How Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor? (i5 to i7?)

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Using a laptop you purchased a long time ago becomes slow and incompatible with new software. Its performance goes down day by day, and processing power for handling heavy tasks starts weakening. Sometimes, the laptop cannot meet the least necessities for software setup. You think about the up-gradation of the processor, but the biggest question comes to mind – how can I upgrade my laptop processor?

The processors are not replaced in most laptops because they are permanently soldered to the motherboard. But in modern systems, detaching processors and replacing them with better ones is possible. So, it’s bad news if your laptop is much older. You cannot replace it yourself as it is quite a complex procedure. You should take the system to a professional to avoid any risk. 

Can the Processor be Detached (Complete Guide)?

There are different techniques through which the processor is attached to the motherboard. It will be accepting to learn how the processor is coupled to the motherboard? You have to check whether the new processor matches the TDP and cooling capabilities of the older laptop.

1- Socket type

Before moving further, you must check the type of socket on which the CPU is connected, whether detachable or permanently soldered.

2- Land Grid Array – LGA 

In this socket type, the processor is loosely mounted, and it can be detached from the motherboard. The CPU has contact pins connected to the female pins integrated into the motherboard. This kind of linking is mainly started in desktop systems.

3- Pin Grid Array – PGA

It is similar to an integrated circuit package, where the pins are attached to a square or rectangular container (CPU) on the underside. These pins are connected to the motherboard. Typically found in the systems of AMD.

4- Ball Grid Array – BGA 

BGA is a type of surface connection where CPUs are permanently mounted to the motherboard. It provides more connection pins, and its whole bottom surface can be used for processing instead of the perimeter. Also, their soldering process needs much control and is done through computer-controlled ovens.

If your laptop falls in any above categories, you can upgrade a laptop CPU. In some cases, people have tried to change, but it needs precise control and expertise.

Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor from i5 to i7?

After checking the above factors, if your laptop truly matches them, you can upgrade the processor as per your requirement, whether the up-gradation is from i3 to i5 or i5 to i7.

  • TDP

Thermal design power is another factor that is considered before changing the CPU. TDP is the extreme quantity of temperature that a cooling system can dissipate under any load on the CPU. If the values of TDP don’t match, then it is disastrous for the new processor and the motherboard.

  • Cooling System

When you upgrade the processor to a higher value, it will undoubtedly require a better cooling system than an older one. The new processor will use more power, and more heat is generated. Upgrading the processor may direct the up-gradation cooling system as well.

  • Considering the Compatibility of the Motherboard and CPU

Before the up-gradation, it is essential to note the matching of the motherboard and CPU. Intel and other companies provide tools to check the processor’s compatible processor for the motherboard or motherboard.

An application – CPU-Z- checks which type of processor is installed in your laptop and which motherboard is compatible.

Otherwise, you go to ‘PC.’ In ‘properties,’ you can have the idea of the type of processer installed on your laptop. Then through google search, you can find the compatible processor of the laptop.

You can upgrade the RAM and GPUs of the system, as a modern processor requires more RAM. Also, it will complement the performance and speed of the laptop.

  • Choose a Compatible Processor with better performance

After checking the compatibility of the processor and motherboard, it is time to pick the compatible processor. Everyone knows that i7 is much healthier than the i5 CPU and the i5 is much improved than i3, but why is a variance in performance between them? We must know it to have the correct choice to an elevation of the CPU.

  • Difference of Cores

A core is considered an individual internal processor. A dual-core will undoubtedly have two interior processors, while a quad-core will have four internal processors. More the number of cores, working with multiple applications becomes easy at a time. Multiple cores enhance user experience with multi-thread applications like graphic designing and video editing.

Typically, a core i3 processor has two cores, i5 has four, and i7 has four, but some i7 processors have 6 or 8 cores, which boosts the performance.

  • The difference in Clock Speed

With the fast speed of the core, faster will be the clock speed. A processor which has more cores will run fast. The fewer cores work more quickly for the single-thread application, while multi-thread programs and multi-tasking can be easily handled in a higher number of cores.

