Originally Posted by petrucci
Is it possible for a hobbist to solder the CPU? If the pins are not too close together, and the chips are not too susceptible to damage from heat, then I would think that they would be.
It can be done if you have the right tools and know how and experience. It usually takes someone with the right tools messing up several boards and chips learning how to do the job right.
Some chip packages are easier than others to swap chips. Tho through hole chips are usually the hardest to remove and replace. Fine pitch chips ether through hole or surface mount are hard to hand solder without causing shorts between the leads.
Surface mount is easier, but the hard part is replacing and getting the chip registered (aligned) and the right amount of solder and or solder paste used to make a good joint and not create shorts. As for BGA's with their hundreds of bumps you can almost forget even trying unless you have the right stuff to work with.
Been there and done that with over 15 years of surface mount/through hole electronic device manufacturing.