What Is a Socket 775 Heatsink?

The Socket 775 heatsink is a component used for processors, or CPUs, from semiconductor company Intel Corporation that is compatible with its CPU socket called Land Grid Array (LGA) 775. The CPU socket is meant to physically support the computer chip of a personal computer (PC) on its motherboard, as well as provide the interface between the chip and motherboard for data transfer. Also known as Socket T, LGA 775 is named after the number of pins it possesses. Intel designed this socket in a way that would allow users to introduce a heatsink to the processor.

In the semiconductor industry, a heatsink is a component that cools down the processor by transferring heat away from it. This is meant to prevent the CPU from overheating and possibly malfunctioning. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as a CPU cooler. The Socket 775 heatsink is usually designed as a fan and is manufactured by companies specializing in computer peripherals or thermal solutions. They include China-headquartered Fanner Tech Group, which sells its Socket 775 heatsink under its Masscool brand; California-based Corsair; and Dynatron Corporation, a Taiwan-based company that is one of the world’s major CPU cooler manufacturers and suppliers.

The LGA 775 debuted in 2004 as possibly the first significant LGA socket. Like the Pin Grid Array (PGA) form factor, LGA has pin contacts, which support the processor, arranged in an orderly grid-like layout on a square-shaped structure. LGA differs from PGA, however, in that it has pins rather than pin holes to accommodate the processor.

The Socket 775 heatsink is able to fit on the CPU due to the LGA variant that Intel uses for the socket. Called the flip-chip land grid array (FCLGA), the form factor of the Socket 775 allows for the CPU to be flipped around to expose the back of the die. This is the wafer of semiconductor material that contains the CPU’s core(s), or processing unit(s), and it is the hottest part of the processor. Thus, this permits users to place a heatsink on this particular surface to dissipate the heat.

Also, Intel’s design of the LGA 775 allows the Socket 775 heatsink to be attached directly to the motherboard on four points. This is considered a huge improvement over the two-point connection of Socket 370, which Intel introduced in 1999 for its Intel Pentium III chips. It is also an enhancement of LGA 775’s immediate predecessor for Intel Pentium 4 chip support, the Socket 478, which has a comparatively wobbly four-point connection. The revised attachment design was implemented to ensure that the Socket 775 heatsink does not fall off the processor of pre-built computers during transportation.