Need a new AM2 processor? Then look no further. We tried and tested some of the best AM2 CPUs on the market and found that the AMD HDZ940XCGIBOX Phenom II X4 940 offers the top-grade performance.
However, while all AM2s will fit into the socket, support from the motherboard depends on the system you have in place, so it gets harder to determine the right AM2 CPU for your processor. There are many things to consider to ensure you have the capabilities compatible with the CPU.
What Is the Best AM2 Processor?
Extensive research has gone into comparing processors and their specifications. We’ve seen people obsess over the minutest details and lose focus on what matters. You simply can’t rush the selection of the right processor for your needs.
We’ve saved you the trouble and tested the best AM2 CPUs users have been raving about, so you can get a quick rundown comparison of the best on the market.
|Superior Value—AMD HDZ940XCGIBOX Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition||
|AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.1GHz 2x512KB Socket AM2 Dual-Core CPU||
|Best Processor For Gaming—AMD Athlon II X4 640||
|AMD Athlon II X2 240||
|AMD COOLCORE technology reduces power consumption||Unique compatibility requirements might be hard to match|
|Quad-core technology offers multitasking capabilities|
|Reduces memory delays and increases bandwidth|
|3.0 technology reduces noise levels|
There are many AM2 processors out there, but few compare to the superb functionality of the AMD HDZ940XCGIBOX Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition. It offers a larger L3 Cache to manage heavy processing loads (larger than most CPUs) and has a bus speed of 3.6 gigs and a bandwidth of 17.1GB/s, which is pretty good.
What makes this processor a popular option is AMD’s unique CoolCore technology, which lets you shut down idle components so they can cool off. This means you can expect little to no overheating from this AM2 processor, which I have personally come to expect from AMD processors.
However, I’d recommend that serious gamers get a heavy-duty aftermarket cooler so the Phenom doesn’t lag with extra load. One of the best parts of Phenom II X4 940 is that it comes with a memory controller, so you don’t have to use an external controller in the North Bridge.
It’s also a decent buy if you consider that AMD recently moved to a 45nm process, which works wonders to reduce power consumption and overheating. That’s a sweet deal if you ask me.
Installation is also easy and quick. You can just drop it into an AM2+ motherboard (MOBO), and a BIOS update will help you get it to work. With up to 6MB of memory (shared by all four cores), I think the Phenom II X4 940 is a great option to consider.
This is a good AM2 CPU, especially if you plan to use it in the home and even at work. The graphics on this processor are a sight for sore eyes
|Amazing graphics||Minimal headroom|
|Fast||Hard to integrate with BIOS updates|
|Great value for the price|
|Easy to upgrade to existing motherboards|
It’s pretty common for AM2 processors to have similar features. However, the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000 is one of the best AM2 CPUs out there, and we stand by it. The overclocking is locked in at 3.0GHz and it offers multiplier functionality, so brownie points for that.
Does that make it the perfect AM2 for your system? The short answer is no. Unlike some other CPUs on the market, this AM2 socket only allows one MB L2 cache per core and a 200MHz speed bump. However, it’s incredibly efficient and is easy to upgrade to your current motherboards, which is pretty good because it doesn’t require a BIOS upgrade.
If you have cooling fans, then you should get this AM2 CPU, because the high overclocking speed makes it overheat easily. If you can upgrade to a new motherboard, then frequent upgrades aren’t going to be a problem for you. If not, I’d suggest you choose some of the other options on this list.
What makes it a formidable choice is that this AM2 processor has really high memory (and literally no lagging) because it has a very strong memory controller.
I was pleased to find that this CPU performs really well, even though it’s a pretty old model.
This is a good option because it improves your system performance and ensures smooth operation. However, if your MOBO has lots of BIOS updates, I’d recommend you continue looking around.
|Speed enhancing capabilities||Some buyers complain about poor packaging|
|Virtualization support||Not L3 cache|
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of League of Legends or really good at Overwatch, the AMD Athlon II X4 640 is an excellent choice as it’s the best processor for gaming. It is a quad-core CPU, which makes it perfect for multi-threaded performance because your games don’t lag.
