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Sockets overview. Analysis of their architecture.

Sockets overview. Analysis of their architecture. 26 February 2024

Sockets are the elements required to create a physical connection between the processor and motherboard in computers. These components are also called a processor socket, because processor is actually located in sockets. Next, we will consider the architecture and features of the two most common sockets: LGA 3647 and LGA 4189.

LGA 3647 is a socket released in 2017 and used mainly in server systems. LGA 3647 socket is considered one of the largest sockets used in computer devices as it has 3647 pins. Many Intel Xeon processors (Xeon Platinum and Xeon Gold are included), are supported by LGA 3647 due to its large size.

LGA 4189 is a socket specifically designed for Intel Ice Lake-SP processors and released in 2020, being an even newer option. The LGA 4189 socket is even larger compared to the LGA 3647 as it has 4189 pins. LGA 4189 is also the first Intel socket to include PCIe 4.0 support. This socket is necessary in high-performance server systems.

The architecture of both sockets is quite similar. It includes a number of pins on the socket board. The required number of pins is located on the underside of the processor. When installing a processor into a socket, its pins and pins on the socket board are connected, ensuring electrical connection between the processor and the motherboard.

Although LGA 3647 and LGA 4189 have a similar architecture, they have certain differences in some parameters. As an example, it is worth noting that LGA 4189 is more often used in high-performance server equipment due to a larger set of pins.

Another difference is the processor mounting mechanism. Thus, a mounting mechanism known as “through-mounting,” is used by LGA 3647. This mechanism involves attaching the processor to the motherboard using special bolts (they pass through the processor and socket). On the other hand, Intel specially created a fastening mechanism – a “patented fastening” for the LGA 4189 socket.

The main advantage of the sockets under consideration is their ability to provide a high level of scalability and efficiency. LGA 3647 and LGA 4189 are excellent for server equipment where the most important task is to process large amounts of data.

Many common manufacturers including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Gigabyte use the LGA 3647 and LGA 4189 sockets. Moreover, a wide range of motherboards for LGA 3647 and LGA 4189 sockets are provided by a number of manufacturers. 

These sockets are primarily used in high-performance server systems, but they are also an excellent solution for computing operations and scientific research. It is also worth noting that the LGA 3647 and LGA 4189 sockets can be used locally by developers to create their own systems of high scalability and efficiency.