The CPU, heat sink and fan assembly might be installed on the motherboard before the motherboard is placed in the computer case. This allows for extra room to see and maneuver components during installation.


Figure 1 shows a close-up of the CPU and the motherboard. The CPU and motherboard are sensitive to electrostatic discharge. When handling a CPU and motherboard, make sure that you place them on a grounded antistatic mat. Wear an antistatic wrist strap while working with these components.

CAUTION: When handling a CPU, do not touch the CPU contacts at any time.

The CPU is secured to the socket on the motherboard with a locking assembly. Before installing a CPU into the socket on the motherboard, make sure that you are familiar with the locking assembly.

Thermal compound helps to conduct heat away from the CPU. When you are installing a used CPU, clean the top of the CPU and the base of the heat sink with isopropyl alcohol and a lint free cloth. A paper coffee filter works well as a lint free cloth. This removes the old thermal compound. The surfaces are now ready for a new layer of thermal compound. Follow the manufacturer recommendations about applying the thermal compound.

Figure 2 shows thermal compound being applied to the CPU. In most cases, apply a very small amount of thermal compound to the CPU. The compound spreads out evenly under the weight and pressure of the heat sink and fan assembly.

Heat Sink and Fan Assembly

Figure 3 shows the heat sink and fan assembly. It is a two-part cooling device. The heat sink draws heat away from the CPU. The fan moves the heat away from the heat sink. The assembly usually has a 3-pin power connector.

Figure 4 shows the cable and the motherboard connector for the heat sink and fan assembly.

To install a CPU and heat sink and fan assembly, follow these steps:

Step 1. Align the CPU so that the Connection 1 indicator is lined up with Pin 1 on the CPU socket. This ensures that the orientation notches on the CPU are aligned with the orientation keys on the CPU socket.

Step 2. Place the CPU gently into the socket.

Step 3. Close the CPU load plate. Secure it in place by closing the load lever and moving it under the load lever retention tab.

Step 4. Apply a small amount of thermal compound to the CPU. Follow the application instructions provided by the manufacturer of the thermal compound.

Step 5. Align the heat sink and fan assembly retainers with the holes on the motherboard.

Step 6. Place the assembly onto the CPU socket, being careful not to pinch the CPU fan wires.

Step 7. Tighten the assembly retainers to secure the assembly in place.

Step 8. Connect the assembly power cable to the CPU fan connector on the motherboard.