Replacing the CPU
The processor chip (regardless of type) is invariably fitted in a socket or a slot and this makes removal and replacement quite straightforward provided that you take reasonable precautions.

The following describes the stages in removing and replacing a CPU chip:

1. Switch 'off, disconnect from the supply and gain access to the system board.

2. Ensure that you observe the safety and static precautions at all times. Have some anti-static packing available to receive the CPU when it has been removed.

3. Locate the CPU and ensure that there is sufficient room to work all around it (you may have to move ribbon cables or adapter cards to gain sufficient clearance to use the extraction and insertion tools).

4. Depending on the design of the socket/slot, release the catch that holds the CPU in place.

5. Immediately deposit the chip in an anti-static container (do not touch any of the pins).

6. Pick up the replacement chip from its anti-static packing. Position the insertion chip over the socket and ensure that it is correctly orientated.

7. Reassemble the system (replacing any adapter cards and cables that may have been removed in order to gain access or clearance around the CPU). Reconnect the system and test.

Upgrading the CPU
A relentless increase in the power of the CPU makes this particular component a prime candidate for upgrading a system in order to keep pace with improvements in technology.

Moore’s law says that the number of transistors used in microprocessors will double every 18 months. The progress seems to correlate well with this ‘law’.

Although Moore’s law refers to the number of transistors in an integrated circuit, the clock speed of Intel processors seems to conform quite well with the ‘law’.

TIP: Before attempting a CPU upgrade it is well worth giving careful attention to the cost effectiveness of the upgrade - in many cases there may be other ways of improving its performance for less outlay. In particular, if you are operating on a limited budget it may be worth considering a RAM or hard disk upgrade before attempting to upgrade the CPU. In both cases, significant improvements in performance can usually be achieved at moderate cost.

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