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The LGA 1200 is a CPU socket compatible with two generations of Intel processors – Comet Lake (10th generation) and Rocket Lake (11th generation). LGA 1200 has twelve hundred protruding pins for the CPU, and it features a socket design known as land grid array. The socket debuted alongside the Z490 chipset and Comet Lake CPUs in May 2020. If you want to find out more about CPU sockets or CPUs themselves, visit our CPU section, it has lots of in-depth, informative articles as well as a number of detailed CPU buying guides.
The LGA 1200 socket can be found on two generations of Intel chipsets. These include the two flagship chipsets – Z490 and Z590 – alongside mid-range and entry-level offerings – H410, B460, H470, Q470, W480, H510, B560, H570, Q570, and W580. Compared to its predecessor, the LGA 1151, LGA 1200 features twelve hundred protruding pins for connecting with the CPU. That’s forty-nine extra protruding pins compared to the LGA 1151. The extra pins are used to improve power delivery and any potential I/O improvements. The two sockets also have different socket keying positions (to the right on the LGA 1151, to the left on the LGA 1200), making them physically incompatible. Below you can find the full LGA 1200 CPU list coupled with LGA 1200 hardware specs and more.
The LGA 1200 socket uses the land grid array (LGA in short) design where pins are placed on the socket with CPUs featuring pads to connect with those pins. On the other hand, AMD uses the pin grid array (PGA) design where the CPU has the pins while the socket features holes for those pins to connect. PGA design can be found on the AM4 socket. Intel, on the other hand, has been using LGA design since 2006.
The LGA 1200 includes twelve hundred pins in total used for power delivery and I/O connections. Its dimensions are 37.5mm x 37.5mm, the exact dimensions seen on many other Intel sockets. The thermal solution hole pattern stayed the same as on the LGA 1151, LGA 1150, LGA 1155, and LGA 1156 sockets. It’s square-shaped with sides measuring 75mm. In other words, cooling solutions that worked with older Intel sockets starting with the LGA 1156 are also compatible with the LGA 1200.
LGA 1200 vs LGA 1151
The LGA 1151 socket, also known as Socket H4, was introduced with Skylake CPUs in 2015. The first revision supports Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs, while the second revision supports Coffee Lake CPUs (8th and 9th gen Intel CPUs). As you have probably noticed, the main difference between the LGA 1151 and LGA 1200 is the number of protruding pins found on the socket. While the former has eleven hundred and fifty-one pins, the latter features twelve hundred pins. Intel didn’t stop there. The company also decided to switch the socket keying from right to left, making the two sockets both electrically and mechanically incompatible.
The size of the two sockets is the same at 37.5mm x 37.5mm. The two sockets also use the same, square-shaped, thermal solution hole patterns with 75mm sides. Finally, both sockets are found on chipsets that only support DDR4 memory. It’s worth noting that the LGA 1200 socket can be found on chipsets that have PCIe 4.0 support, while the LGA 1151 is used on chipsets that only support PCIe 3.0. The second revision of the LGA 1151 socket debuted alongside the Z370 chipset in late 2017. You can also find LGA 1151 socket on the Z390 chipset, which came out in 2018, and on mid-range and entry-level chipsets (B460, for instance).
LGA 1200 vs LGA 1700
The LGA 1700 is the latest CPU socket from Intel, compatible with Alder Lake (12th gen) CPUs. The socket should also be compatible with Raptor Lake (13th gen) CPUs. Compared to the LGA 1200, the LGA 1700 has eighteen hundred protruding pins for power delivery and I/O, even though Alder Lake CPUs include only seventeen hundred connection pads. But since the upcoming Raptor Lake CPU lineup will have eighteen hundred pads, Intel decided to equip LGA 1700 with the same number of pins to make it compatible with the upcoming CPU generation.
The LGA 1700 is rectangle-shaped and measures 37.5 mm x 45 mm, while the LGA 1200 is square-shaped and measures 37.5mm x 37.5mm. The two sockets look entirely different and are both electrically and mechanically incompatible. The LGA 1700 also has a lower z-stack – IHS or integrated heat spreader to motherboard height – since Alder Lake CPUs have a tinner IHS compared to older Intel CPUs. Thinner IHS resulted in the Z stack going from 7.312 – 8.249 mm seen on the LGA 1200 to 6.529 – 7.532 mm on the LGA 1700. Slimmer IHS means that some older CPU coolers may have issues with the new socket.
Differences continue with the thermal solution hole pattern. Intel decided to increase it from 75mm x 75mm on the LGA 1200 to 78mm x 78mm on the LGA 1700. In other words, cooling solutions use different mounting brackets on the LGA 1700 than on the LGA 1200 and older Intel sockets. Luckily, you have many quality coolers compatible with the Core i5-12600K, Core i7-12700K, and Core i9-12900K. As you can see from the supplied info, aside from sharing the LGA socket design, the LGA 1200 and 1700 are completely different.
CPUs compatible with LGA 1200
The LGA 1200 is compatible with the 10th and 11th generation of Intel CPUs. This includes the Comet Lake (Core i9-10900K, for instance) and Rocket Lake (Core i9-11900K) processors. Interestingly, while the Z490 chipset, compatible with both generations, supports PCIe 4.0 standard 10th gen Intel CPUs only support PCIe 3.0. In other words, while Z490 boards have PCIe 4.0 support, they’re limited to PCIe 3.0 unless paired with Rocket Lake (11th gen) processors.
