Second in what hopes to be a long and fruitful series of How-To guides, I’ll be explaining in full pictorial form how to install your latest CPU cooler, HSF, heatsink, fan, call it what you will.
Click the read on to chill your PC to dizzying new depths…
So you want to install a new CPU cooler, eh? Ok, luckily for you, it’s really simple. But just to be sure, and for those of you experiencing your first time insidethe “scary tangled mess” that is the inards of your PC, I’ll go through step by step, and with nice pictures too. Aren’t I nice.
Safety first I was always taught, and it doesn’t seem too bad a motto. Get yourself a nice open space, avoiding clutter and stress. Unplug everything from your PC, lie it down in this space, and then plug the power cord back in, and then plug that in turn into the wall socket.
Make sure it is turned off at the wall, and off at the back of your PC. “Why am I leaving it in?!” I hear you cry, the reason is simple. Earthing. You know the top prong of the UK spec wall plug? That’s the earth connection, or ground. By leaving it in, even when off you’re still connected to earth. Which means that as long as you are touching the PC chassis, even if you do get electrocuted (Try not to..) then the current has a direct path to earth, an you won’t be zapped comic-book style.
So, you’re all safe, let the fun commence. This bit will differ slightly, depending on your case.
You need to open it up, so you can get at the inside. The overwhelming majority open on the left-hand side as you face the case. And most have thumb screws on the back to hold it in place. If not, just have a fiddle, you’ll soon work out how to get it off – many OEM PC’s are held in place by “normal screws”, requiring a screwdriver.
Take the fixings out, whatever the are, and store them safely to one side.
Next, if your case doesn’t have a suitably large cutout behind the current cooler, you’ll have to remove the motherboard by unplugging the CPU PWM fan regulator, and unscrewing the six (usually) screws around the edges.
Once it’s out, remove the current cooler. If it’s the stock AMD/Intel cooler, you just need to twist and pull the four pins on the corners. Any other cooler, read through this guide and follow it backwards, until the old cooler is removed.
Now it’s off, you should see some TIM (thermal paste) left on the CPU.
Before installing the new cooler, we need some fresh grease on. But before that, we want to clean off the old stuff. Some pros use alcohol rub, even sandpaper, to get a really neat finish and maximise overclocking potential. Just giving it a rub should clear it off though – and if you’re not trying to win an OCing competition, it’s fine.
Now you can squeeze the fresh stuff on, spreading it lightly and thinly, not too close to the edges. Once you place the HSF on the weight will spread it further out, and you don’t want it oozing over the sides.
Having already fixed the mounting points to the cooler (if necessary on your model), place the motherboard over an upside down HSF – ensuring that the mounting points and contact plate line up with those on the motherboard, and the CPU socket itself.
Then, place the backplate over the protruding pins, and secure in place.
Return your motherboard to the upright position, and admire.
|PCI(-e) cards added for perception only, easier to install them after replacing mobo into case
Then simply refit into your case, and job done. Hop into BIOS and see how far you can OC – if that’s your thing.