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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 the Socket AM3 Heatsink

Step 4a: Lay your computer case down flat with the motherboard and processor facing you. Remove the heatsink from it's packaging and check the bottom to make sure the thermal interface material on the bottom of the heatsink is undamaged.

Some heatsinks come with grayish thermal compound pre-applied by the factory, if this is the case you do NOT need to add any additional compound. The heatsink can simply be installed as is.


(showing the thermal compound pre-applied to the heatsink has spread properly)

Step 4b: If the heatsink did NOT come with any thermal compound pre-applied, you DO need to apply a small amount of thermal compound to the base of the heatsink and top of the processors' integrated heatspreader. From the supplied syringe or plastic squeeze pack, add a small drop of thermal compound to the bottom of the heatsink and spread it around evenly with your finger tip. If the heatsink had a protective plastic film covering the base, be sure you removed that first.

Also add small amount of thermal compound to the top of the AMD processor and spread it around evenly. Never-ever install a heatsink without thermal compound and do not apply too much. Since this material is used to fill microscopic voids between the heatsink and CPU, the less that's used the better it works.

In this PCSTATS DIY Guide we're using standard white silicone based thermal compound, also known as 'thermal grease' or 'thermal paste.' It's economical, quite effective and completely non-conductive. Silver-based thermal compounds can endanger your computer system if they leak or are applied carelessly and short out an electrical connection. Save your money, there's no need to spend $12 on a tube of silver thermal compound anyhow.

With AMD heatsinks there are usually two ways the CPU cooler can face, as long as the metal heatsink clips are aligned with the plastic tabs on either side of the motherboard heatsink retention cage everything will work.

(Aftermarket heatsinks - Generally speaking, tower style heatsinks should be installed so hot air exhausts from the heatsink towards the rear of the computer case or towards the top vents / powersupply.)

Step 5: Place the heatsink on top of the socket AM3 processor and hook one of the heatsinks' two metal clips over one of the plastic tabs of the motherboards' socket AM3 heatsink retention cage. It's easiest to do this with the fixed end of the metal clip.

Sit the heatsink flat in the socket and make sure the heatsink cam lever arm is in it's loose, unlocked position.

Engage the metal heatsink clip with the motherboard heatsink retention tab. Ensure that the heatsink is sitting evenly on top of the processor and rotate the cam lever arm 180 degrees to the right to apply camping force and lock the socket AM3 heatsink firmly in position.


Socket AM3

The heatsink cam lever arm is now in it's locked position and the heatsink is installed. All that remains is to connect the CPU heatsink fan power cable to the correct motherboard fan header. If you don't flip this little lever to it's locked position the heatsink make come loose and the CPU overheat.

Finally, give the installed heatsink a gentle little twist to ensure it's installed correctly and nothing is loose or prone to fall off when the computer case is moved around. There should be no play in the heatsink - it should be very firmly attached to the motherboard at this point.

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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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