An Overview of CPU Socket Types – CompTIA A+ 220-901 – 1.6

Intel and AMD continue to produce a wide range of processors, and you’ll find many different CPU sockets in use on today’s motherboards. In this video, I’ll summarize the important Intel and AMD CPU sockets that you’ll need to know for your CompTIA 220-901 A+ certification exam.

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-In this video, we’re going to look at some CPU socket types for both Intel and AMD architectures. If you haven’t been building your own computers, or working with a lot of detailed motherboard specifications, this may seem like a lot of information all at once. But fortunately you only have to know the details of 11 different socket types, and they’re broken up into two different categories. So that might help when you’re going through and memorizing some of the characteristics of these sockets.

The Intel sockets have numbers associated with them. And those numbers refer to the number of pins that are on the socket themselves. The Intel LGA 775 then, has 775 pins. And it is a LAN grid array package, which means that all the pins are here, on the motherboard and the CPU package is flat on the backside of the CPU. You may also see this referred to as socket T. It was named after a core CPU the never really saw the light of day, the Tejas core. This came out about 2004. It was seen in Pentium 4 systems, Intel Core Duos, Xeon and Celeron CPUs. The socket was released about 2004 and you can see it in some of the later Pentium 4s, the Intel Core 2 Duos, some Xeon, and some Celeron processors.

Another CPU socket you’ll need to know is the Intel LGA 1366. This has 1,366 pins on the socket. And it uses, again, the LGA package. This is something that’s also called Socket B, although most of the time you’ll even see written on the motherboard LGA 1366. This replaced, effectively, the LGA 775. It came out about 2008. And it’s used primarily by the Intel Core i7 processor.

The Intel LGA 1156 is also called Socket H, or Socket H1. And it is also a type of processor socket that replaced the Intel 775. This was released about 2009 and one of the advantages of using these processors is that the Northbridge that normally was a separate chip on the motherboard, is now integrated into the CPU processor itself.

Intel Socket H2 was the Intel LGA 1155. The 1155 was actually a replacement for the 1156. They look very similar. There’s only one pin difference between both of these CPU socket types. They are not compatible with each other. They do look very similar to each other. This processor socket was released in 2011 and it supports some of the newer Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs.

Intel Socket H3 or their LGA 1150 was the replacement for the LGA 1155. It was released in 2013. And the Haswell and the Broadwell CPUs use the LGA 1150 socket.

Some of Intel’s higher performing CPUs use the Intel LGA 2011 socket. This is also called the Socket R. This replaced both the LGA 1366 and the LGA 1567 from Intel. And the LGA 2011 was also released in 2011. And it really was designed for high-end desktops, high end servers. And you can see that the Sandy Bridge-E/EP and the Ivy Bridge-E/EP, which are Enthusiast and Xeon class processors, are what’s designed to go into this 2011 processor socket.

Here’s the summary of all of these Intel sockets the we just looked at, all the way from the 775 up through the 2011. And I added a list of what some of the supported CPUs are in here are. So you can get an idea of what type of CPUs might be seen with these types of sockets. I also added the type of RAM that might be supported. This isn’t specifically listed in CompTIA as exam objectives, but it does give you a feel of how the memory changes throughout the years, and what’s used with the different socket types.

Now let’s shift gears and look at the AMD sockets. The empty sockets don’t use numbers to be able to differentiate the different models. And you’ll notice that all of the AMD sockets that we’ll look at are all PGA type sockets, with this pin grid array, and that zero insertion force socket type.

We’ll start our conversation with the Socket AM3. This is a 940 pin socket. And it has replaced the AM2 and the AM2+ processors from AMD. It was released in 2009. And you’ll notice that this socket is very similar in size to the older AM2 AM2+. A number of AM3 processors could be used in those older sockets. But those older systems generally require a BIOS upgrade to be able to recognize that newer CPU.

An effective upgrade to the AM3 was a AMD’s AM3+. This is a 942 pins socket. So it’s one more pin than the AM3. And again, we have this PGA-Zif package. This was released in 2011. One important characteristic of the AM3+ is that you could bring over your older processors and use them in this newer AM3 Socket. You could not go the other direction, though You couldn’t use a CPU designed for the AM3+ and use it in your older AM3 motherboard.

AMD Socket FM1 is 905 pins. And it was released in 2011. It supports these newer AMD 10h CPU architectures. Specifically, their A-series architectures, which provided faster speeds. It supported the faster DDR3 memory. And it integrated the PCI express controller right into the CPU.

The FM2 processor socket was released soon after that. It has 904 pins and was released in September of 2012. It is the series CPUs from AMD called their Piledriver series. Very similar to the FM1 socket, there’s one pin difference between the two. But those two processors are not compatible between those two socket types.

The last AMD processor we’ll look at is the AMD socket FM2+. This is 906 pins and it’s in a micro PGA package. You might also see this called the Socket FM2b, instead of the FM2+. It has 2 more pins than the FM2 processor. But these two different processor types are not compatible with each other. You can’t take an FM2+ CPU and expect it to work in an FM2 motherboard. It does have a completely different pin configuration.

This processor socket was released in January of 2014 and it’s part of AMD’s Steamroller CPU architecture.

Here’s a summary of the AMD sockets. You can see the socket types are here with the pin numbers associated with them. I added also, the release dates and the supported CPUs. And you can see the differences in the RAM that is supported by the CPUs and the motherboards that use these socket types.