I've experienced many processors from AMD, since 1998, such as AMD K6 (II) series, Athlon (K7), Athlon 64 (K8), Athlon 64 X2 (K8), Athlon 7750 (10h), Athlon II, APU (10.5h), APU (Bulldozers), maybe I would love to experience the future ZEN based processors. AMD processors are moderate, not that excellent but most favourable and acceptable. I've also experienced x86 processors from other vendors, such as Intel and VIA. I have to say the most adaptive and friendly processors are the ones designed for AM3 socket, based on AMD 10h/10.5h microarchitecture. They are beyond moderate, and to some extends, I could use word, excellent, to make such description. For those processors, they could work without problems on AM2+, AM3 and AM3+ motherboards, and for some ancient AM2 motherboards, they could also work with or without patches to the firmware. So they gain lots of support of different chipsets, and even lengthen their lives even longer than the days the manufactures would never dare to expect. As I know chipsets from the vendors list below are possible to support such processors,
VIA, the unforgettable chipset hero once when I was a high school student, I fell in love with their products once...
SiS, another Taiwanese based chipset vendor, written into history
ALi, Taiwanese based, later spun off and formed ULi. The one chip design (integrated north bridge and south bridge into one chip) style could be traced from NVidia products, such as Geforce 8200 chipset for AM2+ processors.
NVidia, their nForce chipset almost took up my days in high school dreaming and guessing how the Athlon based computer is different from Pentium III based.
ATi, I never used such chipsets before acquired by AMD.
ULi, Taiwanese based, spun off from ALi, single chip design.
AMD, they designed their own chipsets for AMD64 processor, without needing third-party south bridge, once found borrowed from VIA.
NVidia (acquired ULi), traditional NVidia chipsets were separated north bridge and south bridge chipset. After acquiring ULi, some NVidia chipsets adopt single chip design. The NVidia GeForce 8200/8300 and nforce 720a/730a are the only GPU integrated chipsets support OpenCL for AMD processors.
AMD (acquired ATi), they succeeded and phased-out all chipsets from other vendors, and end that period when cooperating for core system design. Their RS9xx series are the last chipsets support AM3 processors. After that, AMD APU rewrites another story.
Is there any other kind of processor would gain the supports from 9 different vendors? Never! After AMD acquired ATi, at very short period, AMD also provided support for Intel processors! But Intel never provided any support for AMD processors after they dropped Socket 7 and released SLOT1. The microarchitecture of AM3 processor is very similar with the AMD Athlon (K7) processor, moderate design. Their performance is not that strong as core microarchitecture from Intel, but its innovate serialised Front Side Bus, Hyper Transport, did really charm and puzzle me too a lot when I was twenty something. The integrated memory controllers, xBar, L3 cache also make those processor even more mysterious when I was in love with them. 48-bit physical space addressing capabilities also open up the road to the real 64-bit computing. I have to say that I love processors from AMD.