Can I upgrade my Laptop Processor?

If you want to increase your laptop performance, the ideal thought that comes to mind is the up-gradation of the processor.  But the question that arises is that can you upgrade your laptop. Despite all complications, yes, you can update your laptop’s processor. However, the way CPUs are arranged on a laptop’s motherboard, the widespread consensus is that upgrading a gaming laptop is impossible.

As a matter of fact, replacing the CPU on a laptop is not relatively as straightforward as doing so on a desktop. So it is possible to upgrade your laptop processor from i3 to i5 and i5 to i7 but not on your own because the technical know-how required renders this job too complicated for the typical person to complete.

Can I upgrade my Laptop Processor?

You can and you can’t; it totally depends upon your laptop. The majority of current laptops do not have removable CPUs, as they are permanently incorporated into the motherboard of the laptop. Even if it has a replaceable processor, you still have to figure out what you’ll use to replace it. It’s not simple to find a CPU that matches your laptop’s TDP and cooling capabilities. Don’t think it is an easy-to-do process, as it requires a high level of technical knowledge. There are some factors you need to check before making a decision. Let’s discuss them below.

Socket Type

When it comes to updating a laptop’s CPU, the type of socket your motherboard has is the most important thing to consider. So, before upgrading, check which type of socket (listed below) your laptop has.

Land Grid Array (LGA)

The LGA (land grid array) is a form of integrated circuit surface-mount packaging. They feature flat contacts and are removable. Most Intel desktop CPUs use this sort of surface mounting.

Pin Grid Array (PGA)

This mounting mechanism is often used on AMD CPUs and is also removable. The exposed pins on the CPU help to identify it.

Ball Grid Array (BGA)

In laptops, this mounting style is the most popular configuration. However, such a socket is not a separable item.  The CPU contacts are SOLDERED onto the motherboard with BGA.   As a result, they are unable to be improved in the future.

Your CPU and motherboard are permanently attached if your laptop has a BGA-type socket. There have been a few examples where BGA-type CPUs have been successfully swapped, although this needs specialized equipment and knowledge.

Although the best decision is to give up on the decision to upgrade your processor, remember some laptops contain upgradeable sockets in addition to BGA.

Before making any decision, go to your manufacturer’s website, find your current processing unit, and check your laptop’s socket type to decide if it is possible for you to upgrade your processor.


The TDP (Thermal Design Power) that your CPU is rated for is another element that influences your laptop’s upgradeability. As the power limitation of laptops is a built-in feature, keep in mind that if you’re going to replace your processor, be sure it has the same TDP as your current one. Otherwise, you risk losing battery life or damaging your whole motherboard in the worst-case scenario.

Cooling System

Why do you need to upgrade your processor? Because you need something more powerful and more efficient, but do you know what it produces in the result. Yes, it produces heat in return for increased power. All the laptops, particularly those with the built-in CPU, emit heat while running heavy applications smoothly. So, to dissipate heat, the laptop cooling system performs its work. But while upgrading the processor, you have to check whether your laptop cooling system is capable enough to support the new processor and dissipate the heat it produces. If it is not compatible, the overheating can cause the laptop to function slowly and negatively affect its battery life.

Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor From AMD To Intel?

No, you can’t do this. As I have said before, upgrading from intel i5 to intel 17 is risky and needs a professional approach; still, there is no guarantee of its working. Then how is it possible to change the processor from AMD to intel?

Moreover, different motherboards are required for Intel and AMD processors. Laptops employ bespoke motherboards; a laptop may only use a motherboard that is similar to the one that came with it. So, it is not possible to replace your AMD processor with Intel.

If you need any of the two processors, AMD or Intel, the more appropriate decision is to buy an efficient laptop having the required processor or specs.   

Can I Upgrade My Laptop RAM?

Yes, to enhance performance, you can increase your RAM if your laptop allows you. First, you have to check if your laptop can accept more RAM, so for that, you can ask any professional or manufacturer; however you can also check it by yourself.

You may use Crucial System Scanner or CPU-Z software to see if your laptop supports more RAM. Both of these programs are free and provide information about your current RAM as well as whether or not more RAM slots are accessible on your laptop.

