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The CPU will most likely be stuck to the heat sink with thermal compound.

Insert the flat end of a spudger between the CPU and heat sink.

Gently pry the CPU up by slightly twisting the spudger.

Remove the CPU from the heat sink. Be careful not to touch the contacts.

To reinstall the heat sink, see our thermal paste guide for instructions on cleaning and preparing the thermal surfaces and applying a new layer of thermal compound onto the CPU and GPU dies.

For the VRAM chips surrounding the GPU, install thermal pads or a thick thermal paste such as K5-PRO, rather than regular thermal paste.

Install your CPU into its socket on the board, not on the heat sink. Check the orientation and make sure it lines up correctly in the socket. Follow the instructions specific to your CPU type to apply fresh thermal paste to the surface of your CPU. Then, reinstall the heat sink over the top.