Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/192016/what-you-need-to-know-about-upgrading-your-laptops-hardware/
Laptops aren’t as easy to upgrade as desktop PCs. In fact, newer laptops are becoming harder to upgrade — but you still may be able to upgrade your laptop with more RAM or a solid-state drive.
Can I also mention that you should check whether or not your laptop has a whitelist of approved parts. I fell foul of this recently trying to install a new dual band network card in my Lenovo laptop. I bought a new one only to find that it was not in the whitelist of devices and therefore the laptop would not even get past the BIOS.
I bought a laptop a couple of years ago and didn't check too closely as to the compatibility of RAM speed. This particular unit would only run at 1066, irregardless of the speed capabilities of the installed ?RAM. The BIOS was locked down and there were none of the usual ways to boost memory speeds, so my 1333 RAM to this day runs at 1066.
I have been using Lenovo laptops for a while and find them easy to upgrade memory and drives. For anything else, I would make sure I had the machine I wanted (CPU, GPU) going forward when I purchased it. Most conventional laptops have access panels that get you into the memory bay and hopefully have a hard drive that is mounted in a side bay. The newer ultrabooks are really not designed to be modified because they are engineered to be very thin and because every inch of real-estate is valuable, many components are placed where they fit best and not where you can get to them easily. The other point about modifying a MS Surface I think is silly because what you see is what you get and if you bought it to modify it you were not thinking clearly. And as always, Apple products are notoriously proprietary and complicated to modify and is why I don't own one.
Upgraded the CPU in many laptops. It varies from quite simple to major pain but here are the usual tips I give.
Look up the laptops chipset, that should tell you the range of CPUs it can handle.
As mentioned in the article look up on Google for "CPU upgrade for Laptop XYZ", chances are 20 other people have tried or failed and they will tell you what works and what doesn't.
Upgrade the BIOS if you can. That will update the CPU list potentially.
Look up disassembly on YouTube first if possible. If it looks really tricky and the laptop is quite old...then don't bother.
I don't tend to go crazy with the upgrade. Top end vintage cpus go for crazy money but usually the one below it (the 3.0GHz rather than the 3.16GHz will often be a lot cheaper. Plus I try to keep in the same thermal/power rating. So say we have a 1.6GHz C2D installed as standard then I'll hunt down a 2.0-2.1GHz C2D for a nice boost. Also I'll look for one with more cache.
I've also found that swapping a 1066 bus CPU for a 1333 bus CPU can often allow your 1333 ram to run at that speed. That gives a nice boost too.
Haven't had too many issues. Maybe a little more cooling fan action but as the laptop is maybe 5+ years old anyway if it only lasts another couple of years then thats fine.
The last laptop I did was to swap out a dual core Athlon II mobile chip for a quad core 2.0Ghz Phenom mobile chip. Made a big difference. The chips usually cost around £20 on Ebay.
Thank you for sharing the many useful technical details in your various posts. I have a HP Chromebook 14 that I would like to completely replace the Chrome OS BIOS, but the John Lewis offerings for BIOS don't seem to have a verified ready to go offering for that computer. Do you know where I could obtain a BIOS that would allow me to run Linux Mint natively (no Developer mode) on this HP Chromebook 14 (Falco)?
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