How to install or replace a processor in a computer

A modern computer is like a construction set. Only children collect transformers, and give adults video cards and processors. When it is necessary to install or replace a computer spare part, many nuances and little things appear, without which it will not be possible to assemble and configure the equipment correctly. LEGO skills are not enough here. In such a situation, it is always better to see once than hear a hundred times, so we will show the whole process from A to Z.

Before any foray into the bowels of the system unit, the main thing is to save important data somewhere far away. For example, to an external hard drive, or even better to a home NAS or to the cloud. After that, your hands will begin to shake less and less often.

As a rule, after reinstalling the processor, the BIOS settings are reset – it is also better to save them in a special profile. We also take into account that along with the settings, other parameters will also fly: RAID, if it is configured by the chipset; overclocking and tuning RAM. Therefore, once again and louder:

And if you work in feng shui and in comfortable conditions, then here is a list of what you will definitely need for repairs:

Anti-static gloves. A person is charged with static: one discharge somewhere in the area of ​​random access memory, video outputs or a processor will be enough to “get” to buy new hardware. In this case, the warranty will be canceled, and such electronics most likely cannot be repaired. Therefore, it is necessary to work in special gloves – safely and without “fingers”.
Gloves for the photographer FST СG-1 / VSGO DDG-2 gray antistatic carbon fabric

Phillips screwdriver. Computer screws and bolts are standard: a screwdriver with a sting for M3 screws will fit them. Better yet, have a set of screwdrivers handy.
DEKO SS06 screwdriver set

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Cotton pads and cotton swabs. To remove dust and dirt in the computer, it is better to use a non-contact method using compressed air. With care, avoiding close contact of the air stream with small parts. And for contact cleaning, you can use wipes, cotton wool and lint-free materials. For example, to remove thermal grease from the processor and cooler, you can use technical wet wipes.
Napkin Konoos KTS-30 for screens

Organizer. The screws and small parts in the computer are unique, and after disassembling the system, it is best to make sure that they do not roll over the table and do not fall into the paws of pets. To do this, you can use magnetic rugs, but if such a luxury is not found, then an organizer can be adapted for this.
Organizer for Stayer “Multyshel Mini” fittings 38051-09
Cleaning fluid. Classically it is alcohol. And according to the modern – special sprays and cleaners. It is needed in order to easily remove the stuck thermal paste from the processor, radiator or fragile graphics chip. And also for wiping the contacts of the processor and RAM.
Steel Frost Cleaner Pro DS-1

Thermal paste. It is imperative to keep it in stock, if we change the processor, cooling (cooler), and even if we just remove the heatsink, it is imperative to change the thermal paste . It can be everyone’s favorite Arctic Cooling MX-4 or any other with a high thermal conductivity coefficient.

We disassemble the system
Disable the system unit

Before you look into the system unit, you need to disconnect it from the power supply. We turn off the computer with the “Shut down” button, wait for the complete shutdown and click the toggle switch on the power supply, and then remove the plug from the outlet:

Removing the side panels

Fashionable and modern cases have glass side panels that are fixed with four screws. Usually there are rubber spacers on them – it is better not to lose them:


Before working with electronics in the housing, you must remove the CMOS battery. After that, the computer will be completely de-energized and ready for any action:

Extraneous interference

For the convenience of working with the space around the socket, remove unnecessary wires and parts. For example, get a video card:

Cooling system

The cooling system must be removed to access the processor.

Depending on the state of the thermal paste between the processor and the heatsink of the cooler, there may be a problem with their separation. This happens most often with AMD processors (a feature of the geometry of the processor cover). If the cooling system is not going to lag behind the processor, in no case we pull it towards ourselves, pulling the processor out of the socket. Also, you cannot drag it to the kink – for safe removal, you need to smoothly scroll the heatsink clockwise relative to the processor, gradually shifting the planes relative to each other. After each scrolling, you need to try to separate the parts.

There are several types of latches and hold-down systems .

For the Intel platform, systems are used both with “box” mounting and universal. In the first case, it is necessary to turn the latches counterclockwise until they stop and pull them towards you to free the movement of the “ruffles” in the holes of the motherboard. This is how a similar third-party system works:

The factory AMD CPU cooler mount has a quick release system where you release the presser foot to release the heatsink.

