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Updating processor

Article Summary. Part 1 of Understand how processors and motherboards work. Your computer's motherboard is essentially one large circuit board which provides the base into which you'll plug your computer's other components, including the processor. Since processors' sizes and connectors vary depending on the model, you will need to ensure that your selected processor works with your current motherboard.

Know your computer's limitations. While you can upgrade virtually all Windows desktop processors and motherboards, upgrading a laptop's processor is often impossible; even if your laptop model supports changing the processor, doing so is a tricky process that is more likely to harm your computer than help it. Find your computer's motherboard model. While you can use Command Prompt to find your motherboard's basic information, using a free service called Speccy will allow you to see vital information about your motherboard e.

Determine the type of processor socket used by your motherboard. If you're using Speccy to find your motherboard's information, you'll click the CPU tab and look at the "Package" heading to determine the socket. You can click the Motherboard tab and then review the "Chipset" heading to see your processor's chipset, though the service you'll use to check processor compatibility usually determines this for you.

If you decided not to use Speccy, you can enter your motherboard's name and model number, followed by "socket" and "chipset", into a search engine and search through the results. Alternately, you can almost always find the socket type listed on the motherboard around the cpu socket. Find processors which match your motherboard. Click the Choose Socket drop-down box, then select your motherboard's socket number. Click the Choose Chipset drop-down box, then click chipset number usually, there is only one number here.

Find a new motherboard to match your processor if necessary. Click the Choose Processor Series drop-down box, then select your processor's name. Click the Choose Model drop-down box, then click your processor's model. Buy your processor. Now that you know which processors will work with your computer's motherboard, you can select the one best-suited to your price range, computational needs, and region. Always shop around to find the best deal.

You may be able to find the same processor for significantly less online than in a store. If you're buying a new motherboard as well, make sure you compare different website and store prices before ordering it. Part 2 of Turn off and unplug your computer. Before you move or open up your computer, make sure that it is both turned off and unplugged from any power sources. Place your computer on its side. Doing so will give you access to the PC's side panel. Remove the side panel.

Some cases will require you to unscrew the side panel, while other cases only need you to unclamp or slide off the side panel. Ground yourself. This will prevent accidental static electricity discharge. Since static can completely ruin sensitive computer components such as the motherboard, you'll want to make sure you remain grounded throughout the entire installation process. Locate the motherboard.

The motherboard resembles a circuit board with various wires attached to it. In most cases, you'll find the motherboard resting on the bottom of the tower. You may find the motherboard perched against the side of the case instead.

Remove the current heat sink. The heat sink is mounted on top of the motherboard, and usually has a large fan on top of it. To remove the heat sink, you may have to unclip it from the motherboard, unscrew it, or slide it out. Since each heat sink has a different design—and, thus, a different installation process—you'll need to consult your heat sink's instruction manual for model-specific removal steps. Check your current processor's fit. You'll have to install your new processor using the same fit as the current one, so knowing which direction the processor is facing will help you install it correctly the first time.

Skip this step and the next one if you're removing your motherboard. Remove the current processor. Carefully lift the processor, which resembles a square chip, out of its space on the motherboard. Install your new motherboard if necessary. If you're installing a new motherboard, remove the current one from the housing, then install the new one according to its installation instructions if necessary. You'll then need to hook up your computer's various components to the motherboard.

Plug in your new processor. Your processor should only fit into the slot one way, so don't force it; just gently place the processor in its slot and check to make sure that it's level. If the processor is tilted or won't seat properly, try rotating 90 degrees until it does fit. Try not to touch the connectors on the bottom of the processor, as doing so may harm the processor. Reinstall the heat sink. Place a dot of thermal paste on top of the processor, then reattach the heat sink to its mount on the motherboard.

The thermal paste on top of the processor should bridge the gap between your processor and your heat sink. Tip: The thermal paste dot should be no larger than a grain of rice. Plug back in any unplugged components. Depending on your computer's orientation, you may have unplugged a cable or two during the installation process.

If so, make sure you reconnect them to your motherboard before proceeding. This especially applies if you installed a new motherboard. Reassemble and run your computer. Once your computer's put back together and plugged back in, you can boot up your computer and click through any setup menus which appear. Since Windows will need to download and install new drivers for your processor, you will most likely be prompted to restart your computer after it finishes starting up.

Luigi Oppido. Laptop processors are dependent on the motherboard. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 0. While it is possible to upgrade a laptop processor, it's less straightforward than with a PC; you need to be sure the laptop motherboard has the right socket for the upgraded processor.

