CPU socket

What is CPU socket?
A CPU socket is a single connector between a microprocessor and a motherboard. A CPU socket is a separate bracket that is only used for the CPU on the motherboard to ensure correct switching of the chip. It makes CPU access easier and prevents damage when a unit is inserted or removed. A CPU socket also has a lock to prevent CPU movement and its design helps secure the placement of the heat sink over the CPU.

Most personal computers and a wide variety of server systems have CPU sockets. Some laptops and certain types of servers do not use a CPU socket but use an entirely different style of processor. In general, CPU socket platforms are coded for correct insertion. A CPU socket is also known as a CPU slot.

Modern CPU sockets and processors are based on a pin grid array (PGA) architecture. PGA is a type of package used for an integrated circuit (IC), such as a microprocessor. It's basically a square with pins organized underneath the package. The pins are spaced approximately 0.1 inch (2.54 mm) apart to cover part or all of the bottom of the package.

Shaped like a square or rectangle, a CPU socket is made of durable and heat-resistant plastic and metal contacts for pins or bars, in addition to a metal latch or lever. Hundreds of tiny holes cover the surface of the plastic case, and the plastic color is usually light brown or burgundy, depending on the manufacturer.

Chips with a high number of pin-outs often use land grid array (LGA) or zero-insertion force (ZIF) sockets. LGA sockets apply a fixed force with a surface plate, and ZIF sockets apply a compression force with a handle. Each method ensures that the pins will not be damaged or broken as you insert them.

A CPU socket is specially designed for a specific CPU and is usually not interchangeable with other types of processors. In many cases, manufacturers classify sockets into groups. A socket can be identified on its side with a three to five-digit ID number. The ID number ensures that the CPU is using the correct CPU socket.

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