Tech Blog

LGA vs PGS, Intel vs AMD

I found some bent pins on my motherboard, and now one of my ram slots isn't working, surely there is a better way

A hard discovery on a new build

I am known to tinker with my computer, and after doing a rebuild recently, I was quite proud of myself for building a mini ATX system. I was downgrading from my massive mid-sized tower to something that fits comfortably on my desk. I even went up a generation in my graphics card, albeit a much weaker one (1080 ti -> 2060 mini). All of these were conscious decisions, though, the 2060 mini was the only affordable mini card and built a small system that requires small parts.

It worked great after a few hiccups, as to be expected when doing any build, got my RBG working, cooling, all the hardware and all was right in the world. Aside from the PSU cable that somehow came out one day, which I hate to admit that it took me much longer to find that I am proud of sharing.

A few days ago, I moved my desktop into the living room, my laptop wasn't powerful enough to run the new Elgato gaming capture card I had just bought. I was planning on potentially making some gameplay videos of Mario Kart and Cup Head. It goes well, I record it, and before I was going to put it back in my room I wanted to reapply the thermal paste on the CPU, I had done an inferior job the first time. I go and take out the CPU clean it off and notice some bent lga pins, as my heart drops I clean everything and put my computer back together. It doesn't start. So I get to work, using a sim card extractor to bend the pins back, and as I slowly bend them back into place, I see more lights in different places, slowly but surely bending almost all the pins back into place. After watching some youtube videos of course. I eventually get it to start, with only 1 or my 2 ram slots working, now I am down from 16gb ram to 8, not great.

LGA (Intel)

Intel's architecture on their chips means that they have pads on the bottom and they aren't the ones actually in charge of the putting the pins on the CPU, that is on the motherboard companies. This probably works in their favor for manufacturing and quality assurance bypassing that off to the next guy. Unfortunately, or at least with my discovery, is that the pins on the motherboard, aren't straight up and down, which would be an easy fix, they are instead bent slightly up at some diagonal angle, 45 degrees or so like grass, and they have to be aligned just right. They are also extremely delicate, I have no idea why the pins are bent or what even caused that! So fixing it is tedious work, let alone I can only ask myself the question, why was this the best idea, can't we have pad contacts or something that doesn't require pins as a specific angle to work?

PGA (AMD)

AMD put's their pins on the CPU card itself, and instead of being bent at angles, they are straight up and down and slightly into the slot with 0 insertion force needed, it just slides in. The pins on the CPU aren't at an angle, so if they were to become bent it would be a lot easier to fix, but here comes the case that motherboards are cheaper than CPUs, which is true.

Repairability

My next CPU I am moving to an AMD CPU, currently eyeing the Ryzen 2700x if I can't get my pins in order, also might make a move sooner rather than later so I can get some resale value on my Intel i6700k. The AMD chips look that much easier to repair, like ridiculously easier to repair, and while I haven't had the best of luck with my computers recently, not from a lack of care, just from bad luck, I am definitely moving in that direction.

But Intel is better than AMD right?

Yes, until this past generation, and I actually think that AMD's CPUs will be better in terms of performance with their next generation. AMD was always a generation or two behind until recently and viewed as the budget CPU, but with their Ryzen 2000 series, they were able to catch up to Intel and have better performing cards for things like video editing, and graphics. They do better with multi-threaded programs versus Intel who does better with single-threaded programs. I don't know why games don't use more threads. Personally, I would create a game with a lot more than the 2-4 I was hearing.

7nm vs 10nm

Recently AMD worked with their manufacturers to get a smaller node for their next generation 7nm versus Intel's 10nm (14nm currently I believe), and what that means is you can pack more CPU power in the same amount of space, more nodes in the same amount of space. So there is a lot of excitement around that, AMD might become the market leader in terms of performance, a big shift in power from a few years ago.

Personally

I met some high ups at AMD at some conferences two years ago and haven't switched over my CPU since then. They seemed like they were doing some excellent stuff and I am excited to see the shift that is happening in the market, and I am a full supporter of AMD in the future, they also have cheaper motherboards for the same performance for their chips as well, so something else to add on. Either way, competition in the market is good, especially since it seemed like AMD had fallen to the wayside, and is in a great spot to make a comeback.

dan flan