Skip to main content

Install a processor

This task has instructions for installing a processor. This task requires a Torx T30 driver.

About this task

  • Read Installation Guidelines and Safety inspection checklist to ensure that you work safely.

  • Turn off the corresponding DWC tray that you are going to perform the task on.

  • Disconnect all external cables from the enclosure.

  • Use extra force to disconnect QSFP cables if they are connected to the solution.

  • Each processor socket must always contain a cover. When removing or installing a processor, protect empty processor sockets with a cover.

  • Do not touch the processor socket or processor contacts. Processor-socket contacts are very fragile and easily damaged. Contaminants on the processor contacts, such as oil from your skin, can cause connection failures.

  • Do not allow the thermal grease on the processor or water loop to come in contact with anything. Contact with any surface can compromise the thermal grease, rendering it ineffective. Thermal grease can damage components, such as electrical connectors in the processor socket. Do not remove the grease cover from the cold plate until you are instructed to do so.

  • Before you install a new or replace a processor, update your system firmware to the latest level. See Update the firmware.

  • To avoid damaging the water loop, always use the water loop carrier when removing, installing or folding the water loop.

  • See Lenovo ServerProven website for a list of processors supported for your system. All processors on the system board must have the same speed, number of cores, and frequency.

  • Optional devices available for your system might have specific processor requirements. See the documentation that comes with the optional device for information.


Ensure you have SD650 V3 Neptune DWC Waterloop Service Kit in hand to install components.

Prepare the following screwdrivers to ensure you can install and remove corresponding screws properly.
Screwdriver TypeScrew Type
Torx T10 head screwdriverTorx T10 screw
Torx T30 head screwdriverTorx T30 screw
Phillips #1 head screwdriverPhillips #1 screw
Phillips #2 head screwdriverPhillips #2 screw
Figure 1. Processor locations
Processor locations
Firmware and driver download: You might need to update the firmware or driver after replacing a component.
Gap pad/putty pad replacement guidelines
  • To identify the gap pad/putty pad location and orientation, see Gap pad/Putty pad identification and location.

  • Before replacing the gap pad/putty pad, gently clean the interface plate or the hardware surface with an alcohol cleaning pad.

  • Hold the gap pad/putty pad carefully to avoid deformation. Make sure no screw hole or opening is blocked by the gap pad/putty pad material.

  • The putty pad is unfit for use if the expiry date on its packaging has passed. Acquire a new putty pad for proper putty pad replacement procedure.

Watch the procedure
  • A video of this procedure is available at YouTube.


Depending on the model, your solution might look slightly different from the illustration.

  1. Follow the following steps if you are replacing processors:
    1. If there is any old thermal grease on the processor and the cold plate, gently clean the top of the processor and the cold plate using an alcohol cleaning pad.
    2. Remove the processor identification label from the water loop and replace it with the new label that comes with the replacement processor. If you are unable to remove the label and place it on the new water loop, or if the label is damaged during transfer, write the processor serial number from the processor identification label on the new water loop in the same location as the label would be placed using a permanent marker.
    3. Apply the thermal grease on the top of the processor with syringe by forming four uniformly spaced dots, while each dot consists of about 0.1 ml of thermal grease
      Carefully place the processor and retainer on a flat surface with the processor-contact side down.
      Figure 2. Thermal grease application
      Applying thermal grease
  2. Install processor retainers onto processors if needed.
    1. Align the triangular mark on the processor retainer with the triangular mark on the processor corner edge.
    2. Gently place the processor retainer on the processor; then, carefully press the four sides of the processor retainer to secure the processor.
      Figure 3. Installing a processor retainer
      Installing a processor retainer
  3. Remove two plastic grease covers if needed.
    1. Use a pair of scissors to cut off the tape.
    2. Remove plastic grease covers from the underside of water loop cold plates.
    The right node is shown as example. Remove plastic grease covers if needed when installing processor in either node.
    Figure 4. Plastic grease covers removal
    Plastic grease covers removal
  4. Align the triangular marks on the processor retainers with the triangular slots on the underside of the water loop cold plate; then, attach the processors to the underside of the water loop cold plate by inserting the processor retainer posts and clips features into the openings at the four corners of the cold plate.
    Figure 5. Processor installation
    Processor installation
  5. Rotate all anti-tilt wire bails (8x anti-tilt wire bails per node) outwards to the unlocked position.
    Figure 6. Processor unlocked position
    Processor unlocked position
  6. Check the gap pads on the water loop, if any of them are damaged or missing, replace them with the new ones.
    Figure 7. Water loop gap pads
    Water loop gap pads

Make sure to follow Gap pad/putty pad replacement guidelines.

  1. Carefully rotate the top side of the water loop, position the water loop on the two guide pins near the rear of the node; then, gently put the water loop down and ensure it is firmly seated on the system board.
    Figure 8. Water loop installation
    Water loop installation
  2. Ensure the processors are secured properly.
    1. Rotate the anti-tilt wire bails (8x anti-tilt wire bails per node) outwards to the locked position.
    2. Fully tighten all Torx T30 captive screws (8x Torx T30 captive screws per node) on cold plates in the installation sequence shown on the cold plate label (with a torque screwdriver set to the proper torque).
    For reference, the torque required for the screws to be fully tightened/removed is 0.9-1.3 newton-meters, 8-12 inch-pounds.
    To prevent damage to components, make sure that you follow the indicated tightening sequence.
    Figure 9. Processors installation
    Processors installation
  3. Loosen water loop carrier screws (12x Phillips #2 screws per node).
    Figure 10. Loosening water loop carrier screws
    Loosening water loop carrier screws
  4. Carefully lift the water loop carrier up and away from the water loop.
    Figure 11. Water loop carrier removal
    Water loop carrier removal
  5. Install water loop screws (9x Torx T10 screws per node) with a torque screwdriver set to the proper torque.
    For reference, the torque required for the screws to be fully tightened/removed is 0.5-0.6 newton-meters, 4.5-5.5 inch-pounds.
    Figure 12. Water loop screws installation
    Water loop screws installation
  6. Install the following screws to secure the quick connect.
    • Two Torx T10 screws (per node) on the quick connect.

    • Five Torx T10 screws (per node) on the rear of the node.

    Figure 13. Quick connect screw installation
    Quick connect screw installation
  7. Install the VR clamp plate into the node and install Torx T10 screws (2x Torx T10 screw per nods).
    Figure 14. VR clamp plate installation
    VR clamp plate installation
After you finish
  1. Install the memory modules. See Install a memory module.

  2. Install the DIMM comb. See Install a DIMM comb.

  3. Install the M.2 backplane assembly. See Install the M.2 backplane assembly.

  4. Install the drive cage. See Install a drive cage assembly.

  5. Install the PCIe riser assembly. See Install a PCIe riser assembly (ConnectX-6) , PCIe riser assembly replacement (ConnectX-7 NDR 200), or Install a PCIe riser assembly (ConnectX-7 NDR 400).

  6. Install the cross braces. See Install the cross braces.

  7. Install the tray cover. See Install the tray cover.

  8. Install the tray into the enclosure. See Install a DWC tray in the enclosure.

  9. Connect all required external cables to the solution.
    Use extra force to connect QSFP cables to the solution.
  10. Check the power LED on each node to make sure it changes from fast blink to slow blink to indicate all nodes are ready to be powered on.