2.5. Installing a Processor

Now that you understand some of the popular processors that exist today, take a look at how to install a processor. This section identifies installation decisions you have to be aware of before actually attempting to install the processor.

2.5.1. Will it fit in the socket?

The first thing you need to verify before you purchase a new processor for your system is what socket type you have on your motherboard. You want to make sure that you purchase a processor that fits in that socket. For example, if you have Socket A on the motherboard, what processors fit in Socket A? If you said Athlon, Athlon XP, and Duron, you are correct.

Also be sure you know how many pins the socket has because some processors support a few differently sized sockets. For example, Intel makes both Socket 423 and Socket 478 versions of the Pentium 4, so make sure you get the correct version of the Pentium 4 for your socket.

2.5.2. CPU voltage and transistor integration

Another important CPU characteristic that you have to watch for when upgrading your processor is the voltage the processor requires. Voltage is the power that the processor draws from the main motherboard, which the motherboard receives originally from the power supply.

A processor is designed to run at a certain voltage. You need to ensure that the motherboard you are placing the processor into provides that voltage. If a motherboard supports more than one voltage, you can typically change a jumper on the motherboard, ...

Get CompTIA A+® Certification All-In-One For Dummies®, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.