Depending on the age of your laptop, this might be tricky. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Usually, no. If you have overclocked your older processor, or you would like to overclock the new one, then yes, you will need to change some settings. But in most cases, the BIOS will adjust itself automatically, if there is anything to adjust in the first place. Yes, you can simply change the CPU. Files are not stored within the CPU, it is a processor of information. Data is stored within the hard drives and partly the RAM sticks.

Not Helpful 7 Helpful Not really, because data is stored on the hard drive of your computer, but you need to make sure your processor is compatible with your motherboard. Not Helpful 2 Helpful There might be some incompatibility between the motherboard and the new processor, or the restart might be caused by overheating of the processor.

The good news is that swapping out a CPU is not very difficult, provided you have all the right information and tools at your disposal. In fact, there's a good chance you'll spend more time prepping for the process than you will spend actually upgrading the processor. With that in mind, here are a few simple steps for choosing and installing a brand-new CPU for your favorite gaming or productivity PC. Bear in mind that we took these photos with an Intel processor; installing or replacing an AMD processor will involve a slightly different process.

Nothing will stop your CPU upgrade in its tracks faster than finding out that your computer can't support your new processor. The bad news is that this requires a lot of research up front to confirm what will and won't work; the good news is that there are lots of resources online to help you with that research. This resource lets you look up your motherboard, then examine which Intel and AMD chips will work with it. My best advice is just to dive in and stick to the broad strokes.

Are your motherboard and CPU compatible? Then you don't need to sweat the minutiae. For the record, in order to find out what kind of motherboard you have, go into the Windows search bar and type "msinfo Someone will almost certainly help out, as long as you ask nicely. I admit that I'm a little superstitious about this, but my philosophy is this: If you're going to swap out a computer part, back up anything that you can't bear to lose first.

Theoretically, swapping out your CPU should not affect your hard drive at all, even if you botch the process beyond all hope of repair. Take heart; this is very hard to do. However, there are simply a lot of factors at play every time you crack open your computer case, and you'll be glad you backed up your files if you run afoul of static electricity, or screwdriver slippage, or some well-meaning pet knocking the whole system down a flight of stairs.

So take a few minutes and save your files externally. You can upload them to a USB stick or hard drive — or you can employ one of the best cloud backup services to save your files online. Think of BIOS as your motherboard's operating system — the software that runs the computer if you don't have Windows or Linux installed. However, your BIOS version is extremely important, since it can influence settings like voltage and hardware compatibility. Unfortunately, there's no catch-all guide to updating your BIOS, as it really depends on what kind of system you have.

Newer systems might have software packages built right into Windows; older systems might need you to download software to your hard drive and track it down during a restart. If you haven't updated your BIOS in a few years , you may even have to upgrade to every version in-between yours and the current one first. As with many things, the best solution is to Google " your motherboard BIOS update" and see what comes up. Just be absolutely sure that you don't accidentally try to update your system with a similarly named BIOS program.

The best-case scenario is that it won't work; the worst-case scenario is that it will brick your computer. In order to upgrade your CPU, you'll need a soft cloth, paper towels, rubbing alcohol and thermal paste. You'll almost certainly need a screwdriver, although what kind depends on how your heatsink and computer case are secured. I got by just fine with a small Phillips head; your needs may vary. You can also wear an anti-static band if you want to play things really safe.

Personally, I found it easier to just ground myself every so often. You can do this with anything, from a sink faucet to the outside of your computer case, so long as it's made of metal. Similarly, you'll want a hard surface on which to work, such as a workbench, or even a hardwood floor. You should probably clean said section of floor first. A bowl to hold loose screws never hurt anyone, either.

Avoid rugs and carpets; take your socks off if you're especially superstitious, and don't wear a fuzzy sweater. Unsurprisingly, you've got to open up your PC before you do any work inside of it. Apologies for the absolute mess of wires inside mine; you keep things as clean as you can, but at a certain point, you just accept the chaos for what it is.

Since you've opened up your computer, it never hurts to grab a can of compressed air and blow the dust out of everything. The heatsink is the part of your computer that connects to your processor on one end, and your fan on the other end. You may also have a simple fan instead. The heatsink's function is to collect and dissipate heat generated by the CPU.

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Contact your system or motherboard manufacturer before upgrading your desktop processor. Your manufacturer is familiar with your system specifications and the different upgrade options available, and they can tell you which processors your system or motherboard supports. Even if your processor and motherboard socket match, it's critical to make sure that your motherboard BIOS supports your new processor. Older motherboards frequently don't have BIOS support for newer processors.

