Categories
Gadgets

How to upgrade laptop processor from i3 to i7 (or i5)

Last Updated on December 21, 2021 by Shivanandana Hegde

For many years, I wished I could upgrade my laptop processor from i3 to a higher version like i5 or i7.

I always thought laptop cpu upgrade is impossible. I mean, every authorized laptop service center told me the same. So, when a multi-billion dollar companies cannot do it, how can I?

In this post, I’ll show you how I performed a laptop processor upgrade and replaced my legacy Intel i3-2330M processor with i7-2640M (turbo) on my personal laptop.(Samsung NP300E5Z). I only have a basic understanding of circuits and motherboards.

Samsung NP300E5Z_featured

I bought my first laptop in 2011 with my own hard-earned money!. Samsung NP300E5Z-S01IN. 😀 It was a pretty good, above average, ‘value for money deal at that time.

Almost close to a decade now, I’ve upgraded my laptop in every possible way so that it can perform at par with the latest standards. For instance, I have replaced HDD (hard disk) with Samsung and Crucial SSD 👍

☠️ Be Diligent before upgrading your laptop processor ☠️

WARNING:- It is common sense that you don’t attempt to upgrade the laptop CPU if it is still under warranty. Also, if you have no clue about circuits, motherboard, and other jargon, don’t attempt this.

Obviously, I take no responsibility if you brick your device! – Do this at your own risk.

Yes. You don’t have to be an expert at the engineering level. However, you should know the basics of connection, screw fitting, etc.

Below are the steps to replace a laptop processor (i3 to i7):

  1. Check if your CPU can be upgraded at all (M type processor)
  2. Check the motherboard socket type to replace laptop processor
  3. Get technical and find a compatible processor to upgrade
  4. Just do it and this is how I did it.


➤ End result was satisfying!. Checkout the final result of this cpu upgrade

Just for the record, below is a summary of all the upgrades I’ve done on my Samsung NP300E5Z model laptop.

Currency: ₹ Indian Rupees (INR)

ComponentCompany Defaults
(Samsung NP300E5Z)
Upgrade
(I manually replaced)
Purpose of upgradeCost of upgrade
(in INR)
RAM4 GB (ADATA)+4GB = 8GBFaster processing₹ 1,200
Hard DiskHitachi – 1TB – HDDSamsung 750 EVO SSD -120 GB for OS. +
Crucial MX500 – 500 GB for storage
Faster File operations (Open, Read, Write, Move etc.)₹ 3,000
+
₹ 5,000
CD/DVD slotOptical disk trayReplaced it with default Hitachi 1TB😊Secondary Storage₹ 300
Thermal GelDefaultThermal GreaseProcessor cooling, Less power consumption₹ 150
ProcessorIntel i3- 2330M
2.2GHz, Dual-core, 4 Threads
Intel i7-2640M
2.8GHz – 3.5GHz Turbo,
Dual-Core, 8 Threads
Overall performance boost₹ 3,800
Total₹ 13,450

It is a considerable investment for a guy from working for middle class! However, for a price of almost 13.5K, (roughly about 200 USD), I’ve got myself a laptop that can easily beat a new one with a triple price tag. Therefore this effort was totally worth it..!👍

Regarding SSD, I have a post that you can check to see how to choose the best SSD for home users.

Firstly, with an obsessive wish to upgrade the laptop processor, hours of research, and a bit of luck, I was able to do it.

Secondly, the results? – Are very satisfying.

So, how to upgrade a laptop processor? Although this post illustrates the processor replacement of my particular model of laptop, (Samsung NP300E5Z), it is not limited to this model.

Any laptop and hence, any brand can be upgraded- provided you do your due diligence. 👈

Step 1: Check if your CPU can be upgraded

Before you do a laptop CPU upgrade, you can either go to your computer >> This PC >> right-click >> Select properties and view processor details there.

(OR)

Use a tool like ‘CPU-Z‘ to see your processor type.

I recommend the latter because there is much more you can know about your motherboard, processor etc. CPU-Z is of great help.

NOTE:– If your processor is a mobile processor i.e., of type M or QM, then you can surely perform a laptop processor upgrade. According to my limited knowledge, if your laptop processor is of type U, then you can’t replace it. Sorry!! – OR may be you can but I don’t know! Sorry!!

