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LGA Vs PGA Sockets: We Have A Winner

In our LGA vs PGA Sockets guide, we are going to compare both Sockets in detail and help you make the right decision.

Expert Verified By

LGA Sockets
Rated:
7/10

PGA Sockets
Rated:
8.5/10


Pros And Cons

CPUProsCons
LGA Socketsโœ… Robust CPU
โœ… Easy Installation
โŒ Subpar Motherboard Compatibility
PGA Socketsโœ… Durable Motherboard
โœ… Supports Intel Processors
โŒ Less Space Efficient

Key Takeaways
  • Over the last decade, AMD and Intel have been the two market leaders in CPUs. Customers constantly argue about which side has superior technology in their products.
  • LGA vs PGA Sockets are complete opposites of one another. LGA is a CPU socket with pins. In contrast, PGA arranges the Processor’s pins to fit correctly into a socket with correspondingly positioned slots.
  • Breaking a CPU’s pins may be more costly than breaking the motherboard’s. A CPU may cost twice as much as a motherboard or even more.
  • The many reasons that Intel shifted to LGA was how less risky it is to harm the CPU physically on LGA sockets. There are no fragile pins, as the CPU is often one of the more expensive components we cannot take any risks. 
Why Trust Tech4Gamers
  • Manaf is our comparison expert who has been comparing graphics cards, and processors.
  • 500+ components tested and compared by our team of comparison experts (Tech4Gamers Team).
  • 1000+ hours spent testing different components for our comparisons.
  • Objective testing criteria (See how we compare PC hardware).

At Tech4Gamers, ensuring you get reliable information is our priority. That’s why every comparison undergoes a meticulous review process by our team of experts and editors. Each comparison is carefully examined against our strict editorial guidelines, guaranteeing you trustworthy insights you can depend on.


Architecture Differences

  1. Socket Type: Starting, we see that the LGA (Land Grid Array) sockets have pins on the motherboard, while PGA (Pin Grid Array) sockets have pins on the processor. Intel CPUs utilize LGA sockets, while AMD CPUs use PGA sockets.
  2. Exceptions and Transitions: Recent AMD Ryzen series have shifted towards LGA sockets, though there are exceptions like the AMD Threadripper. Previous Intel CPUs used PGA sockets, but recent generations have shifted to LGA sockets.
  3. Durability and Risks: Moving on, we observe that the PGA sockets tend to be more prone to damage compared to LGA sockets. LGA sockets offer a lower risk of damage, with pins located on the motherboard rather than the CPU. 
  4. Efficiency and Installation: LGA pins are narrower than PGA pins, providing more efficiency in space usage. Conversely, PGA sockets are easier to install compared to LGA sockets, but breaking CPU pins can be costlier than damaging the motherboard.
  5. Decision Factors: Choosing between a less durable motherboard or CPU, our preference leans towards the less durable motherboard. Intel historically used LGA sockets while AMD stuck with PGA until recent shifts in socket choices.
  6. Considerations for PC Building: Users getting into PC building may find Intel systems appealing due to performance and widespread adoption, but AMD’s competitiveness prompts consideration for Ryzen components.

It has been a long debate among PC enthusiasts on which CPU socket is the best. Therefore we at Tech4gamers will provide you with an in-depth analysis of LGA vs PGA Sockets. Since CPU sockets have minimal impact on performance, they are seldom mentioned. Moreover, it provides a standard shape for all processors of a particular generation.


Land Grid Array (LGA)

The acronym “LGA” means “Land Grid Array.” It is fully compatible with Intel chipsets. All Intel motherboards and CPUs use numbered sockets. Typically, Integrated circuits come in LGA, a surface-mounting packaging standard. In contrast to PGA, it relies on contact pins mostly on the motherboard socket rather than the chip itself.

Gigabyte Z690 Aero G LGA Socket
Gigabyte Z690 Aero G LGA Socket – Image Credits Tech4Gamers

LGA CPUs connect to the motherboard via metal pads, offering excellent density and consistent connectivity, but repairing a broken pin can be challenging, often requiring the replacement of the entire CPU socket.

