How one can Restore Bent AMD CPU Pins With a Mechanical Pencil

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For many years, bent pins have been one of many realities of shopping for, putting in, and swapping CPUs, particularly in case you’ve caught with AMD chips after Intel moved to LGA processors again in 2004. Whereas there are undoubtedly a couple of fortunate people blessed with regular arms, quick reflexes, and a merciful lack of pets identified to stroll throughout a desk with lower than excellent regard for its contents, nearly all of longtime AMD lovers have handled bent pins at one level or one other.

“Hurrah! I really like doing this,” mentioned nobody, ever.

Some of the frequent methods to repair bent pins is to make use of a slim straight-edge like a bank card or a needle to control the pins again into alignment. A loop of thread or dental floss may generally be wrapped round a smashed-flat pin and used to raise it again off the package deal. However there’s one other technique for fixing AMD CPU pins. It’s rather less frequent than the 2 strategies above, nevertheless it beats them each hands-down for pace and efficacy, particularly when you have a lot of pins to repair. The one software you’ll want is a mechanical pencil — albeit one with a selected sort of tip, detailed beneath:

Perturbed Pins

Editor’s Observe: The tactic described right here will not be brand-new, and we aren’t claiming to have invented it, nevertheless it was new to me when Jess steered it earlier this yr. I then ran this concept previous some fanatic associates and fellow reviewers, and whereas a couple of folks knew about this technique of repairing AMD CPU pins, most didn’t. Out of all of the strategies I’ve used to repair bent pins over the previous 20 years, that is certainly one of my favorites. — Joel

Lately, we introduced two AMD CPUs again from the lifeless utilizing the strategy we’ll describe beneath. No pins have been damaged off, however the chips had a pair totally different sorts of “accidents.” A swathe of pins had been flattened in numerous instructions, and a few pins had their heads bent collectively. Whereas a advantageous embroidery needle can raise pins up once more, it simply wasn’t sufficient management to straighten them out. Ideally, if we may get the pins straightened out sufficient, the socket would enable them to insert correctly, with the final useful micro-adjustments offered by the AM4 socket itself. With out intervention, these chips have been lifeless Jim, lifeless, and we had nothing to lose.

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Whereas a needle additionally proved useful, the instrument we used for these repairs was a 0.5mm Pentel GraphGear 1000. The outer diameter of its steel nib suits between adjoining CPU pins with out pushing on them, whereas the internal diameter suits nearly completely round a person pin. This shut match allows you to modify the angle of the pins relative to the chip, with out having to rely on having completely regular arms so that you just don’t crimp the pin midway alongside its size.

To aim this restore, you want a workspace that’s flat, strong and secure. You’re additionally going to wish plenty of mild, and a magnifying lens of some sort can be really helpful. Ensure there’s no lead within the pencil earlier than you start. Deal with the chip by the perimeters of its strong base, lay it flat to do the precise repairs, and err on the aspect of being light.

For CPU Pins Bent Flat

Rigorously thread the top of the pencil over the bent pin, like an arm via a sleeve, in order that the pin slides into the pencil’s empty nib. Gently shift the angle of the entire pencil, and the pin inside will include it. Slowly, angle the pencil in order that the tip rests flat on the pin’s solder joint, and the barrel of the pencil is perpendicular — completely upright — in opposition to the aircraft of the inexperienced PCB. It shouldn’t take far more power than dealing with tissue paper.

With the nib firmly in opposition to the PCB, rock the eraser finish of the pencil a couple of occasions in a really small round “joystick” movement in regards to the perpendicular axis, to equalize bending in some other course. Though the wire could be very advantageous, the steel pins have a sure resistance to bending, which you need to be capable to really feel via the pencil. Take away the pencil and test outcomes; modify your angle accordingly.

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For pins with their heads bent collectively

When two pins are bent collectively, it’s harder to straighten them out utilizing the pencil trick. So, we ready them beforehand by separating their heads with a needle; this acquired the heads far sufficient aside to straighten each pins utilizing the mechanical pencil.

Lay the needle flat and slide it between the rows of pins, like so, the place the “o” is the purpose of the needle considered end-on, and the strains are the upward-facing pins: | | | | /o | | | | (If the needle doesn’t match between the rows of pins, it’s too massive, and also you’ll want one thing smaller.)

Our check CPU, partially repaired. You’ll be able to see there’s nonetheless some injury alongside the right-hand fringe of pins.

Discover the place the place the pins catch the needle. Then, with a mild upward sweeping movement, use the needle as a lever arm and your fingertip as a fulcrum to mechanically separate the pins whose heads are bent collectively. The movement might really feel like an upward flick on the finish, due to the bent pins’ resistance. It’s essential to brush straight upward, as a result of in case you angle to the aspect, chances are you’ll bend different pins. It could take a number of repetitions of the identical thread-and-lift movement to get the steel to “keep in mind” the bend.

Lifting a pin again in the direction of vertical.

As soon as the heads of the pins keep separated from each other, you should utilize the pencil to straighten the pin the remainder of the way in which.

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Will This Restore Work For Different CPUs? What Type of Pencil Do You Want?

A restore like this ought to work on any AMD CPU that has pins, though with older fashions, chances are you’ll want to make use of a pencil with a bigger internal diameter to accommodate the bigger pins from earlier generations. We haven’t tried it, so we will’t advocate it, however the identical mechanical pencil we used for these chips can be out there in a typical 0.7mm. (Our first intuition was to make use of the usual Bic “clicky pencil,” however the outer diameter of its nib is simply too massive.)

The chips we repaired have been a Ryzen 9 5900X and an AMD A8-5600. This final CPU stood in as our mannequin for the images above. After the repairs, they have been each confirmed to mount correctly and booted and ran with out incident. This was clearly extra essential for the 5900X, however we confirmed the 5600 nonetheless labored as effectively following some enthusiastic pin-bending for photographic functions.

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