Comet Lake (10th gen) hardware specs
Intel Comet Lake CPU lineup debuted in 2019. Comet Lake CPUs made a noticeable jump in performance compared to the 9th generation of Intel processors. This is mainly due to adding more cores in the case of Core i9 SKUs and enabling hyperthreading on Core i5 and Core i7 models since the production process stayed the same old 14nm, only with certain iterative updates. This is the same production process that debuted with Skylake in 2015.
Intel also introduced Thermal Velocity Boost tech for Core i9 SKUs, increasing the boost clock by 100Mhz if your CPU cooler can provide enough thermal performance. The entire Comet Lake lineup has hyperthreading enabled, a first for Intel, with cores topping at ten in the case of Core i9 models. While TDP maxes out at 125W on paper, many CPUs use more power with MCE (multi core enhancement) enabled, and when overclocked. Comet Lake CPUs support PCIe 3.0 and DDR4 memory.
Rocket Lake (11th gen) hardware specs
The Rocket Lake CPU lineup came after Comet Lake. In 2020. It uses the same production process with, again, few iterative updates. The 14nm process was pretty limited at this point resulting in higher power requirements, higher thermals, and fewer cores on the top, Core i9 SKU, compared to Comet Lake. Instead of ten cores we had on Comet Lake Core i9 CPUs, Rocket Lake Core i9 designs feature only eight cores. Despite higher power requirements, Intel again set the official max TDP at 125W, at least on paper. The only notable new feature on Rocket Lake CPUs was PCIe 4.0 support. It’s also worth noting that Intel decided to finally unlock memory overclocking on chipsets other than the high-end Z590 option, like on the B560.
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Chipsets featuring LGA 1200 socket
The LGA 1200 socket can be found on the following Intel chipsets:
Explaining Threads, Base & Boost clocks, and TDP
CPU threads and hyperthreading – Every CPU has a set number of physical cores. Each of these physical cores can split into two virtual cores called threads on CPUs with hyperthreading support. Threads allow two different tasks to be performed simultaneously on one physical core. Of course, two virtual cores have lower performance than two physical cores of the same CPU.
In other words, while hyperthreading can boost performance, it can’t boost performance as much as extra physical cores. In fact, in some tasks such as games, hyperthreading can affect performance. The thing is, while some games work slower with hyperthreading turned on, others run faster. Further, even when the performance’s lower, the difference is only a couple of frames, in most cases. At the end of the day, it’s best to leave hyperthreading on if your CPU supports it.
Base & Boost clocks – The base CPU clock is the frequency at which the CPU works when idle or when under light loads (like browsing the web or using Windows File Manager). The boost clock is the highest frequency a CPU can reach under full load. The maximum boost clock differs depending on whether we’re talking about single-threaded (video games) or multithreaded scenarios (video editing, CPU-based rendering).
For instance, the 10900K can reach about 5.1 GHz in single-threaded loads. On the flip side, the CPU stabilizes at about 4.9 GHz when all its cores are under maximum load. We’re using the Max Turbo Frequency value when listing the max boost clock. This is the maximum single-core frequency a CPU can reach under perfect circumstances (high-end Z490 motherboard and cooling solution, only one core under load, excellent CPU sample, etc.). Chances are, you won’t see the same frequency on your unit.
Let’s explain Intel boost technologies in detail:
Turbo Boost Technology – Intel Turbo Boost Technology (TBT) 3.0 is an updated version of the 2.0 technology. This technology is used to increase your CPU clock frequency depending on the workload. So, the frequency of your CPU will fluctuate between the base clock frequency and the Max Turbo Frequency. So, when you see the CPU speed indicated like “3.70 GHz, up to 4.70 GHz”, 3.70 GHz is the base clock frequency, and the 4.70 GHz is the Max Turbo Frequency!
Single-Core Boost clock – When new Comet Lake CPU data was leaked, two new frequency parameters came into play. Single-Core Boost clock frequency is the maximum frequency a single core can achieve if the Turbo Boost Max Technology determines there is a need to boost the frequency. This number is valid for any processor core. Programs that only use a single core to run on your computer will benefit from this frequency greatly.
All-Core Boost clock – This frequency is the maximum frequency you can achieve when all cores of your CPU are being boosted. For instance, let’s go back to this CPU speed indicator: “3.70 GHz, up to 4.70 GHz”. A single core can be boosted to 4.70 GHz but, if you were to boost all cores, you wouldn’t be able to achieve this frequency. Instead, all cores could be boosted to the All-Core Boost clock frequency, which should be somewhere in between.
Thermal Velocity Boost – Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) technology lets a CPU squeeze more performance by automatically increasing the clock frequency in accord with the CPUs current temperature. This tech was first included in Intel’s mobile CPU lineup in 2018 and later in desktop CPUs with the i9-9900 which had a TVB clock of 5.0 GHz. For the 10th gen, only some of the i9 series will have support for TVB.
TDP (Thermal Design Power) – TDP or thermal design power represents the maximum power consumption a CPU can reach with default clocks & settings. While Intel lists 125W as the maximum TDP for Comet Lake and Rocket Lake CPUs, this number can be much higher. Especially if you turn on the multi-core enhancement (MEC) option on your Z490 or Z590 motherboard or if you overclock your CPU.