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The Intel Core i7 Installation Guide Rev. 2.0
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The Intel Core i7 Installation Guide

It was the dawn of a new era for Intel when they launched the new Nehalem microarchitecture with the first microprocessor to be based on it - the Intel Core i7 processor and its attendant chipset - the Intel X58 Express. This new platform also introduces a new processor "socket", the LGA1366 (also known as Socket B), and a new interconnect, the QPI or QuickPath Interconnect.

Technical advances aside, the introduction of the new CPU socket means the new platform is not only imcompatible with LGA775 Intel processors but also the CPU coolers designed for that socket. Other than that, migrating from the LGA775 socket to the new LGA1366 socket should be easy for those who are already familiar with the Intel Core 2 processors. After all, it is just a larger version of the venerable LGA775 socket.

New users migrating from the AMD platforms, on the other hand, may find the new socket both foreign and even a little scary. Hence, we decided to come up with a pictorial guide to show you just how easy it is to install an LGA1366 processor and its cooler. We will demonstrate the process using the spanking new Intel Core i7 processor and the cooler it ships with. Let's get on with it!


Preparing The Socket

Unlike traditional CPU sockets, the LGA1366 "socket" does not have any holes. Instead, it has an array of contact pins on which the CPU rests. The pins in the LGA1366 socket are thinner and closer together than in the LGA775 socket, so they are more susceptible to damage. When you buy a new Intel X58 Express motherboard (e.g. the ASUS P6T Deluxe), you will notice that the pins are protected by a hard plastic cover. In the example below, the plastic cover (or PnP cap) even has a sticker which warns you to remove it only when you want to install a CPU.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 1 : Note the J-shaped load lever at the bottom of the LGA1366 socket. That secures the socket's metal cover.

Step 2 : Unhook the lever by pressing down on it and away from the socket. Bring it all the way to the other end. This unlocks the metal socket cover.

Step 3

Step 4

Step 3 : You can now flip open the metal socket cover (also known as the load plate). This reveals the hard plastic socket cap.

Step 4 : The socket cap (or PnP cap) has two small protruding tabs. Use a small screwdriver or your fingernails to hook into them, and pry off the plastic cap.

Note : Keep the socket cover (PnP cap). You will need it if you ever need to RMA the motherboard. Before you send the motherboard back to the manufacturer, replace the CPU with the PnP cap. Some manufacturers will refuse to repair/replace motherboards that were not returned with the cap in place.


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Preparing The Socket


Installing The CPU


Before You Install The CPU Cooler


Installing The CPU Cooler


Before You Install The Memory Modules


Dual / Triple Memory Channel Operation
Recommended Memory Configurations


Installing The Memory Modules
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