Upgrading a Laptop Processor

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Upgrade your old laptop processor or extend its processing capacity with other options. Learn how to identify the processor's location, the type of processor and number, as well as the cost for upgrading.

Things You'll Need

  • External drive (optional alternative)

Upgrade your laptop performance capacity

  • Open the bottom panel of the laptop where the processor is located. This is a little panel with a single screw on it. Turn it counter-clockwise. Remove the lid. Do not touch the processor board yet as static can damage the board. Just read the serial number and model on the board and write them down. Keep this handy, because you may need to call the manufacturer of your laptop.

  • First, you will look at your computer to determine what is in it. Sometimes manufacturers put low memory boards in a laptop running at the latest operating system. This can cause problems with your laptop's performance.

  • Scan your computer to determine what amount of memory processing is really in your computer. This will let you know if you have the maximum processing power. Use an online service to scan your computer. See Resources.

  • Call the manufacturer of the laptop and ask if the board can support better processors.

  • Take note of the processor types the board can support.

  • Upgrade a laptop running Windows 98 with anywhere from 60 to one 190 megabytes to have a high-performance laptop on an old system. Other than this type of laptop, you can’t really upgrade the processor. It just isn’t possible. There are, however, some cases where the manufacturer has been known to build a laptop with a very small processor running a complex operating system, like Windows Vista. In this case, you would first try to return the laptop for a refund. If this is not an option, you may call the manufacturer and tell them the number on your processor and the board. They will inform you of the possible maximum upgrade. At this point, you will then determine if you can purchase the parts from the manufacturer and install them yourself. Some laptops have the CPU processor hopelessly stuck to the motherboard.

  • Place the new processor in the laptop access panel. Apply a small amount of heat sink to the chip. Press down gently. Your new processor is now upgraded. If you have a problem with your system, you will need to see a professional shop for performing operations in your BIOS system. Now you have done almost everything you can. There is, however, a safer alternative to replacing the processor: Use an external drive for processing your data and storing files. Laptops are really designed for working with peripherals or external devices. Use this fact to your advantage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an external drive as an alternative to replacing your processor. Purchase a hard drive that turns on/off automatically with your computer to give it that feel of being a whole processing unit.
  • Many laptop processors are sealed on the motherboard and not replaceable. Laptops are designed to protect the processor by shutting down from heat overload, but a new processor in your laptop may overheat the board beyond the the temperature of the original processor. Also, you will see very little difference in the actual performance on your laptop by upgrading the processor.
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