  • Turbo Boosting

It is one of the intel technologies which automatically overlocks the processor and boosts the clock speed to default settings. This technology is available in i5 and i7 processors while unavailable in i3. A processor monitors its temperature while working and overclocks itself when cooling is required through this technology.

If you cannot check the processor’s features, go to the website and use its search box.

How to Replace the Processor of Laptop?

The following procedure can be employed when you have picked the suitable processor to be installed on the motherboard. Carefully follow these steps to enjoy better results.

Step – 1: Update System to Latest BIOS

After looking into the processor’s cores, it is the first step, and the laptop must be working according to the latest BIOS. Most of the newest CPU manufacturers make it necessary to update the BIOS. If the BIOS is not updated, the newly inserted processor may not work correctly on your laptop. To have an update of BIOS, you can note the laptop builder’s site.

Step – 2: Remove the Battery from Laptop

All the laptops are provided with service manuals for guidance regarding any replacements. Please read it carefully when the battery is permanently installed. Uninstall it; otherwise, a single screw falling on the motherboard can cause a fire. If the battery is detachable, remove it and open up the laptop.

Step – 3: Detach the Back cover

After removing the battery and other external power sources, it is time to unscrew the back cover. Any electronic components coming in front of the processor needs to be unscrewed for easy installment of the new processor. If you are still facing difficulties looking into the CPU, you can open up the upper portion.

Step – 4: Remove the Keyboard

When the back cover is removed, open up the DVD writer and WIFI adapter. Then remove the keyboard carefully by disconnecting its ribbon cable. Don’t be hasty, as a bit of jerk can permanently damage.

Step – 5: Detach the display screen

Unscrew the upper shell and remove it carefully without applying force. Some laptops have hinges to connect to the bottom portion of the laptop, but screws assemble older ones.

Now, loosen the screws and remove the display assembly.

Step – 6: Disconnect the Heat sink system

Now you have contact with the motherboard and guise into CPU. If the processor is visible, then it is on the upper side no need to detach the heat sink, but if it is on the bottom side, you will have to disconnect the heat sink.

Before accessing the internal electronic components, it is suggested to ground the motherboard one time.

Step – 7: Inset Upgraded CPU

After heat sink detachment, the processor will be in front of you. Release its lock if it has; otherwise, loosen it and remove it from its location.

Carefully place the new processor on the socket and tighten the screw. Double-check it if its demands external force. Remember locking it as some laptops have a built-in lock system.

Step – 8: Apply Thermal Paste on New Processor

As you have opened up all the laptop components, clean them by swabbing fiber pieces in isopropyl alcohol.

Apply the thermal paste on the newly inserted processor after drying.

Reassemble all the components which were removed from their position. Reboot the system and make sure the BIOS has seen the new CPU.

If you are facing any issues, then reinstall the windows and enjoy the performance of the latest processor.


1-Can we replace the processor of i3 with i5?

Yes, you can return the processor i3 with the processor of i5 by applying the following steps:

  • First of all, check whether the processor is upgradable or not.
  • Check the model of CPU and motherboard of the laptop you want o upgrade
  • Substitute the CPU if it is well-matched with the motherboard.

2-Does Intel work better than AMD?

If you are a gaming person, intel is the best option because its CPUs are more powerful than AMD.

But suppose you want productivity in heavy responsibilities like programming and video editing. In that case, AMD has the edge over Intel as they require more cores, more performance, and fewer power source requirements.

3-What are the drawbacks of upgrading the CPU?

People have shared their experiences about upgrading their processors.

  • Battery power drainage increases as a new processor require more power than the previous one.
  • Careless upgrading of CPU may damage warranty.
  • The cooling system may not work well per the new CPU’s requirement, so heat dissipation will be the issue.


When you have tired of working on an old laptop and want to install a better version processor, upgrading the processor installed in your laptop is possible when the manufacturer allows it and meets all the requirements. You can follow the above article for guidance in which we have discussed how the laptop processor can be upgraded.

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