I have this really neat laptop from 2010 that I want to refurbish. I want to replace the RAM and disk together with the CPU. According to the HP manual: http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02066162.pdf - the best supported CPU is 7 620M but the best CPU supported by the Mobile Intel® QM57 Express chipset would be the i7 i940XM. The problem with the latter option is that the CPU is rated 20W higher than the i7 620M and it is not 32nm but 45nm.

I still have to ask the dumb question of: if I increase the cooling and use a beefier power supply, would the i7 i940XM not work? What else limits the CPU compatibility?

Also, is there a site where I can find laptops with a specific CPU? I have got access to many HP laptops, and maybe I could salvage the aforementioned CPUs from there.

What upgrades would you recommend (not looking at the cost) to maximize the performance of this laptop?

What do you think the performance benefits will be from such an upgrade I am describing here?

PS. This is mostly just for the learning experience, not that upgrading a 10+ year old laptop is a good idea. Also, if it matters, I plan to use the most barebones version of Gentoo linux so that I have the most performance while using it.

1 Answer 1


I’d recommend not attempting, for many reasons:

  • Unless the CPU is socketed (laptops rarely are), you have hours of delicate and dangerous (potential damaging CPU or logic board) soldering.
  • Putting a newer CPU than supported by the BIOS could leave your CPU without proper microcode. This could result in the system not working or if you are lucky hardly any issues.
  • The power issue could cause the system to suddenly power off if the logic board can not supply sufficient power needed.

If you have a lot of experience doing this, go for it. The worse thing that happens is you destroy the CPU and logic board.

If you are wishing to do this as a learning experience, there are far too many variables that will be difficult to isolate or learn doing this. Choose another project with less variables.

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