IMPORTANT: How to install an AMD CPU

The CPU or Central Processing Unit is the brain of the computer. All commands for data or calculations pass through the CPU. The current AMD form factor is called AM3 or AM3+.  This guide will show you how to install an AMD CPU and heatsink.

Note: Be sure to use proper precautions including an anti-static wristband or an anti-static mat to avoid hardware damage. Avoid touching the metal contacts on the processor, or the pins on the motherboard.

1. Locate the processor socket on your motherboard. The color and exact placement of your motherboard may differ slightly.

2. Lift the lever attached to the side of the socket.

3. Look at the CPU to locate the alignment mark. This is a gold colored triangle located in one of the corners. This mark will point to another triangle located on the socket and the motherboard to help you align the processor properly.

4. Gently place the CPU in the socket aligning the triangle on the processor with the triangle in the socket. When the processor is correctly placed, it should drop easily into place. The CPU should be flat and stable in the socket.

5. Push the lever down towards the motherboard and slide it into the retaining tab to lock the processor into place.

The CPU is now installed in the socket. The next steps will show how to add a heatsink to keep it cool.

The Heatsink is vital to the overall health of your CPU. The heatsink is designed to take the heat generated by the processor and dissipate it to keep the CPU running cool and efficiently. There are a number of different styles and types of heatsinks. This section of the guide will reference a stock AMD heatsink.

1. Check the CPU for thermal compound. Thermal compound is necessary to create a tight bond between the heatsink and processor. AMD heatsinks have compound pre-installed.

2. Set the heatsink on the processor and hook the solid end of the retention arm over the tab on the socket.

3. Move to the other side of the heatsink and hook the movable end of the retention arm over the other tab, then rotate the locking arm to put pressure on the retention mechanism.

4. Connect the fan cable to the cpu fan connector on the motherboard. This is normally labeled CPU FAN or something similar.

That's it! The CPU and heatsink are installed and ready to go.