What Is Socket F?

A socket F connector is a component on a motherboard, the main board of a computer, that is used to connect the central processing unit (CPU) to the motherboard. Created by the AMD company and presented in 2006, this socket has an abnormal amount of pin connectors — 1,207 — when compared to competitors. Socket F was created for the Opteron™ line of CPUs made for servers and workstations. Several revisions of the F connector were made to utilize the computer’s memory more efficiently.

For a CPU to work, it must be connected to a computer. Without a CPU, a computer cannot process information or work, for that matter. A socket is one of the mediums used to connect the CPU. Sockets are flat plastic or metal pieces soldered to the motherboard; they contain connecting pins for the CPU to rest on.

The most visually striking element of the socket F component is the number of pinholes. When the F connector was invented, in 2006, the common amount of pinholes in competitor sockets ranged from less than 100 to around 800. Socket F has 1,207 holes, making it distinct from other such socket units. The pins are used to electronically connect the CPU to the computer.

Socket F is used almost exclusively in the Opteron™ line of CPUs. Opteron™ is made for both workstation and server use and is primarily seen in offices and businesses; it is also popular with computer enthusiasts. Other sockets have been used with this line of computers, but the F connector improved on past sockets in terms of random access memory (RAM) usage and efficiency. There are few companies, outside of socket F creator AMD, that make compatible CPU units for this socket.

As of 2011, there have been four revisions to the socket F architecture. Visually, all of them look nearly the same with minor changes. The real difference is in the microarchitecture and how these sockets improve CPU usage. Each revision improves on the last by making memory and power usage more efficient, so the user can expect a larger output.

Socket F was in popular use until 2010, when it was phased out for the socket C32 and socket G34, both of which improved on memory efficiency and reduced power usage. The former is used in home computers, while the latter is for powerful server computers. Like the F connector, both of these are used almost exclusively in the Opteron™ line of computers.