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Installing an Intel 1366 Core i7 LGA Processor


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Processor and Socket


Traditionally processors have always featured a pin and socket packaging system that allows you to easily interchange processors. Some required that they be pressed into place while later versions used a ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket which uses a lever to slide part of the socket in place and lock the processor down with friction.

The Intel LGA processor package is a little bit different.  As of this writing the LGA socket has been around for a couple of years and so far proved itself to the hardware community.  AMD is even using the package on their high end Opteron processors.  However when it was first released everyone did what they could to try and discredit the change saying it was un-necessary and fragile. In terms of necessity the new package helps Intel with warranty claims due to bent processor pins. We cannot speak to the frailty of the LGA system although we have yet to hear of any claims related to bent socket pins or any other related damage that was not due to improper use.

The purpose of this article is to illustrate the proper way to install a Core i7 LGA 1366 processor.  Overall the process is really not difficult and once you understand the mechanics you'll be a pro in no time.

Let's start out with the parts.
Here is the processor, this happens to be a Core i7 920 D0 using the 1366 socket type. Features of this package include an integrated heatspreader that helps to protect the processor core and serves to help align the processor for installation. There are of course no pins to bend but still exercise caution as it can still be damaged like any other electronic device.

For those of you familiar with the 775 socket type this processor will look very familiar, in fact aside from the higher pin count and larger overall size the 2 processors are virtually identical.

The socket is very unique and consists of 3 major parts.
The pin base, this is where the processor will sit.  As the photos show the pins are integrated into the socket with one for every dot on the bottom of the processor.

The other 2 parts are the retention clip and latch that holds everything together.
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