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What Is a Socket 939 Motherboard?

Andy Josiah
Andy Josiah

A Socket 939 motherboard is a motherboard, or the printed circuit board (PCB) in personal computers (PCs), that contains a central processing unit (CPU) socket called Socket 939. It is named after the number of contacts, or pin holes, used to attach the processor, or CPU, to the motherboard. Semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) introduced the socket in June 2004 for three of its CPU brands.

Similar to other components of its ilk, the Socket 939 motherboard is designed for housing the processor as well as containing several interfaces for the purpose of connecting computer peripherals. This includes audio ports for devices such as headphones and microphones, memory module slots for system memory, peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slots, and accelerated graphics ports (AGPs) for expansion cards such as graphics processing units (GPUs) and sound cards, and Serial Advanced Technology Attachment connectors for hard disk and optical drives. The CPU socket that characterizes the Socket 939 motherboard adopts the organic pin grid array (OPGA) form factor. This means that the pins are arranged in a grid on a square-shaped structure made of organic plastic. Also, the socket uses zero insertion force (ZIF) so that customers do not need to rely on any force when inserting or removing the processor.

Dual core processor mounted to a motherboard.
Dual core processor mounted to a motherboard.

The Socket 939 motherboard is chiefly for AMD’s 64-bit processor Athlon 64, which was the company’s premier brand until the introduction of the Phenom in 2007. More specifically, it is compatible with the single-core, or single-processor unit, 3000+ to 4000+ models of the Athlon 64; the 53 to 60 models of the PC gamer enthusiast-focused Athlon FX; and the 3600+ to 4800+ models of the dual-core Athlon 64 X2. Also included are some entries of AMD’s low-end Sempron, and server- and workstation-focused Opteron.

Depending on where it belongs in the aforementioned brands and model number range, the AMD processor on the Socket 939 motherboard must have a processing speed within a 1.6 to 3 gigahertz (GHz) range. Also, it supports a data transfer rate range of 200 to 1,000 megahertz (MHz), and its operational voltage range is 0.8 to 1.55 volts (V). Manufacturers of the Socket 939 motherboard, which always includes the AMD 785G chip set that offers Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics, have included ASRock Inc., ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated (ASUS), Diamond Flower Inc. (DFI), Elitegroup Computer Systems Co., Ltd. (ECS) and Micro-star International Co., Ltd. (MSI). In November 2008, AMD halted production of Socket 939. Some computer component manufacturers, however, still make the Socket 939 motherboard.

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    • Dual core processor mounted to a motherboard.
      Dual core processor mounted to a motherboard.