Motherboard CPU Sockets – CompTIA A+ 220-901 – 1.2

| November 29, 2015

Our motherboards use standard socket types for our CPUs. In this video, you’ll learn about the ZIF/PGA and LGA CPU socket types.

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You've just removed a CPU from a motherboard. The CPU is shaped like a square and has flat contacts on the bottom. What kind of CPU socket is this?
PGA
ZIF
LGA
DIPP
BGA

Correct!

Wrong!

What kind of CPU socket would you commonly see paired with a PGA-packaged processor?
LGA
DIMM
PCIe
DIP
ZIF

Correct!

Wrong!

Which of the following best describes an LGA socket?
The pins are on the CPU package
Once installed, a CPU in an LGA socket cannot be removed
The CPU fits into a multi-lane slot
The pins are on the motherboard
The CPU package must be gently pushed into the socket during installation

Correct!

Wrong!

You've been asked to install a CPU onto a new motherboard, and you notice that the bottom of the square-shaped CPU is completely flat and all of the contact pins are on the motherboard. What type of CPU socket is on the motherboard?
PGA
ZIF
LGA
DIMM
Slot

Correct!

Wrong!

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The central processing unit is the powerhouse of any computer. It’s where all the work is really done with our computing systems. And you’ll find that the motherboard is built to use a specific kind of CPU. And these CPUs are built to fit very specific kinds of sockets. If you look at a motherboard, it’s very easy to find the CPUs themselves. It’s usually the largest piece on the motherboard. And there’s usually a bunch of arms and components connected to the CPU socket itself. And it’s usually somewhere in the center of the motherboard.

This is not something that is easily upgradable. Usually a motherboard will want a specific kind of CPU or a few different versions of a CPU. You can’t really just pick any CPU off the shelf and try to fit it on to the motherboard. You have to find exactly the right kind for the motherboard that you’re using. The motherboard itself is a very thin circuit board. You don’t want to push on or bend that circuit board because you might break some of the very delicate circuitry on it. So we need a way to add CPUs to the motherboard without putting any type of pressure on it at all.

One way to do this is to use a socket that is a zero insertion force socket, it’s a ZIF socket. And you can see it has holes in it. And you would take your CPU and simply lay it on top of that socket. And these have an arm next to them that is used to lock this particular CPU in place. If we look at the CPU itself, you can see it has all of these tiny little pins on it. So you want to be very careful that you don’t bend any of the pins on the CPU. The other side of the CPU is the part we see here on the top. It’s this bottom part that is connecting into that ZIF socket itself.

If we were to look really closely at the CPU, you can see there are many, many, many pins sticking up. It is so easy to bend these pins on a CPU. So you want to be very careful when working with these types of CPUs and plugging into a ZIF socket that you don’t end up bending any of those connections. Another common CPU socket type is the LGA, that stands for the Land Grid Array. And it is the reverse of the PGA and the ZIF socket that we were just looking at.

With the ZIF socket, the socket had the holes and the CPU had all these tiny little pins. But with the LGA socket, you can see all the pins are on the motherboard itself. And you don’t have any pin sticking out on the bottom of the CPU. You still have to be very careful. There’s a lot of tiny little pins inside of the LGA socket, so you don’t want to drop anything on the motherboard. But at least you don’t have to worry about bending any pins on the CPU.

If we look very closely at the socket, you can see all of the tiny little pins. And unfortunately, there been times when people have dropped things on the motherboard. And when it bends those pins, it’s very, very difficult to try to get all of these pins back exactly the way they should be. And in those cases, you may have to replace the entire motherboard. If we look at the back of the processor, there are no pins.

So the part that we’re handling and that we’re working with is completely flat on the back. We don’t have to worry about pushing it up against something or making sure that any of these pins are bent, because there’s nothing here to damage when you’re working with these CPUs.

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Category: CompTIA A+ 220-901

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