The AM2 Socket: Don' class=
I’ve got a decent computer. I was just getting tired of it. It was way too overpowered for simply browsing the web and writing these articles and entries. It was just overkill for listening to my oldies, downloading stuff on Usenet, and watching movies. However, it was underpowered for a lot of the games I was interested in: Crysis, ArmA, World in Conflict, and a few others.

After seeing the $900 Crysis computer that’s capable of playing Crysis on high, I decided I would simply upgrade my existing rig. I had the necessary RAM, so that didn’t need to go on the shopping list. I did some asking around on the Incrysis forums, and the very helpful fellows there guided my decision making process. I ended up going for an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ processor and a 512MB GeForce 8800GTS from EVGA. I chose to have it shipped via FedEx because those guys come in usually around noon in my area, as opposed to UPS’s evening time frame.

It arrived, and I was rather excited and happy. If only I had reigned in my childish giddiness.

I sliced through the packing tape on my very nondescript brown box. It had no markings save for the label that was slapped on. Inside were my exquisite treasures, ones that would empower me to visit fantasies with great lucidity and fidelity.Digging through the bubble wrap and packing peanuts, I took out my new processor and graphics card. I unpackaged them carefully and laid them down. I opened up my case and decided I would go for the processor first.
I found it pretty hard to remove my existing processor. It was hard enough where I did one of the most foolish things a computer builder can do: wrestle with the parts. The goddamned AM2 heatsink was a monstrosity and it had an iron grip on the socket. After a lot of pushing and pulling (not to mention sore thumb tips), I managed to wrench the damn thing off. The catch? I tore off the processor along with the heatsink. Apparently, the thermal paste was quite the paste, holding on for dear life. I suppose I was still drunk on my giddiness, because the act of tearing off a heatsink with the proc still attached to it didn’t really faze me.

I set it aside and took my fresh new blazing fast processor. I set it down into the socket and lowered the locking lever. I proceeded to place the heatsink/fan atop it and again wrestled with it, struggling to lock it in place. I really don’t know why the make it so damned hard to lock that heatsink in place.

Because I was impatient and wanted to get on with the entire installation, I took out my existing video card and planted the new one in its place.

I didn’t bother putting the screws in or replacing the case: I knew that if something went wrong, I’d have to get back in there anyway. So I booted up, and some very dreadful things started happening. I got graphical funkiness spewing from the POST screen, I got some alien error message that I had NEVER seen before (and I’ve seen plenty)…it was, as Kostya says, Doyle’s Law.

I powered down and did all the basics: grounded myself, checked all cable connections, jumpers, checked that everything was seated correctly. And that’s where I fucked up.

I went for the processor. Of course, the Herculean grip that the heatsink/fan had on my new processor was no match for my persistence. But it did manage to fuck everything for me.

I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I ended up bending the goddamned pins on the new processor. That’s right. I bent the fucking pins. Bent pins are supposed to be the hallmark of an amateur. A n00b. A nublet. A clumsy oaf. I couldn’t believe it. I looked at it in amazement. I had managed to mangle a small section of pins, about six to eight of them. From my lungs heaved a disappointed sigh. Much like the liquor store employee in Superbad, I slumped and said, “Fuck my life…

It’s not like I was incapable of installing computer components. My rig was built from scratch, every component carefully selected for speed while maintaining an extremely low sound profile.

Anyway, I sat there for a moment, my emotions a cocktail of despair and disappointment, with a hint of frustration. I was surprised that I wasn’t all too angry. I just moved on. I went to take a look at my old proc and discovered that its pins were bent as well. I put two and two together and figured out that my careless manhandling of intricate computer parts could have not turned out any other way. If only I had curbed my enthusiasm…

And now I’ve got a stealthy Antec P180 filled with parts, useless like a corpse waiting to be scavenged by vultures above. For a very brief moment, I thought I would just buy a new computer, but the extensive build time and prohibitive cost prevented such a purchase. Instead, I’m going to have to eat the cost of the processor and just get a new one. However, some guy on a forum said that it’s a 97% chance that it’s the motherboard that’s messed up. Since I’ve already put in the order for my replacement CPU, I am hoping it’s the CPU and not the motherboard. My motherboard costs more than the CPU anyway.

Well, it’s a hard lesson learned…always treat computer equipment with care and respect. And so off I go, waiting until Monday to hopefully bring my computer back to life.