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Can I Upgrade My Laptop Processor from i5 to i7? (Explained)

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Is an upgrade for a laptop processor possible? Technically, yes. Now, is it always possible? You might want to take a pause there and consider some things before answering that.

You will agree that there is nothing better than getting an upgrade that makes your system run even better than when you first made the purchase. Frankly, upgrades, over the years, have become a must for many, and now that people can build their PCs, it only takes a blink of an eye to see most pull out their motherboards and upgrade the upgradables.

This, of course, is pretty easy to carry out for many, especially when they are dealing with a desktop. But just how easy is that when the upgrade is needed on a laptop? Well, honestly, it can be a pretty easy deal, too; you just have to know the exact kind of laptop you are dealing with. 

This article will help give pointers on how to narrow down your options when dealing with an upgrade from a core of i5 to i7; hence be sure to stick close enough.

Can I Upgrade My Laptop CPU?

Many reports over the years have concluded that almost impossible to do an upgrade on a laptop’s processor, but you should know this is not always so. It is possible to upgrade your laptop’s intel core if your laptop can sustain an upgrade. So, if the question brimming in your mind is, “can I upgrade my laptop CPU?”, the answer to that depends on if your motherboard has an actual socket that can allow a processor change.

You can pretty much get an upgrade on almost every part of a desktop, and this might be so impossible for a laptop as well if everything is not all soldered in. You will be surprised that some parts are quite detachable, even for laptops. So, it helps to check this out first before crossing it off. 

Sure, for many years, an upgrade was really not possible, but now, a little bit of research here and there will have you know that there are now many modern laptops that support CPU change. You will find them sticking out from brands like HP to Intel down to Dell.

How Easy Is It To Upgrade A Laptop Processor from i5 to i7?

Once you reach the decision that you want more power in your processor, then, sure, the next thing to bet on is an upgrade. And in the case of an i5 processor, an upgrade to an i7 is pretty reasonable. But how easy does this get? Can I upgrade my laptop CPU myself?

Candidly, it can be tiring if you have no experience or idea on how to deal with it. Changing processors in laptops can be pretty sensitive. Unlike the desktop, where the mechanism looks straightforward, you will want to take a slight pause with this one even when your laptop is fit for a processor change.

How Easy Is It To Upgrade A Laptop Processor from i5 to i7

How Do I Know If My Laptop Processor Is Upgradable?

How does one check if one’s laptop processor is detachable or not? Now, this is the million-dollar question. But yes, it shouldn’t be so hard to figure out. You just got to decipher the type of surface-mount packaging your CPU uses. A software that can tell you which type of processor your laptop uses is CPU-Z. Just download it, and you are good to go. Or better still, you can always check with your technician just to be sure.

Generally, most laptop microprocessors come with one out of the three common types of surface mounting packaging. Let’s check them out below:

  • The LGA:  The Land Grid Array is a chip package that supports easy removal of the microprocessor, and it is commonly found in most desktops and laptops.
  • The PGA: The Pin Grid Array uses tiny pins arranged in a square grid for its connection. It is also quite removable. 
  • The BGA: Now, the Ball Grid Array is the standard chip package you will find soldered on most laptops’ motherboards. While the compactness gives quite a high performance relatively, an upgrade is almost impossible with this one. 

Now, if your laptop processor is one with a BGA mounting type, then you can as well say you can’t get to upgrade it. Upgrading it will involve an awfully high level of mastery and patience; you basically have to be a computer whiz. However, the LGA and PGA types are fairly easy to upgrade.

How Do I Upgrade My Laptop Processor From i5 to i7?

If your laptop can change processors, then what next? Well, you get to fix the new processor right in meticulously as required. But, of course, you just don’t jump right into that. After you’ve sorted out the popular question on cost: “how much does it cost to upgrade the processor on a laptop?”, it would be best if you had some facts clarified.

The first thing you have to check is the compatibility of the new i7 processor to the socket of your old i5. It would help to make sure your core i7 has just the same socket type as the core i5, and they need to have the same number of pins as well. You can always look up the specifications of the new i7 on the manufacturer’s (intel) site while checking up the acceptable processors for your laptop model as well. You really don’t want to go wrong with this.

Next thing, check out the cooling requirements for the i7 you are going for. Failing to consider this might have your laptop breaking down with almost no effort in no time. Your i7 will naturally use up more power than i5 (i7 having a TDP of about 45W and i5, about 35W). Hence, you don’t want to stick to your good old cooling level.

Now, if you already have this two ticked off your list, you can begin with the unscrewing.

i5 to i7 Upgrade Cost?

Exactly how much does it cost to upgrade the processor on a laptop? Especially an i5 to i7 upgrade cost? Well, it all depends on the kind of upgrade you are doing. What generation are we dealing with here? Is it a 7th gen or the latest 9th or 10th gen? Or are you looking out for second-hand use? You got to know that first because they are a huge determinant of how much you will be spending, hence, your i5 to i7 upgrade cost. Generally, you can get a core i7 from fifty dollars to over a thousand dollars.

Is Upgrading From i5 to i7 Worth It?

Possibly, if you can make it work out. If not, then it can end up being quite a big headache. Hence, it is very important to check out the laptop’s compatibility with the new core and the difference in cooling levels. It would help if you were extra careful when doing the changing alike, and do note that you really don’t want to try a change on a soldered-up processor.

Another thing you should know is it the upgrade might cause a nullification of the laptop’s warranty. You shouldn’t forget that an upgrade to i7 will require more battery power, meaning the battery life might get reduced through subsequent use. Thus, it would help to consider your choices carefully before embracing an upgrade. Will it be worth it for you?

Last Thoughts

Getting a smooth upgrade for your laptop seems quite appealing, but how easy can it get? This article has covered most pros and cons, and now, it’s up to you to decide if it’s any worth it. A fairly high-priced new laptop on eBay or a cheaper upgrade laced with a bitty tad of risks?

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Pigtou Editorial Team

A group of tech enthusiasts who find pleasure in troubleshooting and resolving various issues. When we're not engaged in writing, we typically enjoy playing table football or spending time with our office dog.
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