Differences in socket 478 vs. 775

Written by dan stone
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Differences in socket 478 vs. 775
Sockets 478 and 775 refer to the motherboard-to-CPU connection type. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The Intel LGA Socket 775 processor connection type is the successor to the Intel Socket 478 processor connection type. Both Socket 775 and Socket 478 refer to the connection used by the computers' processor and motherboard. Socket 775 central processing units are compatible with Socket 775 motherboards; Socket 478 CPUs are compatible with Socket 478 motherboards. You cannot connect a CPU to a motherboard with a different socket type.

Compatible CPUs

The Socket 478 is compatible with earlier generation Intel Pentium 4 processors and Intel Celeron processors that sport the Socket 478 connection type. The Socket 478 supports processors that use Hyper Threading. It does not support Pentium 3 or Intel Core processors.

The Socket 775 processor is compatible with later generation Pentium 4 processors. It also is compatible with Pentium D, Pentium Dual-Core, Core 2 Duo, and Core 2 Quad processors. Additionally, it can work with Celeron, Celeron D, Celeron Dual-Core, and Xeon 3000 series processors that are designed to work with Socket 775 processors.

If you have a Pentium 4, Celeron, or Xeon processor the socket type is important to know because there are different CPUs within each series that support different Socket types.

Differences in socket 478 vs. 775
The CPU is what processes data for the computer. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Physical Connection

Socket 478 and Socket 775 processors use fundamentally different connection types. The Socket 478 uses a processor with pins that directly insert into the motherboard's socket; however, the Socket 775 does not use pins. Instead, it uses gold-plated-copper connection points that press against the motherboard when installed. While the Socket 775 doesn't have pins to ensure it is lined up correctly, it can be lined up based on the shape of the connection layout -- it is missing connection points in two corners.

The number in the socket name refers to how many connection points the CPU shares with the motherboard. The Socket 775 is 15 per cent larger than the Socket 478 and has 60 per cent more contact points.

CPU Performance

The Socket 775 has additional, more efficient connection points that allow it to send and receive data from other parts of the computer faster than the Socket 478. Because of the increased data bandwidth, the Socket 775 is able to support processors with multiple cores, which operate similar to multiprocessor computers. Additionally, the Socket 775 can support CPU speeds of up to 3.8 GHz, while the Socket 478 supports a maximum CPU speed of 3.4 GHz.

Motherboard Performance

Socket 478 motherboards support up to an 800MHz system bus while the Socket 775 motherboards support up to a 1,600MHz bus. The Socket 775 motherboards are able to transmit data between computer components twice as fast as the Socket 478 motherboards.

Additionally, there are Socket 775 motherboards designed to support third generation DDR RAM while Socket 478 motherboards only support second generation DDR RAM at best.

Differences in socket 478 vs. 775
An inefficient motherboard can keep a CPU from optimal performance. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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