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Need advice on CPU installation.

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May 2, 2011 8:01:23 PM

So I ordered me some parts to upgrade my PC, though it's more of an overhaul then an upgrade. I'm replacing my motherboard, CPU, PSU, video card, RAM and a couple of case fans. I've never built a PC before, though I am confident that I'll have no serious problems with most of the process. The only thing that I'm really worried about is mounting the CPU.

I would really like some advice and important tips when going about CPU installation. Are there things I should be aware of when holding it and positioning it? How much is too much pressure when locking it in? That kinda stuff...

Some info. It'll be an Intel core i7 2600 and I'll be installing it on a Gigabyte ga-p67a-ud4 motherboard.
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a b V Motherboard
May 2, 2011 8:19:10 PM

Here's a tip, read the directions that come with it. Then if you get stuck and can't figure it out, come here and ask your question.

Don't ask for instructions on how to install something when you haven't even read the directions that came with it, that's called laziness.
May 2, 2011 8:25:17 PM

Some stuff you don't get in the instructions. Real life experience from people is very valuable info to have beforehand.
I don't appreciate your presumption that I would go about the installation of something this important without reading the instructions.
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May 2, 2011 8:26:46 PM

If you read both the instructions in the CPU box, and in the motherboard manual it should be able to provide you with all the information you need. They are quite pictoral as well too, so you should be able to figure it out.

The first time I mounted a CPU I was a bit nervous as well, but really there is nothing to it. The only pressure that is required is pulling the arm back to lock it into place and there isn't really the ability to do it "too hard".

The other thing to read up on (if it's applicable), is applying thermal paste to your CPU if you have an aftermarket heatsink. If you're just using the stock cooler that came with your i7 2600, the you don't need to worry about it, it will have pre-applied thermal paste.

Anyway, as GeekApproved mentioned... do your homework and if you run into troubles then, post back and someone will be able to help.
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May 2, 2011 8:39:32 PM

There are various "build your own pc" guides on the internet including on Toms hardware site. They will tell you about installing various parts as well.

The CPU sockets that I've dealt with work a certain way and you push down on the lever until it can lock in place, there isn't a question about if you have pushed hard enough or not.

Typically the CPU cooler installation is harder than the CPU installation.
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a b V Motherboard
May 2, 2011 9:19:01 PM

toastman1 said:
Some stuff you don't get in the instructions. Real life experience from people is very valuable info to have beforehand.
I don't appreciate your presumption that I would go about the installation of something this important without reading the instructions.


You haven't even seen the instructions.....like I said, read them first, if you can't figure it out, come here and ask your question.

It would be dumb for someone to write a entire post on how to install a cpu when it comes with instructions that tell you step by step. Not to mention the motherboard manual will also have instructions for how to mount the cpu.


May 2, 2011 9:55:19 PM

Not reading the manual didn't even cross my mind.
I wouldn't want to get stuck mid-installation and then ask here and be forced to wait for a reply.
I'm not asking anyone to write me a step by step walkthrough. I just thought it would be smart to hear some common difficulties people were having when mounting these things *before* I encounter them myself.
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a c 210 V Motherboard
May 2, 2011 10:03:58 PM

The MoBo and case manuals contain all the instructions you need. As for aftermarket coolers, I'd swear that I could probably understand them better reading them upside down thru a mirror :) 

But with the stock cooler....it's a rather mindless experience.
May 3, 2011 4:11:30 AM

<HUGS toastman1> Don't you worry 'bout them bullies. Mounting the motherboard in the case and plugging the PSU to the MB is about the hardest it gets. All the rest is even easier. Take your time and enjoy it. Then when you power up for the first time, take a good long look at the BIOS settings and understand them well. The H/W build is the easy part, loading the OS and drivers can be frustrating at times. Anyway, have fun.
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a b V Motherboard
May 3, 2011 1:24:20 PM

The only good advice I can give you would be don't work on or around carpet and then touch any of your components.

Touch the power supply, or something else metal before picking up each component. When you touch the components (video card, ram, cpu, mobo), hold them by the edges so you don't touch any chips or anything.

May 3, 2011 2:21:12 PM

My best piece of advice is this: there will be a small arrow on one side of the cpu. Make sure that it lines up with the arrow on the cpu socket before you close it. You could break your CPU if you close it without having it lined up correctly.
May 3, 2011 2:27:33 PM

A few pieces of advice that I have for you (in addition to what I posted earlier), some of these may seem pointless but may help:

- Ground yourself before installing the CPU in the motherboard, best not to work on carpet or wear clothing that is prone to static. Easy way to ground yourself is to touch metal on the case.
- On picking up the CPU you will probably be surprised that it is a lot heavier than you would have imagined - handle it with care.
- Pretty much all you need to do is line up with arrow on the CPU with what is on the motherboard and just drop it (not from a high height) into place.
- Next step pull the arm down over the latch holding the CPU in place, you will probably be surprised by the amount of force required.
- To install the heatsink (I'll assume in this case you are using the stock one) remove it from the packing and just make sure that it doesn't have a piece of plastic guarding the surface where it will contact with the CPU, if it does remove it.
- It's important to make sure that the heatsink is secured in place and that you push down the tabs in a criss-cross order (the motherboard and CPU manual will outline this).
- Connect the heatsink cable to the motherboard, and that's about it.
- Try not to touch the top surface of the CPU or the bottom surface of the heatsink during the installation. You want both surfaces as clean as possible.

Those are just a few tips, and I'm sure it will go just fine for you. Have fun.
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May 3, 2011 6:14:15 PM

A couple more since were on a roll:

Place the mobo down on a table with the static bag it came in under the board. Install your ram, cpu and heatsink in that order before installing the motherboard into the case.

Make sure you have 1 brass standoff (these come with your case in the screw packet) for every hole in the motherboard already screwed into the case before you try to install the motherboard. Make sure you screw the standoffs into the case securley (tight but don't strip). Do not overtighten the screws that attach the mobo to the standoffs, just lightly snug.

Your biggest thing is going to be figuring out which screws are for what. The fine threaded phillips screws (NOT course hex/phillips head) with the small washer built in is what you use for the motherboard. I still use the little red washers with each one, but that's just something I've always done.

Using a magnetized screwdriver for installing the motherboard screws is a must. If you don't have one your going to have hell trying to not drop one. If you drop one and it gets lodged under the motherboard, you'll have to take it back out to remove the screw or it could ground out the board on the case.

Don't force any screws in. If they don't thread easily, you probably have the wrong screw.
May 4, 2011 8:25:35 PM

I know how your feeling, I recently built a new PC and I was handling the AMD Processor with to much care and my hand was shaking. Top tip don't be an idiot like me and think to much, get your instructions read them. Get your CPU and put it in there. Don't use to much force!
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May 5, 2011 4:48:53 PM

geekapproved said:
The only good advice I can give you would be don't work on or around carpet and then touch any of your components.


I'm luckier than you are. I've built a dozen systems on the carpet in my den in front of my tv. I was buying a lot of odd components at one time so I would "breadboard" the system on the carpet before going to the trouble of buying a case and assembling it. I would lay the motherboard, hard drive and psu right on the carpet and connect everything up. Set the monitor, mouse and keyboard on the floor next to it and connect that up, then turn it on and see if everything would run. After I proved that the components would work then I put everything into a case.

Yes, I remember at work when the techs would come in to work on our old minicomputer they had a strap around their wrist, they would snap a cable onto it and connect an alligator clip to the computer chassis before starting work. They never had any problems, I never had any problems, YMMV.
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