Pin Grid Array (PGA)

What is Pin Grid Array (PGA)?

Pin Grid Array, or PGA, refers to the chip with the connecting pins located at the bottom. Just as the name suggests, the holes in a PGA are arranged in a grid-like pattern. Typically, the pins on this structure are no more than 2.54 mm apart.

The arrangement resembles a network of vertical and horizontal lines that are equally spaced out and cross each other. Ideally, this particular framework gives the PGA socket its square or rectangular structural format.

Understanding PGA (Pin Grid Array)

Understanding PGA (Pin Grid Array)

A Pin Grid Array Integrated Circuit packaging is the standard that’s used in most second-generation through fifth-generation CPUs and it debuted with the Intel 80286 microprocessor.

These packages are either square or rectangular in shape. The pins on a PGA are usually arranged in a regular format.

PGAs are usually inserted on a PCB or Printed Circuit Board through a socket. Occasionally, it may also be mounted on the PCB using the through-hole method.

As opposed to the Dual In-line Pins, the PGAs support data buses with a larger width and are therefore more preferred. They can handle the desired number of connections in a much better way.

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Perhaps the most significant reason to prefer PGA over DIP is the larger number of pins available on the package.

This serves the purpose of the newer processors that come with wider data buses and address buses.

What is more, PGA is relatively cheaper in comparison to Ball Grid Array or BGA and other grid arrays.

There are different variations of Pin Grid Arrays, such as:

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However, in terms of the reliability of the pin connections of the Pin Grid Array, there are some questions about it due to the specific limitations on thermal capabilities, in particular.

How Do You Install a PGA CPU?

In order to install a PGA CPU that comes with a Zero Insertion Force socket, you will first need to make sure that, if it comes with a lever, it is in the opposing position, to start with, and then place the processor onto the socket and put the level back into position.

As simple as it may sound, there are a few things to keep in mind and a specific process to follow. Here they are all for you, from start to finish.

Once everything is snapped into place, connect the keyboard, mouse, and power cables. Turn on the computer and check whether it boots.

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Can a PGA Processor be Upgraded?

Yes, you can upgrade a PGA, provided the motherboard allows it in the first place.

If it does, then you can upgrade it with a Core i5 or Core i7 PGA processor that has the same TDP and the same socket as before.

However, if your motherboard has a BGA chip, then such an upgrade is not possible because it will be soldered onto the board.

You will have to replace the entire motherboard for an upgrade.

Questions & Answers:

Is AMD an LGA or PGA?

The short answer to this question is that it depends on the particular type of AMD processor in question.

However, normally, most of the mainstream AMD Ryzen CPUs are PGA processors, but the Thread Ripper or the HEDT or High End Desktop Computer processor lineup is usually LGA or Land Grid Array

Does Intel Use PGA?

No, typically, most modern Intel processors are LGA. They are compatible with an LGA socket, while the AMD CPUs are PGA.

Do PGA Sockets Give Better Contact than LGA?

Yes, the PGA sockets provide much better contact in comparison to an LGA socket. However, the limitations in the thermal capabilities of the PGAs make their electrical capabilities a bit less reliable.


So, coming to the end of the article, you must have gained a fair amount of idea about Pin Grid Array, which beats its counterpart, the Land Grid Array in quite a few aspects.

The PGA sockets offer much better contact and are available in a wide range of variations, though sadly, most Intel processors use an LGA socket.