Processor Sockets – Intel and AMD Socket Types

The ATX motherboard processor sockets used by AMD and Intel CPUs

Intel Socket PGA370 processor (CPU) motherboard socket

An Intel Socket PGA370 processor socket on a motherboard that supports only that type of socket

Desktop PC processor (CPU) sockets

This page of this website is devoted purely to the many different types of desktop PC processor sockets used by Intel and AMD processors on ATX motherboards specifically for one or more ranges of their processors.

For detailed information on desktop processors, visit the The Intel and AMD processors used in desktop PCs section of this website.

For information on installing a processor, visit the Installing the processor (CPU) and its heatsink-and-fan or liquid-cooling unit page of the Build Your own PC section of this website.

The pace at which the socket types have been changing has slowed down considerably since the heyday of the desktop PC, which is in decline compared to tablet PCs and smartphones, now enjoying their heyday.

Personally, I don’t see desktop and laptop PCs becoming redundant any time soon. I would much rather have a laptop PC than any tablet and I use a desktop PC at home. Laptops are still relatively expensive. If I want to upgrade my desktop PC to the latest hardware, I just have to back up my files and go online and buy a motherboard, processor and RAM bundle costing about £150. Then it’s just a question of reinstalling Windows, my software and restoring my files. Microsoft’s ISO download of Windows 10 is always right up to date. Gone are the days when you had to create a ‘slipstreamed’ install disc that added Service Packs to an earlier Windows install disc.

How to decode Intel/AMD processor names – What processor names mean

The alphanumeric model names of the ranges of processors that Intel and AMD manufacture contain important information about them. The following article provides the information you need to understand what the numbers and letters in the model number mean.

Processor information and installation

The following pages provide information about processor themselves and how to install them:

Intel and AMD Processors (CPUs) Used in Desktop PCs –

Installing the processor (CPU) and its heatsink-and-fan or liquid-cooling unit –

Annotated images of ATX Socket Intel LGA 775, AMD Socket A and Socket 939 motherboards

Visit the Annotated images of ATX Socket LGA775, Socket A and Socket 939 motherboards page on this website to see annotated images of those two socket-type motherboards.

AMD and Intel motherboard processor sockets are never interchangeable

Although they can be very different electronically, CPU sockets all look similar at first glance, being square and about the same size no matter how many processing cores the processor itself contains – processors get thicker as their core number increases – and can be seen immediately when examining a PC’s motherboard.

AMD and Intel motherboard sockets are never interchangeable; they can only be used by the products of the motherboard manufacturers that they have been designed to support.

The rate at which Intel and AMD were changing the type of motherboard sockets that their desktop PC processors use was confusing as well as being infuriating, because it meant that even if the motherboard form-factor remained the same (ATX or micro-ATX), every time the type of processor housing changed or there were technical changes to the existing platforms, if Intel was your choice of manufacturer, a new motherboard usually had to be purchased if you wanted to upgrade from one type of socket to another, or that could also be necessary for a more advanced processor that used the same socket type. You had no choice in the matter because the previous processor housing was then no longer supported. AMD provided far better backward-compatibility of its latest processors with its previous socket type, but, even with AMD, when a radically new CPU architecture came into being a new motherboard was required.

But now that the market for desktop PCs has slowed down considerably since smartphones and tablets became the most popular form of PC, the rate of change of CPU sockets has also slowed down considerably. Computer users are still using their desktop and laptop PCs but are making them last much longer than was the case when the PC was unrivaled.

There was a large increase in PC sales when support for Windows XP ended in June 2014, so, as Windows 7 gets older and more PC users are forced to upgrade to Windows 10 or buy new PCs, there will probably be another similar increase in PC sales that will spark off further technological developments. That said, the dominance that the desktop PC enjoyed has gone forever.

The image at the top of this page shows a zero-insertion-force (ZIF) processor socket. The pin holes match the pin layout of the processor and so, when aligned correctly, the processors that the socket supports should just drop into the socket without using any force. The processor is dropped into the socket with the brown arm at the bottom of the socket raised. When the processor is inserted, the arm is lowered all the way down, thereby fixing the processor into the socket. AMD has always used pins on its processors. Intel used to use pins but then changed to using metal contact points on the processor that match metal pits in the socket. The heatsink and fan cooling unit is fixed to the plastic protrusions in the middle of the left and right sides of the socket shown in the image above.

All of the specifications of AMD and Intel processors for the desktop PC

Visit the following page that provides access to tables containing all of the technical specifications (socket type, code name (Haswell, Ivybridge, Skylark, etc.) clock speed, supported instruction sets, caches, etc.) and other information, such as the dates of release, of all of the processors made by AMD and Intel up to the present. The earliest processors are listed first. The further down the list a processor appears, the more recent it is. Look down the Socket/Slot column for the socket type for a particular model of processor.

Desktop CPU Comparison Guide –

Here are the two pages on Wikipedia that list all of the AMD and Intel processors, including laptop processors, and their specifications, which includes the socket type:

List of AMD microprocessors –

List of Intel microprocessors –

Desktop PC Intel and AMD CPU socket types from 2008 to 2015

The following list of CPU sockets for desktop PCs starts with the earliest and ends with the latest types (2008 to 2015), from left to right: Socket type, year(s) in use, Wikipedia page. The Wikipedia page provides the CPUs that each socket type supports.

Intel CPU sockets

LGA 775 – 2004 to 2008 –

LGA 1156 – 2010 –

LGA 1366 – 2008 to 2011 –

LGA 1155 – 2011 to 2012 –

LGA 2011 – 2011 to 2014 – Versions 2011-1 to 2011-3 –

LGA 1150 – 2015 –

LGA 1151 – 2015 –

AMD CPU sockets

Socket AM3 – 2009 to 2011 –

Socket AM3+ – 2012 –

Socket FM1 – 2011 – First socket for the AMD APU CPUs with inbuilt graphics chip –

Socket FM2 – 2012 to 2013

Socket AM1 – 2014 –

Socket FM2+  – 2014 to 2015 –

2 thoughts on “Processor Sockets – Intel and AMD Socket Types

  1. Thanks for reminding me to find out what updates have occurred since 2015 when that page was last updated.

    LGA 2011 –

    “LGA 2011-v3 (also referred to as LGA 2011-3) is another updated generation of the socket, used for Haswell-E and Haswell-EP CPUs,[7] which were released in August and September 2014, respectively.”

  2. What about a “2011-3” socket that can be found on MSI X99A gaming 7. I am pretty sure that it can only accept intel core i7’s but always worth a try to find out.

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