Step 2: Check the motherboard socket type to replace laptop processor.

Mine is Socket G2 / rPGA988B and the processor is Sandy Bridge architecture. This means, the replacement processor should be a processor compatible with this particular socket and micro-architecture.

Step 3: You need to get technical. Find a compatible processor to upgrade.

There are plenty of resources online. They even show probability indicators of the success rate of replacement. I used this one:- cpu-upgrade.com/i3_mobile.

Though there are plenty of tempting QM (quad cores), I wanted to go with the same wattage (power) and wanted to be on the safer side.

There are also websites that’ll give you an approximation of comparative performance. Like this one – Versus.com/i32330mvsi72640m

Comparative Advantage:

compare i3 2330M vs i7 2640M

Tip:- It is best to replace a processor of certain wattage with the same wattage processor. The L1, L2, L3 cache can differ and it is good if high.

For Example– Intel core i3- 2320M requires a 35W power socket. Hence, I chose i7-2640M which also requires a 35W power socket.

Step 4: Just do it. This is how I upgraded my laptop processor

Dismantle your laptop, find the processor and replace it. There are plenty of YouTube videos that show how to dismantle a laptop correctly. Find your model.

upgrade laptop processor

You will require a toolset with mini/micro screw-drivers.

Don’t forget to apply thermal gel/paste.

Remember: You’ll have to install a new Graphics driver – for integrated Intel Graphics on your processor. It’s easy to search and find on intel’s website. Or, use their auto-update feature. I used that.

Here’s the Satisfying part after replacement. I’ve used Novabench to run tests.

Performance comparison of my laptop processor upgrade [Samsung NP300 E5Z]

Yep. An increase of 38% – in benchmark score. Of course, you can see the increase in RAM and Disk scores too. 😀

What about the real application test?

Honestly, it is not a super mind-blowing upgrade. Though the difference of this laptop CPU upgrade is definitely visible, it is not a huge leap either.

I feel I should have gone for a Quad-core processor but that was riskier. As a result, I would’ve risked both money and a laptop!. So, considering that, I am overall happy! 😀

Before and after of laptop processor upgrade (in my day to day activities)

  • On my Windows 10, boot up time, i.e., from windows logo to till I see login screen, it used to take 8 seconds before. Now it is 5 seconds!
  • The laptop fan doesn’t make the loud sound of cooling. It is very rare now and used to be more often before.
  • Applications like MS words, MS Excel etc open slightly faster.
  • Games like Counter-Strike GO and MK4 11 – Komplete edition etc feel more responsive and fluid.
  • Battery lasts at least 15 mins longer. (without battery saver).
  • Multi-tasking, multiple desktops are much more smoother
  • File transfers are a bit faster.

So, overall, it was totally worth it!! 👻

Have you ever considered changing your laptop’s processor? – tell me about it in the comments section.

Cheers,

🍻

close

Like Reading Smart Content?

Join hundreds of Smart Readers.


* Only new post notifications.
* No promotions, No spams whatsoever.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

By Shivanandana Hegde

Shivanandana Hegde is a data practitioner. He works with digital analytics and marketing gurus to optimize online sales and user experience; thus, empowering his clients across India and North America.

He has a keen interest in electronic devices, communication networks, and computing machines to access and manage information. He has published a number of blog posts and publications over the last decade.

23 replies on “How to upgrade laptop processor from i3 to i7 (or i5)”

Hey Shivanandana,

I too have same Samsung laptop, I am thinking of upgrade.

Your post looks informative and interesting

Can you please tell me if you are still experiencing improved performance? Basically is the effort and investment worth the effort?

Hi Ashutosh,
Thanks for the comment. It’s been about 6 months since I did this upgrade and I haven’t faced any issues so far. To your questions, yes. The performance is still better than the old i3 processor and it is consistent. If you are considering upgrade, don’t forget to replace HDD by SSD and that itself is a huge upgrade in speed and performance. All the best!

Hey,

I’ve followed all the steps but when i turn my laptop on the screen is black and everything else is working do you have any idea what would be the problem?

