LGA Vs PGA – Which CPU Is Better?



LGA Vs PGA – Which CPU Is Better? Both sockets have their pros and cons and other factors such as performance & features decide what platform to build on.

If you have just gotten into pc building within the past 5 years or so and if you’ve gone with the prevailing recommendations based on performance and market share that is to buy an Intel-based system. Then you just might be a bit confused, if you decide to put together a Rison based computer.

Since AMD is back in the diversion, that is on account of Intel has utilized LGA or land matrix exhibit CPU attachments since around 2004 with the presentation of the Pentium 4, though AMD keeps on utilizing PGA or stick at lattice cluster.

Today well be investigating the upsides and downsides of the two plans.


The least complex approach to depict both attachments composes is by showing where the pins are. For LGA the pins are on the motherboard and the CPU itself has cushions, gold-plated contact focuses that line up with the pins in the attachment. Each cushion reaches one stick so information or power can be exchanged.

For PGA the pins are on the CPU and as opposed to cushions on the motherboard there’s an attachment with gaps agreed with the CPU pins. This is known as a zero addition drive attachment implying that with the establishment lever raised. The CPU should drop in efficiency with no weight connected. The lepor would then be able to be dropped once more into the right spot to anchor the CPU.

Of course, there are other ways to surface mount a component onto a motherboard or PCB and while I won’t delve into older configurations like a dual inline package, chip carrier or the slot mounts that Pentium 2 and 3 is used. I did want to quickly mention BGA or ball grid array. This is f CPUs and GPUs are usually installed in laptops and consoles which aren’t meant to be end-user serviceable.

There’s a similarity to PGA and LGA with BGA though in that you have a specific number of contact points that need to hook up between the chip and the board ball grid array uses tiny balls of solder or solder. Instead of pins or pads that need to be aligned on the chip and then reflow door heat it up to the point where they melt and secured shipped to the board. This is usually done with specialized equipment.

Let’s take a little closer look at LGA land grid array Intel’s preferred socket itself naming scheme is pretty straightforward. It’s just LGA followed by the number of the pins in the motherboard sockets or the number of pads on the CPU which should be the same. So LGA 1151 has 1151 contacts on the bottom. LGA 2011 has 2011 contacts, LGA2011-3 also has 2011 contacts but they changed the socket. So it’s not backward compatible.

Installing an LGA processor involves lifting a lever arm or two lever arms in the case of intelligent thew xias platform. With the arm raised the lid can lift up the CPU can be aligned by referencing the tiny little gold triangle, that’s on the corner of the CPU as well as on the corner of the socket. And the processor can be gently dropped in the lid then goes back down slips under a catch and then the lever arm or arms can be pushed back down with a little bit of pressure to secure the CPU in the socket. It’s not the simplest method but it does get the job done.

One of the big benefits of LGA and I think this is actually why Intel changed over to it in the first place is that it’s much harder to damage the CPU itself. There are no pins to bend or break and since the CPU is usually going to be the more expensive perks, It does make some sense to transfer the more delicate parts of the interface to the motherboard. Although motherboard manufacturers have probably been dealing with more RMAs since then.

IGA motherboards, on the other hand, are incredibly delicate when it comes to the socket. And basically, if you damage those pins, your motherboard is pretty much toast. I’ve managed to repair LGA pins on a motherboard only once and it was an x 58 LGA 1366 board and I had three identical boards with damaged sockets to work with. I managed to get only one working the difficulty is mainly due to the socket pins themselves being smaller, flatter and sort of angled as they come up out of the socket. So they have a little bit of giving under pressure when the CPU is installed.

I will say that I like LGA sockets for the ease of disassembly though as the CPU is held very securely in the socket which if you’re working with an aftermarket cooler. Now AMD for their part has produced LGA CPUs in the past. Their Opteron line in 2006, for example, was LGA 1 207 but by and large they’ve stuck with PGA for their consumer parts.

AMD actually brands their PGA sockets with names such as am 3 SM 2 and 4 Rison now am 4 but they can still be identified by their pin cuts. M4, for example, could also be referred to as PGA 1331 but well stick with an M4. Since it rolls off a little bit more easily installing a PGA CPU is quite simple just to make sure to mine those pins on the CPU itself. You don’t want to bend them or even touch them if you can possibly avoid it.

The M4 socket has a lever on one side that you just simply lift up and then again you align the gold triangle that’s on the corner of the CPU was a triangle that should be on the socket itself and it should just drop right in.

Again this is a zero insertion force socket. Sure it’s, by the way, are available at the store and that means that it should drop in with zero pressure drop the lever arm back down and you’re done.

One of the great things about PGA is that the motherboard socket is much more durable with no delicate pins on there. You don’t even really need a cover for the socket like you do with LGA which is pretty nice. The pins are on the CPU side though and while they’re not as delicate as LGA pins on a motherboard. There are they are exposed and they can be bent or even broken if handled improperly. My advice is to keep the CPU in its protective clamshell until you’re ready to install it and again never try to force the CPU into a socket.

Fortunately, with PGA a bent CPU pin or even a few of them is not the end of the world. I personally repaired probably at least a hundred PGA CPUs with bent pins since back in my time when working and some of them that were really bad. I basically just had to use a razor blade steady hands and lots of patience. Use at your own risk of course and remember that if a pin breaks off your CPU is toast. But it is certainly a lot more feasible than repairing a damaged LGA socket on a motherboard finally when removing a PGA CPU there’s kind of a pain in the butt thing that can happen where the thermal paste sticks the CPU to the CPU cooler.

And when you’re pulling the CPU cooler off, you end up pulling the CPU out of the socket along with it that the lever arm raised this happened to me. I have seen people lose CPU pins when this happens. Just be careful when you’re removing your cooler and remember that’s easier to pull the cooler off while the thermal paste is still warm.

Which CPU Is Better?

So to sum up I have four categories

  • Ease of installation.
  • CPU durability
  • Motherboard durability and
  • Ease of D installation

VGA takes the lead for installation and motherboard durability and LGA gets the win when it comes to CPU durability and D installation.

So both sockets have their pros and cons and while other factors such as performance and features will probably weigh more heavily for you when deciding on what platform to build your next system on.