How to Match Processors with Sockets
One of the most confusing things about putting together a computer is understanding which CPU goes with which Socket. Every time a company changes their processor architecture they have to create a new interface to go with it.
What Kinds of Sockets Are There?
Not only do different manufacturers use different sockets for their processors, they also use different kinds of sockets. Some companies, such as Intel, produce an almost dizzying array of different CPU interfaces. However, each one falls into one of two basic categories:
- Zero Insertion Force: The ZIF design started with the 486 microprocessor, and it used a lever to fully insert the CPU. This reduced the chance of bending pins during insertion and damaging CPUs.
- Socket LGA: LGA stands for Land Grid Array, and first appeared on the Celeron D processors with the LGA 775 design, also known as Socket T. The key to understanding the LGA775 socket is that in this design the pins migrated from the bottom of the CPU to the motherboard, leaving flat pads on the bottom of the CPU die. It aims to make it easier to increase the pin count as sockets are easier to manufacture. It has a load plate that holds the die onto the pins, and allows for much greater clamping strength.
What Processors Use Socket 775?
While its always important to make sure that your motherboard supports the processor you want to use, the following processor types are physically compatible with the LGA 775 interface:
- Pentium 4: The interface supports the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, as well as several additional models ranging from 2.66 GHz to 3.8 GHz.
- Pentium: Both the Intel Pentium D and the Pentium Dual core work on this platform.
- Celeron: The platform supports both the D and 400 series Celeron.
- Core 2: This platform supports both the Core 2 Quad and the Core 2 Duo
Motherboard compatibility is one of the most important aspects of doing a computer upgrade. You have to consider the chipset as well as the interface, and also the system BIOS. Not all LGA 775 socket motherboards support all CPU options, so you have to double check the specifics of your board. You also need to be sure that the heatsink and cooling solution are compatible as well, as an overheated CPU very quickly becomes a fused piece of silicon. So long as you do your homework, though, computer upgrades are generally easy enough to do. Everything from the type of RAM to the speed of the FSB functions through the motherboard; in a very real way its the spine of your system with every other component depending on it.
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