Finding out how to upgrade a CPU is actually a very easy process.
Most of the time spent when doing a CPU upgrade is often
spent cleaning off old thermal compound. Even the research and buying
on this component is usually a fairly straight forward. Since you
already have your motherboard, it's simply a matter of picking a CPU
for that motherboard in your budget, then installing it.
When buying your CPU remember to buy new thermal compound to mount the
CPU to the CPU cooler.
The 3 Steps of how to Upgrade a CPU
- Identify your motherboard
To see what motherboard is installed in your computer, I use a simple
Using it is very simple. After going to the
website, download the free program, perform the install and then run
the program. Simply click on the motherboard tab at the top
of the page, it will tell you the manufacturer, and the part number
without you having to open the computer
The reason I use this method when showing you how to identify your
motherboard is simple. You'll get the motherboard, it's part
number, as well as one other very useful piece of information.
revision. When considering a CPU upgrade, make sure to check
and see if an updated BIOS will let you buy different CPU's.
This information will be available for you on the
manufacturer's website with your motherboard make and it's part number.
Step 2 -
Buying the CPU
To choose a CPU when upgrading is exactly the same method I
describe when I show you how
to build a computer. Ideally, I always try to get a
CPU that has the most power for the money I have to spend.
Doing this is actually really simple.
You'll need to check a CPU benchmark, then open up your browser on the vendor of your choice.
Find a CPU that is approved to work with your motherboard
according to the manufacturer's website that is in your budget, and has
the highest CPU benchmark score.
This is the most important part of learning how to upgrade a CPU.
If you choose a
summary type page on your
computer part vendor, it'll take about 10 minutes to find the CPU that
offers the most power for your computer and stays in your budget.
- How to upgrade a CPU, the Installation
Learning how to install a CPU is probably one of the easiest parts of
computer building. It makes people the most nervous because
of the amount of force it takes usually to remove the CPU cooler from
To make this easier, run the computer for at least an hour
playing video, or a video game to get the computer case nice and warm.
This will make separating the CPU from the CPU cooler a much easier
To separate the CPU from the cooler, simply release the attaching
mechanism, you can see a sample picture below. Instead of
trying to lift it directly off, twist and wiggle it until it pops free.
The picture below is of a mount for and AM2+ processor.
The lock is toggled, then unhooked to free this CPU cooler.
Since there are many different ways of mounting the CPU
cooler, a little investigation will help you figure out what you need
to do to remove your cooler.
Once you have the CPU removed and your CPU cooler in hand, get some
rubbing alcohol and some q-tips to clean the thermal paste off of the
CPU cooler. Cleanest is best since most CPU thermal compounds
don't mix well. Once it's all clean, mount the CPU, apply
thermal paste according to the directions, the put the CPU cooler on
and lock it down. Some additional steps and more pictures on
the installation of the CPU cooler can be found on my best CPU cooler page,
or a video is available at the bottom of this page.
As an alternative, you can watch how
to install a CPU
into a new computer video below
if you're unsure of exactly what you need to do. Although the
video is of CPU install into a new computer, how to upgrade a CPU
is exactly the same. It sounds
like a lot of things to take into account, but the install of a CPU is
actually pretty easy. Honestly, cleaning thermal compound off
of the cooler is usually where I spend most of my time.