My question is: When I replace my old CPU, do I have to completely remove the motherboard from the computer or can I replace it while it is inside the case with every other component attached? Obviously I would unplug everything first. So is it possible?
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Yeah that works fine, its a bit harder with cables and such, but it is possible, and safe.
All of the CPU swaps I've done involve removing power, unplugging the heatsink fan from the motherboard, removing the heatsink/fan, removing the CPU and replacing it. No motherboard removal necessary or extra component removal necessary.