Is it the best on the market? That’s still up for debate. However, it offers great performance at a low price, and that’s all I ever look for in an AM2 processor. The stock heat sink also helps to cool the processor down and it makes no noise at all!
Interestingly, we found that a lot of gamers like this processor because it allows you to view multi-screen HD graphics (when you add a graphics card), and some even find it works really well for audio editing. I compliment this CPU’s compact design, which has just enough space for a fan.
The answer is yes, it does allow hardware virtualization, which means a great deal when you want to boost the performance of your virtual machines.
While it’s really good for performance, this processor doesn’t have any new features that are different from others on the market. This is to be expected, however, because of how cheap it is.
It’s one of the best AM2 CPUs on this list. If you want to multitask or need to download large files on-the-go, definitely check it out.
|Low heat output||The memory controller is a downgrade compared to other processors|
|Stellar stock overclocking|
|Great value for money|
Even though it’s an older model, the AMD Athlon II X2 240 is a favorite for users who are working within a budget and still want stock overclocking.
It works at 2.8 GHz frequency and a 1.425 V stock voltage, which means it has very reliable performance and consumes less energy. It also boasts strong technology support which any user would want from a processor.
I definitely love the new features in this AMD processor because I only see options like NX bit, 3DNow!, and Cool’n’Quiet in more expensive models.
While the memory controller is a downgrade, it’s pretty easy to navigate if you manually configure the memory to work up to 1600 MHz. Need an update? No worries! You can use the processor on older platforms and still use the MOBO you have right now.
Since it’s the cheapest option on the list, I don’t mind that it packs in less speed and functionality than other CPUs. I’d work my way up to trying a few other options, but if you’re not the type to wait, it’s a good CPU for the price.
What to Consider Before Buying the Best AM2 CPU for You?
With so many products to choose from, it’s no wonder people get lost in research when they’re trying to buy a CPU. Many factors go into finding the right AM2 CPU for your system, so you must view every option on the market before you make a choice. No matter what, you should consider the following:
1) The Market Situation
Buying a processor means picking a CPU that offers the best performance or one that provides the best value for its price. If the market is preparing for a processor claiming to be the fastest, you can easily chip in for slightly older processors at a fraction of their former price.
Ultimately, this is a matter of personal preferences and budget limitations. If you can afford a newer model, go for it—which brings us to our next point.
Generally, working on a budget is only a matter of finding the right processor. Older versions can (and often do) offer the same value for a lower cost, so you don’t always have to go with the latest and greatest product to get the best AM2 CPU.
3) Features and Performance
While some AM2 processors have stark differences, most offer similar features with minor variations. This is why you should know what you’re looking for before you set out to buy one.
For example, maybe you need to secure higher performance power. Here, an AM2 processor which has a lot of new features but does focus a lot on performance should be your first choice.
If you have a small build system, installing a big processor is a poor decision, because they overheat easily and also heat the components around them. This means you will need additional cooling to keep temperatures in check.
You can do this by checking the Thermal Design Power (TDP) wattage of your CPU and match this to the TDP of your cooler. Additionally, intake fans will protect system components against dust and exhaust heat.
5) Motherboard Compatibility
Like I mentioned earlier, not all AM2 sockets are compatible with all motherboards. You need to consider this so that you know the processor you buy is compatible with the AM2+ socket. A little research here will save you much time in getting the best AM2 CPU.
6) Clock Speed
Clock speed is the rate at which your microprocessor executes the CPU’s instructions. In this case, a high clock speed equals speed, and vice versa. You need to factor this into your purchase before you single out an AM2 for your system.
For gamers, a clock speed of 4.0 GHz should offer you enough functionality for heavy-duty gaming.
All in all, the right AM2 processor can do wonders to boost the speed and efficiency of your system. The processor you invest in will differ depending on your use for it.
If you’re a gamer, a quad-core CPU is your best choice. Do you need something to speed up the system at home? An older dual-core model is the way to go! Ultimately, you’ll want to find the best CPU that fits into your budget and keeps the system components performing their best.
I hope this AM2 processors list helps you make better choices in buying the best AM2 CPU.
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