A CPU socket uses a series of pins to connect a CPU’s processor to the PC’s motherboard. If a CPU is connected via a CPU socket, it is not soldered and can therefore be replaced. CPU sockets are more common with desktop gaming PCs than they are on laptops.
When buying a motherboard, finding the best motherboard isn't just about making sure it has the features you want. Step one is making sure the motherboard has the right CPU socket (and a supported chipset) for your CPU model.
Even if you have the best CPU, it won't work with just any CPU socket. Intel has different socket types for its mainstream CPUs versus its high-end desktop (HEDT) ones, as does AMD.
Intel and AMD CPU Sockets
Below we break down the consumer CPU sockets for current and prior generation Intel and AMD desktop CPUs.
|CPU Brand||CPU Socket Name||CPU||Compatible Chipsets||Market|
|Intel||LGA 2066||10th Gen Core||X299||HEDT|
|Intel||LGA 1700||12th Gen Core||Z690, H670, B660, H610||Mainstream|
|Intel||LGA 1200||11th Gen Core, 10th Gen Core||Z490, H470, B460, H410||Mainstream|
|Intel||LGA 1151||9th Gen Core, 8th Gen Core||Z390, Z370, Z370, Q370, H370, B365, B360, H310||Mainstream|
|AMD||sTRX4||Ryzen Threadripper 3000||TRX40||HEDT|
|AMD||TR4||Ryzen Threadripper 2000 and 1000||X399||HEDT|
|AMD||AM4||Ryzen 5000, 3000, 2000 and 1000||X570, X470, X370, B550, B450, B350, B450, A320, X300, A300||Mainstream|
Intel users can also figure out which CPU socket their chip uses with Intel's directions on this page (opens in new tab) and use Intel’s Product Compatibility Tool (opens in new tab) to see which motherboard fits your CPU.
This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary (opens in new tab).
- Dissecting the Modern Motherboard: Connectors, Ports & Chipsets Explained (opens in new tab)
- How to Choose a Motherboard (opens in new tab)
- Best Motherboards (opens in new tab)
- Best CPUs
- CPU Benchmarks Hierarchy