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How to Install an AMD Athlon or Duron Socket A Processor
Last updated: 10/31/01

Choosing a Heatsink-Fan.  Your best bet is to purchase a heatsink-fan (cooler) recommended by AMD.  For an average Athlon computer, used in an office environment, I like the one to the right.  It has a large spring which hooks to all six lugs on the Socket A, can be attached without tools, is easily removed, and is less likely come loose during shipment than those which attach to just two lugs.  This one has IBIS on it and comes from a vendor I have doing business with for many years.  Tai Sol Electronics, Aavid (Part # 11-K754-01; .pdf spec), and Tiger Electronics also make them.  Get a heatsink-fan with a quality ball bearing fan (not a sleeve bearing), one that plugs into the motherboard (3-pin fan), and has a tachometer function for RPM monitoring by the motherboard.

Observe Antistatic Procedures.  Many people don't realize that computer components can be damaged by static electricity and a problem may not appear for months later when a power surge completes the damage.  Ideally, you should wear a grounded anti-static wrist strap when working on computer equipment, especially when handling memory and CPUs.  Also, the use of grounded anti-static mats on the floor and on the workbench is a good practice.  However, these items can be too expensive if you are building just one computer.  As a minimum, my advise is to make sure your body is touching the metal on the computer case when handling the CPU.  It would also be a good idea to work with bare feet during this critical time.  Try to avoid touching drives, boards, memory, etc. with your clothes.  Clothing can quite often be charged with static electricity, especially during cold-dry, Winter days.

Prepare the Motherboard. If you are installing the CPU on a new motherboard, most of them come in an anti-static bag or are packed with an anti-static pads.  As a precaution it advisable to place the motherboard  on whatever anti-static material comes with it or that you can obtain.  Aluminum foil on top of a bath towel or several layers of paper towels will work.  Be sure to inspect the bottom of the motherboard when you are done with the CPU and heatsink-fan installation to be sure there are no pieces of aluminum foil clinging to the bottom of it.

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