Science & Technology

How to Repair 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 for those who’ve caught with AMD chips after Intel moved to LGA processors again in 2004. Whereas there are undoubtedly just a few fortunate people blessed with regular arms, quick reflexes, and a merciful lack of pets recognized to stroll throughout a desk with lower than good regard for its contents, nearly all of longtime AMD fans have handled bent pins at one level or one other.

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

Some of the widespread methods to repair bent pins is to make use of a slender straight-edge like a bank card or a needle to control the pins again into alignment. A loop of thread or dental floss may also typically be wrapped round a smashed-flat pin and used to carry it again off the bundle. However there’s one other technique for fixing AMD CPU pins. It’s rather less widespread than the 2 strategies above, however it beats them each hands-down for pace and efficacy, particularly you probably have numerous pins to repair. The one software you’ll want is a mechanical pencil — albeit one with a specific form of tip, detailed beneath:

Perturbed Pins

Editor’s Be aware: The strategy described right here is just not brand-new, and we aren’t claiming to have invented it, however it was new to me when Jess advised it earlier this yr. I then ran this concept previous some fanatic mates and fellow reviewers, and whereas just a few individuals 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 one in all my favorites. — Joel

Just lately, we introduced two AMD CPUs again from the useless utilizing the strategy we’ll describe beneath. No pins have been damaged off, however the chips had a pair totally different sorts of “injuries.” A swathe of pins had been flattened in numerous instructions, and a few pins had their heads bent collectively. Whereas a high quality embroidery needle can carry pins up once more, it simply wasn’t sufficient management to straighten them out. Ideally, if we might 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 useless Jim, useless, and we had nothing to lose.

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 matches between adjoining CPU pins with out pushing on them, whereas the interior diameter matches nearly completely round a person pin. This shut match allows you to alter the angle of the pins relative to the chip, with out having to depend upon having completely regular arms so that you just don’t crimp the pin midway alongside its size.

To aim this restore, you will have a workspace that’s flat, strong and steady. You’re additionally going to want a number of gentle, and a magnifying lens of some variety can also be advisable. Ensure there’s no lead within the pencil earlier than you start. Deal with the chip by the sides 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

Fastidiously thread the tip of the pencil over the bent pin, like an arm by means of 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 — towards the airplane of the inexperienced PCB. It shouldn’t take far more pressure than dealing with tissue paper.

With the nib firmly towards the PCB, rock the eraser finish of the pencil just a few instances in a really small round “joystick” movement in regards to the perpendicular axis, to equalize bending in every other course. Though the wire may be very high quality, the steel pins have a sure resistance to bending, which it is best to be capable to really feel by means of the pencil. Take away the pencil and test outcomes; alter your angle accordingly.

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 received 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 traces are the upward-facing pins: | | | | /o | | | | (If the needle doesn’t match between the rows of pins, it’s too huge, and also you’ll want one thing smaller.)

Our check CPU, partially repaired. You possibly can see there’s nonetheless some harm 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 could really feel like an upward flick on the finish, due to the bent pins’ resistance. It’s essential to comb straight upward, as a result of for those who angle to the aspect, you might bend different pins. It could take a number of repetitions of the identical thread-and-lift movement to get the steel to “remember” the bend.

Lifting a pin again in direction of vertical.

As soon as the heads of the pins keep separated from each other, you need to use the pencil to straighten the pin the remainder of the best way.

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

A restore like this ought to work on any AMD CPU that has pins, though with older fashions, you might want to make use of a pencil with a bigger interior 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 also be obtainable in a regular 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 pictures 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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