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What Is a Socket 754 Motherboard?

Andy Josiah
Andy Josiah

The Socket 754 motherboard is a component of a personal computer (PC) that contains a central processing unit (CPU) socket called Socket 754. Semiconductor manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) introduced Socket 754 in 2003 for three of its processor brands. These are the Athlon 64, which was the company’s flagship brand and named after its 64-bit instruction set; the Sempron, which was reserved for low-budget PCs; and the Turion 64, which can be considered the more energy efficient counterpart of the Athlon 64.

Like other components of its class, the Socket 754 motherboard functions as the “heart” of the PC. This is because it contains several of the machine’s critical features. This can include dual inline memory module (DIMM) and peripheral component interconnect (PCI) expansion slots, audio and video ports, networking technologies such as Ethernet, video/graphics and sound drivers, or connectors for the hard disk and optical drives.

A stick of DDR-SDRAM, a type of memory.
A stick of DDR-SDRAM, a type of memory.

Perhaps its most well-known support mechanism is the CPU socket, which physically and electronically connects the processor, or CPU, with the motherboard. The purpose of the Socket 754 motherboard is to conduct data transmission between it and the CPU placed in the socket. It also offers the computer chip protection from potential damage in the event of installation or removal.

The Socket 754 motherboard’s CPU socket is named after the number of pin holes that it possesses to accommodate the Athlon/Sempron/Turion processor. The socket measures 1.83 by 2.16 inches (4.65 by 5.48 centimeters), and it adheres to the pin grid array (PGA) form factor, which means that its pin holes are arranged in a grid. In the case of Socket 754, it uses a PGA variant called organic pin grid array (OPGA), which means that the square-shaped plate that it comprises is made of organic plastic. The Socket 754 motherboard uses zero insertion force to completely eliminate the use of force when inserting or removing the computer chip.

AMD originally released the Socket 754 to support the Athlon 64 desktop PC processors. With subsequent Athlon-based sockets superseding it, however—examples include Socket 940 later in 2003, Socket 940 in 2004 and Socket AMD in 2006—compatibility was extended to some Sempron and Turion chips, signifying the shift of the Socket 754 motherboard into budget-oriented territory. Typically, a Socket 754 motherboard offers 800-megahertz (MHz) data transmission speed using AMD’s HyperTransport technology, a single-channel memory controller and a maximum of three DIMM slots based on second-generational double data rate synchronous dynamic random access memory (DDR2 SDRAM) architecture.

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    • A stick of DDR-SDRAM, a type of memory.
      A stick of DDR-SDRAM, a type of memory.