What Is Socket T?

Central processing unit (CPU) sockets are pieces on a computer’s motherboard that allow a CPU to connect with the motherboard itself. These units usually have pinholes so the pins on a CPU fit into the socket, but socket T changed that by using pins that touch the CPU contacts. Socket T is able to support from 133 megahertz (MHz) up to 400 MHz, and has been used in many Intel processors, because Intel made the T connector. Along with changing the pin configuration, the T connector also improves mechanical load limit, so more weight can be placed on the computer without the CPU breaking.

The socket T CPU connector was developed by Intel and goes by another name: Land Grid Array (LGA) 775. The LGA portion refers to the position of the pins. Instead of normal sockets, which have holes, the LGA variety of sockets have pins. These pins touch connection points on the CPU, allowing the CPU to interface with the computer. The 775 portion of the name refers to the amount of pins, which number 775 with this socket.

Both CPUs and CPU connectors are measured in MHz or gigahertz (GHz) to show how fast the processor can work. The higher the value, the more calculations and processes the CPU can compute. The socket T connector is 133MHz at its slowest and 400MHz at its fastest. As of 2011, the fastest official CPU made for the T connector is the 380MHz, and is the Intel Pentium 4™.

There have been 12 official CPUs made by Intel for the LGA775 socket. Usually when a socket is made, the CPUs are meant for a specific market, such as laptops or server computers. The socket T has a wide range of CPUs that cover most markets, making this a versatile socket with no real specialization.

In terms of size, the LGA775 is larger than the previous socket, the 478. It is 1.48 inches (3.75cm) in both height and width. While only 15 percent larger that the 478, this socket has 60 percent more contacts than the previous socket, meaning the CPUs can be more powerful. The extra size is not detrimental at all, because it can still easily fit on the motherboard.

Normally when a socket has more contacts, it produces more heat, which can be a problem for the cooling system of a computer. The LGA775 actually produces less heat than previous sockets. It is also made to withstand a higher mechanical load weight, so more components can be placed in the computer without worrying about the CPU or the socket cracking.