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Beginners Guide: How To Install/Remove AMD Socket AM3 CPU and Heatsink

Beginners Guide: How To Install/Remove AMD Socket AM3 CPU and Heatsink - PCSTATS
Abstract: Installing an AMD Socket AM3 processor into a motherboard is not a difficult task, but if you've never done it before some friendly guidance is usually a good idea. Most users tend to encounter problems attaching the AMD heatsink correctly or are unsure about which CPU is compatible with each different socket version.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD Jun 20 2012   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > AMD AM3

Installing an AM3 Processor Safely

We're going to assume you have a socket AM3 motherboard and socket AM3 AMD processor at hand, both still in their boxes.

Step 1: Remove the motherboard from its box and protective packaging. Place the anti-static bag or foam mat under the motherboard to protect it, then lay the board down on a flat space like a table.

Step 2: Gently but firmly lift the sockets' metal lever up to prepare the socket to receive a processor. This unlocks the AM3 socket and make it possible to insert a processor. Note the location of the small triangle molded into one corner of the socket, this is the processor alignment symbol. The processor has a similar triangle on both sides of the PCB.

On a side note, the Socket AM3 socket is technically known as a Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) socket. If you consider the force needed to insert a simple two-prong wall plug in, it's not much, but multiply that by 941-pins and you'd need a truck behind you to force all those plugs in!

ZIF sockets alleviate this problem with microprocessors that contain hundreds or thousands of contacts. The open ZIP socket doesn't make electrical contact until the metal cam arm is closed and in that sweeping motion every pin is slid latterly a millimeter or so into a V-shaped electrical groove, making contact and locking the CPU in place. In the old days you'd need a screwdriver to pry an Intel 486 chip out of its socket. Some of you may remember doing this.... and the damaged chips and predictably bent pins that resulted.

Moving along...

Remove the AMD processor from its box and plastic clam shell packaging. Take off the protective plastic chip carrier cover (if any) and hold the processor by its corners. Now while holding the chip by its sides or corners, take a moment to examine the underside of the AMD socket AM3 processor and inspect the gold pins to ensure none are bent and that no foreign material is present. If you see anything slightly out of position, the processor may be damaged.

If a pin is out of place it may be possible to very gently bend it back into alignment with the tip of a pencil or other suitably clean and small implement. Note the location of the little gold triangle in one corner of the processor (it's printed on both sides of the chip). This is your processor alignment symbol.

Holding the processor by its sides, orient the chip so its small gold triangle faces the small alignment triangle molded into the top of the AM3 socket. In some cases a triangle will be silk screened onto the PCB just outside of the socket as well. Lower the processor gently and vertically down into the socket, ensuring that its pins mate with the socket without any resistance. The CPU should literally drop into the socket.

If it doesn't, check the CPU orientation and try again. There's no need to force the CPU into the AM3 socket whatsoever.

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Contents of Article: AMD AM3
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guide: How To Install/Remove AMD Socket AM3 CPU and Heatsink
 Pg 2.  — Installing an AM3 Processor Safely
 Pg 3.  Inserting the socket AM3 CPU Correctly
 Pg 4.  Installing the Socket AM3 Heatsink
 Pg 5.  Connecting the Heatsink Fan Power Cable
 Pg 6.  Uninstalling Socket AM3 Heatsinks and Processors Safely

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