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How can I test that a CPU works? Can I run it without a heatsink?

I've got a fully built PC. I plan on upgrading the CPU, and I am going to sell it. I took off the fan, and cleaned the thermal paste from the CPU.

Can I put the CPU back into the motherboard, then turn on the PC, to see if the CPU works, even without a fan? I just want to ensure that when I cleaned the thermal paste, I didn't accidentally damage the CPU in some way. If the PC doesn't boot with the CPU installed, then I assume the CPU is damaged. If the PC boots, then I should assume that the CPU is fine? Can I just run the PC without a heatsink for about five seconds? Or is that not enough time to determine that the CPU is good, or too much time without a heatsink?

I really don't want to damage a CPU that I'm about to sell, that's for sure. My instinct, though, is that running the CPU without a heatsink, even for a few seconds, is a terrible, terrible idea.
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  1. No you definitely should not do that...
    DEFINITELY not...

    Doubt you would have damaged the CPU though.
  2. Novuake said:
    No you definitely should not do that...
    DEFINITELY not...

    Doubt you would have damaged the CPU though.


    Yeah I figure it would be a terrible idea. For the CPU, I used the special cleaning solution from Arctic Silver (the two-step process). There was some thermal paste on the side so I wiped those too, but I didn't touch the pins at all. Although I don't think that the Intel CPUs technically have "pins"? It seems like the motherboard is the one with the pins?
  3. Correct. To be honest, its actually not easy to damage an Intel CPU, they are pretty tough.
  4. Best answer
    gary king said:
    Novuake said:
    No you definitely should not do that...
    DEFINITELY not...

    Doubt you would have damaged the CPU though.


    Yeah I figure it would be a terrible idea. For the CPU, I used the special cleaning solution from Arctic Silver (the two-step process). There was some thermal paste on the side so I wiped those too, but I didn't touch the pins at all. Although I don't think that the Intel CPUs technically have "pins"? It seems like the motherboard is the one with the pins?


    liquid wont really damage it, as long as you make sure its completely wiped off before inserting into a new mobo. Also thermal paste cleaners are mostly alcohol anyways, and they evaporate almost instantly.
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