Urgent cpu installation question

Hi all,

I’ve got my system parts together, and it’s almost there. But whenever I try installing my Athlon XP Socket A CPU, I’m hitting a big problem.

I’ve lifted the socket lever, aligned the CPU properly and it fell into place, but whenever I attempt to lower the lever, I run into some big resistance. HOW MUCH RESISTANCE IS NORMAL? I don’t want to force it down and break it, unless you’re supposed to force it down.

Please answer this ASAP, as I’m hip deep in the system case at the moment.


Should not be a lot of resistance. Make sure the “notched” edge of the CPU matches the “notched” edge of the socket. Look at the bottom of the CPU to see what I mean-- some of the pins are missing on the corner.

Other than that, make sure the lever is up first, then plug n’ play.

Yeah, I had a problem installing the heatsink with the notch the wrong way and ended up breaking one of the clasps on the socket. What a mess! Luckily I was able to find a fan that would use what was left of the clasp.

But to answer your question, there shouldnt’ be a lot of resistance when lowering the arm. See how it works with the CPU out of the socket. If it’s only got resistance with the CPU insterted, you may have the CPU inserted incorrectly.

That gues above was me. Forgot to login.

Tim Elhajj

Apparently this board hates me.

Tim Elhajj

Okay. I got it.

I had inserted it properly, but it’s just that sometimes that little level arm just doesn’t want to go down easy. I rocked the arm back and forth a bit, and then pressed down hard and it locked into place.

Boy, installing that heatsink/fan is a major bitch. You have to use a screwdriver to force the retention clip into place with a bunch of force, and god forbid you slip, or else bye-bye motherboard.

I have apparently gotten everything installed correctly, and even got the polarity correct on the little LED light connections. Updated the bios (the board just came out this week, and it’s so new, Leadtek already has had 2 bios updates) and set up everything correctly. Am now reformating my main partition for the reinstallation of Windows XP.

LOL, this always takes me the longest. I agree that clipping on the h/s is scary. I could have bit nails when I broke the clasp on the socket.

So put down a piece of anti-static wrapper (eg, the silvery plastic stuff that video cards et al come in) under the latch area. No more danger of gouging the motherboard.

Get a better heat sink.

Use a nut driver, not a screwdriver on clip-mounted fans. I spiked many a motherboard before I figured that out.
BTW, I really like the PAL-8045. Mounted with a nice Panaflo L1-A fan, it keeps an XP 1900+ cool without a lot of noise.

The holes that allow the Alpha to be installed are not necessarily guaranteed to be on future AMD-compatible motherboards. However, as heatsink weight increases, it is a good alternative; just make SURE your mobo has those 4 holes around the CPU socket before buying!

uh, not to sound like a non-believer, but how is this itty bitty piece of saran wrap looking thing going to help as I lean into my screwdriver with all 200 pounds plus of my overweight ass?

I installed my new Athlon XP onto my new motherboard about two weeks ago. Everything went fine thankfully. I got a good deal on a used ECS K7VTA3 from my friend but I purchased the CPU separately, otherwise I would have bought a Motherboard/CPU combo.

After the stress of that experience, I don’t think I would ever install a socket A processor again unless I could use one of the MB mount HS/Fan combos mentioned.

The retaining clip solution is the most inelegant piece of crap design for HS/Fan mount. The whole time, all I could think about was about how much money I’d have to spend if I cracked the chip, stabbed the motherboard, didn’t install it right and fried the chip, etc.

Yeah. Totally. I graduated from the bulky, but elegant, Slot 1 to Socket A yesterday.

Yeah, the Slot 1’s where friggin’ gigantic, but they put everything in one package, so all you had to do was just plug it in. No messing around with heat sinks and fans or nothin’.

Whoever designed Socket A was insane. Or deliberately wanted to make it so Dell and co. sold more computers by discouraging would-be system makers.