Installing a heatsink the right way
March 24, 2009 12:36 AM   Subscribe

I'm installing a new CPU and motherboard into my friend's case. If I were installing it for myself, I'd slap the thing together and see if it worked but since the computer does not belong to me I'm going to try to be more careful. The CPU is a boxed Intel E5200 and the motherboard is a cheap ASUS. As I understand it the E5200 is going to have pre-applied thermal interface material, a.k.a. thermal grease, on it and all I'll have to do is pull the tape off and put the heat sink on. Right? Also, if anyone has any tricks to gracefully seating the heat sink I'd love to hear them.
posted by rdr to Technology (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
On boxed Intel CPUs, there is thermal grease pre-applied to the stock heat sink/fan combo (not the CPU itself), and all you have to do is put it on. As far as tricks, don't be afraid to use a little force to get the heat sink clips to latch, but don't overdo it either. Press the clips into the holes on opposite diagonal corners, rather than both of the ones on the left then on the right, or top/bottom.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:04 AM on March 24, 2009

Just piping in to allay any fears. They make these things fairly idiot-proof these days. The most important thing to remember is: don't apply too much force to anything. If you find yourself putting your weight behind a stick of RAM, or you're wrenching a heat sync and bowing the board… stop, take minute or two and look carefully at what you're doing, clear any obstructions, etc.

I realize that's pretty obvious advice, but you'd be surprised at how these computer-things quickly get physical.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:08 AM on March 24, 2009

you're wrenching a heat sync and bowing the board

I have an Intel E5200 CPU and factory heat sink, on an Intel DG31PR motherboard. You'd be surprised at how much the motherboard is "bowed" with the factory setup. After inquiring about this, I was told (by multiple "modder" type people) that a moderate amount of "board flex" is normal with certain CPU sockets/heatsink setups.
posted by mrbill at 12:39 PM on March 24, 2009

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