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I'm reading that "AMD Socket AM2+ motherboards are compatible with Socket AM3 based chips". But even the AM2+ Wikipedia article doesn't currently explain more than that.

As with AM2+ chips being 'backward compatible', but lacking in some features if placed in an AM2 board, are there similarities when putting an AM3 based chip in an AM2+ board?

What should I know?

(And, should I go ahead and get a more expensive AM3 board, rather than pinch pennies on a 'compatible' board?)

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It all depends on the motherboard and which processors it claims to support. I personaly would go with AM3 due to the support for DDR3 and future compatibility. AM2/AM2+ only support DDR2 chipsets. Any AM2+ socket is going to be dependant on the motherboard manufactor releasing a BIOS update for their products, which can be hit and miss depending on the quality of the motherboard.

If your looking for a deal though, you might find a good price on an am2+ board as it is the last gen technology. Newegg and reputable sites post lots of technical details so you can make sure you buy a compatible processor.

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So one thing for sure is that the AM2+ boards don't support the new DDR3 RAM. That's definitely something I want, for 'future-proofing' for some upgrades. –  anonymous coward Jul 31 '09 at 20:36

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