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quakeguy81

Motherboard And CPU Heatsink/Cooler Installation

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Every Youtube video I watch about PC building (including LTT, and JayZTwoCents) the builder always installs the CPU HSF/cooler onto the motherboard before installing it inside the PC case.  I have always done the opposite in my PC builds.  I always install the motherboard first into the PC case, then CPU, thermal paste, HSF and RAM.  Why do I always see system builders install the CPU and HSF/cooler outside of the case first?  What are the advantages/disadvantages?


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good: easier to align the screw holes

 

bad: some big heatsinks block access to screws that hold the board to the case


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The best thing to do is reading the clock speed that doesnt end in a pair of zeros. Software voltage readings are wrong if your motherboard's not a high end model

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Whichever way is easier.  Sometimes when it's in the case, it's easier since the mobo can't move on you. Some heatsinks are fine just screwing down into the mobo (Ryzen coolers).

 

The big advantage is testing things before you lock it all in the case really.   They turn power on to check it's posting.

 

It's personal preference.  


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, jstudrawa said:

Whichever way is easier.  Sometimes when it's in the case, it's easier since the mobo can't move on you. Some heatsinks are fine just screwing down into the mobo (Ryzen coolers).

 

The big advantage is testing things before you lock it all in the case really.   They turn power on to check it's posting.

 

It's personal preference.  

In Paul's Hardware's latest video entitled "KYLE GOT A STRIKE - Finally Responding to the Verge PC Build", he cites installing the motherboard first before the CPU HSF as a mistake, which leads me to ask this question.  I don't find anything wrong with installing the motherboard first, then the CPU, HSF, and RAM.  I have always done it this way.

 

 


Intel Core i5 6600K @ 3.50GHz -- Gigabyte Z170XP-SLI-CF -- Team Group 16 GB DDR4 2400 (16-16-16-39) -- Gigabyte GTX 1070 -- NZXT S340 -- Windows 10 64-Bit
 

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1 minute ago, quakeguy81 said:

In Paul's Hardware's latest video entitled "KYLE GOT A STRIKE - Finally Responding to the Verge PC Build", he cites installing the motherboard first before the CPU HSF as a mistake, which leads me to ask this question.  I don't find anything wrong with installing the motherboard first, then the CPU, HSF, and RAM.  I have always done it this way.

 

 

Watched that yesterday, don't agree with his assertion about that. In many cases it may be easier outside, but there's nothing inherently wrong with doing it in the case.


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43 minutes ago, quakeguy81 said:

In Paul's Hardware's latest video entitled "KYLE GOT A STRIKE - Finally Responding to the Verge PC Build", he cites installing the motherboard first before the CPU HSF as a mistake, which leads me to ask this question.  I don't find anything wrong with installing the motherboard first, then the CPU, HSF, and RAM.  I have always done it this way.

no one way for everything. motherboard-in-case-first is only especially important when you have things like heavy giant tower coolers (or watercooling in general).

It's much easier to put smaller and lighter heatsinks on first, before the motherboard goes into the case

 

one thing to note is if the case doesn't give you access to the underside of the CPU mounting socket, especially for heatsinks/waterblocks that require a back brace

 

RAM goes in any order (as in the entire step, not the slot position) as long as you don't have to remove the heatsink to insert them

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Some of the mounting hardware is harder to get to while inside the case, makes it a 2 person job if you need to hold a backplate on. And the opposite is true if you have a big ass heatsink as you can't get to the motherboard screws sometimes.

I prefer mounting outside the case, it can make it awkward though if you're using an AIO cooler.. which is easier to mount the radiator in the case first IMO, then the block.


Please quote my post, or put @paddy-stone if you want me to respond to you, I may not see your post otherwise.

 

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Basically you have to take in what mounting hardware, and case you have before deciding on which way would be best to mount.


Please quote my post, or put @paddy-stone if you want me to respond to you, I may not see your post otherwise.

 

Spoiler
  • PCs:-
  • AM4 1700 build https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/bJQ8kd
  • AMD Ryzen 1700 w/ Cooler Master ML240 Lite @3.9 1.35V - ASrock AB350M Pro 4  - 16GB Corsair Vengeance 3000Mhz RAM @2933Mhz  - Samsung 970 Evo 250GB - Crucial M500 M.2 SSD 240GB - Zotac GTX 1060 6GB AMP! edition - 4x 4TB Seagate Ironwolf Drives in O/striped - 2TB HDD - Fractal Design Node 804 -  EVGA Supernova P2 850W Platinum PSU - Pioneer BD writer in external USB 3.0 5.25 chassis - USB 3.1 Tyoe C to M.2 SATA caddy w/ 250GB Crucial MX600 M.2 drive for quick external storage needs.
  • ASUS x53e  - i7 2670QM / Sony BD writer x8 / Win 10, Elemetary OS, Ubuntu/ Samsung 830 SSD
  • Lenovo G50 - 8Gb RAM - Samsung 860 Evo 250GB SSD - DVD writer
  •  
  • Displays:-
  • Panasonic 55" 4k TV
  • LG 29" Ultrawide
  •  
  • Storage/NAS/Servers:-
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  • Backup server - HP Proliant Gen 8 4 bay NAS running FreeNAS ZFS striped 3x3TiB WD reds
  • HP ProLiant G6 Server SE316M1 Twin Hex Core Intel Xeon E5645 2.40GHz 48GB RAM
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  • PS4
  • Nvidia Shield TV
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  • Lenovo k3 note
  • Windows tablet
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  • Unused Hardware currently :-
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  • Deadpool server -  i7 6700K - Cryorig C7 cooler - b250 mobo - Thermaltake Core V21-  EVGA Supernova G2 650W Gold PSU
  • AMD phenom II 1055t / 8GB RAM / DVD writer
  • Zotac GTX 1060 6GB Amp! edition x2
  • Zotac GTX 1050 mini
  • Nvidia Shield K1 tablet

 

 

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I build it outside of the case so I can make sure it posts before putting it inside the case. But I leave the heatsink on the whole time. It gives me something to hold while lining up the motherboard for installation into the case. 


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Depends on the cooler and case. Not all CPU sockets are in the same place, not all motherboard trays have the same position cutout and not all cooler backplates are the same.

I wouldn't call the verge CPU cooler install a mistake for that reason, there were plenty of other reasons but with aio coolers in particular, if you have the space to install it with the motherboard in the case it can actually be easier with the radiator pre installed.


Pro tip, before you reply to an question or topic, answer these three questions:

 

1) Do I actually have an answer for OP at all?

2) Am I giving an answer that is based in multiple reliable source tests and not personal opinion or heresay?

3) Is my answer on topic, clear and concise?

 

If you answered "no" to any of those, close the tab.

Do not give people information you personally think is correct. Source, research and then reply. If you plain and simple don't know what you're talking about, don't talk about it. It's harmful to support questions on forums to be providing people with wrong or misleading information. As well as going off topic from the original question.

i.e. "What B360 motherboard should I buy?"

>someone replies with a PC partpicker list with a ryzen system

Not what was asked.

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I never attach cooler to mobo unless I am forced to breadboard.  I didn't know there was a "right" or "wrong" way to do that.  This is lego's for adults - just match the slots up guise.  As long as it can fit order doesn't matter lol.

 

However to state one is right and wrong is...well internet personalities looking for attention.


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