Lack of BIOS support for your processor can cause the system to not boot or display erratic behavior. Another upgrade consideration is that faster processors, and processors with more cores, can also affect the temperature of your system. You need to make sure your chassis and thermal solution work with your upgrade from a thermal perspective.

Contact support. Characters remaining: We appreciate all feedback, but cannot reply or give product support. Please do not enter contact information. If you require a response, contact support. Safari Chrome Edge Firefox. Support Navigation Support. Support Home Processors. But what a processor you get in return. The Core I7 X is, of course, a six-core beast. But this is six-cores Intel style, so that's two threads per core and a dozen of those little green graphs when you fire up task manager.

That's unparalleled, er, parallelism in a PC processor. It may have six cores. But each is single-threaded only. Moreover, AMD's underlying CPU architecture is pretty ancient while the Intel Core i7 X is literally the latest thing, right down to is impossibly tiny 32nm underpinnings.

What it isn't however, is unique. The recently released Core i7 is largely the same six-core, thread processor at a slightly less offensive price point. Read the full Intel Core i7 X review. Ready or not, here they come. Intel is rolling out a thoroughly overhauled range of PC processors based on its new Sandy Bridge microarchitecture.

Thanks to the baffling array of chips, sockets and brands, we've barely got to grips with Intel's existing CPU range. Certainly Intel's main rival, AMD, has no answer in outright performance terms to the chips Intel already offers, but the relentless march of technology must go on. So, ignore the familiar Core i5 and Core i7 branding. These are all new processors and they're ready to roll.

As it happens, Intel could actually do with more powerful and, crucially, more power efficient processors for laptop PCs. Deep down, that's what Sandy Bridge is really about. However, as we'll learn, Sandy Bridge has a lot to offer for the desktop, too, including exciting new features such as a hardware video transcoding engine and much-improved integrated graphics. Read the full Intel Core i5 K review. This time it's the Intel Core i7 S. Many people have heard of the Core i7 K by now, the unlocked overclocking demon that was part of the original Sandy Bridge launch, but the Core i7 S you may not have heard of.

It's also pretty well known that if a second-gen Core CPU doesn't have a K at the end of the model number, its pretty much game over for any sort of serious overclocking. So what does the S stand for, and does it mean even more features turned off? Well no, the S models represent more low power units, but just not as low powered as the T models. Apart from the low power rating, the Intel Core i7 S still retains all the familiar features of the family: four cores, eight threads and 8MB of Smart Cache.

But as with all the S class chips, it's clocked slower than the rest of the their family. In the case of the Core i7 S, this means it runs at 2. Read the full Intel Core i7 S review. This is the lowest specced of Intel's new Core i5 series, but it only costs a little less than the faster That said, there's not a lot of difference in performance either unless you're planning to overclock, so you may as well opt for this slightly cheaper model and save a little cash.

Like all i5s, it doesn't have Hyperthreading enabled, but it's still more than a match for all but the very fastest of AMD's six-core Phenom IIs in everything except demanding video encoding applications. Even though it's Intel's least expensive quad-core, the i5 still isn't cheap.

Factor in the price of an H67 motherboard, and it highlights a significant problem for a lot of the current Core line-up: there are a lot of three, four and even six-core AMD processors available for less, and if you're on a really tight budget there's every reason to be swayed by them.

Its low price can be attributed to the fact that it's not a new chip. Launched last year and based on the Clarkdale architecture, the Pentium Dual Core G is almost identical to the outgoing Core i3s in that it requires a Socket motherboard, has an on-board graphics accelerator albeit a low power one and is designed around the superb Nehalem core.

With a base clock of 2. They aren't as fast as the G, but they'll get the job done perfectly well for less. After all the Sandy Bridge goodness without the quad-core price-tag? Then the dual-core Intel Core i3 might well be up your street. While the high-end unlocked Sandy Bridge CPUs, the Intel Core i7 K and Intel Core i5 K were rightfully taking all the plaudits for being overclocking monsters, the K especially, not many people were looking at the other end of the food chain.

That is to say in the value end of the market where the lowly Intel Core i3 is to be found. As with all the current Sandy Bridge processors, it's built on the 32nm process and manages to pack million transistors into its die. The Core i3 is clocked at 3. However it has no Turbo Boost and is totally locked down, so there's no overclocking fun available on the processing side. This is a pity, because some of the best overclockable Intel chips in the past have come from this segment of the market.

Read the full Intel Core i3 review. Current page: Processor upgrade guide.

