One way to increase the power of a computer is to increase the processing speed. You can do this by upgrading the CPU. However, you must meet some requirements.

If the motherboard is older, you might not be able to find a compatible CPU. In that case, you must replace the motherboard.

CAUTION: Always work on an antistatic mat and wear a wrist strap when installing and removing CPUs. Place a CPU on the antistatic mat until you are ready to use it. Store CPUs in antistatic packaging.

To change the CPU, remove the existing CPU by releasing it from the socket using the zero insertion force lever. Different sockets have slightly different mechanisms, but all serve to lock the CPU in place after it is correctly oriented in the socket.

Insert the new CPU into place. Do not force the CPU into its socket or use excessive force to close the locking bars. Excessive force can damage the CPU or its socket. If you encounter resistance, make sure that you have aligned the CPU properly. Most have a pattern of pins that fit only one way:

The new CPU might require a different heat sink and fan assembly. The assembly must physically fit the CPU and be compatible with the CPU socket. It must also be adequate to remove the heat of the faster CPU.

CAUTION: You must apply thermal compound between the new CPU and the heat sink and fan assembly.

View thermal settings in the BIOS to determine if there are any problems with the CPU and the heat sink and fan assembly. Third-party software applications can also report CPU temperature information in an easy-to-read format. Refer to the motherboard or CPU user documentation to determine if the chip is operating in the correct temperature range.

To install additional fans in the case to help cool the motherboard and CPU, follow these steps:

Step 1. Align the fan so that it faces the correct direction to either draw air in or blow air out.

Step 2. Mount the fan using the predrilled holes in the case. To draw air into the case, mount the fan at the bottom of the case. To direct hot air out of the case, mount the fan at the top of the case.

Step 3. Connect the fan to the power supply or the motherboard, depending on the case fan plug type.