Can You Upgrade a Laptop CPU? Beginners Guide

Is your laptop bothering you, and you just can’t get it to work as you want it to?

Did your game crash in the middle while you were just about to level up? Does your laptop lag and slow you down?

We have all been there at some point, so there is no need to worry because we are here to address this issue.

If you require the utmost boost from your laptop, we prescribe an upgrade, stat! Pun intended!

Upgrading your laptop is a good option, especially if your bank balance does not allow you to buy a new one. So, if you want to upgrade your laptop, this article will help you do so.

So, keep reading till the end to discover how you can upgrade your laptop for the ultimate boost you desperately desire.


Can you upgrade a laptop’s CPU?

There are two answers to this question. Yes, you can, and no, you cannot. We’ll discuss the “yes” part first.

You can upgrade a laptop CPU as long as your laptop is socketed. And “no” because most laptops are not socketed. Their CPUs are soldered directly to the motherboard.

So, if your laptop can support a detachable CPU, you are ready to move on to the next step. Changing a laptop CPU is quite a skillful job and requires the right equipment and research.

I have covered the research part and will try to explain it to you as simply as possible.

How to Upgrade a Laptop’s CPU

Here is how you can upgrade your laptop’s CPU:

  1. Replace the CPU
  2. Update BIOS

1. Replace the CPU

Replacing the CPU is the first and foremost thing to do. To replace your laptop’s CPU, follow the steps below:

  • With the help of a screwdriver, unscrew all the screws on the back and open the back panel.
  • First, unplug the battery connected to the motherboard.
  • Remove the laptop’s battery.
  • Next, unplug your keyboard from the motherboard.
  • Then, with the help of a screwdriver, unscrew all the screws from your laptop’s motherboard.
  • Detach the motherboard.
  • Then, unscrew all the screws from the heat sink and carefully remove the old CPU.
  • Next, you want to locate the golden triangle on your CPU for CPU orientation. It must match the one present on the motherboard’s socket.
  • Apply a drop of thermal paste to your CPU and reinstall your heat sink.
  • Plug the battery connector into your motherboard and screw the bottom panel back in.
  • Restart your system.

And voila! You are good to go! But fair warning, only try this if you have a good knowledge of laptops and their parts. If not, please seek professional guidance. Because failing to understand the above instructions can lead to damage and failure of your internal components, ensure that you recognize laptop parts very well.

2. Update BIOS

If you have upgraded your CPU correctly, the next step is updating your BIOS. The hard part is replacing the CPU. BIOS update will not bother you as much. Here is how you can update your BIOS:

  • Format your USB as FAT32.
  • Then, download the current BIOS file from the laptop’s manufacturer’s website.
  • Copy/unzip the .bin file onto the USB and reboot your PC.
  • Press Esc while your system is being rebooted.
  • Then, enter the BIOS/UEFI.
  • Use the means to update BIOS/UEFI.
  • Start the upgrade.
  • Wait for the upgrade to finish.
  • Your laptop will either reboot by itself or ask you to reboot it.

What should you do before choosing your laptop’s CPU?

Upgrading to a new CPU can be pretty challenging. To be honest, you must ensure that the processor is compatible with your existing device. So, I suggest reading this article to the very end to clarify things for you.

2 main things must be in your mind before you choose a CPU for your laptop:

  1. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions religiously. It will help you glide smoothly throughout the entire process.
  2. Sometimes, dust and debris can damage your socket and other delicate contacts of your CPU, and it can cause your system to not boot.

So, be careful about these two things. Now, let’s take a look at what you should do before choosing a CPU:

1. Check your device’s limitations

It is pretty easy to change and upgrade your laptop’s motherboards and CPUs. Still, when it comes to changing a laptop CPU, it is nearly impossible. If your model does not allow it, replacing the processor can damage your laptop, so I keep stressing about going to the manufacturer’s website, taking it seriously, and going through everything to ensure that your laptop is compatible with the upgrade.

2. Check the Processor Model

You need to check your processor model and make it eligible for an update. To check the processor in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows Super Key and search for Settings.
  • Go to About PC.
  • Windows version and your processor info will appear.

3. Check your motherboard model.

Using the Windows command prompt, it is easy to check your motherboard model and serial number. Here is how:

  • Press the Windows key plus R.
  • Then, type msinfo32.
  • Press Windows system information overview.

That is all.

Apart from this, check your motherboard’s serial number. Ensure that your processor is BGA (Ball Grid Array) or LGA (Land Grid Array).

AMD vs. Intel: Which Processor Should You Use?

According to my research, AMD definitely has more experience in the semiconductor industry, more product revenue, and more market share. So, AMD focuses mainly on products that care for the needs of the cloud computing and gaming industries.

AMD is a bit heavy on the wallet but is a significant investment providing more benefits. Apart from this, they are faster than intel processors and more expensive, especially for gamers. AMD CPUs also tend to heat up more than Intel, but it is not the case with every CPU.


Is it worth upgrading the CPU on a laptop?

If you are in a position where you can upgrade the CPU or GPU in your laptop, then yes, it most definitely is worth it. From a performance perspective, it can do wonders for your laptop and add years to your laptop’s life. However, they do impact the heat and battery life.

How can I boost up my laptop performance?

If you want a boost in your laptop’s performance, I recommend buying an SSD. It will improve your performance drastically.

Can Overheating CPU Cause Lag?
GPU Not Being Fully Used in Games
What to Upgrade First, CPU or GPU

Nick Miller

It's Nick Miller a 25 year old tech enthusiast and senior editor at Flexgate, i try to make tech simple for the everyday person. You will find review about tech, tools and Computer hardware here.

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