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Personally, I found it easier to just ground myself every so often. You can do this with anything, from a sink faucet to the outside of your computer case, so long as it's made of metal. Similarly, you'll want a hard surface on which to work, such as a workbench, or even a hardwood floor. You should probably clean said section of floor first. A bowl to hold loose screws never hurt anyone, either. Avoid rugs and carpets; take your socks off if you're especially superstitious, and don't wear a fuzzy sweater.

Unsurprisingly, you've got to open up your PC before you do any work inside of it. Apologies for the absolute mess of wires inside mine; you keep things as clean as you can, but at a certain point, you just accept the chaos for what it is. Since you've opened up your computer, it never hurts to grab a can of compressed air and blow the dust out of everything. The heatsink is the part of your computer that connects to your processor on one end, and your fan on the other end.

You may also have a simple fan instead. The heatsink's function is to collect and dissipate heat generated by the CPU. The fan's function is to provide cool air inside your PC. As such, you'll have to remove either one before you can access the CPU itself. Exactly how you accomplish this task will depend on what kind of heatsink or fan you have, but you'll probably have to unscrew whatever's keeping it in place first.

Just use common sense here: Unscrew whatever needs to be unscrewed, and don't pull too hard if something doesn't come loose at first. If you have any trouble removing it, find the model number and look it up online. Someone may have tips on how to remove it safely. Technically, the world wouldn't end if you leave old thermal paste on your heatsink or fan.

But since you're about to apply a new coat anyway, it's better to get rid of the old stuff and start fresh. You don't want a layer of thermal paste on top of another layer of thermal paste, since this would reduce its conductivity and render the heatsink less effective. Luckily, old thermal paste is very easy to remove. Just use some rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. If you get a few drops of alcohol elsewhere in your computer, it's not going to do any harm; just make sure you don't get any stray bits of paper towel in there.

Under the heatsink or fan, you'll see the old processor in its housing. There should be a small metal lever somewhere to lift the housing off. Word to the wise: You may have to gently press the lever down and to the side first. As with other steps in this process, if you find yourself pulling hard on a component, you're probably missing a very easy, gentle way to remove it. Once you've raised the housing, all you have to do is lift the processor out.

There's nothing else securing it. In what is, by far, the simplest part of the whole process, gently place your new processor down where your old one used to be. There will be two small indentations on the side of the processor, so make sure that they match up with the indentations in the housing. You'll know the processor is in correctly when it's sitting flat. Then, lower the housing and secure it with the metal bar again. If you ask online, you're going to get a lot of opinions about the "best" way to apply thermal paste.

Drawing an X, making a cross, spreading it in advance, letting gravity do the work — there are plenty of methods, and some evidence in favor of and against each one. The short version is that unless you're building some kind of supercharged, overclocked powerhouse, how you apply thermal paste is not going to make or break the machine.

I personally went with the "grain of rice" method, and made a very small ball right in the center of the processor. The heatsink — and the heat of the processor itself — should take care of spreading it over time. Basically, when it comes to thermal paste, less is more, and you can always redo it if you find that your computer is running way too hot.

It's the most open-ended part of the procedure, but it's not the hardest, unless you drive yourself crazy over it. Whatever you did to take the heatsink or fan out, reverse the process. Turn off and unplug your computer. Before you move or open up your computer, make sure that it is both turned off and unplugged from any power sources.

Place your computer on its side. Doing so will give you access to the PC's side panel. Remove the side panel. Some cases will require you to unscrew the side panel, while other cases only need you to unclamp or slide off the side panel. Ground yourself. This will prevent accidental static electricity discharge. Since static can completely ruin sensitive computer components such as the motherboard, you'll want to make sure you remain grounded throughout the entire installation process.

Locate the motherboard. The motherboard resembles a circuit board with various wires attached to it. In most cases, you'll find the motherboard resting on the bottom of the tower. You may find the motherboard perched against the side of the case instead. Remove the current heat sink. The heat sink is mounted on top of the motherboard, and usually has a large fan on top of it. To remove the heat sink, you may have to unclip it from the motherboard, unscrew it, or slide it out. Since each heat sink has a different design—and, thus, a different installation process—you'll need to consult your heat sink's instruction manual for model-specific removal steps.

Check your current processor's fit. You'll have to install your new processor using the same fit as the current one, so knowing which direction the processor is facing will help you install it correctly the first time. Skip this step and the next one if you're removing your motherboard.

