A friend of mine recently asked me if I had written anything about processors. This casual question got the gears turning in my head and led to this week’s debate topic: do TechRepublic members prefer socket or slotted processors?

Personally, I’ve always been a huge fan of socket-based processors. In fact, I’ve used them since my first 486SX 25-MHz processor. It was only when I found a great deal on a Slot A Athlon processor and motherboard did I make the change to slot-based technology. I should note, however, that I moved over to the slot-based processor before Intel and AMD went back to their socket roots. Now I wish that I had waited before taking the plunge.
The purpose of this feature is to present a balanced discussion among our members on the topics that interest them, such as hardware, software, and the Internet. If you have a topic for Member Debate, feel free to send us a note.
The differences between the processors
Unless you’ve been living in the very back of a very dark closet, it’s likely you know the difference between socket- and slot-based processors. But just in case you don’t, here is a brief comparison of the two.

Socket-based processor Slot-based processor
Very thin Very thick (when surrounded by a plastic casing)
Has many pins on the bottom Has a plug-in interface, much like a PCI or ISA slot
Usually square Usually rectangular
Doesn’t protrude very far from the motherboard Usually stands about 2.5 inches from the motherboard
Requires a single fan to keep it cool Often requires two or more fans to keep it cool
Requires very little space on the motherboard, even with a fan attached Requires a bit of room on the motherboard with heat sink, even more with an attached fan
Locks in place via ZIF socket by way of a tension bar Locks in place to board via two plastic processor holders placed on either side of the slot
Older motherboards (such as the Socket 370) cost less than slot-based boards Motherboards tend to cost less than newer socket-based boards

What do you think?
Now that you know my preference between slot- and socket-based processors, I want to hear yours. Do you think that the socket-based processor is the way to go, or are you a fan of the slotted processor? Feel free to leave a post below or send us a note stating your case for the preeminent processor.
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