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I don't know if it's supposed to look like this or not, since I'm building my first PC. I'm using a Z270-a Pro motherboard. I would guess that, yes, these are definitely bent, but it's exactly one-half of the pins and they are all bent uniformly so I thought maybe it was supposed to look like that.

Sorry if this is a stupid question. I looked up pictures online, but they were too far away for me to tell.

Enter image description here

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    Those are not bent. If there were bent pins, they would be obvious at first glance as they would look completely out of place. – Michael Hampton Mar 18 '17 at 22:28
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    This isn't a stupid question at all. A lot of people had the exact same concern when this socket design first came out. Somewhere out there, there was an electrical engineer laughing manically about the panic that they were about to unleash upon the world... – Nat Mar 20 '17 at 6:16
  • Note the angle that the picture in the question is obviously taken at. At this angle, the right-hand-side pins look like points, and the left-hand-side pins look flat. My guess is that if you were to take a picture from straight above, all pins would look close to identical (not completely identical as the light path still wouldn't be perfectly straight, but close enough). – a CVn Mar 20 '17 at 9:30
  • Thanks for all the help! I'm glad to know this wasn't a stupid question. I was hoping they WERE bent though, because then I'd know whats wrong with my computer. Back to the drawingboard! – Ozpium Mar 24 '17 at 13:35
  • We arn't a traditional forum. Pick the answer that was most correct with a tickmark and/upvote any that were helpful, and have a look at the tour – Journeyman Geek Mar 24 '17 at 13:51
58

In technical terms: What you have there is a land grid array (LGA) socket, and it looks just fine!

All the pins are bent/curled on purpose, so the CPU – which is flat underneath – can rest on them and make contact. The bent pins act like little springs, so when the CPU is clamped onto the motherboard, they press firmly against the CPU's contact pads.

You say that half of your pins are bent, but in fact they all are: One half of the pins bend one way, and the other half bend another way, like they've been combed with a tiny brush. Depending on the angle you're viewing them from, it can look like only half of them are bent, but if you look closer, you'll see they're all bent/curled. (Not sure why they're bent in two different directions, but I suspect it helps center the CPU in the socket, or has some other micro-mechnical advantage.)

If any of the pins were actually damaged, you'd most likely see it right away, because they'd be pointing in some weird angle (like seen in this photo where a few pins have been "crushed" while the others are neatly, uniformly arranged).

But again, the socket in your photo looks just fine!


Edit: By popular request, here's an embedded photo (couldn't embed the one I link to above due to copyright) of some really messed up socket pins. Not for the faint of heart.

oh no!

Image from Reddit user Naedtrax, via imgur.

  • 1
    Great answer, but you should include a pic of another LGA socket. Your current answer makes it look like the picture you have in your answer is an LGA, because that's what 90% of your answer describes and it's the only picture present. – Hashim Mar 20 '17 at 1:50
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    @Hashim OP already included photos of a pristine LGA socket. The very first line of my answer calls it out as such, as does the last line before the edit. – Flambino Mar 20 '17 at 1:57
  • Like Mario would say.. "Mamma mia!" That picture is aw**** (replace the **** with "ful" or "esome", at your choice). This remembers me when I bought a Pentium 4 and a lot of its pins were bent... I tought that with the LGA socket that problem was solved, but.... – frarugi87 Mar 20 '17 at 10:06
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    If all the pins were sprung in the same direction, I imagine that there would be a considerable sideways force when the chip was pushed down. – Andrew Morton Mar 20 '17 at 11:06
  • @AndrewMorton my suspicion too. And vibrations might make chip "walk" in one direction (minutely) if they were all aligned – Flambino Mar 20 '17 at 11:33
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The contacts are bent into a spring shape so that the CPU slightly compresses all of them when it's clamped into place.

2

Practically speaking, it is almost impossible to tell if you don't know what you're looking for.

I've done this (Bent pins >< ), and it takes a flash light shined perpendicularly to the socket to detect them. Bent pins won't reflect light the same way as pins that aren't damaged.

Those pins look fine in bulk. If you have bent pins it would be one or two and would require very close examination. Typically this sort of damage isn't covered in warranty (and might void it).

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