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Windows 7: upgrade from i3 to i5/i7

21 Oct 2010   #1

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
upgrade from i3 to i5/i7

i hav a 7 month old sony vaio (VPCEB26FG) with an i3 350M processor. my dad has an hp pavillion dv6tse with i5 540M and my sister has hp envy 14 with i7 720QM, both purchased in the last month. i wish to swap either of the processors (i7>i5) with mine.

i hav no experience. please tell me if its possible. is it complicated? will it have any improvement in the moderngames like dirt2. (i know they are gpu dependent but since the gpu doesnt change im just asking for the improvement.)

will it affect the 2 year warranty that we have?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM + SP1

Hello Spearhead121, welcome to the forums,

From what i know, this will not be possible. Laptop's are very different from desktop's with regards to upgrading. HDD and Ram are fine as today's laptops allow this but as for CPU's, this gets very different.

First, the manufacturer has to have allowed this during the design of the laptop. If they do allow this then i am afraid it will only be the same model i.e. 15 for a later i5 and i7 for a later i7. you cannot mix i.e. i5 in an i7 or an i7 in an i5.

Further more, i7 and i5/i3 use completely different sockets.

So with regards to your question, plain and simply... No.

I am afraid you will have to save your money and buy a new laptop.

Also, to play games like dirt 2, you will need a dedicated graphics chip. If its intel, then i am afraid that will not be any good and you most probably suffer lagging and stuttering. If its a low end ATI or Nvidia then you could be in luck, but you may have to play on lower settings.

Hope this helps

Edit: I don't believe HP would allow you to upgrade as they just want you to buy newer hardware anyway. You may get away with upgrading your Sony to a faster i3 , but thats it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

You would also be voiding your warranty on any of those machines you try to swap the CPU on. If you really want to play games on your laptop, you need to have that in mind when choosing one. Sony's also happen to be among the most over-priced, under-powered laptops available, so I'd stay far far away from them in the future. You could also sell your laptop on Ebay or something like that, and buy something more powerful, from a brand like HP or Dell that will give you more for the money.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Oct 2010   #4

windows 7 home premium 64 bit

thanx for the info guys..

i hav 5650 ati card n it plays all games great at medium/high and some at ultra settings. i dont hav any problem as of now.. i just wanted to improve the already fine performance.

also i was thinking of swaping the hard disk with my sisters. the idea i hav in mind is that by swapping hard drives, i would get new hardware (beter cpu) with my own files and settings. will that be of any help?

"You may get away with upgrading your Sony to a faster i3 , but thats it. "

did you mean that if i can find a laptop with an i3 380M, i can very easily swap it with my 350M?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Swapping HDs between machines /can/ work if your careful, but there is a chance you will have to do a repair install or even a complete reinstall.

I've had good luck with swapping drives and booting into safe mode right away. Windows swaps out the basic MB drivers and if it boots up, you then reboot into normal mode and reinstall the higher level drivers like video and sound. But it's dicey...

If both laptops are running Windows 7 it would probably be better to just swap your personal files and data (Can use the "Transfer programs and settings wizard")
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #6

W7 Professional x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by spearhead121 View Post
...did you mean that if i can find a laptop with an i3 380M, i can very easily swap it with my 350M?
That depends on your technical skill level, and will also void your warranty. I'm certain that on a Vaio you will need to disassemble the laptop down to the board, remove the heatsink, and swap the processor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 64-bit Home

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Luckystar View Post
Further more, i7 and i5/i3 use completely different sockets.
i thought only the i7 9XX's were 1366, the rest of them should be 1156.. unless its totally different in laptops, which is very possible

@spearhead121: as a few people here have hinted at, in my opinion, swapping any hardware (besides maybe hard drive and memory) on a laptop, especially a processor would be ill advised. laptops are mostly proprietary which means that the companies purposely design the hardware to only work in that machine. there is little chance it would be a smooth transition from one machine to another. another thing to think about is that the i3 is a relatively decent gaming processor, you were correct when you said that games are GPU dependant. going from an i3 to an i7 with the same GPU i'd be willing to bet that you would be hard pressed to notice a difference in most games.

summary - dont swap processors with your sister or dad
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #8

windows 7 home premium 64 bit

thanx guys for the quick replies.. i guess il wait for 2-3 years n buy a 6 cored or proly 8 cored laptop
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2010   #9


CPU socket - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Manufacturers are generally not so vindictive as to create a unique bios locked to the hardware in each individual machine. On most laptops you can upgrade the CPU with any of the alternatives available with the BIOS for that laptop.. which usually covers several model #s from the same manufacturer. I've done it myself several times, most recently upgrading a core i3 350 to a core i7 840QM in a dell studio. But don't try it yourself if you're not comfortable taking apart laptops and have never replaced a CPU before or it's quite possible for you to end up with an expensive doorstop
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit

Further more, i7 and i5/i3 use completely different sockets.
No they don't. As can be seen here, these i3, i5, and i7 CPUs all use the LGA 1156 socket. What may be confusing is there is an i7 version that uses the LGA 1366 socket.

As far as swapping all these CPUs around, for one, if I were your sister or dad, I would not allow it. Life is not fair. Oh well. But also, laptops are very proprietary - meaning parts are not interchangeable as they are with PCs. It is very likely each notebook is designed for the power requirements, AND cooling requirements, of the components inside. If you install the i7 in the i3 machine, for example, the power demands of the more powerful CPU may overtax the power supply and regulator circuits of the motherboard, or the cooling may not be adequate. So for notebooks, such modifications are likely to void the warranty of one machine or the other - or all of them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 upgrade from i3 to i5/i7

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