Changing a Laptop’s CPU

I own an Acer Aspire 8930G laptop. My particular version of the 8930G, the 8930-6058, came with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 processor, which is pretty much the slowest of all the Intel Core 2 Duo processors.

I did not like having a slow processor, so, I decided to switch out my processor for a faster one. I found an Intel Core 2 T9900 on ebay, bought some IC Diamond thermal compound and I was ready to go. I decided to take some pictures of the process, too.

Warning: make sure you know what you’re doing before attempting any hardware kajiggering. You will need to know things about chipsets and unscrewing stuff and junk, in order to switch out a CPU.

a cpu upgrade kit
CPU Upgrade Kit

This is the CPU upgrade kit I received from the ebay seller. I opted not to use the thermal compound that came with it, instead using IC Diamond thermal compound.

an Intel core 2 duo t9900 SLGEE
My New Processor

This is a close-up of my new CPU. Isn’t it pretty?

the access panel of an acer aspire 8930-6058 laptop
The Access Panel of the Laptop

The first step is to locate your laptop’s access panel. This panel is usually on the back.

an acer asper 8930g laptop opened up
The Access Panel Removed

Next, carefully removed the screws  holding the access panel in place, exposing the juicy innards of your laptop.

a laptop fan partially removed
Laptop Fan Removal

You will need to remove the heat sink in order to access the CPU slot, but often the fan will be in the way, so you will have to remove that as well.

a heat sink
Heat Sink

When you are removing the heat sink, don’t force it. It is a very bad thing to bend a heat sink. Once your heat sink is out, it is a good opportunity to clean any dust out of it.

a heat sink with old thermal compound on it
Dirty Heat Sink

Your heat sink will be dirty with old thermal compound. You have to clean the old compound off before applying new compound. The alcohol wipe that came with my upgrade kit was useful for this.

Whenever you remove your heat sink, you should replace the thermal compound. Otherwise, you will probably end up with an incomplete seal and bubble. This will cause your CPU to heat up.

It’s also important to try and make sure you don’t scratch your heat sink when you are cleaning it, because scratches cause air pockets and, thus, incomplete thermal compound seals.

a heat sink after it has been cleaned up
Clean Heat Sink

Look, it’s all nice and clean.

an intel core 2 duo t5800 slb6e inside a laptop

Your old CPU will be dirty. You might want to wipe it off while your alcohol wipe is still. A shiny CPU is easier to resell.

To remove the old CPU just turn the screw on the CPU slot to the unlock position and list the CPU out. Don’t force anything. Bent pins are a bad thing.

an acer aspire 8930g laptop cpu slot
CPU Slot

Make sure that no debris falls into the holes of the CPU slot, once you remove your old CPU.

a dollop of IC Diamond thermal compound on a cpu
Bead of Thermal Compound

There should be a little arrow on one of the corners of your new CPU. Line this arrow up with the corner of the CPU slot and simply drop the new CPU in. It should go in without any force applied.

Next, you will need to apply new thermal compound. Read the instruction for your thermal compound. Some compound are spread out before replacing the heat sink and other are spread by the application of pressure the heat sink provides. IC Diamond compound uses the compression spread method.

Remember to turn the CPU slot’s screw back to the locked position, before replacing the heat sink.

Finally, replace your heat sink, fan and access panel.

You should turn your laptop on to make sure that the new CPU works. Some thermal compounds recommend leaving your laptop on for a certain amount of time to cure the compound.

There, all done. Enjoy your faster computer.