Thursday, 25 December 2014

Replace An I5 With An I7

Boost performance with a CPU upgrade.

The Intel "iCore" processors were released in 2010. There are three versions of this processor: the i3 dual-core, i5 quad-core, and the i7 quad-core with hyper-threading. Hyper-threading provides four virtual cores, so the computer sees eight cores. The first generation of these processors uses Socket 1366 and 1156 motherboards, and is not interchangeable. The second generation Sandy-Bridge processors use the Socket 1155 motherboard and are not interchangeable. You can get a significant performance boost by replacing your i5 with an i7 processor, and do it in less than an hour.


1. Turn off the computer. Remove the power cord from the power supply. Disconnect all devices that are connected to the computer. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the two screws from the rear of the left -- as you look at the computer -- side cover. Slide the cover back and remove it.

2. Lay the computer on its right side so you can look down into the case. Before reaching into the case, touch an unpainted part of the case to prevent any static discharge. Trace the power cord from the cooling fan on the CPU heatsink to the motherboard. Disconnect the cord from the motherboard.

3. Locate the four push-pins that hold the heatsink assembly onto the motherboard. Note the orientation of the heatsink assembly so you can put in back in the same position. Carefully pull out on the pins until they disengage from the holes in the motherboard. Lift the heatsink assembly from the CPU.

4. Disengage the load plate that retains the CPU. Move the arm on the side of the plate a little bit to the side to unhook it from the plate and lift up the arm. This will lift the load plate up halfway. Gently grab the plate and rotate it until it is even with the arm.

5. Note the position of the CPU in the socket. There are two notches in the CPU that match two tabs in the upper portion of the load plate. Carefully lift out the i5 CPU. Use a paper towel dampened with isopropyl alcohol to clean the thermal paste from the top of the CPU. Clean the base of the heatsink assembly in the same manner.

6. Gently lower the i7 CPU straight down onto the socket. Be careful not to bend any of the fragile pins on the socket. Make sure the notches are in the same position as the old CPU. Make sure the CPU is seated flat on the socket. Lower the load plate and arm over the CPU. The end of the arm will fit into the end of the plate to lock it into position.

7. Place a dab of thermal paste -- about the size of a small pea -- on top of the CPU. Line up the pins on the heatsink assembly with the holes on the motherboard and lower the heatsink onto the CPU. Push one of the heatsink pins into the motherboard until you hear a "click" that tells you the pin has fully engaged the hole in the motherboard. Push in the pin directly across -- not next to -- the pin you just installed. Repeat for the other two pins.

8. Plug the fan connector into the motherboard. Note that it will only go in one way. The motherboard has a tab that fits into a slot on the connector.

9. Stand up the computer. Reconnect any devices that you removed. Plug the power cord back into the power supply. Turn on the computer. Make sure the fan is running. Turn off the computer. Reinstall the side cover.

Tags: heatsink assembly, load plate, cord from, Make sure, power cord, Turn computer