Upgrading or Replacing the Processor
This document can help in removing and replacing a processor. Use it in addition to the information that comes with a new processor. Be sure to read the instructions that come with the new processor before installing.
Before you begin
- Make sure you have a processor that is compatible with your motherboard. For more information, see Step 1: Determining which processors are compatible with the motherboard .
- Get a Phillips screwdriver and a medium flat-blade screwdriver.
- If adding or reusing a processor-cooling fan, get a tube of thermal grease from the local computer supply store.
- Use an antistatic wrist strap and a conductive foam pad to eliminate or reduce damage from static electricity.
- Find a clear, flat, stable work surface over a floor that is not carpeted.
WARNING:The edges of metal panels can cut skin. Be careful not to slide skin along any interior metal edge of the computer.
CAUTION:This product contains components that can be damaged by electrostatic discharge (ESD). To reduce the chance of ESD damage, work over a noncarpeted floor, use a static dissipative work surface (such as a conductive foam pad), and wear an ESD wrist strap connected to a grounded surface.
Step 1: Determining which processors are compatible with the motherboard
Before getting a new processor, find out if it is compatible with your motherboard. For most HP and Compaq desktop computers, the product specifications page lists the types of processors that are compatible with the motherboard. For some models, you must check the motherboard specifications.
Follow these steps to find compatible processors:
- Go to the product specifications page for your computer model. To find the specifications, type the computer model and the word "specifications" into the Question or keywords field at the top of this page. For example, if you have an HP Pavilion p6755de Desktop PC, type p6755de specifications.
- Press the Enter key or click the arrows next to the Question or keywords field.
- In the product specifications page, look for a section titled Processor upgrade information.If the specifications do not have a section titled Processor upgrade information, follow these steps to find the information:Find the name of the motherboard on the product specifications page.Type the name of the motherboard and the word "specifications" into the Question or keywords field at the top of this page. For example, if you have a P4SD-LA (Oxford-UL6E) motherboard, type Oxford specifications.Press the Enter key or click the arrows next to the Question or keywords field.On the motherboard specifications page, look for a CPU or Processor section and take note of the information listed.
- Click the plus sign next to Processor upgrade information and view the information.Take note of all the information listed, including:
- TDP - Thermal Design Power. Do not try to install a processor with a higher TDP than listed in the specifications.
- Socket type - The processor must use the type listed here.
- Motherboard supports the following processor upgrades - Install a processor from one of the series listed.
Step 2: Opening the case
Once you have a compatible processor, you are ready to replace the processor. Follow these steps to begin the process and open the computer case:
- Turn off the computer and disconnect all cables.
- Remove the panel retaining screw(s).
- Remove the panel.
- If you have trouble removing the panels, go to the HP Support site , type your computer model number, and type taking apart, or opening case into the text box. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
Step 3: Removing the fan duct and power supply
The processor sits behind a fan duct on many computers. If the computer has a fan duct, remove the fan duct before removing the processor. On some computers, the power supply also prevents access to the processor. Perform the following steps to temporarily remove these obstructions:
- Gently lay the computer on its side with the open area easily accessible.
- Find the fan duct. It is located over the processor and attached to the inside back of the case.
- Examine whether the fan duct is attached with screws or tabs.If the fan is attached with screws, remove them and remove the fan duct. If the fan duct is attached with tabs, use a slotted screwdriver to gently pry back the tab while gently pulling out on the fan duct at the same time. Pry on each tab until you can rotate and remove the fan duct.
- Unplug the fan's wires from the motherboard. Note the location of the connector on the motherboard because you must reattach the wires later.
- The power supply is a gray rectangular box with many wires coming out of it, and is usually attached to the inside back of the computer case. If the power supply is located over the processor, remove the four screws and, without disconnecting the wires, set the power supply aside, preferably on the CD drive bay. Do not place the power supply on the motherboard.
- The processor is now clear from any obstructions. Continue to the next step.
Step 4: Removing and installing the processor
Motherboards have either a slot or socket connector for the processor. The instructions for removing and installing a processor differ between the two types. Depending on the socket type, use one of the next two sections to remove and install a processor.
To determine the exact type of connector type on the motherboard, refer to the product specifications for your computer model. To find the specifications for your computer, type the model number and specifications
Use the following steps to remove and install a processor from a flat style of socket:
- If the processor has a fan that is mounted on its cooling fins, unplug the fan wires from the motherboard. Note where the fan wires connect on the motherboard because you must reattach the fan wires later.
- Remove the processor cooling assembly by unlatching any levers on the fan assembly or detaching any retaining clips with a small flat bladed screw driver.
- Gently lift the cooling fan assembly from the surface of the processor.
- Use the processor retaining device to unlock the processor from the socket. The retaining device might be a plastic arm on the side of the socket, a cover that fits down around the sides of the processor, or other device. The following graphics show the most common retaining devices:
- Gently lift the processor up and out of the socket.
- Match the processor to the socket. There is one corner that is different. Use this corner to align the pins on the processor with the holes in the socket.
- With the retainment device in the unlocked position, insert the new processor into the socket. The processor sits down against the bottom of the socket.
- Use the retainment device to lock the processor into place.
- Apply thermal grease evenly to the raised square in the center of the processor.
- Replace the cooling fan assembly.
- Plug the wires from the cooling fan into the connector on the motherboard and continue to the next step.
To remove and install a processor with a slot connector, use the following steps:
- If the processor has a fan, unplug the fan wires from the motherboard. Note where the fan wires connect on the motherboard because you must reattach the wires later.
- Press in on the handles at the top corners of the processor while gently pulling out on the processor. The processor (and cooling fan, if present) slides up and out, leaving two plastic guideposts that stick out from the motherboard.
- Gently lay the old processor aside and pick up the new processor.
- Slide the new processor down between the guideposts and press it firmly into the connector. The handles move out and snap into place when the processor is fully seated and the cooling fins point towards the inside of the motherboard.
- Connect the processor fan wires into the connector on the motherboard.
Step 5: Reassembling the computer
Use the following steps to reassemble the computer:
- If the power supply was removed, reattach it to the inside back of the case with four screws.
- If the fan duct was removed, reattach it to the inside back of the case by inserting the fan duct's tabs into its slots or by replacing the fan duct's screws.
- Slide any swing-out or slide-out bays back into position. Make sure that no cables are touching the processor fan.
- Slide the case panels back into their respective slots in the sides of the computer.
- Tighten the screws that hold the panels in place.
- Reinstall all the cables into the back of the computer. Plug the power cord in last.
- Turn on the computer and test for functionality.