Gaming PC

How to Install a CPU

Your system’s CPU or processor may be powerful enough to run games smoothly and handle productivity tasks with ease, but it’s surprisingly easy to damage if you’re not careful. I don’t know what you are doing.

So, whether you’re building your first PC, upgrading an existing system, or a DIY veteran confused by recent socket changes, it’s important to handle your processors with care and properly seat your CPUs into their motherboard sockets. is. If the CPU is not properly seated in the socket, powering on the system without the CPU properly seated can damage the CPU, motherboard, and even other components.

The good news is that besides general patience and care, there are just two important steps to remember. Follow the steps below for easy and successful CPU installation.

Be careful with pins!

Intel’s LGA 1700 socket (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Older AMD AM4 processors use a Pin Grid Array (PGA) with hundreds of tiny pins on the bottom of the chip. The new AM5 CPUs and all Intel consumer CPUs are of the Land Grid Array (LGA) type, with pads on the bottom of the CPU and pins on the sockets. Whichever you use, you need to be careful not to bend the pins by dropping or bumping the CPU or socket.

Bent pins, especially one or more near an edge, can be very difficult to recover. These pins and pads are where the CPU and motherboard connect to exchange data and power, so if even one pin is broken or bent, your system will be unable to boot or disable critical functions such as USB. It may become Keep the CPU in the plastic or cardboard tray until you are ready to install the CPU. And don’t drop it!

prepare the motherboard

A good way to start the CPU installation process is to place the motherboard on top of the box. (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

You can wait until the motherboard is screwed into the case before installing the CPU, but it’s usually easier and safer to leave the motherboard outside the case. However, this is not the easiest option when upgrading CPUs in existing desktops.

When building a new PC, first place the board on top of the antistatic bag it came in or on the motherboard box to protect the bottom of the board and table/desk from static electricity. other.

open a socket

Intel’s LGA 1700 socket closed (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Then we need to open the socket. For the latest Intel and AMD platforms, this is done by pushing down on the metal lever on the right side and slightly away from the socket. The lever must be pushed down from under the metal piece to disengage it and the bar must be slowly lifted up and away from the socket. Older AMD AM4 motherboards have smaller bars and are held in by plastic clips to reduce resistance. But so is the process of lifting the bar.

On Intel and current AMD boards, you’ll need to lift the silver metal CPU retainer plate on the other side of the socket out of the socket the same way you lifted the metal bar. Note that if the motherboard is new, there should be a piece of plastic in the center of the retainer plate designed to protect the socket. You can take it out now, but you can leave it there until you actually install the CPU. It will be forcibly removed by the CPU. Protecting the socket pins is important, so keep this protective cover on if you plan to store, sell, or give away your motherboard at a later date.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

AMD’s AM5 socket is fully open

Retaining plates and bars should be above vertical. This allows the socket to remain open for the next step of putting the CPU in its new location.

line up triangular arrows

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Don’t mess with this bit unless you want to destroy your component. Before grabbing the CPU, look for a small triangle/arrow on one corner of the socket or retention plate. It is usually located on the top left (bottom image, AMD) or bottom left (Intel). After locating the arrow indicator on the socket, check if there is a matching arrow on one of the corners of the CPU.

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