How Many Pins Does a CPU Have?

All CPUs have pins on them for forming an electrical connection with the motherboard. However, the amount of pins a CPU has is not uniform. So how many pins does a CPU have really?

Basically, as said earlier, the amount of pins a CPU has can vary depending upon the socket it supports. For instance an AM4 socket found on AMD 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 desktop-based CPUs has 1331 pins. The LGA 1200 socket found on the 10th and 11th gen Intel CPUs have 1200 pins.

As such, there is not one answer fit all to the question how many pins does a CPU have. Some processors with a small size have a few hundred pins, while other larger and more complex processors can feature a lot more pins (in the thousands).

In the following text, I will explore the amount of pins on a processor in depth, explore different socket types and also talk briefly about the purpose of the pins.

There are Different Socket Types

First things first. It is important to note that there are three different socket types. Pay close attention to the fact that not all processor have pins, some have pads and other have solder balls.

LGA Socket Type

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

CPUs with the LGA type sockets DO NOT have pins sticking out on their bottom. Instead they have small pads which are also know as lands. 

Intel primarily uses the LGA-based socket design for their CPUs. 

As such with Intel, instead of having the CPUs with pins sticking out, the CPU Socket on the motherboard has pins sticking out that come in contact with the pads on the CPU when locked in.

lga processor socket
An LGA type CPU placed on top of a CPU socket on a motherboard. Notice the CPU chip has pads whereas the motherboard socket has pins.

PGA Socket Type

pga socket
PGA CPUs are primarily used by AMD

CPUs with a PGA sockets have pins sticking out from the bottom. 

AMD primarily uses PGA type socket for their commercial Ryzen series CPUs.

Here while the CPU has the pins, the socket on the motherboard has the same corresponding holes where the processor slides into.

BGA Socket Type

Ball Grid Socket type is used on CPUs built for laptops and mobile devices.

With this type of socket, the processor is soldered onto the motherboard directly and thus cannot be removed or replaced.

Both Intel and AMD use BGA socket type for their mobile processors.

The essential point to note here is that for simplicity sake and for the purpose of this article, the pads on an LGA, balls on a BGA and pins on a PGA socket type are ALL counted as pins.

Also Read: How to Check Motherboard Socket?

How Many Pins Does a CPU Have?

As mentioned earlier, the amount of pins on a CPU varies depending upon what socket type it belongs to.

Here are some of the common socket type and their pin counts:

Intel Sockets

The current Intel socket for the mainstream DESKTOP CPUs are as follows:

  • LGA 1151 – 1151 pins –  for 7th, 8th and 9th Gen Core, Pentium and Celeron CPUs
  • LGA 1200 – 1200 pins – for 10th and 11th Gen Core, Pentium and Celeron CPUs
  • LGA 1700 – 1700 pins –  for 12th Gen Core, Pentium and Celeron CPUs.

For Intel Workstation CPUs:

  • LGA 2066 – 2066 pins –  for 10th Gen Intel Core Extreme processors like the Intel Core i9-10980XE

AMD Sockets

The following are some of the popular AMD sockets for desktop grade CPUs

  • AM4 – 1331 pins – for 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 series AMD Ryzen and Athlon series CPUs.
  • sTRX4 – 4094 pins – for AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs (Workstation grade)

The following table shows the socket type and the corresponding pin count for popular current gen CPUs.

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 7000 Series Ryzen and AthlonAM51718LGA
AMD Epyc (Server)SP34094LGA
AMD Ryzen Threadripper
1000 and 2000 Series
(Workstation)
TR44094LGA
AMD Ryzen Threadripper
3000 Series
(Workstation)
sTRX44094LGA

Also Read: Where is the CPU Located in a Computer?

Figuring Out How Many Pins Your CPU Has

Again you can figure out how many pins your CPU has by knowing it socket model.

With Intel this is fairly easy as the socket model name has the pin count mentioned in it.

So for instance, a CPU supporting the LGA1151 socket has 1151 pins and similarly a CPU supporting the LGA1700 socket would have 1700 pins.

You can search up the socket model online. Simply search up the name of your CPU model and look for field labelled as “Sockets Supported” under the “Package Specifications” heading on Intel official website.

The following images shows the socket supported by Intel Core i7-11700K

Intel Core i7-11700K CPU socket
Intel Core i7-11700K CPU supports the FCLGA1200 socket. Source: Intel

With AMD, you cannot figure out the amount of pins on a socket through the socket model name. For instance, the socket models AM4, SP3 or the sTRX4 do not have the pin count mentioned in the name.

Hence for AMD CPUs, you can either count the pins yourself (which can be tedious) or simply search up the socket name online.

Also Read: How to Check What CPU You Have?

What are Pins on a CPU and Why are They Important?

The pins actually form an electrical connection with the motherboard. They are not only used for powering up the CPU, but to also provide pathway for data input and output.

Each pin serves a specific function and facilitates in various operations.

All microchips, microprocessors and CPUs have a specific PINOUT diagram. A pinout diagram essentially shows the corresponding function of each and every pin. 

Pinout diagram
Pinout Diagram of a Decade Counter. Wikipedia

For instance, the image above shows the pinout diagram of a decade counter IC – it does not actually count decades; it essential works as a counter used for counting from 0-10 for various devices.

Note that all the pins are numbered. These numbers can be used to refer to their corresponding function provided in a separate table.

 So for instance

  • Pin 1 to 7 and 9 to 11 are output pins.
  • Pin 8 is for GND in electrical connection for providing negative connection
  • Pin 16 supplies the voltage. It is the positive terminal

This is just a very basic example of what the pins mean on a simple IC. On a microprocessor or a CPU, things get a lot more complex.

The following shows the pinout diagram of an LGA1150 processor (Intel 4th Gen CPUs).

How Many Pins Does a CPU Have
LGA1150 socket Pinout Diagram

To understand what each and every pin here indicates refer to the following document: Intel 4th CPU Datasheet (Page 112 and onwards) – Source: Intel

Also Read: Which Intel and AMD CPUs Support PCIe 4.0?

Does More CPU Pins Equal More Performance?

The number of pins on a CPU sometimes can indicate how powerful the CPU is, however, this correlation does not always hold true.

If you take CPUs from a newer generations and relate their performance with their pin number, there will mostly be a positive correlation. However, across generation the correlation will NOT hold. 

For instance, the LGA1700 – 1700 Pins based CPUs (Intel 12th Gen) are more powerful than the LGA1200 Pins CPUs (Intel 10th and 11th Gen), which in turn are more powerful than the LGA1151 CPUs (9th Gen).

Similarly, more powerful workstation grade CPUs also have a higher pin count i.e LGA2066. 

Across generation and across brands, this correlation does NOT hold though.

For instance, the LGA1155 socket for 2nd generation Intel Core processors has a higher pin count than the LGA1151 for the 9th gen Intel Core CPU, yet the LGA1151 based CPUs are far more powerful – despite having a lower pin count. 

Similarly, if you look across brands, while the AMD AM4 socket only has 1331 pins, their newer gen CPU are far more powerful than CPU based on the LGA1151 or even the LGA1200 based sockets.

So in short, there is a good correlation between pin count and performance, but it doesn’t always hold true.

Also Read: Can I Use Laptop CPU in Desktop?

Final Words

So how many pins does a CPU have? again, the answer to this question depends upon the make and model of your CPU.

Generally more complex CPUs have a higher number of pins.

Also Read: Can I Use Intel Processor on AMD Motherboard?

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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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