How to Tell What CPU is Compatible with My Motherboard?

The best way to check CPU compatibility with your motherboard is to identify the chipset and socket types.

CPUs boast socket selections like LGA and PGA, which also determine the chipset they feature.

For instance, an Intel processor needing the LGA 1150 socket will not fit into a motherboard featuring the LGA 1200 socket. They’re as incompatible as pineapple on pizza (controversial, I know).

This is exactly why one must invest time to confirm that a processor fits into a motherboard. Because guessing games are fun until your new CPU just sits there, judging you for your optimism.

But hey! There are multiple ways to check CPU motherboard compatibility. Let me first walk you through the actual compatibility factors:

Key Factors Affecting Compatibility

You cannot know if a CPU is compatible with motherboard unless you know what factors actually affect it.

But fret not, it’s not a laundry list. Just a few important ones:

Socket compatibility

The socket type on your motherboard and CPU must match. No ifs, ands, or buts. Period!

Socket is the interface that connects your processor to the motherboard, allowing them to communicate and work together to run your computer.

The type of socket a motherboard sports, LGA, PGA, or even BGA (Ball Grid Array) determines which CPU goes in.

Chipset compatibility

So, you’ve matched your CPU and motherboard sockets—great start! But just because they can physically connect doesn’t mean they’ll work well together.

Enter the chipset.

This is the mastermind behind the scenes. It makes sure that CPU and other system components like RAM, the graphics card, and storage devices communicate effectively and take full advantage of each other’s capabilities.

For example, Intel’s high-end CPUs often pair best with Z-series chipsets (like Z590 for cutting-edge performance). It supports overclocking and multiple graphics cards.

On the flip side, budget-friendly or less demanding processors might get along fine with B-series chipsets.

BIOS/UEFI Firmware

New PC builders tend to ignore the BIOS/UEFI firmware compatibility while selecting the processor when it should be a priority.

Why a priority?

Because before your OS says “hello,” your BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) or UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is the one making the first introductions.

If it doesn’t recognize the new CPU because it’s running on an outdated firmware version—it’s like trying to unlock a door with the wrong key. Sure, it fits, but it won’t turn.

So when buying a motherboard, you need to check the BIOS version and then compare the same with that of the processor.

Manufacturer Compatibility

You wouldn’t pick a soccer player for a basketball team just because they’re both athletes, right? Similarly, mixing CPU and motherboard manufacturers like Intel and AMD isn’t just impractical—it’s impossible.

Each manufacturer creates an ecosystem where its components are designed to work together seamlessly.

For example, Intel processors fit into motherboards with Intel-compatible sockets and chipsets. This ensures that all the parts of your PC speak the same language, which is crucial for stability and performance.

And once invested in, you can use it for certain Intel versions but never for AMD processors.

So what processors are compatible with your motherboard? This question can only be answered by analyzing all of the factors mentioned above.

How to Check Your Motherboard’s CPU Compatibility?

Now that you know the elements to consider, here are the strategies to check and validate the motherboard and CPU compatibility.

Manual check

  • Identify the model name of the motherboard, often printed on the body, near the CPU socket
  • Check which CPU socket is present—LGA or PGA
  • Now check the CPU and see which socket it works with
  • If the same isn’t compatible, read through the motherboard manual to check for all the compatible CPU models

Manufacturer’s Website

  • Visit the official website of the motherboard manufacturer
  • Head over to the downloads or support section
  • Enter the model number and move to the product page
  • On the page, you will find the CPU support list, allowing you to take the right pick

Using System Information Tools

  • Consider downloading tools like Speccy or CPU-Z.
  • Install and run the preferred tool to access insights related to the motherboard, including the socket type, model, and chipset.
  • Once the details are available, see if the CPU you have zeroed in on aligns with the same or not.

Online Motherboard Compatibility Checkers

  • You can visit websites like UserBenchmark, PartPicker, BuildMyPC, or anything else to pick a CPU.
  • Once the CPU is selected, these online resources help you flush out the incompatible motherboards and vice versa.
  • You can even input the motherboard model to locate the incompatible CPUs.


  • Reboot the PC and while it restarts quickly enter the BIOS, pressing F10, F2, or Delete—the common picks.
  • Head over to the CPU configuration segment and check if the PC has correctly listed and recognized the processor or not.
  • You can also check the BIOS version and compare the same with the one listed on the motherboard manufacturer’s website.
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Jacob Tuwiner Founder
Jacob transforms PC building from daunting to doable. With 8+ years in gaming rigs and tech advice, he's your go-to-guy for uncomplicated, savvy PC insights.