Step 3: Beginning the Install: The Motherboard and Processor
Discharge static electricity by touching a large metal object such as the computer case. The motherboard should come in an antistatic bag inside a small box. There is usually a thin antistatic foam pad to protect the board during it's travels. These items can be helpful during the build process.Carefully remove the board from the antistatic bag. Be cautious as the solder points can be prickly and avoid touching small soldered components. Place the antistatic bag on the motherboard box and place the foam pad on the antistatic bag. Place the motherboard on top of the foam pad (you may want to fold the foam pad in half and align it under the processor socket for additional padding). Using these accessories will ease installing the heatsink and protect the motherboard.
Tip: You can hold the motherboard by the I/O ports (serial/usb port area) as those are thoroughly soldered and unlikely to be damaged during handling.
Lift the CPU lever and lift the CPU plate. Remove the plastic CPU socket protector.
Hold the CPU by the edges away from the notches. Align the CPU notches with the CPU socket and lower the CPU, starting on the end with the notches and lightly dropping the other end of the CPU.
Make sure the edges of the CPU are flush with the socket. Close the CPU plate and lower the lever. You'll need to apply a little force to lower the lever.
If you need to remove the CPU from the socket, lift the lever and the plate. Carefully lift the CPU with one hand and pick it up by the edges with the other hand. Alternately, you can grab it by the center edge with two fingers and lift it straight up.
If you bought a retail, it should come with a heatsink with a thermal pad or paste. This thermal compound should be fine for most systems. As you can see from the fifth picture, the included compound may not fully cover the CPU. Enthusiasts and overclockers may want to use better thermal compound.