The processor is the brain of the computer and it is one of the fundamental components to achieve high performance. Now, you may want to expand the capacity of your laptop for more satisfactory performance. You are probably wondering if it is possible to upgrade your computer’s processor from i5 to i7.
It is possible to upgrade the CPU from an Intel Core i5 to an Intel Core i7, as long as the new processor is compatible with the current motherboard and socket. In case the CPU belongs to different generations, it would probably be necessary to replace more parts, which would not be worthwhile.
In this article, we will discuss various details involved in replacing a processor from one line to another. We will also explain what must be taken into account when making the replacement.
When to replace the processor?
If you have bought a computer that comes with a factory configuration, the hardware components are probably quite balanced with each other. Remember that when you buy a new laptop, the computer is designed to accomplish specific tasks.
In this sense, there are processors that are used for very simple tasks, such as office tasks or surfing the internet, and others that are more recommended for video games or graphic design.
The only compelling reason to replace a processor with a higher-performance one is that you actually require more processing power. For example, a dual-core CPU is practically obsolete for playing video games. However, a 4.0 GHz 16-core processor would be a waste if it is only used for basic tasks.
Is it a good idea to switch from an i5 to an i7?
Many people believe that switching from an Intel Core i5 processor to an Intel Core i7 will significantly increase the performance of their computer. This may be true, but it can also be a complete lie because it all depends on the processor models and the generation of your computer.
There are some cases where an i7 processor may be inferior to an i5, and if you do not have enough knowledge about processors, you may miss important details.
Think about this: which processor is better? An i7 3770 or an i5 10400? A beginner would think that the clear winner is the i7 because it has a higher number and therefore must be more powerful. However, the best processor between the two is the i5 10400, and by a huge difference.
To give you an idea, the i5 10400 is 7 generations newer, almost 30% faster, supports more RAM, and even has more cores and more threads. This shows that an i7 is not necessarily better than a processor with a smaller number.
What to keep in mind when upgrading a processor from i5 to i7?
The most important thing when replacing a processor, regardless of brand or model, is that it is compatible with the motherboard. There are circumstances when users want to expand the capacity of their CPU, but the motherboard is not supported or does not support a certain type of processor.
In these cases, you have to buy a new motherboard that can work with the processor you want to buy. This means that the cost will increase significantly, which can be worth it but it can also be a waste.
In the same way, the upgrade must be significant because there are processors that, even if they are of a higher range, do not compensate for the replacement in terms of performance level.
Another clear example is replacing an i5 10400 for an i7 10700. Even though the i7 has 2 additional cores and 4 additional threads, it is also 50% more expensive than the i5. That difference is probably not good enough to upgrade from one processor to another considering the cost.
If you definitely need an upgrade, it is probably a better option if you look for more processing power. In any case, there are several influencing factors to consider when replacing a processor, which are described below:
We have already mentioned that the motherboard must be compatible with the processor. Therefore, both the generation and the socket of the CPU must be analyzed. Additionally, the fact that one processor has the same socket as another does not necessarily mean that they are compatible.
You have to check the updates made by the manufacturers, especially related to the connections of the components.
There are 11 generations of Intel i-series processors, each of which works with different motherboards and different sockets. They also require other hardware components to function properly.
It is not the same to replace an 8th generation i5 for an i7 of the same generation as wanting to replace it for a 10th generation i7. To do this, you have to change the motherboard, as has already been stressed on several occasions.
Type of use
How your computer is used determines how much hardware power you need. A more or less current processor, that is to say, 9th generation onwards, with 6 cores and 12 threads is more than enough for most basic users, even if they play video games.
It can be used to reproduce multimedia content, game at 1080p or 1440p, program, design, study, among many other things, regardless of whether it is i5 or i7. But if you are a more demanding user, who requires rendering 4K images, gaming, and streaming at the same time, or need to multitask a lot, you should think about a more powerful processor.
Is it worth going from an i5 to an i7?
Making the replacement is only worth it if you really need more processing power and if all the components are compatible with each other. In case there is incompatibility with any of the components, you would no longer be replacing only the processor, but you have to modify various aspects of your computer, and it can be more expensive than buying a new one.
On the other hand, if you are not going to use your computer intensively, the default processor is more than enough, especially when the difference in performance does not compensate for the price required to pay for a more advanced processor.