How To Guide 4Windows

How to Install or Replace a Computer Central Processing Unit ( CPU )

A microprocessor or the CPU is one of the main component of a computer system without it the computer will surely not function at all. The processor determine the speed of your computer overall system performance alongside with the system memory and the hard disk drive speed, if you are into computer gaming consider a high end graphics card for top system performance, so when upgrading your computer consider these computer components. The speed of a processor is measured in Ghz a 1,000 Megahertz is equivalent to a 1Ghz the higher the Ghz the better your processor performs.

When buying a processor you should consider looking at its technical specifications such as speed, cache and socket type. The cache is used by the processor to reduce the access time the processor in accessing the system memory this means the higher the cache the lesser the processor time accessing the system memory thus it boost the speed of your computer system. The cache is the processor own memory but faster than conventional memory. The processor stores copies of the most frequently used data to the cache for faster access. Cache is measured in Megabytes (MB), modern processor such as Intel i7 processors with L1 and L2 caches can have up to 10MB of cache.

How to Install the CPU

  1. Before Buying the Processor
    Before attempting to upgrade or buy a new processor always check your motherboard specification, check for the brand name of the processor that your motherboard support such as AMD or Intel processor, the socket type and the highest processor the motherboard can handle, for example if your motherboard support socket 1155 then you should buy a microprocessor that is socket 1155, never attempt installing a 1155 processor on a motherboard that support 1156 processor. Table below list the most common processor socket type with its package type and number of pins.

    Common Socket types
    Socket name CPU family supported Package No. of pins
    LGA 775 Intel Pentium 4, Intel Pentium D, Intel Celeron, Intel Celeron D, Intel Pentium XE, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad, Intel Xeon LGA 775
    Socket AM2+ AMD Athlon 64, AMD Athlon X2, AMD Phenom, AMD Phenom II PGA 940
    LGA 1366 or Socket B Intel Core i7, Intel Xeon LGA 1366
    Socket AM3 AMD Phenom II, AMD Athlon II, AMD Sempron PGA 941 or 940
    LGA 1156 or Socket H Intel Core i7, Intel Core i5, Intel Core, Intel Xeon, Intel Pentium, Intel Celeron LGA 1156
    LGA 1155 or Socket H2 Intel Sandy Bridge, Intel Ivy Bridge LGA 1155
    Socket FM1 AMD Llano Processors PGA 905
    Socket AM3+ AMD FX Vishera, AMD FX Zambezi, AMD Phenom II, AMD Athlon II, AMD Sempron PGA 942
    Socket FM2 AMD Trinity Processors PGA 904
    LGA 2011 Intel Sandy Bridge-E, Intel Ivy Bridge-E LGA 2011

2.Upgrading Your System

When upgrading your processor buy the highest processor speed that your motherboard and your budget can handle. Check your motherboard user manual for processor that it can support.

3. Discharge From Static Charge
Discharge any static charge from your body by using an anti-static wrist strap and connecting it to the ground or the metal chassis of the pc casing. If you don’t have an anti-static wrist strap you can touch any none painted metallic part of the computer casing to discharge static charge from your body.

4. Disconnect Power Connector
If you are upgrading your processor remove all power connector connected to the system board such as the +12v ATX and the 20/24 pin power connector also be sure to disconnect the power plug from the wall socket.

5. Removing The Heat Sink
Remove heat sink fan power connector and the processor heat sink by unlatching the mechanism that holds the heat sink you may need a screw driver to unlock the four fastener by rotating counter clockwise then pull up on each fastener. For AMD processors, there are two type of heat sink used such as clip type or screw type heat sink, to remove a clip type heat sink unhook the cam handle latch from the retention frame and remove the spring clips to where they are attached using a screw driver. For a screw type heat sink, just remove the screws and twist the heat sink back and forth or in a clockwise and counter-clockwise rotational direction to break the seal, this to break the adhesion seal between the heat sink and the processor.

6. Removing The Processor
Before removing the processor clean up all the thermal paste on the processor heat spreader using a cotton or a cotton buds. To remove the processor push the release lever down a bit and lift to unclip the ZIP (Zero Insertion Force) socket, make sure that the lever is fully raised before removing the processor, since it is a ZIP socket it means that no significant force is needed to remove or insert the processor, if removing or installing the processor requires any significant force to remove it then there is something wrong, make sure that the lever is fully raised up and no processor pin(s) are bend.

7. Installing The Processor
To install the processor, hold the processor with your fingers in line with the processor cutouts always hold the processor on its edges and never touch its pins. Align the processor cutout  with the motherboard processor socket notches and lower the processor straight down without tilting or sliding the processor in the socket.

8.Securing the Processor: Close the load plate and lower down the lever till it locks and engage.

9 Applying Thermal Paste: Apply a small amount of thermal paste but a little bit more than that on the image at the center of the processor heat spreader.

10 Installing The Heat sink: With the processor installed properly and locked, place the heat sink by aligning the fastener onto the motherboard four holes. Push down each of the fastener to lock the heat sink, make sure that each fastener are securely attached to the board by gently pulling up each fastener, a properly attached heat sink should not move when you try to move it.

12.Final Check up 

Before you power on your computer check that the cpu fan is installed properly, try to move the heat sink fan, the heat sink and the fan should not move at all, also check that the fastener is locked properly by gently pulling up on each fastener. An improperly installed heat sink will prevent good contact with the processor heat spreader and may cause unreliable operation of the processor and even damage the processor due to excessive heat.

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