Can You Change The Processor In A Laptop From I5 To I7?

Can you change the processor in a laptop? It may be challenging if you have never done it before. Worry not. This article will provide you with steps to do so.

f your laptop has an Intel Core i5 processor, and you want to change to an Intel Core i7. However, replacing the CPU on a laptop is not a straightforward task. 

Can you change the processor in laptop from i5 to i7? The answer is Yes. But, this procedure is complex because it requires in-depth knowledge of laptops.

The following article of Top Reviews will provide specific answers.

Let’s read on to know more details!

Can You Change The Processor In A Laptop?

Laptop Processors

The surface-mounting of the CPU on a desktop and a laptop makes replacing the CPU difficult. On desktop computers, you may remove the CPUs from their motherboard sockets. 

Laptop CPUs are nearly usually bonded to the mainboard socket. If your laptop has replaceable CPUs, then upgrading should be pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, it is not the case with the vast majority of modern computers. 

The BGA connector is on the majority of laptops because the CPUs are bonded to the socket; updating them is difficult at best.

In most cases, you won't be able to change the processor in a laptop. As previously stated, most CPU laptops are bonded to the mainboard. 

As a result, unless your laptop model supports removable CPUs, you won't be able to upgrade. Before beginning, you have to:

1. Understand CPU Surface

Can You Change The Processor In Laptop?

Here are three kinds of CPUs surface mounting methods:

  • LGA with flat connections: This form of surface mounting is available on most Intel desktop CPUs. 

  • PGA: There are visible pins on the CPU. AMD desktop CPUs use this sort of surface mounting solution. This sort of attachment is also removable. 

  • BGA: This mounting type may be available on the majority of laptop CPUs. The manufacturer bonds the CPU contacts onto the mainboard with BGA. This kind is not a removable item.

If the CPU's mounting type is BGA, the widespread consensus is that you can't change it. Unfortunately, the majority of CPUs are BGA. 

The CPU is permanently attached to the mainboard with BGA installation. Therefore, small glueballs are under the CPU, and the motherboard contains small glue pads. 

As a result, swapping out a BGA-based Core i5 CPU for a BGA-based i7 processor necessitates a high degree of knowledge and equipment.

If the CPU has an LGA or PGA mounting type, you can upgrade it from Core i3 to i5 or i5 to i7 processor as long as the same socket type.

2. Find Out Your CPU Is LGA, PGA, or BGA

The most straightforward approach to determine the board mounting type is to look at its technical specifications. 

For example, the Intel Core i5 10210U processor has the following qualifications: 

FCBGA1528 Socket

The BGA stands for Ball Grid Array, which is a form of surface mounting. As a result, you cannot upgrade this CPU.

Here are the Intel i5 3210M specifications.

FCPGA988 Socket Support

The Intel Core i5-3210M uses the FCPGA988 socket. The PGA mounting type is available on this laptop CPU, so it is upgradeable.

3. Ensure The Socket Is The Same Type

The surface mounting is only one aspect of the solution. You must also ensure that the newer and older CPUs share the same socket. 

If your current Core i5 CPU is built on an FCPGA956 (with 956 pins) socket, the Core i7 to replace it with must have the same number of pins and socket. The FCPGA956 socket will not accept a Core i7 built on FCPGA988 (with 998 pins).

Step-By-Step: How To Install Laptop Processor?

You can rely on the instructions in this video to better understand how to change/upgrade the processor in a laptop. Then, follow these steps.

Source Youtube Gadget Lover

1. Unplug Your Computer

Make sure you switch off your computer and disconnect it from all power sources before moving or opening it. To gain access toward the side panel of the computer, turn it on its side.

2. Remove The Side Panel

In some situations, you'll need to remove the side panel, but in others, you'll need to unscrew or slide it off. This way will avoid the discharge of static electricity by mistake. 

Because static electricity may destroy delicate computer components like the motherboard, you will want to stay grounded during the installation procedure.

3. Locate The Mainboard

The motherboard looks like a circuit board with several cables connected to it. In most situations, it lays at the bottom of the tower. Alternatively, the motherboard could be against the case's side. 

4. Detach The Heat Sink

Heat Sink

The heat sink is generally placed on top of the mainboard and comes along with a big fan. You may need to unclip it from the mainboard, detach it, or push it out.

It would be best if you referenced your heat sink's instruction book for model-specific dismantling instructions, as each heat sink has a distinct design and, as a result, a varied setup process.

5. Remove The Processor

Because you have to install a new CPU using an exact fit like the old one, knowing which way the processor is pointing helps you do it right the first time. Carefully pull the processor, which looks like a square chip, from its motherboard slot.

6. Install The New Processor

If you are replacing a mainboard, remove the old one from the casing and return it according to the manufacturer's instructions. After that, you have to connect the different components of your computer to it. 

Please don't push your processor into the slot; instead, carefully insert it and check whether it's level. If your CPU is slanted or will not fit, try turning it 90 degrees till it does. 

Avoid touching the connections on the bottom of the CPU since this might damage it.

7. Reinstall Heat Sink

Reinstall the heat sink to its mainboard mount with a dot of thermal mass on top of the processor. The thermal mass on top of the CPU should fill up any gaps between the heat sink and processor. 

8. Plug Back Components

You may have disconnected a cable or more during the setup process, depending on the direction of your machine. If this is the case, ensure you have connected them to the motherboard before continuing.

9. Run The Computer

After you've reassembled and connected to your computer, you may start it up and go through setup options that occur. 

Because Windows will have to download and set up new processor drivers, you will almost certainly be requested to restart your laptop after it has finished booting up.

TDP Concerns About The Upgrade

Before upgrading, you should examine other aspects (such as TDP), which is why you must only let experienced people do it. 

Thermal Design Power (TDP) measures how much energy the CPU consumes and the amount of heat it generates. 

A Core i7 processor has a greater TDP than Core i5. Mounting a Core i7 on a computer that previously had a Core i5 might produce heat concerns if the notebook does not have enough thermal transfer capacity.


1. What Is The Difference Between A Laptop And A Computer Processor?

The socket (plug) on a desktop CPU differs from that on a laptop CPU. In reality, any laptop's CPU permanently links to the board, and you cannot remove it.

You may change the CPU on a desktop. Intel i5 CPUs for desktop computers are quad-core, whereas the transportable laptop models are dual-core. 

2. Can I Upgrade From Intel Core I3 To Core I7?

Is it possible to upgrade my Core i3 8th Gen to a Core i7 processor? Yes, you can, but there's a snag.

If your motherboard only supports locked processors, you purchase a locked processor from the same generation as your motherboard, for instance, 8700k. The "K" at the end denotes that you have unlocked the CPU.



Can you change the processor in a laptop? The answer is Yes, but you need to have in-depth knowledge of laptops.

If your CPU comes along with LGA or PGA surface mounting and takes better care of other criteria like the CPU socket, you might be able to upgrade. Yet, there is no assurance that it will function well and consistently in the long term. 

Thank you for your interest in the article!

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