How to Determine a CPU Socket Type

By Charles Jackson

Knowing the CPU socket type for a computer motherboard is essential for anyone planning to upgrade the device's central processor. CPU socket compatibility is typically listed with the computer product name and specifications in the owner's manual. Before buying a new processor, find out which socket type is available on your motherboard since there are several types for each brand.

Find the Socket Type Without Opening Your PC

Step 1

Right-click the Windows icon on the desktop screen taskbar and then select "Control Panel" from the jump menu to launch the computer's Control Panel.

Step 2

Select the "System" button. Find out the processor type under the System section halfway down the page. Write down the full name and model number of your computer's processor.

Step 3

Search for your processor in a CPU database website (see Resources). The CPU database will show you what type of CPU socket your current processor uses. If you want to upgrade the system, you will need to find a processor with the same socket unless you are prepared to replace the motherboard as well.

Find Out Socket Type By Opening the PC

Step 1

Turn off the computer and remove the power cable.

Step 2

Remove the case cover and turn the computer on its side.

Step 3

Locate the CPU. This will be easily distinguishable by the large heat sink and fan installed above it. You should find the socket type written underneath the socket on the motherboard.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you still have your motherboard manual, you can also refer to that to find out which type of CPU socket your computer has.
  • If you are upgrading your CPU, you will also need to make sure your system BIOS is compatible.