How to install a Heat Sink on a CPU.

Heat Thermal Compound CPUs
By See all their Tutorials
Installing a Heat Sink on a CPU.

This is not as high tech a tutorial as some of the others but it is a necessary one as mistakes can be made resulting in higher temps from the CPU then normal.
So you want to start out with deciding what Heat Sink you want to go with.

a. The included stock heat Sink
b An after market heat sink.
c. A closed loop liquid cooler.

What type of computer you are building more often then not will determine what your heat sink will be.

There are two ways to install the heat sink and it depends on what you get for a cooler, there are those that come with the thermal compound pre-applied.

Then there are those that come with the thermal compound in a small packet and the heat sink does not have any on it.

The Heat Sink that comes with the thermal compound pre-applied will have a plastic covering on it that does need to be removed before you install the Heat Sink.

If you don't remove the plastic covering on the thermal compound then it could affect the CPUs temps and give you a higher temp reading then is normal.

The Heat Sinks that come without thermal compound applied will have to have some applied to the top of the processor or the bottom of the heat sink.
Applying too much thermal compound will cause an insulating effect and not allow the proper transfer of heat between the top of the processor and the bottom of the Heat Sink.
This is an example of too much thermal compound.

If your getting one of the heat pipe type Heat Sinks that have the heat tubes running down through the base and is actually part of the base then it will be necessary to make sure that the surface of the Heat Sink base be a smooth surface and the spaces between the base and the heat tubes be filled with the thermal compound so that there are no spaces and that there is not too much of the compound as well.

A small amount of compound should be sufficient

To start the installation .

Step 1. Clean the top of the CPU and depending on the thermal compound you can clean the base of the Heat Sink after removing the film that protects the surface of the heat sink.

Step 2. attach the back plate to the rear of the Motherboard where the CPU socket is.

Both AMD and Intel Heat Sinks will have a back plate.

Step 3. Attach the bracket to the socket if one is supplied for the Heat Sink or in the case of an Intel stock cooler just set the Heat Sink on top of the CPU and push the pins into the back plate holes with a twisting motion.

Step 4. If a bracket is needed for installation then once that is installed set the Heat Sink onto the CPU and attach the latches or screws needed to hold the Heat Sink in place.

The Heat Sink will need to be attached snuggly to the top of the CPU and with a gentle twist of your hand resist movement. You don't want to over tighten the screws. The power cord from the fan can be connected to the CPU_Fan header that is near the CPU socket. The correct fan header needs to be used as it is controlled by the bios and if the bios does not sense the fan connector it will throw an error when you try to post the computer.

Closed Loop Coolers.

If you have decided on one of the closed loop coolers that are gaining popularity these days then you need to follow the instructions that come with the cooler for placement of the radiator. The attachment of the cooler head to the top of the CPU is the same as that of the Heat Sink, thermal compound needs to be applied if there is none pre-applied to the base of the cooler head.

When applying thermal compound please follow the tutorial on applying and spreading thermal compound.