Skip to main content

Install a heat sink

This task has instructions for installing a heat sink.

About this task

  • Read Installation Guidelines to ensure that you work safely.

  • Power off the server and disconnect all power cords for this task.

  • Prevent exposure to static electricity, which might lead to system halt and loss of data, by keeping static-sensitive components in their static-protective packages until installation, and handling these devices with an electrostatic-discharge wrist strap or other grounding system.


  1. Take the new part out of the package and place it on a static-protective surface.
  2. Prepare your server.
    1. Power off the server.

    2. Remove the top cover. See Remove the top cover.

    3. Record and disconnect any cables. See Internal cable routing.

    4. Remove any components that are impeding the procedure.

    5. Install any components that are required before installing or removing the component(s).

  3. If you use the existing heat sink:
    1. Remove the thermal grease on the heat sink by using an alcohol cleaning pad.

    2. Apply new thermal grease in a quadrilateral design on the top of the processor.
      Do not apply too much thermal grease. Too much thermal grease can result in excess grease coming in contact with and contaminating the processor socket.
      Figure 1. Applying thermal grease
      Applying thermal grease

  4. Install the standard or performance heat sink.
    For a new heat sink, the thermal grease is pre-applied to the heat sink. Remove the protective cover and install the heat sink.
    Use an ESD safe screwdriver and set the maximum torque value to 14.0 ± 0.5 inch-pounds.
    1. Orient the heat sink with the screw holes on the processor plate. The captive screws on the heat sink should align with the screw holes on the processor plate.
    2. Tighten all the captive screws in the installation sequence shown on the heat-sink label.
    3. (Optional) Tighten the two screws located in the front of the performance heat sink.
    Figure 2. Installing a standard heat sink
    Standard heat sink installation

    Figure 3. Installing a performance heat sink
    Performance heat sink installation

After you finish

  1. Install the air baffle. See Install the air baffle.

  2. Install any parts that you have removed.

  3. Complete the parts replacement. See Complete the parts replacement.

Demo video

Watch the procedure on YouTube