Removing Original CPU Heatsink / Fan


The ASUS A8N-SLI deluxe PC mainboard has an AMD Athlon 64 or Opteron Socket 939. The mainboard should have an “AMD retention module” (also known as a “Heatsink Mounting Bracket” or “Retention Clip Module” fitted to hold the CPU heatsink on to the top of the CPU. The retention module is a plastic frame held on to the mainboard by two screws or push in pins. It has 3 lugs on two opposite sides that hold the heatsink in place. If you have a mainboard with a missing or broken retention module you can buy a new one from a number of retailers.


Akasa AK-856 CPU Cooler with brackets that engages with the AMD retention module on mainboard

AMD retention module with 3 lugs at top and bottom that fit in the CPU cooler bracket

The existing CPU Cooler was an Akasa AK-856 cooler which has a bracket on two opposite sides with three holes that fit over the lugs on the AMD retention module. Levers apply pressure holding the CPU Cooler on to the CPU. 

To remove the existing CPU Cooler you need to first raise the levers (there may only be one). You can then move the brackets on the CPU Cooler outwards away from the lugs on the AMD retention module and lift the CPU Cooler away from the CPU. Be careful of the thermal compound on the top of the CPU and the bottom of the CPU Cooler.

Clean off the old thermal compound on the CPU chip (and old heatsink).
There are a number of solvents that you can use to remove the old thermal compound. A suitable solvent to remove the thermal grease is Isopropyl Alcohol. This is used to clean the tape heads of cassette tape recorders and sold with a cleaning cassette.

AMD CPU with thermal compound cleaned away.


Cleaning Solution. Put 2
 drops on each felt pad.
 Use your cleaner every 10-15
 hours of playing time.
 Isopropyl Alcohol 15ml”


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Remove Old CPU Cooler