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What Is a CPU Socket? A Basic Definition

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A PC’s socket is made up of a series of pins and connects a CPU’s processor to the PC’s motherboard. If a CPU is connected via a CPU socket, it is not soldered and can be replaced. These are more common on desktops than they are on laptops

Not all types of CPUs are compatible with all types of sockets. Intel has different socket types for its mainstream CPUs versus its high-end desktop (HEDT) ones, as does AMD.

Current-Generation CPU Sockets

Socket Enthusiast/Mainstream PCsHEDT
IntelLGA 1151LGA 2066
AMDAM4TR4

This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary.

Further reading: