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Laptop Processors or "CPU"

Laptop processors (CPU) are upgradeable, if you would rather upgrade than buy a new laptop.

Laptop Processors - Intel 2x-coreMobile Intel™ 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. Too Cool! (Dual and 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 procedures!

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. somewhat 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,Most laptops can not be 'Overclocked' but the wrong processor will result in damage beyond repair for the motherboard! 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 case page and the keyboard page for disassembling your computer.

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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 apply it.

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 have a faster computer at a fraction of the cost of a new one!

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!

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