Check the connections again. While re-connecting everything, your screen/monitor’s bus seems to be not connected properly. You’ll have to re-open everything and check for small flat wire with plug-in end. Let me know if that worked.
If not, try replacing the processor again and see if that fixed the issue. That way, you’ll know that the processor is not compatible with motherboard.

Hi!
Very informative post!
Is very nice somrbody is carry on to use old laptop!
I have as well a np300e5x and i was willing to upgrade the cpu and the ram(currently a very old b820 and 6gb ram)
I think for the cpu your i7 will be fine as the models are very close as specs.
But i have a question for you, i was searching information about the maximum ram support from my laptop, and i found different version, someone is saying 8gb and somebody else is saying 16gb.
Do you have any idea which is the right answer?
Model is np300e5x.
Also after i replace the cpu i need to install anything? The drivers are already update to the latest.
Let me know!
Thank you

Hi Shiva

Thanks for the post. I am having HP 14q core i3 7th gen(cs0009TU). I have upgraded the ram to 12gb(from 4gb). Can I upgrade the processor to i7?
Can you please let me know if I can add any graphics card or not.

My wife use this laptop for graphics and video editing (photoshops, lightroom, after effect, illustrator, premier pro).

Thanks in advance.

Hi Sudipta,
Glad to have you as a reader! The first choice of upgrades for a laptop are SSD and RAM. Processor upgrade gets tricky and needs lots of due-diligence because every manufacturer has different configuration on their motherboard. I have a note which says if your motherboard/processor is of type ‘U’ then you’re not so lucky in this matter. Your laptop’s processor is “Intel® Core™ i3-7020 U”. So, No. Perhaps getting an SSD will give a boost! All the best!

Hi Shivanandana,

Glad to see your post about processor upgrade, I am having Dell ‘n’ series laptop with 6GB ram and i3 2350 M processor. I thought of upgrading my RAM and Processor, could you please suggest me the best fit?

Hi Shivanandana bhaiya I have an intel i3 process manufactured by hcl intel i3-2105 but I am not able to find whether it is U or M or QM, it is not written after the processor name and anywhere, where can I find it?. Please, help!

Hi Shivanandana,

great post, very informative and you have inspired me to try and upgrade my Samsung NP300E5A-A05DX Laptop, it currently has the i3-2350M processor but im looking at replacing this with either an i7-2620M or i7-2640M as they are the same 35W power, sandy bridge and G2 socket. Do you think either of these processors would work for me?
I have already upgraded my RAM to 8GB and replaced the original HDD for a 500GB SSD.

Hi Jordan,
Glad to know that you’re considering this upgrade. Yes. i7 2640M should work. You can always put your old processor back in case if the new one doesn’t work. So, it is worth giving a try. All the best!!

Hi shivananda a

Nice and informative post.

I have a samsung np300e5x-a08in laptop

How did you install two ssd one for os and one for storage?

HDD I understand was installed in place of dvddrive.

Hi Sarang, glad you liked the post. The second SSD is in place of CD/DVD drive. You will get CD/DVD to SSD port convertor on amazon. The trade off here is that you won’t be able to use CD/DVD anymore. For me, they are extinct. Who uses them these days anyways right? 🙂

Hi,
I need help with my laptop. Lenovo Ideapad 320-14isk.I know that it can be upgraded to HDD to SSD, and 4gb ram to 8gb ram. I wanted to know if I can upgrade i3 to i5/i7 as well. Please help. Thanks.

Hi ! Thanks for you experience.
Have you install a bios modded, for this upgrade?
I have the samsung np300e5c ,
with the bios P07RAC ,
South Bridge Intel HM75 rev 04,
North Bridge Intel Sandy Bridge rev 09.
Can I install cpu i7-2640M?

Hi shivanandana
I have dell laptop with intel -i5 1035g @1.00GHz to 1.19 Ghz can i upgrade this processor

Hi Shiva,
Your blog on upgrading the processor is really interesting.
You gave me a hope to upgrade my 2011 year Hp pavillion G6 laptop.
Please guide me to upgrade my intel core i3 , M380 @ 2.53Ghz
Suggest me the required upgradation please.
Thanks in advance,
Arunkumar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *