How to Upgrade Processor on Laptop

In Computer Skills, Hardware Skills
Things you need to know when upgrading laptop processor.

You can upgrade your laptop processor as long as your laptop uses a processor with a socket which its pins can be disassembled. For a laptop with an Intel processor, such socket is commonly called as a PGA socket. This article will guide how do to upgrade a laptop processor.

As what explained earlier, if the processor on your laptop’s motherboard can be uninstalled, it means you can upgrade its processor with higher CPU specifications than the previous one you used. Below are all the tips for you can upgrade your laptop processor.

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Check the Socket Type on the Motherboard

Like a desktop PC, laptops also have their motherboard installed inside their casing. And each laptop motherboard has its socket type which is only compatible with a certain type of CPUs based on the technology’s generation.

So, the first thing you have to do in upgrading the CPU on a laptop is to check the type of processors its socket can use. Make sure your laptop’s processor socket can be removed and be installed. For checking it, look for the information about your laptop’s specifications, whether or not the processor within it can be unplugged or not.

Know What CPUs will Work with Your Laptop’s Motherboard

You will save a lot of money when you need a fast laptop performance by upgrading its CPU chip (and other components if possible) instead of buying a new faster laptop. This way may the right option in case the keyboard, drive(s) and its casing are still functioning properly. But the most possible shortcoming your laptop might have is a motherboard technology which isn’t compatible with the new CPU you wish to have for replacing the old one. Indeed, you can upgrade your laptop motherboard if you have to. But upgrading a motherboard only for CPU compatibility reason will much better buying a new faster laptop. Because laptop motherboard is commonly much high price compared with a desktop motherboard. So, the right ways to ensure what CPUs will work on your laptop will be mentioned below.

Manufacturer Compatibility

Know the manufacturer of your laptop CPU. Commonly, there are two manufacturers of CPUs which are the most widely used for laptops. They are Intel and AMD. Basically, there’s no significant difference between these CPU manufacturers in term of processor functionality. But each of them requires a different motherboard. In other words, Intel CPUs require motherboards which are created specifically for Intel CPU chips and so do with AMD CPU chips.

CPU Socket Compatibility

Again, as what already mentioned earlier, knowing the CPU manufacturer compatibility isn’t enough to upgrade laptop CPU. Because a CPU with a certain level of generation can only connect to a compatible socket only. In which, a specific motherboard is usually only compatible with two different generations of CPUs. For example, if your laptop has a motherboard with an Intel LGA 1155 socket on it, there’s no way you can use the last produced Core i7 processor (8th gen) that requires an LGA 1151 socket. It means the older 1155-pin socket cannot work with the new 1151-pin CPU. The AMD CPU-and-motherboard compatibility based on its technology generation cases are more or less the same as well.

RAM Compatibility

A technology generation of CPUs needs a different type of RAM. Older laptops particularly use DDR 3 RAM. While the newest laptop products use DDR4 RAM. It means every generation of CPUs is basically optimized to be compatible with a certain type of RAM. It means an older motherboard with DDR3 RAM sockets is completely not working with DDR4 RAMs as they require different types of RAM socket. Besides RAM socket compatibility, oldest RAM modules can’t keep pace with the newest CPUs.

Chipset Compatibility

Although the newest CPU passes the previous three requirements, it still may not work with an older laptop. Because newest processors are faster and all of the supporting features on the laptop motherboard which are charged by its chipset require to speed up. Howsoever, if the chipset can’t convey data between the processor and the RAM capacity or the GPU card at the speed of the new processor, the real speed of the CPU can’t be empowered as a whole. And you can’t get the benefit of upgrading your laptop CPU.

Prepare the New Processor

The next thing to do is to prepare a new processor (CPU) that matches the processor socket type of your laptop motherboard. You need to get the right processor, so, don’t get it wrong. To get a new faster processor, you can find it on an offline or online computer hardware store. You might not be able to find new laptop processors as they aren’t commonly sold separately. Instead, you can look for a removable or used processor on the market. Make sure the processor you are going to buy is still in good condition. Today, you can find many online stores that sell used computer parts and laptop components.

Upgrade the Laptop BIOS

Before upgrading a laptop, it’s a good idea to upgrade its BIOS first. This is important for increasing the laptop’s system capabilities. The reason could also be preparing the laptop to be able to handle the new processor properly. Upgrading laptop BIOS is optional or you might want to upgrade it after upgrading your the laptop CPU.

Start the Processor Upgrade

After all first things are set, you can now upgrade your laptop processor. Follow the steps below;

  • Open the laptop cover on the back.
  • Look for the socket lock and then turn the socket lock to the left until the processor is lifted up.
  • Remove the processor and then install the new processor. Don’t forget to use a thermal paste. You can buy a thermal paste at computer equipment stores.
  • When upgrading the laptop CPU is done, attach all components which you removed and close laptop back again.
  • Turn on the laptop and test the CPU speed.

Possible Troubles

When you turn the laptop on at the first time after upgrading the processor, it might be light up in a short and not even booting the OS, and then turned it off. In case it happens to you, you don’t have to be panic. This usually occurs due to hardware adjustments in the BIOS. All you need to do is to turn the laptop on again until it can run normally. Besides, you might also need to wait a long enough until the OS really recognizes the new processor properly.

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