Its been a while since I installed a CPU. Used to be they had pins on the chip the went into the motherboard. Am I seeing this right? Are the pins now on the motherboard and the CPU just has contacts?
Yes, you are seeing this correctly. As supported by this website, the i7 series of processors have no pins on the processor, they are actually on the motherboard. They do this to help protect the pins so that people are less likely to bend the pins. But unfortunately it is still just as fragile as before. If you accidentally drop the CPU on the pins or touch the pins a little too rough, you will have to replace your motherboard. Also, if you touch the gold connectors on the processor, the oils can damage the processor. They have been doing this for server motherboards and processors for a while lately.
Here is a couple of picture which can be found at pcstats.com
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