How to Install a Processor?

The processor is one of the most important components of our system. If you want to save a few dollars, we recommend that you take a look at our tutorial on how to install a processor quickly.

The installation of a processor is something very simple since the manufacturers do everything possible to make the job as easy as possible. Despite this, it is necessary to follow a series of steps to do it correctly, since otherwise we can damage the motherboard or the processor itself and we do not want that to happen, right?

Since, at the desktop computer level, your sockets will only be LGA or PGA, we will divide this tutorial into two sections, for each type of socket.

AMD processors are PGA type (they incorporate the pins in the processor) while Intel processors are LGA (the pins are on the motherboard).

LGA socket processor

This method of installation is the more delicate of the two since if you accidentally drop the processor on top of the socket pins, there is a good chance that you will bend one or more pins of the socket and then you will have to straighten them again. It is very important that they are straight.

LGA pin socket

The first thing you will do is remove the plastic cover that is protecting the socket pins from bumps during transportation.

Once the cover is removed, to open the retention system of the processor socket, you must push down and to the right the lateral lever, which is the one that keeps the socket closed. Lifting the lever should open the top of the socket at the same time, exposing all the pins of the socket.

Intel processor

Now begins the really delicate part of the installation process. On the plastic body surrounding the socket, there are a series of tabs that indicate the correct position for mounting the processor. These tabs correspond exactly with some incisions on the sides of it. It is essential that, when placing it on top of the pins, you make them coincide with each other.

If you don’t align the tabs well with the incisions on the side of the processor, there’s a good chance that closing the socket bracket will damage the pins underneath and then the motherboard. So don’t be in a hurry at this point and make sure you do things right.

This done; now it’s time to close the socket cover and lock the side cam so that it doesn’t slip out of place.

Now you just have to spread the thermal paste over the surface of the IHS of the processor and install the heat sink you want. Although if you are going to install the OEM from Intel (which we do not recommend because it is quite bad), do not use any thermal paste since these heat sinks already have this putty spread on the bottom, where it makes contact with the IHS.

PGA socket processor

This type of installation is simpler than that required for the LGA socket. The main difference between both sockets is that if as you have seen, in the LGA the pins are in the socket itself, in the PGA socket the pins are in the processor, so in this socket, we will only find a series of holes in which we must insert the pins.

AMD PGA pin socket

The first thing we must do is lift the lateral lever that this socket has, which will allow the insertion of the pins.

But, even if the pins are in the processor, just any orientation will not work when inserting it. To do this, we must follow a golden triangle that is painted on both its bottom and top. This triangle is replicated on the socket itself. By making them coincide when we are inserting it, we will have the correct orientation of it in the socket.

If when trying to insert the processor in the socket it does not enter, do not force it because it is most likely that you will bend one of its pins. Chances are, you haven’t put it in the right position. And if you are completely sure that the orientation is correct, you can try to move the side lever a bit, which in many cases does end up solving it.

AMD processor

Once this is done, you only have to lower the side lever, which will leave the processor secured inside the socket. From here, you just have to spread the thermal paste over the IHS and mount the heat sink, although we say again that in the case of using OEM heat sinks, they usually come with it already spread on the heat sink base.

The LGA socket has a much more delicate mounting, while; on the other hand, the PGA socket has a much simpler mounting. We don’t have any favorites since both socket types have their pros and cons

Tips to always keep in mind

  • Avoid stepping on any carpet with slippers when installing a processor; they are high conductors of static electricity.
  • Whenever you do any maintenance or assembly of PC, use a firm and flat surface. A table is always the best option.
  • Do the maintenance with TIME, that is, if you are in a hurry, you can postpone it for another day. Haste is not a good companion.
  • Buy a quality tube of thermal paste. It never hurts to have a spare one, since every 6 months or 1 year you have to renew the thermal paste. 
  • Do not use 96% alcohol, it is always recommended to use isopropyl alcohol that does not leave any residue in the cleaning of the processor, heat sink, or any component.
  • Mount a good heat sink to your processor, so you will have better temperatures, a better voltage  and the longevity of your equipment will be greater.
  • Make sure that the cooler is compatible with the socket, the motherboard, but also the case because some coolers could prevent it from closing.

As you have seen, installing an AMD or Intel processor is a simple task if you follow our steps. The key ingredient is patience since anyone can do it with some time and tutorials like this or videos on YouTube.

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