them.

Basic Use

You don’t need a 6-core CPU to open Facebook and watch Youtube at the same time. A decent basic chip like the AMD Athlon II X4 620 above can handle this with ease.

Even when your work involves some office software, there is still no need to go to a high-end CPU. The AMD FX-4300 is the best friend of any office workers: it’s cheap and runs fast enough while producing less heat.

Gaming

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This is where everything gets interesting, depending on what you play most often. Popular esports games like Description

League of Legends are actually lightweight and won’t put a burden on your system. But most AAA games, on the other hand, usually require the best AM3 processors.

You should check the system requirements of your game first, which will give a clearer idea about which CPU you should invest in.

Content Creators

Video making and live streaming is a booming business. While gaming is more about relaxing after a business at work, content creation can bring real followers and income.

Applications that video editors and streamers often use need more multi-tasking capacity than single-thread performance. You should at least get an 8-core AM3+ chip for this, which has amazing multi-thread processing power compared to Intel CPUs.

Final Words

As in tradition, AMD has separated its AM3+ chips into many segments that are tailored for different types of users. This makes the quest to find the best AM3+ CPU dependent mostly on your usage and budget.

If you still feel lost in this wide range of options, we recommend the FX-8350 as a place to start if your budget permits. AMD has squeezed some sweet performance into an 8-core CPU to handle even the most demanding applications, which can be boosted even more with the overclocking capacity.

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