LGA Socket’s flexible pin layout accommodates future CPU upgrades without risking damage to CPU pins, as they are located on the motherboard. Even if mishandled, the CPU remains unharmed.

Intel’s LGA Sockets Compatibility

When it comes to LGA sockets, the CPU’s pads make contact with pins on the motherboard for data and power transmission. We installed the LGA CPU easily by lifting the lever, sliding the CPU into place, and lowering the lever to secure it.

Intel’s LGA naming convention indicates the number of connections on the CPU and motherboard, like LGA 1151 or LGA 1700. Despite the intricate installation process, LGA sockets reduce the risk of damaging expensive CPUs compared to PGA sockets.

Intel's LGA Socket
LGA Socket

The LGA design transfers sensitive components to the motherboard, minimizing the risk of damage to the CPU. Though the installation process may be complex, the secure placement of the CPU in the Socket simplifies aftermarket cooler installation.

Pin Grid Array (PGA)

Conversely, we observed that the AMD chips now exclusively use the Pin Grid Array (PGA) format, while the new Ryzen processors have moved away from it. Unlike LGA, PGA sockets have contact pins on the processor chip itself.

PGA
Aorus Pro AX PGA Socket – (Image Credits Tech4Gamers)

Although PGA sockets offer easy installation, misalignment or pin bending can lead to permanent CPU damage, a common criticism of AMD’s PGA architecture. However, the motherboard remains unharmed, ensuring secure CPU attachment.

Despite their durability and straightforward installation, PGA sockets pose risks, as a single broken pin can render the entire CPU useless, potentially increasing overall costs compared to replacing an LGA motherboard socket.

AMD’s PGA Socket Compatibility

In our analysis of AMD’s CPU sockets, they historically favored PGA designs like AM3, FM2, and AM4, identifiable by their pin counts. Installation of PGA CPUs involves careful alignment and zero insertion force, but mishandling can still damage CPU pins.

AMD's Preferred Socket
PGA Socket

While PGA sockets offer resilience, removing a CPU can be challenging due to thermal paste adhesion, risking damage to both the CPU and cooler. However, with the introduction of the Ryzen 7000 series and the new AM5 socket, AMD has transitioned focus from PGA to LGA standards.


LGA Vs PGA Sockets: Which One Is Better?

LGA Sockets: We found LGA sockets impressive with their secure pin-to-pad connection, favored for their durability and power delivery, particularly by AMD. Opting for an Intel CPU with an LGA socket aligns well with our considerations of performance, budget, and component availability, promising efficient processing power.

PGA Sockets: Looking at PGA sockets, we observed that they offer simplicity in realigning CPU pins, favored for compatibility with AMD processors. Despite potential damage risks, both LGA and PGA sockets offer reliability in our opinion, with the choice depending on performance and budget considerations.

We leave the decision to the users, as they will have to choose them according to the desired performance, available budget, and the accessibility of the individual components. Depending on the users’ required processing power, this may steer them to either an Intel LGA socket or an AMD PGA Socket. 


FAQs

Which one is better, PGA or LGA?

Each option’s advantages and disadvantages are worthy of consideration. Some choose PGA because it is easier to realign the CPU’s pins than a motherboard’s LGA sockets. However, given the advantages of LGA, its pin count and power delivery are dramatically superior.

Why did AMD switch to LGA?

The new AM5 Socket, included with Ryzen CPUs, is based on the LGA Socket. With 1718 pins, the new LGA socket from AMD is officially known as LGA1718. Since the LGA Socket offers superior socket delivery and power, AMD was forced to switch to it. /wsfa] [wsfq]Is Intel PGA or LGA?[/wsfq][wsfa]Intel shifted towards the LGA Socket way back in the early days with the Pentium series and, since then, hasn’t looked back. Intel was once the undisputed king of CPU processors because of their enhancements in the LGA Socket.

Why does Threadripper use LGA?

The LGA Socket is superior to the previous AMD PGA socket in terms of pin density, which is why AMD opted to utilize it for Threadripper. Since it makes more power connections, it provides more efficient power. Additionally, there were several reports of CPU pins breaking. Therefore AMD often opts for a more secure design in their flagship chip, which is much more expensive than other CPUs. Because replacing a motherboard is often less expensive.


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