Question Ran CPU without heatsink

Oct 13, 2019
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So long story short, I know it was dumb of me but I was fixing the PC that was sent to me and I just placed the new motherboard in today. I installed the CPU and it booted up normally, I then went to factory reset the PC and about 10% through I decided to look if it was bad to run it without the heatsink. I saw that it in fact was and immediately shut it off. It turned back on (to see if it was fried)but I immediately shut it off after seeing it was booting up. I am going to get the Hyper212 fan for the ASUS B85M-G motherboard. I am just worried I could’ve damaged something. Can anyone help with some piece of mind?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Pretty doubtful that anything was "fried", although you are right, it is dumb, and it is ALWAYS a REALLY BAD idea to try and run any system without a heatsink at least, and unless it is a heatsink designed to be passive, then without a fan is still not a great idea although at least WITH a heatsink of some kind, there is at least some kind of cooling for the CPU.

Chances are good that if it was still working normally while you were trying to install, then it is fine, because almost any modern system will either throttle the CPU down to the point where it will barely run OR shut itself off, if there are thermal issues happening. Put a cooler on it like it is supposed to have and then continue on. At this point, what does it matter anyhow? If any damage WAS done, it's too late to worry about it now. Likely though, it is fine.
 
Reactions: CarterK

kaehligj

Prominent
Mar 15, 2018
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Luckily all recent CPU's I know of have a built in thermal shutdown, to protect exactly against misshaps like this.
It will do exactly the same if overloaded during use - like a demanding game - and the cooler does not have the cooling capacity to remove heat build up.

Dont worry, have a coke and get your heart beat rate down.
Cheers :)
 
Reactions: CarterK
Oct 13, 2019
3
0
10
0
Luckily all recent CPU's I know of have a built in thermal shutdown, to protect exactly against misshaps like this.
It will do exactly the same if overloaded during use - like a demanding game - and the cooler does not have the cooling capacity to remove heat build up.

Dont worry, have a coke and get your heart beat rate down.
Cheers :)
Thank you very much! I ended up figuring out my problem. I couldn’t get the back of the original heat sink off of my old motherboard because I didn’t have any way to get it off. My buddy ended up having a tool set and I got lucky. I installed the new heat sink and it started up with no problem at all and I was in the updated windows within 30 minutes. Also, I did have a coke! Not sure how you knew that’s my go to but it worked, cheers man.
 
Oct 13, 2019
3
0
10
0
Pretty doubtful that anything was "fried", although you are right, it is dumb, and it is ALWAYS a REALLY BAD idea to try and run any system without a heatsink at least, and unless it is a heatsink designed to be passive, then without a fan is still not a great idea although at least WITH a heatsink of some kind, there is at least some kind of cooling for the CPU.

Chances are good that if it was still working normally while you were trying to install, then it is fine, because almost any modern system will either throttle the CPU down to the point where it will barely run OR shut itself off, if there are thermal issues happening. Put a cooler on it like it is supposed to have and then continue on. At this point, what does it matter anyhow? If any damage WAS done, it's too late to worry about it now. Likely though, it is fine.
Thanks a lot for the reply! I actually didn’t even get around to reading these before I installed the cooler. I went to my local Best Buy right when they opened this morning before I went to work to see if they had any Hyper 212 Evo’s in stock (which they didn’t). I then impatiently went and ordered one on amazon and then got home and immediately was able to figure out what I needed to do to get the original cooler to work. I ended up cancelling my amazon order and everything booted up just fine. Thanks a lot for calming my nerves!
 
The CPU would auto-throttle itself...

19 years ago, a guy I knew thought he could do the same thing with one of the earlier (pre-thermal protection circuitry) Athlon XP series of CPUs...

Power on, puff of smoke .5 seconds later, and presto. $150.... gone! :)
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
You absolutely got lucky this time though. It doesn't take smoke or catastrophic happenings to still result in thermal damage though. Every time your system has to SHUT DOWN, due to thermal trip, you've done damage, if it got to that point. If it just throttles, not a really big deal, but if it reaches thermal trip then it has experienced at least some minor level of fatigue from that and will likely not have the same life expectancy that it would have had otherwise. In your case, since you shut it down before that ever happened, you really have no such worry.
 

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