I´ve been "reading-around" the different threads in the forum for quite some time now and I am just getting more and more confused and "scared".
The thing is that I intend to buy a AMD 1.4 Ghz CPU with all the other needed components within a couple of days.
I have also planned to build the thing myself, although I´m not that experienced.
I know I could handle a Pentium system without major disasters, but a AMD system...I´m not sure.
Now to my question(s).
There are a couple of things I need help with...
First, All this talk about thermal compound, do I really need it???
My understanding is that it seems to be very important the way you apply it to the processor, it has to be a smooth layer, no "scratches", not to much, not to little, and so on...(GAH!).
Furthermore, you have to attach the HSF in a certain way, otherwise you could damage the CPU. If it don´t get cooling it will fry in a matter of seconds...and so it continues into eternity it seems.
Could someone please draw me a diagram!
I really don´t want to spend loads of money at a new processor just because I "missed" something that you guys see as "logic" and "basic".
So...If someone could direct me to a website that explains in a very basic and logic way (pictures prefered) the "mysteries" of computer building it would certainly make my life a bit easier!
If you feel like share a little of your wisdom & knowledge in words in this thread that is ofcourse also welcome!
You should not need to worry about using thermal compound unless you plan on overclocking. Since you are obviously a novice, you shouldn't be doing this anyways. There goes your first issue.
In regard to installing your HSF, just be careful. Make sure yo buy one that is rated up to at least 1.4GHz, and make sure it is AMD recommended. You can check out AMD's website to find out with HSFs they have approved for the 1.4GHz. When you are actually installing it, don't be rough with it. Make sure it is flat on the core (a tilt could crack the core) and make sure you don't apply more than enough pressure to attach it to the socket.
It really isn't that hard, but I can understand where your fear is coming from. Just get the right HSF and most of all just be careful. You should do just fine.
Alright, you're not a retard. I was exactly where you were 6 months ago. Now, everything is cool, and I'm not afraid of hardware anymore.
You need thermal compound, because it fills in the microscopic cracks in the heatsink, so the CPU will transfer the heat to the heatsink more effectively. Overclocking or not, you need this to maintain a cool processor. The cooler it is, the more stable it will be. I recommend purchasing Arctic Silver II. It's only about $9.
A HSF I would recommend is the MCX370-0A. I have the previous version of it, the MC370-0A, and it is fantastic. Super easy installation, superb performance. The bottom is very smooth. "Lapping" the heatsink wasn't an issue. I know it's $39 at <A HREF="http://www.bzboyz.com/store/product471.html" target="_new">bzboys.com</A>, but it's worth it in my opinion.
I basically built my system based on the article here at Tom's Hardware titled <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/01q1/010115/index.ht..." target="_new">"Do-It-Yourself PC System - Part 1"</A>. My system is similar, except for the lack of a DVD drive, a cheaper graphics card, and an A7V133, instead of an A7V (it was the newest one at the time).
I hope I answered your questions the way they were meant to be...
I'm with btvillarin on the thermal compound issue. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't need it. Those athlons put out a lot of heat. www.anandtech.com just did a review of socket A heatsinks, fating them on both performance and noise. I suggest you look into that. Toms "Do-It-Yourself" PC was my basis as well, though now some things are outdated, it still serves as an excellent framework for determining the components that you need.
"If you teach a child to read, then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test" - George W.
In response to that <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1532" target="_new">article at AnandTech</A>, the Swiftech MCX370-0A isn't around $50, as I pointed out the link for bzboyz.com, it's $39. This should change your mind, if the price of $50 was too much. Plus, the fan isn't annoying at all. If you've got the TV going, or you're bumpin' some Sum 41, you can't really hear anything.
I really do emphasize the ease of installation. I was so frickin scared, and it turned out to be pretty idiot-proof.
The only reason why other heatsinks scare me is cuz I haven't seen an installation that has the least risk of screwing up your motherboard.