I received all of my new parts from newegg yesterday and managed to put my 2nd build together. I have a few newbie concerns though. Any help is much appreciated.
1. I seated the CPU (Q6600) into the mobo (gigabyte ds3r) correctly. When putting the little lever back in place, there was a considerable amount of resistance. I didn't have to force it necessarily, but I had to apply a good amount of pressure with my finger to get the lever back in place. Is this normal?
2. When installing the intel heatsink, I was able to push one of the four posts down until it "snapped" in place, but this would pull the 2 legs out on the opposite side of the heatsink. I could not get all four posts to snap in place no matter how much pressure I applied. After fiddling with it for a long time, I finally just pushed each post in a little. This secured the heatsink pretty well I think (I can hang the mobo upsidedown and the heatsink doesn't budge), but I'm not sure if this is how it's supposed to be fastened.
3. Since I messed with the heastink for so long (I rotated it several times), the thermal grease got smeared around on top of the CPU a little. Is this ok? In my mobo's manual it says something to the affect of, "Removing the heatsink improperly may result in thermal grease adhering to your CPU." So is this bad? I thought that thermal grease was supposed to adhere to the cpu...
relax...did u try booting ur comp yet??? I would try that...everything that u mentioned sounds normal. But how much resistance did u give to the little lever on ur cpu...cause u should have too much but u have to remember that when placeing the cpu...its like a key, in the sense that it wont go in the wrong way...so if the cpu is all the way in and u got the lever to close then id say done deal. Other than that the grease is there to smooth out imperfections in ur processor and or heat sink so if its everywhere that dependant on ones definition but id sa its not really a problem as long as the heat sink is really tight on the cpu...this is why i want u to boot ur system u will find out right away if there is somthing wrong with ur thermal paste because ur temps will be too high...not damaging high but just high...the u can fix it...hope this helps and have fun!
The lever did go all the way down and secure the CPU--I was just concerned about the amount of force being applied to the CPU. According to this article (below), the lever should be applying about 40 lbs of force, so I guess what I felt was nothing unusual.
I did boot the system and was able to install Windows XP without any problems. I guess I'll try to figure out what temp the CPU is running at. If it's stable, I'll probably just leave it alone, but that Intel heatsink really had me worrying. My first system build (about 5 years ago with a P4 and 478 socket) was such a breeze. This heatsink was a total nightmare. It does look like it's secured properly, but the little black pegs aren't sticking all the way through the mobo like I've seen in so many diagrams.
I've also heard people say that they've had to bend their mobos a bit to get that sucker on there, which I can't even imagine trying to do. The whole experience just has me a bit worried...I think I might actually get a new (different) heatsink altogether.
...I had to apply a good amount of pressure with my finger to get the lever back in place. Is this normal?
Yes, that's normal.
...2. When installing the intel heatsink, ...I could not get all four posts to snap in place no matter how much pressure I applied.
Although common, this is NOT good. Not-quite-completely installed LGA775 heat sink/fans are the main reason for elevated CPU operaing temps. Intel's LGA775 heatsink attachment system keeps causing problems, because in order to work properly (especially on a hot CPU like a quad core), ALL 4 pins need to be completely through their holes. It's very difficult to install the hsf properly with the MB already mounted in the case, so the best idea is to install the hsf with the MB outside the case, so you can properly support the back of the board as you are pushing the pins through. It's also important to turn each pin completely in the direction *opposite* the little arrow on top before pushing. (those arrows are for quick-releasing the hsf)
See this post for details: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/194385-31-part-assemb...
(starting at step 2.5)
Since you will likely need to fully remove the cooler to install it properly, it'll be best to remove the old thermal compound from the top of the CPU and bottom of the cooler, then apply a bit of fresh compound to the top of the CPU before installing the cooler. Arctic Silver 5 works well, is cheap, and is available at stores like Radio Shack, Best Buy, CompUSA, etc.
Any heatsink/fan that uses the Intel-style 4-pin system will have this problem, so that includes most aftermarket hsfs as well. Since many aftermarket hsfs don't provide the secondary "downdraft" northbridge/PWM area cooling, I'd stick with the stock Intel or a "downdraft"-style aftermarket hsf unless you are sure your MB will work properly without the downdraft cooling.