CAN I UPGRADE MY LAPTOP PROCESSOR FROM I5 TO I7?

Technically, it IS feasible to upgrade your laptop CPU from i5 to i7. However, the conventional assumption is that it is not feasible to perform an update on a laptop owing to the way the CPUs are positioned on a laptop’s motherboard.

If you have an Intel Core i5 in your laptop and you desire additional CPU power, then upgrading to Intel Core i7 is the next obvious step. However, the procedure of replacing the CPU on a laptop is not anywhere like as straightforward as doing the same on a desktop.

So as far as the question “can I update my laptop CPU from i5 to i7?” goes, the answer is positive, however, the technical know-how necessary makes it too difficult for an ordinary person to carry out this job.

The reason why changing the CPU on laptop is hard has to do with the CPU surface-mounting on laptop versus desktop. On desktops, the CPUs may be disconnected from their socket on the motherboard. On laptops, however, the CPUs are nearly often soldered to the socket on their motherboards.

In rare circumstances if your laptop has replaceable CPUs, then the upgrading should be pretty straightforward. However, it is, sadly, not the case on most of the contemporary day computers.

Most of the laptops, sadly, contain the BGA socket for their laptop. Meaning the CPUs are soldered into the socket and consequently updating them is a headache to say the least.

SO CAN I UPGRADE MY LAPTOP PROCESSOR FROM I5 TO I7?

In most cases, you cannot. As previously stated, the majority of laptop CPUs are soldered to the motherboard. If you don’t have a laptop that supports detachable CPUs, upgrading is not an option.

Understanding CPU Surface Mounting Methods

CAN I UPGRADE MY LAPTOP PROCESSOR FROM I5 TO I7?

There are there types of surface mounting techniques for CPUs:

  • Land Grid Array (LGA): Detachable with flat contacts. Most Intel desktop CPUs have this type of surface mounting.
  • Pin Grid Array (PGA): This mounting type has visible pins on the CPU. AMD CPUs for desktop use this type of surface mounting arrangement. This mounting type is also detachable.
  • Ball Grid Array (BGA): This mounting type is found on most LAPTOP CPUs. With BGA, the CPU contacts are SOLDERED on to the motherboard. This not detachable.

So to Summarize:

For BGA (ball grid array) CPUs, the common rule of thumb is that you can’t swap them. BGA CPUs are unfortunately commonplace in notebook computers.

The CPU is permanently attached to the motherboard in the BGA installation style. Tiny solder balls beneath the CPU and small solder pads on the motherboard are used to this end.

Because of this, replacing a BGA-based Core i5 CPU with a BGA-based Core i7 processor requires a high degree of skill and equipment.

PGA and LGA mounting types are compatible with Core i3 to Core i5 and Core i5 to Core i7 CPU upgrades, however this should only be the case in very rare cases.

CPU SOCKETS AND PROCESSOR UPGRADE

You can upgrade from Core i5 to Core i7 utilising sockets with LGA and PGA sockets, so long as you’ve got an LGA-based CPU, which is the case.

But you must ensure that both processors have the same socket on the motherboard before you proceed.

Figuring if Your CPU is BGA, LGA or PGA

Taking a look at your laptop’s technical specifications will quickly reveal what kind of surface mount your CPU uses.

For instance, the following are the specs for the CPU Intel Core i5 10310U:

CAN I UPGRADE MY LAPTOP PROCESSOR FROM I5 TO I7?

You can see here that this CPU has the socket FCBGA1528. The BGA indicates the surface mounting type i.e Ball Grid Array. Hence, this CPU is not upgradeable.

The following shows the specs for Intel Core i5-3210M.

CAN I UPGRADE MY LAPTOP PROCESSOR FROM I5 TO I7?

The PGA, or pin grid array, surface mounting type, is used in this laptop’s CPU. As a result, this may be upgraded.

Making Sure the Socket is Also The Same

Only a portion of the puzzle is the surface mounting kind. It’s also important to make sure that both CPUs have the same socket.

A Core i7 CPU should have the same socket and number of pins as your present Core i5 CPU, for example, socket FCPGA946 (with 946 pins). The FCPGA988-based Core i7 will not fit into the FCPGA946 socket.

A POSSIBLE UPGRADE EXAMPLE

CAN I UPGRADE MY LAPTOP PROCESSOR FROM I5 TO I7?

Core i5 to Core i7 upgrading examples are shown below.

If your laptop has a Core i5-3210M CPU, then you’re in luck. This particular model has an FCPGA988 socket, which can be seen on the Intel website.

A third-generation i7 CPU with the same socket may be found online. You may also check the laptop manufacturer’s website to see whether the identical laptop comes in an i7 version.

In this situation, upgrading the 3rd gen Core i5-3210M with the 3rd gen quad-core Core i7-3630QM processor is a feasible suggestion since both processors utilise the same socket and are removable.

TDP Concerns Over the Upgrade

Core i5 to Core i7 upgrading examples are shown below.

Let’s say you have a laptop with an Intel Core i5-3210M dual-core CPU from the third generation. On the Intel website, you see that the model uses an FCPGA988 socket. ‘

An i7 CPU from the third generation that utilises the same socket may be found online by doing a web search. You may also check the laptop manufacturer’s website to see if there are i7 CPU variations of the same laptop.

Here, upgrading from the 3rd generation Core i5-3210M with the 3rd generation quad core Core i7-3630QM processor is an option since they both share the same socket and may be removed.

THE CONS OF UPGRADING FROM INTEL CORE I5 TO I7

There are certain drawbacks to upgrading from Core i5 to i7 processors.

This may be a delicate operation, and there is no assurance that the new CPU will perform to its full capability without interruption. A BIOS upgrade may also be required.

The new i7 CPU may not be compatible with the cooling system. In addition, the increased CPU’s heat dissipation may not be supported, as previously noted.

As a result, there is the potential for warranty voiding as well as laptop damage and malfunction.

Battery life may be reduced since the i7’s power consumption is greater than that of the i5 processor.

A Core i7 CPU may potentially cost a lot of money, with no assurance that it will operate.

Video Guide

FINAL WORDS

Here we spoke about what many people want to know when their laptop simply doesn’t have enough electricity for their work: can I update my laptop CPU from i5 to i7?

The upgrade might be possible done if you have a CPU with PGA or LGA surface mounting and you take care of other parameters such as CPU socket.

However, there’s no assurance that it would operate reliably and at full in the long term.

Therefore, it’s generally advised that you acquire a new laptop with a more competent CPU that would meet your needs instead of going through the effort of upgrading.

Bryan V. Root
Bryan V. Root
Articles: 460

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