Upgrade to PICkit3 or ICD3

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 8, 2011
Hello everybody,

My IDC2 seems to be out-dated when i am going to update to MPLABX. Which one is better for me to purchase; PICKit3 and ICD3? What's the meaning for PICkit3 information page's warning that it is not a programmer for production use, i sometimes use debugger to program for only a dozen MCUs during initial production.

I have middle to low level microcontroller knowledge and won't use much debugging functions in high end debugger.



Joined Apr 24, 2011
I've set up a few PM3 production programmers in my time. These go for $900 USD and must actually be a source of income to Microchip.

A "production programmer" does some more checking when programming and verifying each device programmed, AFAIK this is checking the memory at the extremes of power supply voltage.

I have the ICD3 and the PICkit 2 and the 3. My favorite is actually the PICkit 2 as it has an excellent stand-along application program where you can check the pins and voltages.

I don't see much difference between the ICD3 and the PICkit 3 besides price. They both seem to do the same job.

Final answer: if I was just going to buy one device it would be the PICkit 3 hands down.