My *nix world

Upgrade laptop CPU

Do you ever wanted to upgrade laptop CPU but you was not sure if it's possible or didn't know how to do it?

So was I. I will tell you my story...

I had a HP Compaq 6820s laptop. Yes, it's a 2007 model but if you are a computer lover then a old computer is like an old car. Or like an old wine. Anyway, the idea is that for you it will be always like a brand new computer. Does it?

Well, the last statement it is very plausible and I will prove this right away.

My laptop came with a Intel T7250 processor and after upgrading the HDD I told myself "if I could upgrade laptop CPU...that will get the money worth".

The question that comes with a CPU upgrade are:

  • do you really need to upgrade laptop CPU? what are the reasons for changing in the first place?
  • does your motherboard support an superior CPU?
  • how much it will cost you? does the new CPU worth the money?
  • do you need a new (unused) CPU or you can live with a used one?

In my case I decided that I need to upgrade laptop CPU. I am a coder, I have the bad habit to compile frequently. I am also a Gentoo lover so I have to compile my system too.

The fastest CPU that my laptop motherboard supports is the Intel T9300. The (visible) differences between the two processors are:

  • 410 mil transistors instead of 291 mil
  • 2500 MHz versus 2000 MHz (~ 25% improvement in speed)
  • 6MB cache L2 instead of 2MB cache L2
  • Bus/Core Ratio is 12.5 instead of 10
  • Lithography of 45nm instead of 65nm (that's why it has more transistors on the same area)
  • T9300 consume less power and is more efficient than T7250

The Intel's recommended price for T9300 is 316$ but I found offers at 300$ on Anyway, 307$ means ~0.6$ for each additional MHz you will get. I think it does worth it. But do I need a new one? No, I can leave with a 2nd hand CPU as well.

I found an used one on for just 100$. I ordered it and three days later I received it. OK, let's use it!

First of all: you will need a thermal compound. Arctic Silver 5 seems to be the most recommended out there but I found a Spire SP-700 to the shop next door so for the moment I stick with this.

OK, now that we have our thermal compound I guess that we can start disassembling the laptop. Keep in mind that the procedure bellow applies only to HP Compaq 6820s. Other models might differ radically. So, let's get started:

  • shut down the computer (make sure it will not be set in hibernate/suspend mode)
  • disconnect the external devices (if any)
  • disconnect the power from the computer
  • remove the battery
  • remove the hard drive

upgrade laptop cpu

  • remove the optical drive (or the 2nd hard drive bay)

upgrade laptop cpu

  • remove the memory

upgrade laptop cpu

  • remove the wireless card

upgrade laptop cpu

  • remove the switch cover and keyboard

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  • remove the speaker
  • remove the display lid switch module

upgrade laptop cpu Upgrade laptop CPU

  • remove the display assembly
  • remove the top cover

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  • remove the cooler

upgrade laptop cpu

  • remove these components (the AC/DC - battery adapter and the HDD adapter connector)

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  • remove the system board

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  • turn the mainboard upside down, with the USB connectors toward you
  • turn the processor locking screw one-half turn counter-clockwise until you hear a click
  • lift the processor straight up and remove it

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  • at the end you show have you laptop spreads in parts; this is the bottom of what remains of it:

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Note: The thermal paste must be throughly cleaned from the surface of the heatsink and the processor, Northbridge chip and graphics subsystem memory each time the heat sink is removed.

upgrade laptop cpu

Note: When you install the new processor, the gold triangle on the processor must be aligned with the triangle embossed on the processor slot.

upgrade laptop cpu

Reverse the procedure when installing the new processor.

Now, if you think that this article was interesting don't forget to rate it. It shows me that you care and thus I will continue write about these things.

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Upgrade laptop CPU

Eugen Mihailescu

Founder/programmer/one-man-show at Cubique Software
Always looking to learn more about *nix world, about the fundamental concepts of math, physics, electronics. I am also passionate about programming, database and systems administration. 16+ yrs experience in software development, designing enterprise systems, IT support and troubleshooting.
Upgrade laptop CPU

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9 thoughts on “Upgrade laptop CPU

  1. Gango

    That is not curect, the hp compaq 6820s get with T2370 dual cpu, 1.73 ghz, with socket= PGA478 who it voding between 0.99v-1.30v only, and if i get the processor t9300 thin i need to socket with 1.075v-1.75v to working.

    1. Eugen Mihailescu Post author

      I made that upgrade 5 years ago and works like a charm! What do you mean "that is not correct" since it's working like 24/7 for more than 5 years? I just proved that it actually works 🙂

      1. Gango

        Well dear I believe you, but let me ask you something, now after five years can I use the better Proceser than the T9300 with the HP Compaq 6820s like T9900 please? Thank you

        1. Eugen Mihailescu Post author

          Download the Compaq 6820s Maintenance and Service Guide, go to the page 69 and check the official supported CPUs. I don't think T9900 is official supported. Furthermore, compare the T9300 with T9900 to see the difference between them. They work at a slightly different VID voltage (but it would work), have different bus speed (watch overclocking!), fortunate enough support the same socket (so it would fit).

          So the main problem I see is that they use different bus speed. What this means is that by using a T9900 on the 6820s motherboard the T9900 would work at the motherboard clock multiplier (which I guess is 3.246) multiplied by its FSB (ie. 1066MHz) and thus its maximum achieved speed would be 1066Mhz * 3.246 ~ 3.46GHz > 3.06GHz. So you would end-up by overclocking the CPU to 113% which might be OK with an adequate CPU cooler.

          I'm not an expert in this subject but I hope the above would make sense.

          1. Gango

            Thank you dear, i will take your the first advice, i mean a t9300 i hope it works, when I take it, I'll come back again, that mean after 10 days!
            If it did not works, you must thin to pay to me ?

          2. Eugen Mihailescu Post author

            All I can do for you is to wish you good luck with your project. As for to pay you in case your project doesn't work, well, I cannot stop you dreaming, can I? 🙂

  2. Gango

    I'm back again sir, I've been successfully upgraded and now it's works like a charm!? , thanks for your encouragement.
    Now I have another thing!
    A few days ago I bought a TP-LINK model: TL-PA4010 router, but I could not find the antenna in the board because I want to put an external antenna on it. Do you have any interest in this field? Or maybe you can help me, because I searched but could not find anything، thank you sir.

  3. Sebi

    Salut Eugen, am si eu 6820s l-am demontat sa il curat de praf si am zis daca tot e desfacut sa schimb si pasta termoconductoare, am vazut ca se poate upgrada procesorul, rami si cu un ssd e mai ceva ca si cand a fost nou, problema e cu placa video ati 1350, dupa ce am instalat windows 10 am avut probleme cu driverul la placa video, am reusit pana la urma dar cu greu, este cumva posibl sa faci upgarde la placa video?

    1. Eugen Mihailescu Post author

      Nu poti upgrada cardul grafic la 6820s deoarece este integrat in placa de baza. In teorie se poate (demontezi/unsolder cardul vechi, sudezi/solder unul nou si compatibil, upgradezi BIOS-ul), in practica sansele sunt minime. Ia cu putina sare sfatul asta, nu sunt vreun specialist, dar asa vad eu treaba.

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