Laptop Processors or "CPU"
(CPU) are upgradeable, if you would rather upgrade than buy a new laptop.
Core2 i7 Extreme quad-core CPU is the latest and
greatest in notebook CPU. You
can get them from 2.60 GHz to 3 GHz, FSB from 800 MHz to 1333 MHz.
quad-core CPU means two or more processors in the processor case!)
Remember ESD will kill your
CPU so handle with care, see my
safety tips before you start these
Unfortunately because of the proprietary nature of a laptop you can not
upgrade more than one or two revisions or speeds for your processor. For most
laptops when the manufacture designs the laptop they have a plan for how many
revisions of the laptop they will make then move on to the next design.
Because they move things around you can not take a motherboard from say
a IBM T30 and put it into a T23 case. Nope can't do that, I have a dead T23 and
a T30 the case is trashed, the motherboards are to far apart in where the hard
drive is, the connectors, you name it.
So about the only thing you can do is replace the current processor with the
same one, you may get away with increasing the speed of the processor.
but you have to be careful to not change the FSB speed.
That is if the processor
you now have is a FSB (Front Side Bus) of 533 you can not upgrade to 800 because
the motherboard support chips will under clock the processor and burn it up.
(Been there done that, I lucked out, it didn't damage the motherboard!). At this
time I have not found any laptop manufacture that incorporates the facility to
over clock the processor or FSB, the main reason is the lack cooling. There is
limited space in a laptop case and fans have to be as small as possible.
Yes you can overclock a laptop, in a way!
I upgraded my IBM T-30 laptop processors from a P4 1.8 GHz, FSB 400 to a P4
2.5 GHZ, FSB 533, see this page for the
upgrade process. Because most (not all) laptop BIOS do not have the facility
to change parameters of the CPU clock speed and FSB you will have to upgrade to
a new processor to achieve the overclocking. Basically an upgrade of the
processor and the FSB associated with the processor will in essence overclock
the computer from manufactures spec's! Cool!
To get at the laptop processor might be a time consuming task. You may have to open
the case, remove some components, remove the heat sink and then put it all back
together before you can test it, sorry that is the way it works. See my
page and the
keyboard page for disassembling your computer.
Before you begin check the new processor, does it have a new heat sink
attached? (The only one I have see with the heat sink attached was a Dell
Latitude) Did you get a new heat sink or do you reuse your old one. If you reuse
your old one you need some heat sink compound (grease) and Isopropyl Alcohol.
The Isopropyl Alcohol is for cleaning the old compound from the heat sink, you
want to get all of the old compound off so the new compound will adhere when you
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Ok, you have the case apart, look at the heat sink, some are retained by
long screws, some have one or two levers you unlock and lift. Remove the heat
sink and set it aside.
Next look at the processor, there should be a lever on
the side of the socket, unlock and lift the lever, or it
could have a screw/cam type socket, the screw is rotated counter clock wise to
move the locking mechanism to release the processor pins, gently lift out the old
processor. (Be careful with the processor, if it has been in the computer a long
time the pins may be brittle and if you break one off in the socket you will
have to figure out how to get it out!)
Now you can replace the processor, if you are reusing the heat sink be sure
to clean it before applying the heat sink compound.
Then reverse the disassembly
to reassemble your computer.
Power up and go to bios first!
If it does not power up go to
Trouble Shooting a Laptop Processors, something has gone to ground or shorted out.
At the time of this article the fastest processor was the Intel Core 2
Quad Extreme, now with the introduction of the i Series processors the
fastest is the 2nd Generation Intel™ Core2 i7 Extreme Processor (Mobile)
at 2.5 GHz and a 8 MB cache.
Enjoy your upgraded computer!