How to Install a CPU and Heatsink

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In this tutorial I will show you how to install a CPU and heatsink. The CPU, or central processing unit, is the brains of the whole computer. Without it your computer couldn’t add one plus one. There are basically only two CPU manufacturers for computers, Intel and AMD, with Intel being the market leader. A heatsink is a large piece of conductive metal that takes the heat from the CPU and transfers it away from the chip to allow for cool operation. Usually the heatsink has a fan attached to it to help in the heat transfer proceed. CPU’s are the most reliable piece of hardware in your computer system so chances are high you’ll never have to replace a CPU but you might want to upgrade your processor to a faster one for better performance. I’ll walk you though the process right now.


1. First locate the CPU socket on your motherboard.

2. Make sure your computer is unplugged and insert the CPU into the motherboard socket and then depending on your socket type secure the CPU with the brackets.

3. Now apply the thermal paste to the CPU according to the type of CPU you have. If you have a Pentium 4 then apply a half a pie sized ball in the center of the chip. If you have a Core 2 Duo then apply a thin line vertically on the chip. If you have a Quad Core or new i5 or i7 then apply a thin line horizontally on the chip.

4. After the thermal paste has been applied, then place the heat sink onto the processor and give it a one degree turn both clockwise and counter clockwise. Now secure the heatsink.

5. Once you’ve screwed down the heatsink and fan then you’re ready to boot up your computer.


– We recommend using Artic Silver thermal paste as we’ve found it to be the most effective as transferring the heat.

– If you get any thermal paste outside of the CPU then clean it up right away as Artic Silver is conductive and make cause a short on your motherboard if not cleaned up.

That’s it! It’s really that simple. We hope the tutorial “How to Install a CPU and Heatsink” has helped you with your computer repair issue.

You can watch this tutorial on video by clicking the play button below. For the full screen version click the second button from the right on the video.


If you need more help regarding this “How to Install a CPU and Heatsink” tutorial then let us know by visiting our Repair Questions page.