Date: Thursday , August 03, 2017
Earlier today we posted the video below of our AMD Threadripper unboxing, totally unrehearsed, and it shows. That all said we did get our processors out of the packaging undamaged which is certainly a plus. Yes, some hilarity does ensue.
Below is our video showing exactly how the Threadripper installs, but I hope this serves as a PSA for the fragility of the AMD TR4 socket.
I have been working with Intel's LGA (Land Grid Array) sockets for a long time, and while these sockets are far from robust in terms of abuse, the AMD TR4 socket takes it to new levels.
First and foremost the TR4 socket has been extremely well engineered with processor installation in mind. If you follow the directions and take your time I would suggest that you will have no problems whatsoever. Where I went off track with the TR4 was attempting to put the protective cover back on the TR4 socket after doing a practice run before I shot the installation video.
I simply fat-fingered the cover and let it touch....just touch, the pins down in the TR4 socket, and this damaged the socket. Picking the cover back up, it bent two of the pins over. This is far from the first time I have damaged an LGA-type socket working with motherboard and CPU reviews. I keep a special pair of needle nose tweezers just for the occasion. While I have not spent a lot of time trying to repair the pins, it was not going well. During my attempted to repair, I snagged two other pins with the side of my finger and bent those over as well. I am fairly sure I have damaged the TR4 socket beyond repair, at least without specific tooling to do so.
My point here is not to bag on AMD and its TR4 socket. I love the design of the TR4 socket, and it is incredibly well thought out in terms of design and usage. It is designed specifically to not allow the end user to damage the pins down in the socket, because you are not left with the responsibility of positioning the Threadripper into the socket by hand. I love that. However, during the install process, those pins are surely exposed, and you need to take great care to not touch those. The TR4 socket pins are as fragile as "angel hair." DO NOT TOUCH THE PINS! Of course you are not supposed to touch the pins, but the fact is, those are exposed during installation.
Let my dumbass fat-fingered move serve as a warning as to just how fragile the TR4 socket pins are, so you do not suffer the same fate. And if you are going to reinstall the protective socket cover, make you sure you are lined up exactly and have a steady hand. If you do not, you may not need to ever put the protective cover back on again.
UPDATE: After spending some time with this damaged TR4 socket underneath my lighted 4X magnifying glass, I am not confident that I can repair the bent pins to my satisfaction. I am using a set of tweezers comparable to a fine dental pick. I have always been able to fix bent pins on damaged Intel LGA sockets. That is not the case here. With 4,096 pins in this TR4 socket, these pins are incredibly close to each other, and while I have gotten those "unbent," I am far from being sure that those pins are aligned correctly. The pins are of course compressed when you put the processor in the socket, and I have to feel that they might move differently than originally intended to under that pressure. I simply do not feel as though I would want to risk putting my brand new Threadripper into this socket and turning the power on.
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Update: Full List of Compatible Coolers for Threadripper with AMD Notes.
As previously mentioned, there is a liquid cooler bracket included in the processor box. This bracket is intended to make Asetek-based design liquid coolers compatible with the Ryzen Threadripper processor and SocketTR4. The coolers listed below have been tested by AMD and work well with Ryzen Threadripper.
You may notice that the head or block of the thermal solution does not completely cover the integrated heat spreader (also known as processor lid) of the Ryzen Threadripper. This is acceptable because of the
thermal performance of the listed coolers, and the fact that the head covers both silicon chips under the heat spreader. To ensure best performance, please ensure the thermal paste applied to the head spreads evenly and completely across the surface of the head to use the full contact area.
- Thermaltake Riing 3.0 RGB 360 / RGB 240 /
- Cryorig A80 / A40 Ultimate / A40
- Arctic Liquid Freezer 240
- EVGA Closed Loop CPU Cooler (CLC) 280
AMD Threadripper and TR4 X399 Motherboard Pre-buy