Universal mounting systems can be removed easier and more clearly: just unscrew four screws and the processor is free. This applies to both Intel and AMD systems:

Before removing the radiator, do not forget to pull out the fan or pump terminal from the connector:

We clean the work surfaces

Thermal grease is used to improve heat transfer from the processor to the cooler heatsink. After removing the system, it will not be suitable for reuse, therefore it must be removed:

It is better to remove the rest of the thermal paste with a soft material or a cotton pad, and then degrease it. If the thermal paste is stuck and cannot be removed without effort, it is better to use some kind of solvent: alcohol or a special tool for removing thermal paste.

We carry out similar actions with the cooling sole:

Installing a new processor
There are a few rules to follow when installing a new processor. A processor is fragile and easily damaged by careless movements. For example, Intel processors have additional components on the pad side that can easily get knocked off by knocks or rough action. Do not forget about the contacts in the socket – more than a thousand legs are waiting to be bent:

AMD processors have a specific structure of contacts: if competitors have just contact pads, then in “red” ones these are more than a thousand external conductors of the “leg” type. They are very effectively jammed under the influence of the fingers of an inaccurate user:

To avoid damage during removal or installation of the processor, you need to be aware of these nuances. To do this, you need to properly handle the processor: hold it gently by the edges and always wear anti-static gloves:

We take out the old

To get the processor out of the motherboard, you need to open the socket. AMD processors stay in it only due to those very legs. It is enough to pull the lever to move the contacts inside the socket and free the processor:

Sockets for Intel processors are designed differently – the processor pins must fit snugly against the pins in the socket. The peculiarity of this design dictates its own conditions: the clamping force in the socket is quite high, so there is no need to be afraid to apply a little more effort in the work.

To open the socket, press the foot, move it away from the socket and lift it together with the pressure frame. This will free up the processor and can be retrieved:

Before installation

Before installing a new processor, you need to inspect it for chips, as well as the absence of broken contacts and damaged electronic components on the back:


Processors on both platforms are foolproof and simply will not physically fit into a socket if positioned incorrectly. And yet, manufacturers have provided a second level of protection: triangle keys. On the processor:

And near the socket:

In order not to guess which side to install the processor into the socket, it is enough to align the triangles in one direction:

After that, it remains to overturn the upper part of the socket and fix the system with a lever. We press on the metal foot and put it under the lock:

Cooling system installation
Apply thermal paste

One of the philosophical topics on any resource is how much thermal paste to apply and how to smear it on the processor. Enthusiasts carry out whole tests and studies, measure temperatures and compare different pastes. But these “races” are more likely from the category “our hands are not for boredom”, so an ordinary user with his home system will only need to get a basic knowledge of this topic . If you are too lazy to read, you can watch the video, clearly and in great detail:

If the cooling system changes along with the processor, then, most likely, the factory layer of thermal conductor will already be applied on the base of the new cooler – install it and use it. To be sure, you can study the assortment of the pastes themselves in order to find the best for the price / quality . In other cases, we watch the video instructions and choose the method to our liking:

For example, the legendary Arctic Cooling MX-4 thermal paste still effectively cools powerful eight-core processors when overclocked:

When applying, it must be borne in mind that the paste itself conducts heat worse than pure metal, but much better than an air gap between two planes . For this, the layer of the thermal interface should be as thin as possible, but uniform and free of foreign objects, lint and dust:

We return the radiator to its place

The processor cooling system is assembled in reverse order.

If this is an Intel platform with a boxed (standard) cooler with clips, then it must be prepared – you need to cock all four mounting legs, and then insert the “brushes” into the holes near the socket and fix them by pressing the clips.

The standard AMD cooling system works even easier – we put the heatsink back in place and press it against the processor with a lever. The topic of installing various systems has already been discussed many times .

The four-screw universal systems are identical on all platforms. We hit the radiator or water block on four struts and pull with effort – high-quality systems are made in such a way that the thread length of the attracting nuts ends before it has time to pull:

After installation, do not forget to connect the fans and the pump (if a liquid cooling system is installed). The fans are connected to the CPU FAN connector, and the pump is controlled via AIO PUMP – the names may vary depending on the manufacturer.

We return the BIOS battery to its place:

We also install the video card and do not forget to connect additional power to it:

We check if all the connectors and wires are in place, close the side covers and do a test run of the system:

The computer turned on, the BIOS was initialized, and the operating system boot screen appeared on the screen – the task of installing a new processor was completed successfully!

And further…
After installing new components or changing thermal paste, you need to make sure that the computer is working properly and stably under load. To do this, you can run a stress test, for example AIDA System Stability Test:

For an initially working system, 10 minutes is enough for the processor to reach a constant operating temperature under load – if the computer continues to work and does not overheat, then the mission can be considered complete.