Can You Upgrade A Laptop’s CPU? – Here’s What You Need To Know

All laptops do not support CPU upgradability. Laptops are compact devices, in which all components are tightly packed. Hence, compared to a desktop system, you have fewer options when it comes to upgradability.

However, it varies from laptop to laptop. Lightweight laptops like Notebooks and Ultrabooks sometimes do not even support RAM or Storage upgrades, but that doesn’t mean you cannot upgrade these components in a typical laptop.

In this guide, we will explore what kind of laptops support CPU upgradability, how you can upgrade the CPU in those laptops, and how to boost performance in laptops that do not support CPU upgradability.

Upgrading A Laptop CPU – Is It Even Possible?

In most laptops, upgrading the CPU is not an option. So, if you have a laptop from one of the popular brands like HP, Dell, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, etc. then you don’t have the option to upgrade the CPU.

Laptops are built with only one thing in mind: portability. In pursuit of compactness, the manufacturers intend to tightly pack all the components and have to do so while accounting for heat management and other issues. Hence, the core components like CPU and GPU in a laptop are not upgradable.

However, there are a few exceptions. Some laptops support upgradability but they are not from popular brands.

What Kinds Of Laptops Have An Upgradable CPU?

Some brands like Eurocom and Framework manufacture special kinds of custom laptops that support CPU upgrades. These laptops come in unique designs that allow you to upgrade the CPU and other core components that are not possible to upgrade in other laptops.

Eurocom manufactures fully upgradable and configurable desktop replacement notebook laptops. They were the first company to introduce upgradeable CPUs and GPUs in laptops. The laptops have a modular design with socketed CPU and GPU that are easily replaceable.

Secondly, Framework is another popular brand that designs modular laptops. These laptops are available in DIY edition, which means you can order the laptop in the form of components and build your own custom laptop. These laptops have every component that is upgradable and replaceable. You can upgrade and replace not just internal components but also external ones.

Read more, How to Build a Gaming Laptop?

How To Upgrade CPU in Laptops?

Now that we have established what kind of laptops support upgrades, let’s discuss how you can upgrade the CPU in these laptops.

The process may vary a little bit depending on the type of laptop you have, but generally, it is very similar to installing a new CPU in a desktop system.

  1. First of all, identify the chipset of your current CPU and find an upgrade with the same chipset. You can contact the manufacturer or check on official website for more details.
  2. Once you have ordered or purchased the upgrade, you can proceed with the process.
  3. Changing a laptop’s CPU is a delicate process and requires utmost attention and some expertise. If it is your first time, I would recommend being extra careful and taking necessary precautions.
  4. Power off your laptop, unplug it from the adapter, and wait for it to cool down. Once your laptop has cooled down, you must disassemble it to the point where you can access the CPU socket.
  5. In some laptops, you might have to remove the motherboard from the laptop before you get to this point. So, the process can vary depending on the laptop you have.
  6. First, you will have to remove the old CPU. You must remove the heatsink, clean the CPU, remove the socket screws, and then carefully remove the CPU.
  7. Then, you can install the new CPU that is more powerful and has the same chipset.
  8. Once you have installed the CPU in the socket, it will automatically click into the place. Install screws just as you removed them.
  9. Now apply fresh thermal paste on the CPU and then install the heat sink on it.
  10. Reassemble all the components. In the end, install the battery and turn on the laptop. Check to see if everything is working properly.

Now, if everything is in order, then you have successfully upgraded the CPU in your laptop. If you are a beginner and doing it for the first time, I would recommend that you don’t rush through the process. It is better to be careful as damaging the motherboard or CPU can have serious repercussions.

Alternative Ways To Improve Performance

Just like I mentioned before, most laptops do not have an upgradable CPU. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot upgrade those laptops or boost their performance.

There are other ways to boost the performance of your laptop and upgrade them. Most laptops support memory and storage upgrades and they can have a significant impact on the performance of the laptop.

Upgrading memory and storage in a laptop is easier compared to upgrading the CPU and also takes a lot less time. All you have to do is access the back panel, which is usually separate for memory and storage upgrades.

You can simply remove the older RAM and SSD Storage, which should come right out. The SSD might be held with a screw or you can just slide it or pull it out depending on the model of the laptop you have.

Once you remove the older components, you can install the new ones. You don’t require much expertise for these upgrades and can do them easily at home. Once you have upgraded these performance components, you will notice a significant boost in the overall performance of your system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upgrade my laptop processor from i5 to i7?

It is not possible in typical laptops. However, if you have a modular laptop that comes with a socketed CPU and supports CPU upgrades, then you can upgrade the processor from i5 to i7, provided both support the same chipset.

How do I know if my laptop processor is upgradeable?

The details are available on the manufacturer’s webpage and also inside the user manual that comes with the laptop. Typically, laptops do not support CPU and GPU upgradability, but you can upgrade other components in a laptop.

How to increase CPU on a laptop?

If your laptop supports CPU upgradability, then you can contact the manufacturer or customer support of your laptop and find out what upgrade options you have. You can purchase a better CPU depending on your budget and needs and then upgrade the CPU manually at home. If you are not a DIY enthusiast, then you can get a tech professional to upgrade it for you.

Wrapping Up!

Summing it all up, most laptops do not support CPU upgradability but some unique brands like Eurocom and Framework do retain their modular design and support CPU and GPU upgrades.

If you have a laptop that has a modular design, then you can upgrade all of its components including CPU and GPU. However, keep in mind that upgrading the CPU is a delicate operation and must be done with utmost care and attention. If you are not confident in your tech skills, you should get it done by a tech professional.

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