I have a basic laptop - an eMachines E732Z. It has an Intel Pentium P6200 processor.

I need to run a 64-bit virtual machine, but I can't because the processor doesn't support VT-x.

I therefore want to upgrade the processor to one that supports hardware virtualisation.


  • Intel rather than AMD (but only because I've never fitted a new processor before and I don't want to find that an AMD doesn't fit on the motherboard. If this requirement is unnecessary it can be waived).

  • As cheap as possible. Virtualisation-support is my only requirement; I don't require any other upgrade in performance.

I have researched chips already in terms of features and price, but there are so many options and features that I don't understand (this would be my first ever hardware-component purchase, I'm a real beginner with this stuff) it's hard to find just a basic upgrade.

  • You want to change the CPU without changing your motherboard, correct? Then the processor not only needs to be an Intel CPU, but has to be for the same socket, PGA988 according to Intel ARK
    – timuzhti
    Nov 26 '16 at 8:19
  • @Alpha3031 yes, correct. I didn't realise that, thanks.
    – andydavies
    Nov 26 '16 at 11:12

Changing the CPU is not as easy as adding RAM or swapping a HDD. It is a FULL dissasembly. Have a look at this video here. Still want to do it, then narrow your list of possible options. We can use the Intel ARK to get a list of processors that will fit in your laptop. Looks like the Intel i3-330M is the cheapest processor which supports VT-x and isn't a downgrade.

Are you sure you want to take the effort to swap one five-year-old processor for another? I have a feeling you could get a used laptop with VT-x enabled almost as cheap as buying a core and replacing it.

  • You didn't link the video. Also, apparently you can get a refurbished i3-330M for $9 + shipping.
    – timuzhti
    Nov 26 '16 at 8:27
  • Hmmm I didn't realise it was such a big job. New machine might be the way to go.
    – andydavies
    Nov 26 '16 at 11:14
  • @Alpha3031 Fixed that. Video link now works. Don't forget the cost of tools, new thermal paste, etc... - andydavies Agreed. Cyber Monday is coming up, good deals to be had. With new laptop in hand, you can be in a better place to risk the surgery on the old one. Good luck! Nov 26 '16 at 14:20

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.