Build a PC Step #2 - Computer Processor and Computer Memory Installation

  Home > Build A PC > 2. Computer Processor and Computer Memory Installation

Setup Motherboard

-Now we have the job of setting up the motherboard. This is not that complicated but should be done correctly or you will have potential serious problems. Make sure motherboard is on a level surface and on a static bag if possible.

-I am sure you have skimmed the motherboard manual and are trying to figure out this jumper stuff. The latest motherboards will require you you to not set any jumpers, its all done through the bios. Others may have switches in place of jumpers. Yet other boards may have a combination of the two.

Older motherboards however will have jumpers that could need setting. A jumper is basically a small cap that is colored. Sometimes they are black, red, yellow, you get the point. What they are for is to set up the board for your particular CPU. Some common settings are for CPU Voltage and Bus Speed. The motherboard manual will layout what jumpers are on the board and go through each one till you are finished. The manual will lay out the settings for your CPU. Most of the time the jumpers will be 1-2 or 2-3 or even off. This means that you will want to set the cap on jumper 1 and 2 or 2 and 3. This will set a circuit. Your manual will have a detailed description. This is can be a hard thing to explain but a simple concept. If you are unsure about this call the manufacturer of the board and they will walk you through it. They are usually more than happy to help you. I can't go through and name jumper setting for your board simply because they are all different. In many cases the default settings (the settings that are made at the factory before shipping) are, in fact, fully workable though they may not be set for your exact hardware and you may have minor glitches like the CPU not showing the right speed.

-Install A Motherboard-

Inspect CPU

-The CPU is the core of the whole PC system. We need to take special care of it before and after installation, it will most likely be the most expensive part of the computer so take extra care when handling it. Underneath the CPU are the pins, and the top side is called the core. Do not touch pins if you can help it. We want to insure they are not bent or broken. If one of the pins is bent you can fix simply with a small pocket knife. Just straighten the pins till they match up with the rest. If more than two are bent I would consider returning product ASAP. On AMD64 and Intel processors the cores are protected, so don't worry if you touch the top side of the CPU, it will cause no damage. The older AMD's (Althlon XP's) however have the core exposed so extra care should be taken. Now assuming all is good you will want to install that little guy, be sure to read the motherboard manual for detailed instructions on how to install the CPU correctly.

Note: Newer Intel products have the pins on the motherboard socket rather than on the CPU as this was judged to be a safer bet to protect against a high number of CPUs that were getting damaged with handling. However, the same fitting instructions apply. Line the CPU up correctly bearing in mind that one corner needs to be aligned with its correct counterpart on the motherboard socket. Then gently slide the CPU in and lock it in place.

-Now along with your CPU you should have a heatsink and fan. This is a little piece of metal that has a fan on the top of it. This is required to cool the CPU, without it the CPU would simply overheat and melt in a split second.

Install CPU and Heat Sink

-Now you will need to pay close attention to the CPU. On the CPU you will notice one or two corner pins missing. Look closely so not to mistake it. Now look at the motherboard and you will see a socket that obviously holds the CPU. On this socket will be the same missing holes. We want to lift the handle of the socket to the up position prior to insertion. With handle up and CPU aligned with socket simply drop in. This should go in very easy and without trouble. Now at times I have had CPU's that didn't go in easy and needed a little playing with in order to seat properly. If you run into this problem do not force it. If it doesn't seat you may have pins that are bent or the motherboard is faulty. If unsure return the items and replace them with new ones. With CPU seated and secure go ahead and pull the socket handle to the down position. If all went well you are done and glad its over with. Be sure to double check with CPU insertion guide in the motherboard manual

-Now you are ready to install the heatsink on the CPU. Most retail heatsink's that come with a CPU have a silicon pad at the bottom, this is to help transfer heat from the CPU to the heatsink. If there is no silicon pad you will have to apply some thermal grease to the CPU yourself. This thermal grease is usually white in color and will come with your heatsink, be sure to apply only a thin layer to your CPU or it will impede the performance of heat removal. Take the heatsink and sit it on top of the CPU. Get a idea of where you want to mount it. Every type of CPU has a different way their heatsink's mount to the board. Be sure to read the manual as they instruct you on how to install it.

-Installing A New Processor-

Install RAM

-Installing the system memory is a snap. Notice on your motherboard some slots that should be DIMM slots. Compare this with you motherboard manual. You should know if you are going to use dual channel memory or single channel memory. Some motherboards do not support dual channel so you put the memory in the slots starting from slot 0 (the far left one). If you are using dual channel, you will need to consult the motherboard manual to see the DIMM configuration, most of the time dual channel is enabled in slot 0+2 or 1+3 (1+3 or 2+4).

-To install the ram simply open the locking lugs on the DIMM slot and line up the RAM, the RAM has a notch in it so this has to line up with the motherboard. Push down on the ram and the locking lugs should snap shut automatically. The RAM is now installed.

-How To Install Computer Memory-

Step #3 - Install Motherboard Into Case



Popular Articles:

How To Build A PC | Different Types of Keyboards | Help with Hard Drive Installation | Computer Networking Basics | Introduction of Motherboard Functions | Computer CPU Processor Speed | Upgrade from Windows 95 to Windows 98 | Computer Monitor Troubleshoot | Partition Hard Drive | Installing New CPU Processor | Types of Network Cables



Getting Started

Component Shopping
Electrostatic Discharge


Build A PC

1. Preparing the Computer Case and Motherboard
2. Computer Processor and Computer Memory Installation
3. Install Motherboard Into Case
4. Installing Hard Drive, Installing CD-ROM and Floppy Disk
5. Installing Expansion Cards, Installing PCI Cards
6. Installing Computer Peripherals, Installing Monitor and Sound Cards
Double Check
First Boot
Load Windows


Extra Stuff

Installing Device Software



1999-2010 All rights reserved ©