Can I upgrade my laptop processor from i5 to i7

If you have an i5 laptop processor the question “Can I upgrade my laptop processor from i5 to i7” can always peek on your mind. So is it really possible?

Yes, it is possible to upgrade your laptop processor, but practically it is difficult. It is difficult because the position of the CPU and the motherboard. They are place one upon other. That’s why it becomes difficult to go on with the process.

In this article I will try to provide a perfect answer for the most common query i.e. can I upgrade my computer processor.

You will find that most people will claim, it is not possible to upgrade CPU due to the placement of the CPU in the chipset in the motherboard. 

We will look into all the possible methods of upgrading, and we will also see why it is not common. To be honest, if you are running an Intel or AMD powered processor and facing lag issues, it is the most practical decision to upgrade the processor. 

Upgrading the processor is a piece of cake on the desktop when you compare it with the laptop. 

Why is it difficult to upgrade the processor in laptops?

The way the CPU is mounted in the motherboard of laptops makes it difficult for the desktop. The socket can be easily detached from the CPU in the case of desktops; however, when it comes to laptops CPU is soldered with its socket, so you can not detach it. 

But surprisingly, there are only a few laptops that allow you to remove processors like Acer Predator 21x, but the reality is that they will cost you like hell. 

The majority of the laptops have BGA (Ball Grid Array) socket in them. In the BGA socket, the processer is soldered into the socket, making it difficult to upgrade. 

So, you can not upgrade your processor until your model supports it. 

Why does it happen?

Because of the way the CPU is mounted, let’s dig deep and find out more about the CPU mounting methods. 

CPU is mounted with the socket in mainly three ways:

Can you upgrade a laptop processor from i5 to i7?

If your device has BGA surface mounts, the general concept is that it can not be upgraded or replaced. The small solder balls in the processor get SOLDERED with small solder pads in the motherboard, making them permanent.

Many experts can upgrade or replace BGA based i5 processors to i7, which includes high risk, expensive equipment and a super high level of expertise. 

In very rare cases, if your laptop has LGA or PGA surface, you can try processor upgrade from i3 to i5 or from i5 to i7 if they have the same sockets. 

How to figure out whether your CPU is LGA, PGA or BGA?

Just to recap, CPUs that are LGA or PGA can be upgraded to their newer version but in one condition. The condition is that the socket should be the same for the later and newer version. 

If both the newer and older processors have different socket pins, then they will not fit. 

But how to know the answer of can I upgrade your laptop processor? The best and the easy way to figure out is checking the surface mount. You can check the surface-mount of your CPU by heading over to its specs. 

For your convenience, here are some examples. 

For the first example, let’s assume Intel core i5 10310U. It has a socket FCBGA1582 for any particular laptop. Here you can see BGA or Ball Grid Array is within the socket name. So here, we can conclude that this processor is not upgradeable. 

How to upgrade CPU socket and laptop processor – A Possible upgrade example

So you may think how can I upgrade my laptop processor from i5 to i7 perfectly. So for your ease, here is an example of a possible upgrade. 

For example, you have a laptop with Intel Core i5-3210M of 3rd generation. It has dual-core, and four threads are working in it. Upon further research, you will find out the socket type used in i5-3210M is FCPGA988. It has 988 pins in it. 

Now search for an i7 processor of 3rd generation. But remember, it must use the same FCPGA988 socket. You will find it on google. Other than this, you can search for the same laptop version with an i7 processor. Check if the socket is detachable or not. 

So as per my research, you can use the Intel Core i7-3630QM of 3rd generation. It is a quad-core processor. This one uses your desired socket. The socket is detachable. So it is a good option for you. 

TDP concerns about the upgrade

The next step in upgrading is checking the TDP. Upgrading the processor is not a very easy task. That’s why we always recommend you do it under the supervision of an experienced person. 

Now here we have to check out whether your laptop is capable of bearing the amount of heat produced by the newer processor. Otherwise, it can cause severe damage. 

TDP is the measure of how much heat is generated and the amount of power consumed by the CPU. TDP stands for Thermal Design Power. 

So before opting for any processor, check your device’s heat exhaustion capacity. 

What are the disadvantages of upgrading from Intel Core i5 to i7?

Now I hope you have got the answer of Can I upgrade my laptop processor. As you get a lot of advantages on upgrading your processor, here comes some of the disadvantages too.

The first and most important is you will void your brand new laptop’s brand warranty as soon as you upgrade the processor. 

If you do not find a laptop that has good heat exhaustion capacity, then it is better not to upgrade the processor. Otherwise there, you will face a lot of heat issues. 

No one can provide you with a guarantee that the Intel Core i7 will work fine on your device. It may or may not be performing with its full potential. Sometimes it is also recommended to have a BIOS update. It will help the system applications to be compatible with the new modules. 

I7 draws too much power from the laptop. Due to this, your battery life will be hampered, and the battery backup may get shortened. 

The price of a compatible i7 processor with the correct socket and all specifications may be high. You will buy that without any assurance that it would work fine. 

Is it worth it?

The plain and simple answer to this question is YES. Absolutely it is worth upgrading your CPU from i5 to i7. 

From previous experience, I can assure you that you will see a sudden uplift in the day-to-day performance. We know the struggle behind it is big, but the results are outstanding. 

So now the question comes how much performance upliftment can you expect from it. 

If you are capable of upgrading the laptop processor perfectly, then almost 3x upliftment can be seen in it. 

But, it is too technical. If you want to skip the technical part, it is better to invest your money and buy a better laptop.  Check out some of the best laptops for nursing students here.


What’s the Difference Between an i5 and an i7 Processor?

The biggest difference between an i5 and an i7 processor is the amount of cache memory. An i5 processor has 4MB of cache memory, while an i7 processor has 8MB. Additionally, an i7 processor has a higher clock speed than an i5 processor.

Is Upgrading to an i7 Processor Worth the Cost?

The cost of upgrading to an i7 processor will vary depending on the make and model of your laptop and the retailer you purchase from. Overall, upgrading to an i7 processor is a good investment if you frequently use resource-intensive applications or multitask.

What are the risks of upgrading my laptop processor from an i5 to an i7?

There are a few risks to consider when upgrading your laptop processor from an i5 to an i7. First, you may void your laptop’s warranty by performing the upgrade yourself. Secondly, if you’re not comfortable working with computer hardware, you may want to hire a professional to perform the upgrade for you. Finally, there’s always a risk that something could go wrong during the upgrade process, which could damage your laptop.


Upgrading your laptop always comes with some risk factors. But that does not mean that you can not opt for upgrading it. 

I would suggest you upgrade your laptop processor if and only if your laptop supports it. What you can do is open an excel sheet and jot down all the specs of your laptop on one side. Next, write down the specs of the processor in which you want to upgrade on another side.

It will help you a lot. This article also helps you to know about how to speed up the processor on laptop. Follow this article step by step and check each and every step which I have mentioned. I hope you do not feel any difficulties. 
If you want to know more about gaming laptops and processors check out our article HERE.

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