Can I Use Intel Processor on AMD Motherboard?

If you have just found a sweet deal on an Intel CPU and you wondering if you can use it with an AMD motherboard you already own, then unfortunately you will be disappointed.

The short and simple answer to the question “can I use intel processor on AMD motherboard?” is a resounding no. It is not possible to use an Intel CPU with an AMD motherboard.

Both the AMD and Intel CPUs and motherboard have sockets and chipsets designed for their respective series of processors.

Hence, even if you physically try, you will fail to plug an Intel CPU into an AMD motherboard.

CPUs are perhaps the only component that is not compatible across the brands. The rest of components such as graphics cards, hard drives, RAM sticks are all cross compatible with different brands.

In the following text I will talk in detail about why you cannot use Intel processor with an AMD motherboard (or vice versa). I will talk about three very basic reasons:

  1. The physical characteristics of Intel and AMD CPUs are different
  2. Motherboard for Intel and AMD have different CPU sockets
  3. The motherboard chipset is incompatible across brands

1. Physical Characteristics of Intel and AMD CPUs are Different

The physical profile, the dimensions, the pin count as well as the surface mount technology of AMD and Intel CPU is entirely different.

In others words, even at the basic physical level, they would not be compatible with their rival’s motherboards.

Intel Uses LGA for Most of Its CPUs

lga vs pga
Pin Grid Array processors (with needles sticking out) Left; and Land Grid Array (with flat contacts) Right

Intel CPUs for desktops are almost all based around the Land Grid Array (LGA) arrangement.

In other words, instead of having pins on the CPU surface, LGA CPUs have pads called lands. 

AMD Uses PGA for Most of Its CPUs

AMD, on the other hand, uses Pin Grid Array surface mount technology for most of its Ryzen series CPU. Albeit AMD is adopting LGA for 7000 series desktop CPUs.

The point of this discussion is that AMD and Intel CPUs are inheritably different physically. If you have any misconception about all CPUs being the same, then this should dispel that. CPU are NOT all same.

CPUs have Different Pin/Land Count

pga socket PGA CPUs are primarily used for AMD AM4 CPUs.

The number of pins or lands that you see on an Intel or AMD CPU vary drastically from generation to generation with the same brand.

For instance the Intel LGA 1200 based 10th and 11th gen CPUs have 1200 pins, the Intel LGA 1700 based 12th Gen CPUs have 1700 pins.

AMD AM4 socket has 1331 pins, the AM5 socket has 1718 pin.

In other words, even if you were to upgrade from one Intel or AMD CPU to another, you may need to change the motherboard. Let alone replacing an AMD CPU with an Intel.

Also Read: How Many Pins Does a CPU Have?

2. The Motherboards CPU Socket is Different for Intel and AMD CPUs

Another point closely related to the first point is that the motherboard socket for Intel and AMD CPUs are completely different.

A motherboard’s CPU socket is the placeholder where the CPU plugs into. Given that dimensions and the physical characteristics of AMD and Intel CPUs are different, you cannot use an Intel processor on an AMD motherboard.

motherboard cpu socket
CPU for AMD and Intel differs drastically. 

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

3. The Motherboard Chipsets is Different Across Brands

Both Intel and AMD motherboards use completely different chipsets. A Chipset is basically the main controller of the motherboard and it determines, among a plethora of other feature, whether a certain CPU is compatible with the motherboard or not.

For instance, the 11th Gen Intel CPUs require a motherboard with the Intel Z590, H570, B550 or the H510 chipsets.

AMD 5000 series require motherboards with AMD X570, B550 or the A520 chipsets.

Motherboard and CPUs Compatibility List

The following tables lists down the motherboard chipsets the different AMD and Intel CPUs are compatible with:

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, AMD and Intel chipsets are proprietary to their brand.

So Can I Use Intel Processor on AMD Motherboard?

Again, reiterating the point, not only can you NOT use an Intel CPU with an AMD motherboard, sometimes when upgrading a CPU from the same brand, you may need to change the motherboard.

For instance, when changing from LGA1200 based Intel 11th Gen CPU to LGA1700 based Intel 12th gen CPU, you would need to change the motherboard. 

Also Read: Computer Not Starting After Installing New Graphics Cards – How to Fix?

FAQ

What Happens if You Put an Intel Processor in an AMD Socket?

You physically cannot put an Intel Processor on AMD socket. Not only are the dimensions of the CPUs different, the Intel processor will not even come in contact with the socket itself.

AM4 Socket PGA
AM4 socket

Take for instance the AMD socket. This socket has holes intended for a PGA CPU with pins that slide into these holes.

If you were to place an Intel CPU, which are LGA based and have flat pads on the bottom, they will simply not come in contact with any electrical terminal at all to establish any sort of connection with the motherboard.

Can I Put an AMD Processor Into an Intel Motherboard?

Just as you cannot plug an Intel CPU into an AMD motherboard, the opposite is also true. You cannot plug an AMD processor into an Intel motherboard due to the same reasons as explained above.

Also Read: Can You Use AMD GPU with Intel 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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