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CPU Installation: Tips and How To

by: Kenneth Tello | 08 Jan, 2011 15:51:22

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Learn the techniques on how to install CPU on your desktop computer 

The central processing unit (CPU) acts as the core of every computer system. The Central Processing Unit (CPU), commonly known as the microprocessor controls and processes all the instructions that the computer is instructed to do. As future technicians, or people from the Information Technology field, it is presumed that you already have the knowledge on the characteristics and properties of that small piece of semiconductor – how to install microprocessor without damaging the chip.

Microprocessor is very sensitive to static electricity, and its pins are soft and bent easily. In this article, you will learn the tips on how to install microprocessor on your desktop computer. Remember that this tutorial is not vendor specific and is applicable to all types of processors.

How to Install Desktop CPU

  • Locate the processor socket on your motherboard

Tip: before you put the CPU on the CPU socket, check the processor surface first if there are dirt on the surface, or if there’s any bent pin. If the above situations are found, don’t install the CPU.

  • The CPU socket has a load lever used to open the CPU socket.  To open the socket, press the load lever using your thumb and rotate the load lever to the left about 135 degrees.
  • Lift the load plate using again your thumb about 100 degrees to open fully the CPU socket.
  • Carefully insert the CPU to the CPU socket. When inserting CPU, make sure that the gold triangle on the CPU is on the bottom-left corner of the CPU socket.

Tip: There is only one correct orientation when inserting CPU. Forcing the CPU into the socket will bent the pins and damages the CPU.

  • After successfully installing the CPU on the CPU socket, remove the PnP (Pick and Place Cap) using your thumb while supporting the load plate edge with your index finger. Keep the PnP cap for it must be placed to the CPU socket if the CPU is removed.

Tip: Never remove the PnP cap from the CPU socket unless you are installing the processor to avoid damage to the socket pins.

  • Close the load plate then lock the load lever into the retention tab to secure the load plate.

How to Install CPU Heatsink and CPU Fan

After successfully inserting the CPU from the CPU socket of the motherboard, next comes the installation of CPU fan and heatsink. Heatsink is a metal having the ability of insulating heat that damages the CPU. CPU Fan is normally embedded with the heatsink, so you only follow one set of steps and ending installing both modules.

  • Place the heatsink on top of CPU ensuring that fasteners match the holes on the motherboard. Also make sure that the CPU fan cable is located on the side closest to the CPU fan connector on the motherboard.
  • Align the CPU fasteners with the holes on the motherboard.
  • The way you lock these fasteners depend on the type of fasteners the heatsink has. For LGA 775 socket motherboards, heatsink and fan are normally rotated in a clockwise direction then press it down using your thumbnail to completely lock the heatsink and fan. The manner of locking fasteners must be two diagonally aligned fasteners at a time.
  • Once the heatsink is secured, connect the CPU fan cable to the CPU fan connector on the motherboard (labeled with CPU_FAN).

Tip: never forget to connect the CPU fan cable. Hardware error occurs for failing to plug the CPU fan cable to the CPU connector.

Now you have the guide on how to install CPU and CPU heatsink on your desktop computer without damaging the CPU. Just follow these steps together with the tips to avoid any installation and hardware problems.

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