How to Upgrade My Dell Laptop Processor

By Ty Arthur

Upgrading a laptop's processor provides faster computing speeds.
i cpu 1 image by Robert Molnar from

If your Dell laptop isn't providing the same software installation and run speeds with newer programs, it may be time for a system upgrade. Rather than buying a newer laptop you can save money and learn about the inner workings of your laptop by upgrading the central processing unit. To upgrade the existing processor with a different model you must first disassemble several components that block access to the processor socket.

Shut down the Dell's operating system and push down the display lid into the closed position. Unplug the AC power adapter and any other cables attached to the Dell laptop.

Rotate the laptop so that it is face down and set it on a flat work surface such as a desk or table. Push the release latch into its unlocked position and then lift the battery up and out of the Dell's case.

Locate the hard drive cover at the bottom end of the case. Remove the screw from the cover with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Lift off the cover and then slide the metal hard drive unit out of the Dell laptop.

Rotate the laptop again so that it is face up. Open the display lid to 180 degrees. Pry off the plastic locking strip above the keyboard by sliding a flathead screwdriver under its seam and then lifting upward.

Check to see if your Dell laptop model has screws at the top of the keyboard or if it uses a locking tab instead. Remove the screws if they are present. If there are no screws, place the edge of the flathead screwdriver underneath the blank key at the lower right end of the keyboard and then lift upward.

Grab the top edge of the keyboard. Lift the keyboard up and then lay it gently face-down on the Dell's palm rest area.

Locate the cooling assembly that covers the processor at the right end of the Dell's motherboard. Push down the assembly's retaining clips and then lift it off the processor.

Insert the tip of the flathead screwdriver into the locking screw located below the Dell's processor. Turn the screw counterclockwise until the processor unlocks from its socket.

Lift the processor directly upward to avoid bending any of its pins. Set the new processor onto the socket and push down until it locks into place. Turn the locking screw clockwise.

Reassemble the Dell laptop's components in the same order they were removed and then turn on the operating system.