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What is with the sockets?

By allenb3 ·
Would you please make some sense out of
the cpu socket system. Socket 370, 423, dual
603... Is there a reason for such cryptic
delineation? Why not just specify that the
motherboard is for a Pentium/AMD processor
of a particular type?
Thanks

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What is with the sockets?

by TechKid In reply to What is with the sockets?

They have so many sockets for basically two reasons. Performance and Profit. Currently, P4's are available in Socket 423 and 478. The number signifies how many pins are on the bottom of the CPU. The added pins in the newer 478 give the newer P4's added performance.

If the CPU's pins were always the same, you wouldn't have to upgrade your mobo as often reducing profits for mobo manufacturers. Intel has taken some heat in the press for this. AMD is a little better by not changing as often allowing you to use the same mobo longer.

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What is with the sockets?

by allenb3 In reply to What is with the sockets?

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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What is with the sockets?

by TheChas In reply to What is with the sockets?

To add to techkid's response, every "new" generation of processor has required a new socket.
The largest technical reason for this is the continual increase in the width of the data buss and memory address fields. It just takes more pins for a larger (wider) field.

As to why the sockets cannot be described by processor type, that is also part of the evolution.
P II, P III, ansd Celeron processors have been built in both Slot 1 and socket 370 configurations.
Athlon processors have been built in Slot A and socket A configurations.

So, you need to match the processor package to the socket on the motherboard. And, the number and style of pins is the best way to do this.

This actually goes back to the early days of integrated circuits.

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What is with the sockets?

by TheChas In reply to What is with the sockets?

I forgot to mention socket 7. There were about 30 different processors that fit the socket 7 form factor.
Yet, not all socket 7 MB would work with all s7 CPUs.
As the original Pentium family evolved, there were 3 iterations of the socket 5 processors. Followed by 3 or 4 iterations of socket 7.
Socket 7 covered the Pentium, Pentium MMX, AMD K5, AMD K6, AMD K6-3, IBM/Cyrix processors.

Until the Pentium II, Intel just used the next number in sequence for the CPU socket. I think that there were even a couple of socket variations on the 486 family.

The terrible thing is that not all CPUs of any given socket family will work in all MBs with that socket. Again, the culprit is technology evolution.

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What is with the sockets?

by allenb3 In reply to What is with the sockets?

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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What is with the sockets?

by allenb3 In reply to What is with the sockets?

This question was auto closed due to inactivity

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