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Installing A Cooler: How Much Pressure Is Too Much Pressure For The CPU/Mobo?

Hello,

I'm in the process of building my first PC and, as such, I'm rather nervous about messing something up. So I'm trying to be extra careful and, if there's any trouble down the line, I'd like to know if anything I did now could be the potential cause.

Without any supervision whatsoever and with just a couple of Youtube How-To videos under my experience belt, I went ahead and installed the Rayzen 7 2700x CPU onto the Mobo, the Wraith Prism Stock Cooler onto the CPU, and the Mobo onto the case. Thing is, I didn't feel my cooler installation went so smoothly.

It was a while before I could get the brackets to latch onto the base, and it took a considerable amount of pressure to do so. Furthermore, throughout my clumsy attempts I kept sliding and slightly separating the cooler from the CPU even after I had pressed it onto it. I didn't apply any thermal paste, hoping the pre-applied paste would suffice, but I'm afraid all my sliding and separating might be a problem. As for the pressure, I didn't hear any cracks nor do I believe I broke something on the Mobo, but I'm not sure. After I finally managed to secure the cooler, it seems to have a healthy tight grip. I did push hard, however, and I don't know how resilient Ryzen processors are to that kind of treatment.

Now, I haven't been able to turn on my PC to check if things are okay for several reasons, most notably because I haven't had the time. Also, I don't know if I should replace the paste before attempting to boot the system for the first time, so I'm taking [perhaps excessive] precautions.

My questions are,

1) During this process is there any reasonable chance I might have harmed something?
2) Should I replace the thermal paste given my inexperienced handling?
3) Is there anything else I should keep in mind before turning on my PC to see if all works?
4) Could there be some subtle damage (as a result from this specific mess of an installation) which, even if my system boots fine now, could present problems, say, months down the line?
5) Also, does it matter which way I installed the cooler? It seems I placed the "lever" bracket facing "upwards," so the included rgb sockets are facing away from their plug-in objective on the mobo. I think the cables reach without issue, but I'm worried this might affect something else?

I also have some doubts about the RAM installation for my particular system, but I'll probably make a separate thread about that.

Thanks in advance!

My system:

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/bNNghy

CPU: Ryzen 7 2700x
Mobo: Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5 WiFi
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200
SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 480GB M.2-2280
HDD: Seagate BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
GPU: Asus GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8 GB ROG STRIX
PSU: SeaSonic Focus Plus Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular
Case: Corsair SPEC-02 ATX Mid Tower
Monitor: AOC 24.0" 1920x1080 144Hz
Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum RGB
Mouse: Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    " During this process is there any reasonable chance I might have harmed something? "

    Yes....but I think probably not.

    "2) Should I replace the thermal paste given my inexperienced handling?"

    I would run it and check the temps and then decide.

    3) Is there anything else I should keep in mind before turning on my PC to see if all works?

    Double check all your connections and everything else.

    4) Could there be some subtle damage (as a result from this specific mess of an installation) which, even if my system boots fine now, could present problems, say, months down the line?

    Yes....but I'd first just be happy if it boots period.

    and I'm not sure about number 5...especially without a visual.
  2. The main thing with the cooler is that it's snug....and of course having the paste applied correctly.

    And yes....and some coolers really suck to install...and it sounds like yours is one of them.

    ...and as far as hurting the MB or the CPU....I would think you would hurt the MB before the CPU.
  3. Thanks for your answer!

    As it turns out, it did boot, seemingly without problems. There are some temperature spikes, but I don't know if that's normal. I'll keep an eye on it.
  4. You're welcome.

    Temp spikes are pretty normal when programs are opening.

    CPUs heat up and cool down FAST.

    Also, I think a good goal is to keep the CPU under 70C.

    Most CPUs I wouldn't be too concerned with even at 80....but 70 is a nice goal.
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