In This Article
What is CPU Socket?
A CPU socket, also known as a CPU slot or processor socket, is a component on the motherboard of a computer that serves as a mechanical and electrical interface between the central processing unit (CPU) and the motherboard.
The CPU socket allows the CPU to communicate with other components in the computer, such as memory and storage devices, and provides a connection point for the CPU to receive power.
Different types of CPUs require different socket types, and compatibility between the CPU and socket must be ensured for proper operation. The physical design and number of pins on the CPU socket vary depending on the CPU and motherboard specifications.
- A CPU socket holds and connects the CPU with the motherboard and allows replacing it when required. It allows both mechanical and electrical connection.
- Land Grid Array and Pin Grid Array sockets are mainly used today with Ball Grid Array sockets used very rarely. Zero Insertion Force sockets are also used for CPUs that come with several pins.
- CPU sockets can last as long as the motherboard if the processor is not changed frequently and carelessly to damage the connectors.
Understanding CPU Socket
One of the major components in a motherboard of a PC is the CPU socket.
This component is very common on desktops. It is very hard to find in a laptop.
The processors in most of the laptop are soldered and they are not easily replaceable for the absence of this CPU socket.
The processors of such motherboards which come with the CPU socket can easily be replaceable or updatable.
One can easily find this CPU socket in every updateable and assembled desktop.
Intel and AMD, the two major processor manufacturing companies, have been using CPU sockets since 1970 and they have developed the CPU socket very much.
A CPU socket is a mechanical component made of a series of pins; it is the part which connects the PCBs and the microprocessors through various mechanical and electrical connections.
This CPU socket connects the processor with the rest of the components of the computer. Indirectly we can say that this is an electrical holder of a microprocessor.
With the help of it, the users can replace the processor of a PC, without soldering.
Most of the processors come with retention clips, which can be opened by putting a little force.
It helps the processors to stay in the perfect position.
Types of CPU Sockets
Land Grid Array (LGA) and Pin Grid Array (PGA) are very common in desktop computers.
Both of them use compression force to provide a great mechanical contact between the motherboard and the processor.
It also protects the pins of the socket from getting damaged, while replacing the processor.
Zero insertion force (ZIF) sockets are very commonly used in such processors which have many pins.
Ball Grid Array sockets are very rarely used nowadays. This type of sockets need soldering and the replacing process of the processors are quite complicated in it.
Lifespan of a Socket
If a user doesn’t change the processor of his PC frequently, then the CPU socket has a very rare chance to get damaged.
In this case the lifespan of a CPU processor is the same as the motherboard. As long as the motherboard can serve, the CPU socket can perform smoothly.
If in any case, the socket gets damaged or the pins get damaged then the user has to change it.
So, for a longer life of CPU socket it is better to be cautious while changing the processor of any computer.
How Does It Work?
Most of the CPU sockets are made of plastic. Latch or lever is very common in it.
After inserting the processor in the socket, the user has to lock the place with the help of the lever or with the latch.
This ensures an intact mechanical connection between the processor and the motherboard.
One has to be very cautious while placing the processor in the CPU sockets and should try not to damage any pins.
Popular CPU Sockets of Intel and AMD
As we mentioned earlier in the article AMD and Intel are the two major companies leading the market of processors. Both of them used updated sockets, which are capable of updated chipset and processors. Here is the name of 10 CPU sockets which we will easily find on any desktop.
- LGA 1151
This socket is used by Intel. It is commonly used with 8th Gen Core, 9th Gen Core processors. This processor is compatible with Q370, B360, Z390, Z370, Z370, H370, B365, H310 chipsets.
- LGA 1200
This LGA 1200 socket is also used by Intel. This socket is usually used with 10th Gen Core processors. Z490, H470, B460, H410 are the compatible chipsets of this socket.
This socket is also used with 10th Gen Core processors and it is compatible with X299 chipset.
- Socket G1 / rPGA988A
It was introduced by Intel in 2008. It can be used with Intel Core i7 (600, 700, 800, 900 series), Intel Celeron (P4000 series), Intel Core i5 (400, 500 series), Intel Pentium (P6000 series), Intel Core i3 (300 series) processors. 988 pins are present in this socket.
This is a CPU socket, most commonly used by AMD. This socket can be used with Ryzen 1000, 2000 and 3000 processors. It is compatible with X470, B550, A300, X370, B450, A320, B350, X300, X570, chipsets.
One can find this sTRX4 socket in the products of AMD. One can find this socket where the Ryzen Threadripper 3000 processor is used. It is compatible with TRX40 chipset.
Questions & Answers:
How do you know what CPU socket your motherboard has?
To know the name or type of the CPU socket that is present in a computer, one has to use specific software on that system, named CPU-Z.
After installing this software, one can easily find the name of the CPU socket in the ‘Package’ section of ‘CPU’ tab.
What is the function of a CPU socket?
The main motto of the CPU socket is to connect the processor with the rest of the peripherals of a PC.
It also acts as a holder of the processor. The brief answer to this question is discussed above under the subtitle, ‘How Does It Work’.
Is a socket a CPU?
A socket is a mechanical holder of a CPU. It is not the CPU or processor. It helps the processor to stay connected with the rest of the PC.
It also plays a crucial role in processor up-gradation or replacement process.
How many sockets can a CPU have?
Normally a motherboard contains a single CPU socket. But, in the case of server computers, it is exceptional. A server computer has to maintain huge data. So, they have to be more efficient and powerful.
The motherboards of server computers are specially made. There may be two slots present in a motherboard. For a very large server, two motherboards can be used and each of them may have two CPU sockets.
So, in the case of servers, the number of processors or the number of CPU sockets are totally dependent upon the amount of data.
Does CPU socket type matter?
Yes, a CPU socket supports a specific type of processor, of a specific range. If any processor doesn’t match the range, then there is a high chance of completely collapsing the whole system.
Can a CPU socket be replaced?
Yes, the CPU socket is replaceable. But, it is a complicated process. So, it is better to be done by an experienced technician. If any mishap happened then the motherboard will suffer.
A CPU socket is a component on a computer’s motherboard that serves as an interface between the CPU and the motherboard.
It enables the CPU to communicate with other components in the computer, such as memory and storage devices, and provides a connection point for the CPU to receive power.
Different CPUs require different socket types, and compatibility between the CPU and socket must be ensured for proper operation.
CPU sockets come in different types, such as Land Grid Array, Pin Grid Array, Zero Insertion Force, and Ball Grid Array.
The lifespan of a CPU socket is determined by how often the processor is changed, as frequent changes may damage the socket.
It is important to be cautious when changing the processor to ensure the socket’s longevity. Popular CPU sockets include LGA 1151, LGA 1200, LGA 2066 for Intel, and AM4 and sTRX4 for AMD.