How to Install a CPU

CPU/Processor Alignment
CPU/Processor Alignment

The next step of how to build a computer is installing the computer processing unit (CPU). The CPU is “the brain” of your computer, it is also known as the processor. If you haven’t already picked out the processor for your gaming computer check out the Gaming Computer Parts List to select one.

This step is fairly simple, however make sure you do it with care because it is very easy to damage the CPU pins during the install. Check the pins on the CPU and make sure no pins are bent and everything is intact. (Note that not all CPU’s have pins anymore, and many times the pins are now located on the motherboard socket, IE with the i7 Processor.) Take the motherboard out of its static proof bag so that we may install the CPU and CPU fan into the computer.

1. Open the CPU socket on the motherboard. To open the socket, take one of the handles on the side of the socket that is currently lying flat alongside the motherboard and move it so that it points upwards toward the sky.

2. Identify how the cpu chip would be correctly placed into the cpu socket. There are different ways that this can be marked. One way is look for a big number “1” on one of the corners, there can also be a little dot under one of the corners of the chip, and the last method is that one corner of the chip will be purposely missing pins so that you can easily line the pins up with the holes on the motherboard. Find one of these markers on your cpu chip. Then in the cpu socket there will be a missing corner or a big “1” and you match up those marked corners and that’s how your chip will be positioned into cpu socket.

Find the gap in both the CPU chip and the CPU socket,
make sure these line up and insert the CPU.
CPU/Processor Alignment
CPU/Processor Alignment

3. Now knowing how your chip fits into the socket, begin to slowly lay the chip into place. Make sure that all the pins on the chip are correctly being fed into the cpu socket. Take your thumb and place it on top of the chip and slowly apply pressure VERY CAREFULLY. Move your thumb around the edges of the chip and continue to distribute a little pressure until the chip is all the way installed. When this is done there should be almost no gap between the CPU pins and the bottom of the CPU socket.

Once the CPU is inside its socket and everything is lined up,
go ahead and close the lid.
Place CPU onto the Motherboard
Place CPU onto the Motherboard

4. It’s now time to lock the CPU into its socket. To do so take the handle that is currently facing up towards the sky and move it back to its original position, flat alongside the motherboard. When closing this you will feel a decent amount of resistance but this is normal. Sometimes it may feel like you are going to break it by continuing to add force. If you are sure that you lined up the chip correctly go ahead and continue to close it and it should be fine. However, if you think the cpu is sticking out too much and not flush you can go back quickly and double check that everything lined up correctly. Once the CPU is installed it is now time to add on the CPU fan.

Make sure the lid is completely closed and is flush with the rest of the
socket and began to move the lever into its locked postion.
Lock CPU onto Motherboard
Lock CPU onto Motherboard

Step 2.5: CPU Fan

1. First off you want to look at your cpu fan and figure out how your fan attaches to the motherboard. Some fans will make you install a bracket on both sides of the motherboard to hold it in place. Other fans use a “grappling hook” design where you push a plastic screw through the hole and then twist it which will make the pointy end expand and grab a hold of the backside of the motherboard.

2. After knowing how you will attach your fan to the motherboard, go ahead and grab your Thermal Compound/Silver Paste. Spread the compound out evenly on top of the CPU chip. Make sure its flat and even all the way across. You can use a credit card to spread it out evenly. Make sure you do not use too much to make it overflow when you put the cpu fan onto it.

Apply the silver compound paste on to the top of the CPU unit.
Make sure the area is clean and paste doesn’t get spilled onto any electronics.
Thermal Paste Onto CPU
Thermal Paste Onto CPU
Apply the silver compound paste onto the flat copper tubing.
Make sure to spread it out into an even coat.
Thermal Paste onto CPU Fan
Thermal Paste onto CPU Fan

3. Once the compound is spread out evenly go ahead and plant the fan properly on top of the CPU. Make sure that copper tubes sit perfectly on the CPU compound and then began to secure it into place with the brackets/grappling hook screws.

Locate the 4 holes near the CPU where the CPU fan will be screwed in to.
Locate CPU Fan Holes/Attachments
Locate CPU Fan Holes/Attachments

Install the CPU fan onto the motherboard. Make sure all 4 screws line up
with their holes and the copper tubing on the fan, lies flat on the CPU.
Align and Attach CPU Fan
Align and Attach CPU Fan

4. Plug in your CPU fan to its power source, this is done in one of two ways. One way is if your fan is powered by a normal power supply wire, just find an extra wire that comes off the power supply unit and plug it into the CPU fan. However most cpu fans nowadays are powered by a 4 pin wire that plugs into the motherboard. If you have an older cpu fan, it may only have a 3 pin wire that plugs into the motherboard. Determine how yours is powered and attach it accordingly.

Plug-in the wire off the CPU fan into the motherboard. Find the 8-pin
wire off of the power supply and plug it into the motherboard.
Plug in CPU Fan Power
Plug in CPU Fan Power

Once all these steps are completed, the CPU and CPU fan are good to go and we will move on to the next step of how to build a computer, which is installing your Motherboard into the computer case

Step 1: Picking out your high performance computer parts
Step 2: Installing your Power Supply
Step 3: Installing the CPU
Step 4: Installing the Motherboard
Step 5: Installing the DVD and Hard drives (Or SSD drives)
Step 6: Installing the Video card (graphics card)
Step 7: Installing the Memory sticks

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