Thursday, September 20, 2012

Step-By-Step Procedure in Replacing Your Laptop’s CPU

Laptop replacement parts sure have come a long way since computer manufacturers started making laptop components more accessible to casual consumers about a decade or so ago. With modern laptop designs not being as rigid anymore, more and more laptops have seen their expected lifespans increased with a few swaps here and there.

Not all laptop parts are easily replaceable, though. While most current laptops come with removable panels that allow access to RAM’s and/or hard drives, manufacturers are still wary of letting users tinker with GPUs. Still, they do indicate whether laptop GPUs are dedicated (individual parts, i.e. replaceable) or integrated with the motherboard, so at least that’s something.

CPUs, though, are a different matter entirely. Most laptop CPUs are even soldered right into their motherboards to really ensure that daring users won’t be able to mess around with them.


If you’ve the mind to, though, it is possible to upgrade your laptop’s CPU, provided that it’s detachable and not soldered in. Consult with your laptop’s manual or the internet to find out whether the CPU is removable.

If it is, find out which socket type it has. Needless to say, you’ll want to replace it with a more powerful processor that has the same socket type.

Other things to prepare: A screwdriver, thermal paste, a lint-free rag, and a bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol. Also, wear an antistatic wrist wrap to prevent unwanted electrostatic discharges to the laptop parts.

Once all these are in order, proceed with the replacement.


There’s a good chance that your laptop’s existing BIOS won’t be compatible with newer processors, so make sure to update it. You can go over to the laptop manufacturer’s website to download and install the necessary updates.

2.  Remove the hinges from your laptop by prying them off gently with the screwdriver. Make sure not to apply too much force, as you could irreversibly damage your laptop’s chassis.

3.  Once the hinges are removed, the keyboards screws will be uncovered. Unscrew these to remove the keyboard. Don’t forget to unplug the keyboard from its connector before completely removing it.

4.   Remove the laptop’s upper half (the one with the screen) by removing its screws at the bottom and the back of the laptop case. Unplug its connector and Wi-Fi cables as well.

5.  Remove the laptop’s Blu-ray or DVD drive. Some models allow you to simply unlatch the optical drives. With others, you have to unscrew them.

6. Unscrew the shell covering of the laptop’s bottom half.

7.  If your laptop’s CPU is placed under the GPU, promptly remove the video card first. Some laptop models have their GPUs screwed in place. If yours isn’t, simply pull it out of its socket.

8. Use the screwdriver to unscrew the heat sink off the top of the CPU.

9. Turn the CPU’s locking screw counterclockwise to unlock it, and gently lift the processor up. When putting in its replacement, make sure that it’s aligned well. Finally, turn the locking screw clockwise to lock it back in place.

Some laptops use locking bars akin to desktops instead of locking screws. Aside from the fact that you pull these bars up and push them down instead of turning them around, this step remains largely the same.

10.   Place the heatsink back on top. Before doing so, though, make sure that the thermal compound (the silver-gray gunk) on its bottom is wiped off. Do this using the lint-free rag and the alcohol. After cleaning it off, apply a new coating of thermal paste.  

11.   Put your laptop back together; and voila! Instant souped-up laptop! Enjoy the performance boost!


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bobguerra said...

Just upgrade to a desktop instead

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