How to Upgrade the Processor for an Acer Laptop
By Andrew Aarons
There are a few things to consider before cracking open your laptop and popping in a new processor. If your system's warranty is expired, there's no harm in having a go yourself. But if you're still under warranty, adding new hardware will certain void it. Find a visual guide for disassembling your specific machine (see Resources). Not all laptops are created (or assembled) equal, so the steps for taking them apart will vary somewhat.
Purchase your new CPU, being sure to check compatibility with your motherboard. Before changing anything on your system, get all of the system details from your manual or from Acer's website. You'll need to be absolutely sure your new processor is compatible with your system's motherboard. Most Acer systems use AMD parts, and therefore most AMD CPUs are compatible. But verify this. Call Acer if you need to. The company won't walk you through a CPU replacement (unless it's a warranty-supported issue), but Acer can certainly tell you which CPUs are compatible with your system.
Follow a guide to opening your laptop system. The Repair for Laptop website (see Resources) has a long list of photo-based upgrade, repair and disassembly guides for Acer Notebooks. Search for your system in the list provided. Most of these guides are specific to a certain replacement (display assembly or memory, for example), but show you the method for removing the laptop's casing and accessing the motherboard. You can also check the Acer support site for your system's specific user guide. Most Acer user manuals (see Resources) include a section called "Key Component Upgrades," which sometimes explain how to upgrade your processor.
Remove the old CPU according to the specific instructions for your system. As a general guideline, lift with equal pressure on two sides of the processor chip to avoid bending any of the pins. Remove your new CPU from its anti-static protective wrap and line up the pins careful before pushing gently on the CPU to install it.
Reassemble your notebook and turn it on. Compatible CPUs will load automatically after a few beeps and reboots, which happen automatically. Your operating system will automatically detect the new CPU and make performance adjustments.
- Touch metal or use an antistatic strap to remove static from your body before handling electronic parts, which can become damaged from static electricity.
Living in Canada, Andrew Aarons has been writing professionally since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ottawa, where he served as a writer and editor for the university newspaper. Aarons is also a certified computer-support technician.