Removing the Heatsink from a Retail PIII

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Update 11/1/99:

Recieved more than a few emails today about another method to remove the pins that hole the heatsink to the PIII cartridge. In this method, you take a case screw and lay it on a hard surface with the threads pointing up. Place the PIII over this screw with the screw hitting the pin where it comes through the plastic backing. You then push down on the CPU and the pins pop out all in one piece. You still have to remove the fan housing first, but using this method keeps the plastic pins in tact if you ever want to reinstall the factory heatsink. I have used this method before and it works most of the time. You can try either method and see what works for you.

Original Tip:

I receive a lot of email that ask “How do I get the heatsink off my PIII?” Actually, it’s a very easy process; you just have to have a little patience and the guts to get nasty with that expensive new processor. I will say this; I have done this process many times and have not damaged any processors. By following my instructions, you are taking things into your own hands. I will not be responsible for any damaged processors. So don’t email me and say “I followed your instructions and screwed my PIII 600, you owe me a new one.” Any email received saying this will be promptly deleted.

I’ll give ya a few pics and some text to follow. You should get the idea and with a little patience, be able to successfully complete the process and install the Alpha P3 Heatsink you purchased from HERE ūüėČ

Thanks to Humphrey at PCNut for the victim PIII 450 Retail for this article!

You can click on any of the images for a larger view.

Step 1

Remove the plastic fan shroud by using a small screwdriver and releasing the “notches” that hold it to the heatsink.

Step 2

Using a screwdriver or a small chisel you can break off the pins that hold the heatsink to the backing plate. You can get a little nasty here because you are safely between the fins of the heatsink. These pins are pushed in to the plastic backing of the SECC 2 cartridge and they are tight!

Here’s a close-up of the pins holding the heatsink to the cartridge

Step 3

There are two little plastic tabs holding the back to the PIII PC Board. Using needle nose pliers, you can squeeze them and the back will come right off the PC Board. After you have the back off, you can work on getting the remaining pieces of the pins out of the holes without worrying about damaging the PC Board. You need to remove these as most all heatsinks use these holes for mounting. I saw somewhere using a case screw and screwing it in from the back to push them out. I’ve had that work on some but I usually just drill them out.

Step 4

If you followed these steps and took your time, you should have a working naked PIII. You are now ready to install the heatsink of your choice.


This review and comments are just my personal observations and
opinion. As with any products and services, please research throughly
before making any purchases. The reviewer and shall not
and will not be held liable for any damages cause by products reviewed in
this article.


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