AMD can hardly do anything wrong, except for its mobo’s horrifying locking mechanism

As far as desktop processors are concerned, AMD has killed it for the past few years. If you miss the big announcement on Thursday, the company will launch its next-generation CPU, the Ryzen 5000, on November 5th. If all the benchmark numbers presented in the presentation are correct, you can see a big change in the number of gamers. Uses an Intel processor in the build compared to AMD. I used the AMD processor in the last two builds, mainly because I have to build on a tight budget, but I’m still not disappointed with any of AMD’s Ryzen CPUs. But that motherboard, especially the AM4 socket, is a completely different story.I’m just can not It has AMD’s unfortunate CPU locking mechanism like never before.

AMD sockets are Zero Insertion Force (ZIF) sockets, and that’s exactly what they are. You don’t need to use force to insert the CPU into the socket and lock it in place. The weight of the CPU itself provides enough power, so if you push the lever down after placing the processor in the socket, the contacts will easily close and grab the pin. Intel sockets are also ZIF sockets

Artistic photo. Very bent pin. (Photo: Alex Cranz / )

However, unlike Intel motherboards, which have a metal frame and a sturdy lever that hooks under the frame to secure the processor, AMD motherboards have a thin lever that pushes straight down to lock the processor in place. .. that’s it. The lever feels thin enough to break like a twig, and the lock itself doesn’t hold the CPU in place. Unlike Intel mobos, where it’s completely obvious, you can’t really see it locked in place.

Part of this issue is related to how AMD designs Ryzen processors. AMD uses a pin grid array (PGA). So you can see that all these little pins stick out from the underside of the chip. Intel uses the Land Grid Array (LGA). This means that the pins are laid flat on the underside of the chip like a small pad. LGA has two major advantages over PGA, but one of the most obvious is durability. If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of overusing thermal paste, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

There is a reason why you should always gently twist and remove the cooler from the CPU. The CPU comes off with the cooler. I haven’t had this problem with Intel CPUs with a little overuse of paste, but I accidentally pulled it straight out of the socket even though the AMD CPU should have been locked in place. While I’m twisting the cooler too! With a chunk of fresh paste! This is the easiest way to bend a few pins and send the new AMD processor back to the smelter.

If you’re really worried about ruining your AMD processor (see my boss), there are options other than sticking like thermal pads. The thermal pad is easy to install and the cooler is easy to remove from the processor, but it is not as effective as a thin layer of paste. In addition, the pad must be removed from the heat sink. This is a pain in the buttocks in itself. Then you need to replace the pad. If you’re benchmarking a lot of desktop CPUs like me, pasting is definitely a more economical solution. If applied correctly, you don’t have to worry, but I still do. (Another note: Do not pull the cooler straight out of the box into the CPU. Clean the dry cake-like paste and replace it with fresh goo.)

AMD has previously stated that it plans to keep the current AM4 socket as much as possible. This is great for upgrading older CPUs, but it probably means you’ve been stuck with this flimsy locking device for years. .. Hopefully when AMD moves to the AM5 socket, or what they call it, it redesigns the lock so that many of us don’t have a mini heart attack as soon as we start removing the cooler. I will.

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