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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | The Processor | Processor Physical Characteristics | Processor Sockets and Slots ]

Keying and Orientation

Since most of the sockets (and processors) are square, one concern is making sure that the processor is inserted correctly into the socket. Accidentally rotating the processor 90 degrees can be fatal, since many of the socket holes that supply input power to the processor will now be feeding this voltage to the wrong pin.

Several precautions are taken to ensure that both the socket and the processor are indicated to ensure proper orientation. The processor is usually marked with a dot or a notch in the corner that is intended to go into the marked corner of the socket. In addition, many sockets are keyed through the use of asymmetrical pin layouts, so that the processor cannot be incorrectly inserted (without bending or breaking pins anyway).

Next: Processor Insertion Problems and the ZIF Socket


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