Just was wondering if I need to unplug all things from the motherboard when I'm going to put in my new heatsink. Since my case has a removable side panel behind the mobo, I'll leave it in the case. Could I just leave everything as is and would I also have to take out the RAM, the GPU, etc.? Thanks
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You may need to tilt the case on it's side to clean the heat sink compound off the CPU and apply more to it. Make sure not to use liquids to clean (liquid + electricity = bad things), and make sure not to apply too much compound as to damage the CPU. Often, I find it easier to unplug everything, and place it in an area that is well lit and easy to see everything. You will only have to remove internal wiring/RAM/GPU if it is in the way of the installation.