The Core i5 processor on your laptop can be upgraded to the Core i7 processor. A new processor is not simply swapped for an old one. To upgrade your computer, you’ll need a motherboard compatible with the i7 processor.
Ensure your laptop is capable of supporting an i7 chip before upgrading your processor. You can find the manufacturer’s website or manual online.
In some cases, an upgrade would not be possible due to the lack of supporting hardware or BIOS on older laptops. In addition, make sure your existing cooling setup can handle a stronger processor.
- 1 Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor From i5 To i7
- 2 Understanding CPU Surface Mounting Methods
- 3 CPU Sockets And Processor Upgrade
- 4 A Possible Upgrade Example
- 5 Is it worth it?
- 6 The Cons of Upgrading From Intel Core i5 To i7
- 7 Final Verdict
Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor From i5 To i7
The old processor must be removed if all checks out and you’re ready for the upgrade. You may have to remove a few screws to release the processor clips but the process varies depending on the laptop.
The old processor should be removed first, then the new one should be installed reversely. If you don’t know how to upgrade a laptop processor, you won’t be able to do it.
A laptop’s CPU surface mount makes upgrading it much more difficult than upgrading a desktop’s CPU. Removing the CPUs from the motherboard sockets on desktop computers is possible. A laptop’s CPU is usually soldered directly to its motherboard’s socket.
The upgrade is straightforward if your laptop has a removable CPU. It is a requirement that most modern laptops do not meet.
It is common for CPU laptops to be soldered to the motherboard. Your laptop does not support detachable CPUs. Therefore you can’t upgrade it. The external can be used for laptops if it is possible.
Understanding CPU Surface Mounting Methods
A CPU can be surface mounted in a variety of ways:
It has flat contacts and can be detached. This type of surface mounting is found on most Intel desktop CPUs.
There are visible pins on the CPU when mounted using Pin Grid Array. These types of surface mounting arrangements are used for AMD processors for desktops. The mounting type can also be detached.
In most laptop CPUs, this mounting type is called Ball Grid Array. It is important to note that the CPU contacts are SOLDERED to the motherboard when using BGA technology. There is no detachable part on this.
You cannot replace CPUs with BGA mounting types. BGA CPUs are the most common type of laptop CPU. The CPU has small solder balls and the motherboard has small solder pads.
Thus, replacing a Core i5 chip with a Core i7 chip requires a lot of expertise and equipment. The Intel Core i3 can be upgraded to the Core i5 in some cases and the Core i5 can be upgraded to the Core i7 since they share the same socket type.
CPU Sockets And Processor Upgrade
Upgradable LGA and PGA sockets are available for Core i5 and i7 CPUs. The older and newer processors must also have a common motherboard socket.
Figuring if Your CPU is BGA, LGA or PGA
Head over to your laptop’s technical specs to determine which surface mounting type it uses. According to Intel, the following specifications are available for the Core i5 10310U CPU:
- This CPU has the FCBGA1528 socket which you can see here. A Ball Grid Array is a surface mount device of this type. Therefore, this CPU cannot be upgraded.
- Intel Core i5-3210M specs can be found below.
- A report on Intel’s website suggests that the Core i5-3210M uses an FCPGA988 socket.
- The specs show that the laptop CPU uses the pin grid array surface mount type. This means that it can be upgraded.
Making Sure the Socket is Also The Same
In addition to surface mounting type, there are other factors to consider. The old and new CPUs must also use the same socket.
When upgrading a Core i7 CPU, you should ensure that the socket and pin count are the same as the existing Core i5. It is impossible to use Core i7 CPUs based on FCPGA988 which have 988 pins in FCPGA946 sockets.
A Possible Upgrade Example
A report on Intel’s website suggests that the Core i5-3210M uses an FCPGA988 socket. A Core i5 to i7 upgrade is shown in the following example.
The Core i5-3210M processor on a laptop would be a good example. The Intel website reveals that the model uses an FCPGA988 socket.
The third generation Intel i7 processor uses the same socket which can be found on the internet. If you search, the laptop manufacturer’s website may also have variants with an i7 processor.
This case might suggest upgrading the 3rd generation Core i5-3210M with the new quad-core Core i7-3630QM processor since both are detachable and occupy the same socket.
TDP Concerns Over the Upgrade
In addition to TDP, other factors need to be considered before upgrading so we recommend entrusting it only to experienced individuals. It represents how much power and heat a CPU uses and dissipates, not the same as the TDP.
Compared to a Core i5, a Core i7 has a higher TDP. A TDP of 35W is found in Intel Core i5-3210M while a 45W TDP is found in Intel Core i7-3630QM.
The installation of a Core i7 on a laptop with a Core i5 originally can result in heat problems if the laptop does not have the necessary heat dissipation capacity.
Is it worth it?
Yes! Of course. Your CPU should be upgraded from an i5 to an i7. The day-to-day performance of your business will improve immediately based on previous experiences.
It’s been a huge struggle but it’s had outstanding results. The next question is how much performance improvement you can expect from it.
A laptop processor upgrade can bring almost 3 times an uplift if done correctly. The problem is technical. If you wish to skip the technical part, invest your money in a better laptop. See some of the best nursing student laptops here.
The Cons of Upgrading From Intel Core i5 To i7
Upgrades from Core i5 to i7 come with certain cons as well.
- It may take some time for the changeover to be successful and it’s not guaranteed that the new processor will work as it should. It may also be necessary to update the BIOS.
- i7 CPUs risk not being able to cool the new cooling device. The CPU upgrade may not dissipate heat as well as previously described.
- It is also possible to damage and malfunction the laptop during the upgrading process which may void the warranty.
- Your laptop’s battery life will be reduced by the i7’s higher power consumption than the i5.
- There is no guarantee that the Core i7 CPU will work, so it may also be very expensive.
- It is common for people to ask if they can upgrade their laptop processor from an i5 to an i7 when their laptop doesn’t have adequate power for their work.
- It is possible to upgrade your CPU with PGA or LGA surface mounting, and other factors such as CPU sockets are taken care of.
CPUs that feature PGA and LGA surface mounting are easy to upgrade. The CPU socket can also be taken care of. It is also not guaranteed to work reliably and fully forever.
In addition, getting a new laptop with a better processor that meets all your requirements instead of upgrading is highly recommended. You can upgrade your laptop’s Core i5 processor to a Core i7 by reading the entire article carefully.