Will a computer boot without a CPU installed?
The CPU is a pretty important piece of the puzzle.
If your computer suddenly won’t boot, it’s time to troubleshoot the problem. Most guides tell you to take everything but the CPU and one stick of memory out, to see if it boots.
How do you rule out your motherboard as a point of failure without having a CPU? What if you need to update your BIOS? Can you even turn on your computer without a CPU installed? Will it boot?
So, can I boot my PC without a processor installed?
Short answer: No
See, the CPU is one of your computer’s first checks for when it goes through the Power On Self Test routine. No CPU, no boot. That doesn’t mean it won’t power on though, so you can still check if your PSU and fans work.
On some motherboards, you can even update the BIOS without a CPU installed, usually on more expensive, enthusiast models. Look for things like BIOS Flashback if you want this functionality.
Besides that specific use case, your computer won’t boot without a processor installed. It’s the brain of the computer and just like your body, it won’t work well without it.
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