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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

Uninstalling Socket AM3 Heatsinks and Processors Safely

Lay your computer case down flat so that the motherboard and heatsink are facing you, powered off and unpluged from the wall.

Unplug the heatsink fan power cable and unlock the heatsink cam lever arm by rotating it 180 degrees. This will remove the clamping force and allow you to unhook the metal clips from the plastic heatsink retention cage tabs.


(locked)

Using your fingers, unhook both of the heatsinks' metal clips from the motherboard heatsink retention cage. There is one metal clip on each side of the heatsink.


(unlocked)

To remove the heatsink, DO NOT simply pull straight up with force. Doing this will probably pull the CPU from the AM3 socket forcefully and bend a row of electrical pins in the process.

To safely remove the heatsink we must weaken the thermal compound bond between the heatsink and CPU a little. The thermal compound has the viscosity of peanut butter so there will be a bit of resistance due to surface tension between the two compressed, flat surfaces.

The easiest way to separate a heatsink from an AMD processor is to slightly twist the heatsink, repeatedly, back and forth while pulling up towards one side of the heatsink. This will gradually break the surface tension of the thermal compound by allowing air to be introduced along one side of the joint, at which point the heatsink will lift free without effort.

Set the heatsink aside upside down and find a bit of paper towel to clean off the old thermal compound. It's much easier to wipe the chip clean while it's held by the socket, so grab some paper towel and wipe the thermal compound off the surface of the AMD socket AM3 processor.

Always apply fresh thermal compound when installing a heatsink and always wipe off old thermal compound immediately. The stuff is messy and hard to clean out of clothing, so wipe your hands off on paper towel thoroughly.

To remove the AMD socket AM3 processor, unlock the socket by lifting up the metal socket cam lever 90 degrees.

There are markings on the corner of the AM3 socket to indicate locked and unlocked positions, should you be unsure.

Hold the processor by its edges with your thumb and forefinger and lift the CPU vertically out of the socket.

Immediately place the processor back in the chip carrier that came with the CPU box or onto a piece of antistatic foam.

Close the metal socket cam lever arm, and you're done! The motherboard should go back into it's antistatic bag if it's been removed from the case.

The steps outlined in this PCSTATS DIY Guide work for both AMD socket AM3 and AMD socket AM2/AM2+/AM3+ processors.

What's the Best Socket AM3 Heatsink?

Our sister site Frostytech.com has some good recommendations on the best AMD compatible heatsinks, have at Frostytech's Top 5 Heatsinks chart if you're looking to upgrade your CPU cooler.

If you have any comments or questions, please post them in the PCSTATS Forums. Find out about this and many other reviews by joining the Weekly PCSTATS.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS latest hardware reviews right here.

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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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