Most laptops offer an extra RAM slot where you may install an additional RAM module. But in another case, if the slot is not present, you can remove the current RAM and replace it with a greater capacity RAM. For example, if you have a 4GB laptop with a single RAM slot, you may need to remove your present 4GB RAM module and replace it with something more significant, like 8 GB or 16 GB.

Upgrading your RAM improves your laptop’s performance and extends its life by a few years. However, if your laptop is already old enough that it is not a good idea to add or replace RAM as it does not add any positive value to it, try to go another way. By buying a new laptop with a good processor like i7 or more and with 8 or 16 GB RAM, you can enhance your working experience to a great value.

Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor From i3 to i5?

Yes, it is possible to upgrade your laptop from i3 to i5, but under some conditions, like the upgradeable socket. If your previous and upcoming processor has the same mounting configuration and both use the same amount of electricity, you can upgrade your i3 to an i5 laptop with a bit of time and work.

Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor From i5 to i7?

The procedure of upgrading your laptop CPU from an i5 to an i7 is primarily dependent on the laptop model. The first thing is the socket, so you can replace an i5 with a matched i7 if your laptop has an upgradeable socket.

In addition to socket type, the TDP rating needs to be similar to i5. So, keep in mind that the up-gradation is conceivable only if your laptop matches the specifications and you can locate a processor that fits.

Is it a Worthy Decision to Upgrade My Laptop Processor From i5 to i7?

While upgrading from i5 to i7, you will see a massive boost in performance just because of more cores and threads. With the advancement in technology, every new processor is more efficient and unique than the previous one.

If you have two processors, one is i5, and the other is i7 of the same generation, you will find a 25-30% increase in performance while using the latter.

The number and power of cores determine the performance. The i7 processor can have 6 to 8 fast and powerful cores instead of 4-6 cores of i5, so the former has a higher performance level. Moreover, the clock speed of i5 is 1.6-GHz (3.4-GHz with Max Turbo), while i7 has a higher clock speed of 1.8-GHz (3.6-GHz with Max Turbo).

Another essential thing is hyperthreading capability. With more cores and clock speed, i7 processors have the hyperthreading feature also. This combination will immediately enhance the performance. While in old generation i3 processors, you will not find hyperthreading quality; however, the manufacturers added this feature in some recent processors of this line.

If you are a gamer, this upgrade will undoubtedly add significant power to your gaming experience. The higher number of cores and the clock speed makes the processor faster, which offers higher frames per second (FPS) in games.

Is i7 faster than i5?

Yes, i7 is faster than i5; as I have discussed before, i7 is an advanced technology that offers more cores and clock speed. Moreover, having a hyperthreading feature makes it different and more efficient than i5. In addition to all this, the 24 MB cache of i7 rather than the 6-8 MB cache of i5 makes the former more efficient and enhances the speed of accessing data, thus making the i7 processor’s performance best.

Cons of Upgrading

Although there are many advantages of upgrading processors from i5 to i7, like everything, this process also has some drawbacks, which I will list below.

  • The procedure is delicate, so it needs a professional approach.
  • No one assures that the new CPU will consistently perform to its full capability.
  • A BIOS update may also be required with this.
  • Sometimes, the cooling system of a laptop cannot dissipate heat properly because the new updated processor performs more functions and causes more heat.
  • If you change the processor, you won’t be able to return it to manufacturers, so it may violate the warranty on the laptop.
  • It may also enhance the risk of damage and failure of the system.
  • The more efficient processor, the i7, consumes more power than the i5 so it may also adversely affect the laptop’s battery life.
  • It’s also possible that you’ll have to pay a lot of money for a Core i7 CPU, with no assurance that it’ll function.

The Final Thought

I have discussed everything that I considered necessary, and I hope that you have got the answer to the question, can I upgrade my laptop processor?

In short, my final verdict is that it is possible to upgrade your laptop processor, but requirements are the first thing that needs to be met because you can’t do an upgrade without it. So, keep in mind that if you have a CPU with PGA or LGA surface mounting and take care of other aspects like CPU socket, cooling system, and TDP, you will get the option of upgrading your processor.

However, money and guarantee are two things that may work as a deal-breaker. However, if you have no issue with money and want a more energetic and efficient processor with more extraordinary performance, it would be better to buy a new laptop instead of upgrading the existing one.

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