Can I Replace My AMD Processor with an Intel Processor (or Vice Versa)?

If you have an AMD processor, then that naturally means that you have an AMD motherboard as well. Given this fact, the answer to the question “can I replace my AMD processor with an Intel processor?” is a NO. Unfortunately you cannot.

CPUs are perhaps the only hardware components that are not compatible across brands. An Intel processor would be incompatible with an AMD system and vice versa.

While the rest of the components such as RAM, hard drives, graphics card etc. can be used either on an Intel or on an AMD motherboard, the same cannot be said regarding the CPUs.

There is literally no work around solution if you want to change an AMD processor with an Intel processor. In other words, you will HAVE to get a new compatible motherboard for your new CPU.

In the following text I will talk in detail regarding why you cannot replace an AMD processor with an Intel processor.

But first, you have to understand what CPU socket is and how different CPUs use different sockets.

Motherboard’s CPU Socket

You have to understand that different CPUs require a compatible socket on the motherboard.

A socket is essentially the placeholder on a motherboard where the CPU plugs into.

So, in other words, not all CPUs are compatible with all motherboards. 

motherboard cpu socket
This is what the motherboard socket looks like. It is pretty hard to miss.

A CPU socket is differentiated by its type and pin count. Desktop PCs generally use either the Land Grid Array or Pin Grid Array type socket (LGA vs PGA).

In addition to that, sockets have a different pin count such as 1151, 1200, 1700. These correspond to the pins on the CPUs as well.

So a 10th generation Intel CPU has 1200 pins whereas a 12th generation CPU would have 1700 pins. The following table details this. 

CPU (series)SocketPinsType
Intel 7th Gen
Core / Pentium / Celeron
LGA11511151LGA
Intel 8th Gen
Core / Pentium / Celeron
LGA11511151LGA
Intel 9th Gen
Core / Pentium / Celeron
LGA11511151LGA
Intel 10th Gen
Core / Pentium / Celeron
LGA12001200LGA
Intel 11th Gen
Core / Pentium / Celeron
LGA12001200LGA
Intel 12th Gen
Core / Pentium / Celeron
LGA17001700LGA
Intel Core Workstation CPU from
- Kaby Lake-X
- Skylake-X-7000
- Skylake-X-9000
- Cascade Lake-X
LGA20662066LGA
Intel Xeon Workstation CPUs from
- Skylake-W
- Cascade Lake-W
LGA20662066LGA
AMD 1000 Series Ryzen and AthlonAM41331PGA
AMD 2000 Series Ryzen and AthlonAM41331PGA
AMD 3000 Series Ryzen and AthlonAM41331PGA
AMD 4000 Series Ryzen and AthlonAM41331PGA
AMD 5000 Series Ryzen and AthlonAM41331PGA
AMD Epyc (Server)SP34094LGA
AMD Ryzen Threadripper
1000 and 2000 Series
(Workstation)
TR44094LGA
AMD Ryzen Threadripper
3000 Series
(Workstation)
sTRX44094LGA

The table above should give you a good idea about how different the motherboard sockets can be.

The fact that even the physical pin arrangement is different across sockets within the same generation of a brand, let alone across brands, indicates that Intel CPUs cannot be compatible with AMD motherboards.

Read in Detail: How to Check CPU Compatibility with Motherboard?

Motherboards and CPUs Compatibility List

Now in order to determine a CPU’s compatibility with a motherboard, you don’t have to look at each and every motherboard separately, you can simply look at the chipset it offers.

Both Intel and AMD offer different motherboard chipsets catering to different price segments.

Motherboard chipset and c pu socket
Motherboard chipset and CPU socket labelled separately

AMD has the A, B and X with A series motherboards intended for budget, B for mid range and X series for high end systems.

Intel the follows the same idea with their B, H and Z series; motherboards with B series chipset being affordable, H being the mid range and Z being the high end Intel motherboards.

In addition to that there are different generation of these series as well. The table below shows the CPUs newer Intel and AMD motherboard chipsets support.

ManufacturerChipsetSocketCPU
IntelZ690LGA 1700
12th Gen Intel CPUs
H670LGA 170012th Gen Intel CPUs
B660LGA 170012th Gen Intel CPUs
H610LGA 1700
12th Gen Intel CPUs
Z590LGA 120011th and 10th Gen Intel Gen
Z490LGA 120011th and 10th Gen Intel Gen
Z390LGA 11518th and 9th Gen Intel CPUs
B560LGA 120011th and 10th Gen Intel Gen
B460LGA 120011th and 10th Gen Intel Gen
B360LGA 11518th and 9th Gen Intel CPUs
H570LGA 120011th and 10th Gen Intel Gen
H510LGA 120011th and 10th Gen Intel Gen
X299LGA 2066X Series 10000
AMDX570AM4Ryzen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Gen
B550AM4Ryzen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Gen
A520AM4Ryzen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Gen
TRX40sTRX43rd Gen Threadripper CPUs

Again, it is worth noting here the fact the AMD and Intel motherboard chipsets are completely different and proprietary to their brand.

A motherboard chipset is basically the bridge that establishes communication with the CPU and the rest of the PC hardware. The fact that Intel and AMD motherboard chipsets are different intrinsically makes their CPUs incompatible with each other as well.

So Can I Replace My AMD Processor with an Intel Processor?

No you cannot. The discussion above was an effort made to help you understand why AMD processor cannot be replaced with an Intel Processors.

Of course, the same is also true the other way around. An Intel processor cannot be replaced with an AMD processor either.

Since AMD and Intel CPUs require dedicated and compatible motherboards, they cannot be changed with each other.

This is perhaps the only incompatibility you can find across brands for PC parts.

Do You Have to Change GPU, RAM and Hard Drive if You Change Processor?

So I have established that if you want to change your processor from AMD to Intel (or vice versa) you will have to change your motherboard.

But what about the rest of the components?

Fortunately, the rest of the components such as RAM, graphics cards, hard drives, PCIe expansion card, monitors, peripheral devices etc are all compatible across brands.

Which means that you would not have to change them. You can move them to your next motherboard.

Of course you will need to take other compatibilities into consideration, such as if you had a DDR4 RAM installed in your previous system, then you can only move it to a newer motherboard that also support DDR4 RAM. 

Also Read:

What About Laptops, Can You Replace CPUs on Laptops?

Laptops are even more stringent than desktops when it comes to replacing parts.

Not only can’t you replace an AMD CPU with an Intel CPU on a laptop, you can’t even replace your CPU with another from the same brand, generation and series!

In other words, with laptops, you simply cannot change your processor at all. 

Final Words

So its settled, the answer to the question “can I replace my AMD processor with an Intel CPU?” is simply no. To change the CPU, you will need to change your motherboard.

If you ARE looking for an upgrade and performance boost, I would recommend sticking to the same brand and series and just look for a higher tier CPU.

If you have a Ryzen 3 CPU, then upgrading to Ryzen 5 (within the same generation) may be more fruitful and frugal than getting an Intel CPU.

Categories CPU
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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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