How to Upgrade CPU and Memory


You can do it!

Ever since computers have invaded all of our homes the one thing that might have always daunted the normal user is “I want to upgrade my processor but I don’t know how.” Many people’s initial reaction is to call a friend or run it past the local computer store (and might lose it for a few days if they’re busy)… But trust me when I say you can do this yourself.

This tutorial isn’t for the advanced users, but for those who are interested in hardware who might just lack that little extra information on how to swap components.
In this following small tutorial you will see how to remove a stock cooler from a LGA 775 Socket with an Intel Core2 Duo E6600.  We also show you how to install DDR2 memory, not that it should be needed since it’s as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, but you never know =]

We start by removing the stock cooler as if you where to swap out for a higher end processor.
When we look at the cooler itself you can see the way its mounted.  It uses several plastic prongs to lock the cooler in place.  Simply align the pins with the designated holes in the motherboard and push down.  When you press down on the prongs, a middle pin extends through the prong to expand the little hooks on the end, locking the prongs through the holes in the motherboard.

Now let’s say we were to swap out a processor… we would first need to release the prongs that keep it secured on the motherboard.  This is done by using a large flathead screwdriver, or as I like to use my trusty Swiss knife’s flathead.  Turn each pin counterclockwise about 90 degrees, then pull up on the tab to remove the locking pin that keeps the plastic prongs expanded.  Repeat for the remaining three and remove the cooler.

You can now see the cooler is covered in old T.I.M (also known as Thermal Interface Material).  You want to get rid of this gunk, so use isopropyl alcohol to do that job, but I like to use Akasa’s TIM remover, as it does a really good job at removing the old compound (and stickers and other adhesives).

Just remove the excess compound with a piece of toilet paper tissues or any other disposable, then put on a few drops of the isopropyl alcohol or a TIM remover solution, let it soak in for a bit and wipe clean, repeat if needed.

I always like to clean the processor itself in this manner, as well to make sure both surfaces are clean before putting on new thermal compound.  I have used Arctic Silver products for a few years now, and I just love the Ceramique thermal compound.  It doesn’t stain like the Silver versions and is also easier to clean up.  Oh, and it’s a great thermal compound, too!

If you see any thermal pads on a stock cooler, remove them as they generally suck and diminish the cooling capability of the cooler (due to bad thermal bonding from the cooler to the processor).  If you’d like to know more, just Google on Thermal Interface Materials.