How to Upgrade the Processor Inside Your Computer to Improve Performance

One of the most effective ways to upgrade your current computer is to install a faster processor into the motherboard. Most people are intimidated at the prospect of removing the casing from their computer and meddling with the interior components. The reality is that if you are careful, working inside a computer cabinet is relatively safe and easy. Desktops are far simpler to get inside of to work than laptops, but even laptops can be safely opened and upgraded. The upgrade described in this article was performed on a desktop computer. This upgrade increased the processor speed by roughly 50%. Always unplug the computer before opening the cabinet.

Loosen the screws that hold the cover on the computer cabinet.

On most desktops, these screws are more like thumb screws that can be loosened and tightened by hand. You can use a screwdriver on them if needed. Occasionally, it may require a pair of pliers if there is no slot for a screwdriver. Once the screws are loosened, they will remain in place. You will be able to raise the cover and remove it from the computer by pushing it backwards first and lifting it from the back of the computer. If the computer is 10 or more years old, it may require actually removing screws from several areas around the computer cabinet.

Regardless of whether your computer is a tower or lays flat, lay it flat with the open side up.

If this is the first time that you have looked into the insides of a home or office computer, the wires and other items may seem a little overwhelming. Look around on the flat motherboard at the bottom of all the other items inside the computer cabinet. Usually, the motherboard is green. As you look at it, you will notice wide wire strips coming from sockets on the motherboard. These are cables that go to your various drives that are part of your computer system. You may need to ease some of these aside to be able to see more of the mother board.

Near the center of the motherboard will be a large component.

If you already have the replacement processor in hand, you are looking for the large component that resembles the one that you have to install. The processor may be part of an assembly with a fan and heat sinks attached to it. On some computers, the processor will be hiding under a fan and heat sinks that must be removed to access the processor socket.

If the fan and heat sink must be removed, use a small non-magnetic screwdriver to extract the screws holding them in place.

With the fan and heat sink removed or while looking at a processor assembly that will be removed as one unit, examine the outer perimeter of the processor socket. Look for a lever that you can raise that will release the pins on the underside of the processor from the socket. Lift the lever and you will probably see some movement as the processor is released. Grip the processor or processor assembly firmly and lift it out of the socket. Be careful not to bend any of the pins underneath the processor. You may need to reinstall this if the one you have is not the correct replacement unit.

Carefully, lower the new processor over the socket and align it with the edges of the socket.

Ease the processor pins down into the socket. If you feel resistance, do not force the connection. Lift the processor away from the socket and compare it to the old processor. If it looks the same, repeat the process until the processor can be easily pushed downward into the socket.

Shift the lever back to the original position.

This will lock the processor into the socket. Replace the cover back onto the computer cabinet and plug the computer in. Turn on the computer and monitor. If it starts up and comes to the main desktop screen, you are ready to use it. If errors are displayed, you may have to replace the new processor with the old one and find out why it did not work properly. If you have been careful in the installation process, and you have the right replacement processor, everything should work fine with the new faster unit.

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