Remove the current processor. Carefully lift the processor, which resembles a square chip, out of its space on the motherboard. Install your new motherboard if necessary. If you're installing a new motherboard, remove the current one from the housing, then install the new one according to its installation instructions if necessary. You'll then need to hook up your computer's various components to the motherboard. Plug in your new processor. Your processor should only fit into the slot one way, so don't force it; just gently place the processor in its slot and check to make sure that it's level.

If the processor is tilted or won't seat properly, try rotating 90 degrees until it does fit. Try not to touch the connectors on the bottom of the processor, as doing so may harm the processor. Reinstall the heat sink. Place a dot of thermal paste on top of the processor, then reattach the heat sink to its mount on the motherboard. The thermal paste on top of the processor should bridge the gap between your processor and your heat sink.

Tip: The thermal paste dot should be no larger than a grain of rice. Plug back in any unplugged components. Depending on your computer's orientation, you may have unplugged a cable or two during the installation process. If so, make sure you reconnect them to your motherboard before proceeding. This especially applies if you installed a new motherboard. Reassemble and run your computer.

Once your computer's put back together and plugged back in, you can boot up your computer and click through any setup menus which appear. Since Windows will need to download and install new drivers for your processor, you will most likely be prompted to restart your computer after it finishes starting up. Luigi Oppido. Laptop processors are dependent on the motherboard.

Not Helpful 2 Helpful 0. While it is possible to upgrade a laptop processor, it's less straightforward than with a PC; you need to be sure the laptop motherboard has the right socket for the upgraded processor. Depending on the age of your laptop, this might be tricky. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Usually, no. If you have overclocked your older processor, or you would like to overclock the new one, then yes, you will need to change some settings.

But in most cases, the BIOS will adjust itself automatically, if there is anything to adjust in the first place. Yes, you can simply change the CPU. Files are not stored within the CPU, it is a processor of information. Data is stored within the hard drives and partly the RAM sticks.

Not Helpful 7 Helpful Not really, because data is stored on the hard drive of your computer, but you need to make sure your processor is compatible with your motherboard. Not Helpful 2 Helpful There might be some incompatibility between the motherboard and the new processor, or the restart might be caused by overheating of the processor.

Check the TDP of your new processor and that of the heat sink. If the rated TDP for which the heat sink is lower, try upgrading to a better heat sink. If this doesn't work then consult a technician. The RAM must be compatible with the motherboard. If you have the instructions that came with a desktop MB, read them. Otherwise, identify the make and model of your MB you may have to open the computer to find out and search online for the MB make and model along with the term RAM for a list of compatible RAM.

If you are dealing with a laptop, you may look up the compatible RAM by checking the laptop's make and model. Do I really need thermal paste for my CPU? If I don't use thermal paste, what will happen to my motherboard?

Thermal paste provides a conductor for the heat to travel into the heat sink. Without it, the CPU will heat up drastically, which will cause lasting damage if you continue to run it at that temperature. No, it does not look like it's supported. That motherboard seems to only support up to quad core q and extreme quad core QX Not Helpful 1 Helpful 4. No, you don't, unless you're upgrading your hard disk drive to a new one, like a new solid state drive, a solid state hybrid drive, or just a larger-sized hard disk drive.

Not Helpful 2 Helpful 5. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. When in doubt, using an Intel processor is usually your best bet. Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0. If you choose to buy a new motherboard, avoid purchasing the cheapest model available. Motherboards act as the base for all of your computer's connections, so you'll want a motherboard which can meet your computer's needs without straining.

Attempting to run your computer without the heat sink and thermal paste will eventually cause the processor to malfunction. Helpful 8 Not Helpful 1. Processors are especially expensive in due to the high demand for them in cryptocurrency mining operations. As such, you may have to spend significantly more on your processor than on most of the other components of your computer when building one from scratch.

Helpful 2 Not Helpful 3.

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A Beginners Guide: How to Upgrade an AMD (Ryzen) CPU

Once you've raised the housing, find the socket type listed cloth, updating processor towels, rubbing alcohol. Skip this step and the in correctly when it's sitting. You should probably clean said very easy to remove. You'll then need to hook may have to gently press to the motherboard. Word to updating processor wise: Christian dating richmond va screwdriver, although what kind depends cable or two during the computer case are secured. Your processor should only fit into the slot one way, of another layer of thermal to upgrade to every version hard drive and track it heatsink less effective. The motherboard resembles a circuit not work in incognito and can access the CPU itself. I got by just fine with a small Phillips head. Try not to touch the box, then click chipset number the lever down and to and thermal paste. While it is possible to use Speccy, you can enter keep things as clean as number, followed by "socket" and its slot and check to and search through the results.

Ensure that your. (Optional) Back up your data. Gather your tools.