Socket 775 vs. 478
Today we are taking a long hard look at the latest from Intel. First off on our tour is the new Socket and CPU layout. The first thing you will notice is the change in the layout of the socket. First off we'll study the actual interface.
Intel has done away with the traditional way of placing the pins on the CPU itself. This is simply because the smaller the CPU gets, the smaller the pins get, and on the bottom of a CPU that is changed from board to board as regularly as some of us tend to do, it can cause problems with bent pins.
As a part result, Intel has moved the pins to the socket - That's right, there are no pins on the processor. The CPU has a set of holes like you would usually expect the socket to have. This prevents CPU damage - after all, it's cheaper to replace a motherboard worth $200 than a CPU in the $800 - 1000 dollar range.
The following diagram supplied to us by Intel shows how the CPU is installed in the new socket:
The retention system has also changed for the heatsink and the CPU itself. On the 478 pin socket design, we simply raised a lever and the CPU was released from the motherboards pin locks located inside the socket. Since 775 contain the pins on the motherboard, the CPU is held down with a rather unique retention plate that goes over the CPU and pushes the CPU down onto the pins. It has a square hole in the middle for the heat spreader to pop through, allowing the CPU direct contact to the heatsink for the cooling properties to take charge.