Do you know what socket type is soldered to the motherboard, along with the CPU? I know your answer is no, because if you were already aware, then you must not have come to read this article? But it is ok, my dear friend, you have arrived at the right place. To begin with, the primary function of a CPU socket is to ensure correct circuit chip insertion. The CPU socket is the single connector between a microprocessor and motherboard through which the CPU talks to the motherboard. I will talk in detail about CPU sockets later but let me explain first what socket type is soldered to the motherboard, along with the CPU?
Know what socket type is soldered to the motherboard, along with the CPU
Let us start with different types of CPU sockets one by one.
Sockets having either Ball or Pin
1. BGA Sockets
BGA means “Ball Grid Array.” When your motherboard is soldered to a BGA socket, that means the socket is permanently attached to the motherboard during production was done. Ball grid array (BGA) sockets are welded in the motherboard of notepads and PCs, where CPU chips don’t have pins. BGA socket makes upgrades impossible.
Technically BGA socket is not a socket because it is a permanent motherboard feature. BGA sockets can not be replaced, whereas PGA sockets and LGA sockets can be easily replaced. It is worth mentioning here, BGA configured motherboards are potentially less costly. And when we talk about efficiency or function, BGA sockets are equally good as PGA or LGA sockets.
2. PGA Sockets
PGA means “Pin Grid Array.” In PGA, the contact pins that connect the socket to the motherboard are on the CPU, while the socket has the holes to hold that pin. Pin grid array is also known as zero insertion force socket, which means CPU without any pressure will drop in. This arrangement helps in better durability of motherboard. PGA sockets are mainly used by AMD now.
3. LGA Sockets
LGA means “Land Grid Array.” The position of contact pins in LGA sockets is reversed as in the case of PGA sockets. In the case of LGA sockets, contact pins are on the socket itself. And in place of holes, there is an equal number of contact pads as pins on the CPU to connect by soldering. LGA pins are smaller in size as compared to PGA pins, making them space-efficient. Intel mainly uses LGA sockets.
ZIF means “Zero Insertion Force.” ZIF sockets need very little force for insertion; that’s why they named zero insertion force sockets. These sockets are generally more expensive than standard IC sockets. After placing a ZIF socket, you need to rotate a lever that locks the CPU in place. And when you want to replace the socket, you need to turn the lever to the other side and lift out the socket.
ZIF sockets work on the lever mechanism, so they need a larger board area for their insertion. These are used only when there is an excellent reason to use them, as they are expensive and require a larger motherboard’s space. During development, ZIF sockets can be used for BGA chips. In programming and chip-testing equipment like microcontrollers, you can find smaller ZIF sockets.
What is a CPU Socket?
Have you ever seen a bulb socket? Yes, I am talking about the socket holder where you fit a bulb. What does a light socket do? The answer is simple, it connects the bulb to the electric circuit, helping it get the amount of energy to light up.
In the same way, a CPU socket connects your CPU to the computer, making it a part of the system. CPU socket lets the CPU communicate with the rest of your hardware. CPU Socket is an important component of motherboards like CPU Fans and CPU chips. If you plan to build a new system, you must have a basic idea about different CPU sockets.
In simple words, a CPU socket is like a connector attached to the motherboard, with the help of which the CPU gets the ability to communicate to each component of the motherboard. And as you already know, what socket type is soldered to the motherboard, along with the CPU. It will be easy to choose a CPU socket as per your requirements.
How can you determine the Socket type of your CPU based on pin numbers and arrangements?
Do you know, CPU sockets differ in the number of pins that they hold? If your processor is 775-pin, then you need a socket that is also 775-pin. That means you can’t attach a CPU chip having lesser pins to a CPU socket having more pins. There are two leading manufacturers of CPU sockets, one is Intel, and the other is AMD. It is effortless to find the number of pins and the type of arrangement of pins in Intel CPU Sockets. Let us have a quick view of both types of sockets.
1. Intel Sockets
Have you ever noticed the numbers associated with Intel CPU sockets? What do they mean? The numbers written on the Intel sockets are the number of pins that the socket is having. For example- Intel LGA 775 has 775 pins associated with the Land Grid Array socket. Similarly, Intel LGA 1366 is having 1366 pins.
2. AMD Sockets
Unlike Intel sockets, AMD sockets don’t use numbers to differentiate between the different models of the socket. AMD CPU Sockets are PGA (Pin Grid Array) sockets and also ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) based. For example- AM3 is a 940 pin PGA socket.
Difference between LGA and PGA sockets
So, now you know what socket type is soldered to the motherboard, along with the CPU? Then you must be wondering about which socket type is best, either PGA or LGA; which one is better? The answer is both are equally good. There are advantages of choosing both kinds of sockets.
Advantages of choosing LGA socket
- The CPU is more durable– Yes, because there are no fragile pins, so chances of damage are less for the Central processing unit.
- LGA sockets are space-efficient- Due to the smaller size LGA pins, more pins can accommodate the same amount of space. So LGA sockets acquire less space.
Advantages of choosing PGA socket
- The Motherboard is more durable– When the motherboard has a PGA socket, it can hardly get damaged by CPU misalignment.
- Better repairability of pins– When your motherboard has PGA pins, it will be easier to repair bent pins. Bent pins on a PGA motherboard can be much easily fixed as compared to an LGA processor.
So, you have seen both LGA, and PGA sockets have their advantages. You can choose accordingly what suits you better- a durable motherboard or a durable CPU.
Now I hope you are clear with what socket type is soldered to the motherboard, along with the CPU? And as you have now known, the fact that LGA and PGA sockets both are equally good. We can’t be precise about the better efficiency of any one of the sockets. So, I will advise you to choose according to your needs.