Best AM3 Motherboards 2011 – 2012

For those who don’t know AM3 motherboards are used with AMD’s Phenom II series of processors/CPU.  AMD has recently mentioned that it had plans to release its new Bulldozer motherboard sometime in Late June of 2011 per  *Update 6/19/2011 – This looks like it may be somewhat delayed so we are waiting to hear additional information from AMD.

AM3+ Ready Motherboards

AMD had mentioned previously that for its Bulldozer CPU would not be compatible with its AM3 series of motherboards and only compatible with motherboards that have the AM3+ designation.  Asus has challenged this and said that many of their more recent motherboards would be compatible with the AMD Bulldozer including its motherboards from the 890FX and GX series.  On their AM3+ ready website they’ve listed the motherboards that would be compatible with the Bulldozer processors.  In summary most of the compatible motherboards are from the “8” series chipset.  You can upgrade these motherboards with a BIOS update (current 3012).  This appears to be the same for Gigabyte’s 8 series of processors as their website shows these to be “AM3 plus” ready as well.

Now is still a good time to purchase an AM3 motherboard because you can get a AM3 motherboard CPU combo at an extremely good discount.  Consider getting a 1090T X6 (six core performance) CPU alongside a Asus M4A785-M for around $280!  If you want to get one of the “AM3+ Ready” motherboards, then you could still expect to pay a very similar price depending on the specifications that you want.

AM3 Motherboard Options to Consider

If you want to stay with the most recent technology available, then consider getting a motherboard that is SATA version 3.0 (6Gb/s) compatible as well as one that is DDR3 and USB 3.0 compatible.

Here’s a table to help you do product comparisons.  You can support us by visiting the links below.

CPUFX 8320A few years old but the potential for overclocking and its 8 cores still make it a great value today.
Graphics CardMSI R9 380 2GD5TThe best performing graphics card in the $200 price range. Capable of running all modern 1080p games.
MotherboardGigabyte GTA-970A-D3PCheap with plenty of features and durable to boot. With this board you should also be able to do a light overclock.
Ram2x4 Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz Memory8GB of memory is enough for this build.
StorageWestern Digital 1TB
Power SupplyCorsair CX 600 Builder Power SupplyI recommend you go with an 80 Plus certified power supply with at least around 600 Watts for this build.
CaseThermaltake Versa H21A good value when its on sale for $35 but other options may be better at its retail price of $50.

If you didn’t find the motherboard you were looking for, then consider this review of the best AMD AM3 PC Motherboards for 2011.