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What Is a Socket 462 Motherboard?

A stick of DDR-RAM, a type of memory.
A dual core CPU mounted to a motherboard.
Cat 5 cable with RJ45 plug.
A VGA cable, which can be used with a socket 462 motherboard.
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  • Written By: Andy Josiah
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A Socket 462 motherboard is a motherboard that has a central processing unit (CPU) socket from semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) called Socket 462, or Socket A. This is a socket that physically supports an AMD processor, or CPU, as well as connects it with the motherboard for data transmission. Functioning as the “heart” of a personal computer (PC), the Socket 462 motherboard also contains several other essential components. It uses the microATX (Advanced Technology eXtended) form factor, which has a maximum size standard of 9.6 square inches (244 square mm) and a minimum size standard of 6.75 square inches (171.45 square mm). Manufacturers of the motherboard include ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated (ASUS), Micro-Star International (MSI) and Hewlett-Packard (HP).

AMD introduced Socket 462 in 2000 for entries of four of its processor brands. They are the Athlon, which was the company’s flagship brand at the time; Duron, which was AMD’s low-budget chip; Sempron, which succeeded Duron in 2004; and the embedded system-geared Geode NX. Operating on a voltage range of 1 to 2.05-volt (V), the socket on the Socket 462 motherboard supports CPUs from the aforementioned brands that combine for a processing speed range of 650 to 2,333 megahertz (MHz). The supported data transmission speeds are 200, 266, 333 and 400 megatransfers per second (MT/s). This translates to 200, 266, 333 and 400 million transfers per second.

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Socket 462 is named after its 462 pin holes, which accommodate the processor’s pins. These are arranged in an orderly four-row layout on a 2.2-by-2.58-inch (5.59-by-6.55-centimeter) square-shaped substrate, with a section cut out of the middle. This chip form factor is known as pin grid array (PGA), and it comes in either of two variants, depending on the kind of material used to make the structure. Ceramic pin grid array (CPGA) means that it is made of ceramic, while the organic pin grid array (OPGA) term is used for an organic-plastic manufacture. A zero insertion force (ZIF) feature is included for the complete elimination of force when inserting or removing the PC chip.

Besides the socket, the Socket 462 motherboard has other important components. The dual inline memory module (DIMM) sockets are for storing the PC’s random-access memory (RAM). Serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) and integrated drive electronics (IDE) interfaces are for connecting hard drive and optical drives. Peripheral component interconnect (PCI) and accelerated graphics port (AGP) slots serve as expansion slots for components such as graphics processing units (GPU) to improve the performance or capability of the PC. Other features of the Socket 462 motherboard include an Ethernet driver with a registered jack 45 (RJ45) for wired networking, a sound driver with headphone and microphone jacks for audio, and a video graphics array (VGA) output for screen display.

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