How to install an Intel or AMD CPU in your computer

Martin Wilson

Aug 01, 2022

This is your first PC build, and you've just snagged the greatest processor you could find. However, how does one go about installing one? Like many other parts of PC building, installing a CPU is a rather straightforward task. No need to worry about making mistakes because we'll walk you through the process step-by-step. The CPU, or central processing unit, is the heart and soul of any computer. It's easy to see why having a fast CPU is a source of pride for so many computer buffs. It's a must-have for anyone who has to do a lot of work. Upgrading to a cutting-edge CPU has lost some of its importance in recent years.

Installation Instructions

We'll first look at installing Intel CPUs, and then AMD's.

Place your motherboard on a plain surface, away from your PC's chassis. Remove the little metal lever from the motherboard's Intel LGA socket holding the CPU retention bracket in place.

It's now time to put your chip in. Line align your chip's two guiding notches. The purpose of these notches is to prevent you from improperly inserting the CPU into the socket. It is common for the CPU to have a little triangle or other indication to align with the port, such as on the lower left. The retaining bracket can be lowered back into place once the chip is installed in the socket. Before you use the steel lever to lock the CPU in place, make sure to slip the notch at the base of the bracket it around single bolt at the base of the socket.

Once the CPU has been mounted, the cooler can be attached. Thermal grease is already on the underside of the heatsink if you're using the stock Intel cooling. For an aftermarket cooler, apply a small dot of thermal grease—your cooler should have come with a small syringe of it—before you place your heatsink on top The stock heatsink from Intel uses push to attach to the motherboard, which is a wonderful feature. Place the cooler on top of your CPU and insert the push pins into the socket. To secure the heatsink in place, insert the push pins through the motherboard and press the black locking tab into the mounting pin. Then, using the arrow engraved on the push pin, twist the locking tab toward the centre of the CPU.

Connect the cable from your CPU fan header to the motherboard's CPU fan header and you're done!

Set Up an AMD Processor

AMD's processors differ from Intel's in that they use a different type of socket (named AM4) and a different mounting mechanism for the heatsinks. Take special care while handling the pins on the CPU directly rather than the motherboard, as this is a significant change from the motherboard.

Some AMD coolers have been known to tear the CPU out of the socket using sticky thermal paste, so be careful when removing them. Unlike Intel's retaining bracket, the one utilised by AMD is not as sturdy.

AMD CPU Stuck To Cooler

Remove an AMD Ryzen processor with care to avoid this happening to you. The first step in installing an AMD Ryzen CPU is to lift the CPU locking lever from the CPU socket. Afterwards, you can insert your AMD CPU into the socket, making sure that your CPU chip's gold triangle aligns with the socket's carved triangle. The CPU should then be firmly seated in the socket after a little press. The retention lever on the side of the socket can be lowered to secure your chip

The AMD AM4 Motherboard

Thermal material will be applied on the underside of AMD's cooler from the factory, just like it is on the top of Intel's. While Intel's stock cooling solution uses push-pins, AMD's uses a more classic notch-and-lever combo. This is a significant distinction between the two companies' stock cooling solution

To begin, attach the cooler's mounting bracket to the plastic slot on the socket's upper end. Then, using the notch on the opposite end of the socket, attach the bracket. Press the heatsink against the CPU and secure it to the motherboard by twiddling a locking mechanism from this location. Heatsink mounting bracket hooking the two plastic notches is most challenging in this operation.

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