Generally, laptop processors or CPUs are not upgradeable because most laptop processors are mounted on the motherboards using a BGA (Ball Grid Array) socket. These processors are soldered to the motherboard and are not detachable or upgradeable.
However, if your laptop processor is mounted using an LGA (Land Grid Array) or PLA (Pin Grid Array) technique and supports detachability, congratulations! You can upgrade your processor; the only problem here is the tricky process. There are many technicalities involved, and an average person may not be able to pull it off correctly.
So, if your laptop processor supports all these features and you are willing to upgrade it for that extra processing power, gear up. We will describe all the steps and necessary information needed to upgrade the processor on your laptop below. Let’s start scrolling!
Determine Your Processor Type
The first thing to determine before beginning the replacement is your CPU type. Go to your computer’s Properties and note your processor’s model number.
Now, head over to Google and find all the information needed, including the mounting process of the CPU. Make sure it’s not BGA type; otherwise, you won’t be able to upgrade the processor. These are some other essential things that you should also determine.
Your laptop does not support every existing processor. You can not just switch your processor with the one you want; the one you choose must be compatible with your motherboard.
Also, ensure that both the old and new processors support the same socket type on the motherboard.
Like any other machine, your laptop has some limitations. The latest generation i7 processor can’t replace your old i3 or i5 chip. Search the CPUs your laptop motherboard can handle by providing the laptop model number and processor model.
If not determined carefully, your laptop might heat up aggressively, malfunction, or may not work at all.
Get the Tools
An intricate machine like a laptop requires advanced skills and tools. You’ll be popping out a lot of screws, so make sure you have suitable screwdrivers for removing small screws.
You’ll also need some cleaning acetone and thermal paste—more on that in the latter part.
The Upgrade Process
Once you have configured everything and got your tools ready, you can get into some real action. Remember! It is not advised to do it alone if you don’t understand its technology.
If something goes wrong, your laptop might not accept the new processor and stop working. Believe us; you don’t want that. With that being said, let’s move on to the steps involved.
This cannot be a definitive guide for every laptop, and the method will vary from device to device as different manufacturers place their components differently.
Step #1: Make Your Device Ready
Shut down and unplug your laptop if it is currently being charged. Ensure that it cools down properly if you have been using it for a long time. The first step would be to gently turn it over, locate the battery and remove it from your laptop.
Step #2: Remove the Screws
Now, remove all the screws you can see on your back panel. Remember not to dump the screws all over the place; be smart and put them all in a container. Now, gently pull the back panel out.
After that, you will probably be able to see the RAM and SSD, which are easier to access because they are officially replaceable parts.
Step #3: Remove the Keyboard
The processor is placed in the deepest caverns of your laptop. Removing the back panel is not enough, and most laptops will need the keyboard to be removed.
You’ll have to make the keyboard pop out by prying, using the flat side of your screwdriver. Once it’s out, separate it from the motherboard by detaching the ribbon cable underneath.
Step #4: Remove All Connections
After that, you can remove your base plate. Now you’re seeing the motherboard. Remove all the ribbon cables you see here, undo all the screws, and set aside all the components, like the speaker, charging connector, etc., in an order. That’s why newbies were not allowed!
Step #5: Get to the CPU
With a gentle pull and detaching it from the hard drive, you’ll be able to take the motherboard in your hands. You’ll have to remove the cooling fan and heat pipe to unveil your mighty processor.
Step #6: Replace Your Processor
Pull out your old processor by drawing a little screw beside it. Now, take your new processor, align it in the same position as the old one, and gently put it in place, making sure the bottom needles of the processor are stuck in place.
When you tighten the screw again, it will squeeze the processor to make sure it stays firm. You don’t have to screw it with a lot of pressure to avoid damaging the tiny needles. You’ll also have to use some acetone to wipe out the old thermal paste on the heat sink pipe and put some new paste that will sit on top of your processor.
Step #7: You’re Done
Good job! You have successfully upgraded your processor. The only thing left is to reassemble all the components using the same disassembly process in reverse order.
Patiently put everything in place, and your laptop is ready to be used again. Power it on and make sure it’s up and running. We hope it will work!
Upgrading the processor on your laptop isn’t an option for everyone, and it is only possible on a few rare devices; in that case, the process is very technical. However, once you can execute it successfully, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the faster processing speed on your old device.
We hope this guide has helped you learn the essential steps for upgrading your laptop processor. This complicated process is not to be done by someone without technical know-how. But, the adventurers will surely enjoy the process and results as well.