Upgrading Laptop CPU?

13
Found 8th May 2012
Hello

Was just curious about whether it is possible to one day upgrade my 1st Gen XPS 17 (L701X) with a Intel Core i7 @ 1.87GHz CPU to a newer i7? My XPS has the motherboard with the 4 RAM slots.

Unfortunately I don't have the 2nd Gen Sandybridge XPS, and I presume it will never be possible to upgrade the CPU to a sandybridge, but would it at least be possible to put a faster Clarksfield CPU in it? There doesn't seem to be much info on the net about this.

I'm thinking in the future that I may want to futureproof my laptop so just curious if this is possible. Unfortunately the GPU will never be able to be upgraded, but I was aware of this before I bought the laptop.

Thanks in advanced for any info.
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13 Comments
I will try and find an old thread on notebookreview about it, it can be done.
realblender

(yes it is possible, just get the service manual from the dell website … (yes it is possible, just get the service manual from the dell website with step by step instructions. CPU compatibility is linked to bios and so look what dell have offered in this laptop)



Some how I do not think the cpu in a consumer upgradable part that they would provide instructions for upgrading,
Original Poster
realblender

hasnt this already got cooling / fan noise issues? or was that the 501


My one seems ok. Actually just replaced the cooling paste on the CPU and GPU earlier today. Was a shoddy pasting job Dell did and after a cleaned the crust off and applied some arctic silver 5, it seems to have dropped a couple degrees already. (around 44% on idle and 70% on absolute full load on all cores.)

However, I did hear that the earlier XPS models overheated bigtime (mainly due to the nvidia graphics card in it)
Original Poster
Thanks for all the help guys. I'm glad to hear that this is possible. Any ideas where to get the correct processor from though? Not sure I'll need to specifically get a laptop one or not.
Original Poster
What's the absolute best CPU I could get for my first gen XPS 17?
Original Poster
Oops... Well I guess that's a good thing then.

Is the Core i7-940XM not compatable then because it's 55w rather than 45w like the 840QM?
To be the negative voice in all of this, I don't think even if you could upgrade it that it would be both all the effort. When I had to repair a laptop just the disassembly and reassembly was a total nightmare. OP is the something you are looking for run on your laptop or is it just being sluggish?
Original Poster
Opened and repasted my CPU and GPU today, and it crossed my mind that it should he easy enough for me to upgrade the CPU. Was just enquiring so I know in the future once these processors get cheap, whether it'll be possible.

No problems running anything, as the graphics card is the main drawback if wanting to play games on very high settings. But I just figured one of the higher end i7 would, in the future, provide a fairly decent boost.
Laptop CPU upgrades are easy, and i don't understand why more people don't so it. For me, for example, it worked out that I could buy a laptop with a previous generation 1.8ghz CPU, and upgrade it to one based on a newer core architecture, smaller process, and clocked nearly a gigahert faster for about half what Dell wanted for the same upgrade. It was an easy upgrade job, and i didn't bother looking up any service manuals or compatabilty guides, reasoning instead that any chip with the same socket and bus speeds would, in theory, be compatible. I was right, and if I was wrong, I would've had my dsr rights to get me a refund.

So, yeah. I definitely recommend trying the upgrade. Look up the list of i7 chips on Wikipedia, your laptop will probably support anything from the same family. If you want to be safe, Dell's part BOM'er lists compatible parts, so phone tech support and ask them to look it up for you.
dxx

Laptop CPU upgrades are easy, and i don't understand why more people … Laptop CPU upgrades are easy, and i don't understand why more people don't so it. For me, for example, it worked out that I could buy a laptop with a previous generation 1.8ghz CPU, and upgrade it to one based on a newer core architecture, smaller process, and clocked nearly a gigahert faster for about half what Dell wanted for the same upgrade. It was an easy upgrade job, and i didn't bother looking up any service manuals or compatabilty guides, reasoning instead that any chip with the same socket and bus speeds would, in theory, be compatible. I was right, and if I was wrong, I would've had my dsr rights to get me a refund.So, yeah. I definitely recommend trying the upgrade. Look up the list of i7 chips on Wikipedia, your laptop will probably support anything from the same family. If you want to be safe, Dell's part BOM'er lists compatible parts, so phone tech support and ask them to look it up for you.



You have opened my eyes, I did not know lappy upgrades were very popular, I have one I need to fix soon so maybe it will be worth a go.
mogsog

You have opened my eyes, I did not know lappy upgrades were very popular, … You have opened my eyes, I did not know lappy upgrades were very popular, I have one I need to fix soon so maybe it will be worth a go.



Oh, the concept isn't popular at all. A few people are happy enough to upgrade the RAM or swap the harddisk with an SSD, but very few people are comfortable with upgrading the CPU. I guess its kind-of daunting a task to most people, but really, it's a very simple process. With my Dell Vostro, it's just a case of removing one of the base panels, unscrewing four screws to take the heatsink off, unlocking the CPU socket by turning a screw through 90 degrees, taking the old CPU out, and swapping the new one in. Five minute job, really.

But yeah dude, I'd recommend it to you and anybody. There is the annoying pitfall in the sense that it's all pretty poorly documented (like, I really took a gamble when I bought my T9300, because the chip comes in two socket formats and there's no obvious way to tell them apart, and I'd have handed my Vostro's original 1.8GHz chip down to my 1.6GHz Acer if it wasn't for the fact that there's a single pin moved in the Acer's socket M that makes it incompatible with the Vostro chip's Socket P), but with some rational thinking, you'll be totally fine.
Original Poster
The XPS 17 is rather difficult, as you need to remove more or less everything to get to the CPU. But with a bit of patience and care it can be done easily enough, albeit time consuming.

Wouldn't mind trying to upgrade my HP Pavillion DV1000, and in particular my Dell Inspiron 6400. With the latter though, the core 2 duos do seem to be quite expensive still and I'm not sure what will be compatable.
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