What Cpu Is Compatible With My Motherboard

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The processor and motherboard are the brains and nervous system of your computer, and while you can (unfortunately, unlike the brain) replace them with something better, there’s more to it than slapping on silicon. You need to make sure that these two components are compatible with each other, because certain chips only work when installed on certain motherboards. The CPU doesn’t fit into the motherboard socket or the chipset doesn’t fit, and it doesn’t matter if you have one of the best CPUs for gaming – the only working part is left in your build.

What Cpu Is Compatible With My Motherboard

What Cpu Is Compatible With My Motherboard

Take a few minutes to look through this guide and you’ll know exactly which motherboard you need for your CPU. I’ve updated it to cover the latest Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake processors, as well as the 10th and 11th gen models, the AMD Ryzen 3000 series, and the latest Ryzen 5000 series.

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Take a quick look at any CPU and you’ll likely see that it has a few pins (if it’s AMD) or small connectors (if it’s Intel) on the bottom. This is what goes into your motherboard’s CPU socket, so you need to buy one that fits correctly. If you try to screw it into the wrong type of motherboard, all you end up with is a bunch of bent pins and some seriously broken components.

Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake chips use the new LGA 1700 socket, which is slightly higher than the LGA 1200 socket used by the 11th generation Rocket Lake and 10th generation Comet Lake processors. AMD’s Ryzen chips are compatible with the AM4 socket.

There are a few exceptions when it comes to workstation hardware or hobby chips: AMD Threadripper processors fit into the TR4 socket, while some Intel chips use the LGA 2066 socket. You probably don’t need to worry about these – if you’re building a gaming PC, chips using the LGA 1700, LGA 1200 or AM4 sockets will be much more powerful and much more affordable.

Previous generations of Intel used the LGA 1151 socket, which you should be careful about if you’re cutting costs by choosing one of the older 8/9 Gen Coffee Lake processors, but here we’re focusing on the latest mechanism. . Speaking of which, here are all the Intel 12th Gen chips that fit into the LGA 1700 socket:

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Next, here are all the processors that are compatible with Intel’s LGA 1200 socket, including the 11th and 10th generation models:

On the other hand, AMD has stuck with its AM4 socket since the first generation of Ryzen 1000 chips. That said, newer CPUs don’t always work on older motherboards due to incompatible chipsets, but more on that in a bit. The AM4 plug in the body looks like this:

In any case, it’s best to stick with Ryzen 3000 and 5000 processors if you’re planning a new build – Ryzen 4000 chips aren’t sold individually – hence the list of all those AM4-friendly parts.

What Cpu Is Compatible With My Motherboard

So we’ve narrowed down the type of motherboard you need. The next thing is to decide which tile to choose. This is the circuit inside the motherboard itself. Without going into too many technical details, the motherboard chip really determines what features it has, including what ports and storage connections it has. They are also usually designed to work with a specific processor family and are often released at the same time as their corresponding processor family.

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Intel especially likes to complicate things and always launches new chip series along with new CPU generations. The latest of these is the 600 series, which initially only consisted of the Z690 chipset before a cheaper, lower-spec variant was launched in early 2022. You can see in the table below which Intel chipsets are compatible with which Intel processors:

As for AMD, the latest Ryzen 5000 processors didn’t launch with a completely new chipset: they were designed for AMD’s existing 500 series chips that already worked with the Ryzen 3000 family. They are also compatible with some older 400 series chips after a BIOS update, but this varies between motherboards and manufacturers, so make sure it definitely supports Ryzen 5000 before buying.

In other words, if you’re upgrading from Ryzen 3000 to Ryzen 5000, you don’t necessarily need to replace your existing AM4 motherboard, but for most 5000 users, it’s easier to buy a 500 series board. Here’s how Ryzen chips stack up against Ryzen chips:

At this point, you may know which chipsets work with your processor in a general sense, but many chipsets are not listed just for fun. Each one targets different functions and pricing, so you can tailor your motherboard selection to your budget and specific feature needs.

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In Intel’s case, the most decorated motherboard chips always start with Z: Z490, Z590 and the latest Z690. These always support CPU overclocking (although some B560, H570 and B460 boards also allow overclocking) and they also have more PCIe lanes. This means you can install PCIe devices (such as NVMe SSDs) cheaper than other chipsets. High-end motherboards also have a wider variety of USB ports and better RAID support for multiple storage drives.

That said, affordable chipsets like the B570 and B600 have more than enough of these lines to power most gaming rigs, so they might as well do well. To understand the price difference, here’s how some Intel chips compare:

It’s worth noting that if you want to install a super-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD, you’ll need at least a 500-series chip and a Rocket Lake chip. The latest 12th generation hardware also supports PCIe 5.0, though don’t expect hardware that could really use the extra performance anytime soon. In the meantime, you can find 4.0 quality options in our best SSDs for gaming list.

What Cpu Is Compatible With My Motherboard

Some chips will dictate the size of the motherboard in addition to features. A mini-ITX motherboard (left) is much smaller than an ATX motherboard (right), so make sure you get the right one for your case.

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One last note about Intel motherboards, especially those 600 series models designed for Alder Lake: the processors can support both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM, but

Will only be compatible with one or the other. So get a DDR4 compatible mobo if you want to stick with current generation memory, or a DDR5 ready motherboard if you want to upgrade your RAM. So far, keep in mind that there isn’t much difference between DDR4 and DDR5 for gaming performance. AMD motherboard chips explained

Most AMD chipsets allow overclocking except for the increasingly outdated A520 and A320, so if OC capability is your thing, there’s a bit more choice than Intel. However, there are also upmarket advantages: the X570 offers more SATA and USB ports than the B550, which in turn supports more than the A520.

Therefore, it would be good to build ambitious PCs with AMD’s higher-end X-series chipsets, and vice versa, those with very basic storage settings can work with mid-range B-series or entry-level A-series chipsets. Here’s how the Reds’ options stack up in terms of cost:

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From there it’s up to you what extra features you go for. Some motherboards, such as the Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master, have additional features such as an LED troubleshooting display and built-in power/reset buttons, while many include I/O boards for a cleaner finish on the back of the computer. you have installed.

It is likely that you should also choose a motherboard that actually matches the intended situation. When you have a small form factor or tower case, it doesn’t make sense to buy an ATX size motherboard, and it doesn’t make sense to buy a large tower case for a good mini-ITX motherboard either.

As for whether PCIe 4.0 support is necessary… I wouldn’t say no at this point, mainly because you can get great PCIe 3.0 SSDs (like the WD Blue SN570) that are fast enough. Both the 3.0 and 4.0 SSDs can also play with DirectStorage, Microsoft’s exciting technology that cuts game load times to shreds. It’s not actually supported in any games, but you don’t need to base your motherboard choice on it.

What Cpu Is Compatible With My Motherboard

Of course, PCIe 4.0 is generally faster, and if you bought an Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake processor, you should get 4.0 support as standard, no matter what motherboard you connect it to.

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Need help installing the motherboard or CPU in your computer? Read the step by step how to install motherboard and how to install CPU guide for all the deets.

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