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How to Remove a Computer Processor

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by MziziMkavu, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
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    This is part of a three step guide on how to remove, prep, and install a new CPU. This is part 1 of 3. This covers removing the processor.
    I would first like to begin with noting that the two large CPU companies namely AMD and Intel in that alphabetical order have an expansive, broad amount of processors.

    This means that you really need to read over the manual that came with your motherboard or computer. You can not replace an AMD CPU with an Intel CPU or the other way around, it simply will not work. AMD & Intel use CPU sockets and these vary in both dimension and pin count.

    In fact, AMD and Intel both have many different sockets themselves as time goes on and they almost all vary in pin count except in rare cases.

    So if a CPU does not have the same amount of pins as the old one that you are replacing there is a drastically high probability it is not going to work.

    There was a time when AMD and Intel both shared the same socket, but this was when the Pentium first came out and previous to that. Beyond that, every single one is different.

    Also there's this thing the motherboard uses to make the entire computer communicate, it's called the BIOS.

    It is the very first piece of software that is loaded when you press in the power button and it's not even made by Microsoft. It's software made by a company called Award, Phoenix, or another.

    And the point is that if this BIOS cannot recognize the CPU, you're toast. It is not going to work.

    So make absolutely sure that the motherboard can handle the CPU you are wanting to install.

    Read all documentation that came with your computer and uncover what model numbers of processors are allowable to be installed. If you absolutely have to, you can do searches on the Internet to help assist this model number search.

    First you need to remove the heat sink and the old CPU. Turn off the computer and pull the power cord out. Make sure you're grounded out by holding onto the computer case chassis while you are performing computer surgery.

    I would not work on carpet if it at all possible, and if you do I'd recommend being barefoot and lose the sweater if you have one on. You can always move the computer to a suitable room.

    You might encounter cables and wires in the way of the processor. You will need to relocate those for the time being and put them back later. You need enough room to get the heat sink and the CPU out.

    It should not be difficult locating the CPU. There's going to be a heat sink latched onto the top of the processor. Most likely there is a fan sitting on the top of the heat sink, but there doesn't have to be if your computer was designed and configured without one.

    After you have removed all obstacles to getting at the processor you need to unscrew the fan from the heat sink if there is one.

    Now comes the tricky part, or not so tricky depending on the processor and socket.

    We need to remove the heat sink. On a lot of sockets you will probably want to use a flat head screw driver and work the heat sink latching mechanism off of the side tabs of the socket base itself.

    It usually is not hard getting it off, it's usually more difficult getting it back on. But it doesn't have to be this way in all scenarios, it could be easy depending on the way the socket is designed and your heat sink latching mechanism.

    It may be possible you can depress a tab and spring the heat sink off, but don't be surprised if you have to fetch a flat head screw driver. If you don't have to, be thankful.

    Now we've taken the CPU out. We will want to reuse the heat sink assembly.
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