How to choose a processor for a laptop

Before changing the processor on a laptop, it’s worth remembering that many models of mobile computers simply do not support similar upgrade. Technically, you can replace the chip, even by soldering, but not the fact that the cooling system will cope with increased load.

How to choose a processor for a laptop: specifications for which need to pay attention

How to choose a processor for a laptop

When choosing a processor for a laptop, you need to consider the following criteria:

  1. Socket

  2. Manufacturer (AMD or Intel);

  3. Performance (clock speed, number of cores, number of threads, power consumption);

  4. Graphics accelerator (built-in or discrete);

  5. Generation and type.


This parameter must be taken into account when it comes to upgrading a laptop. It characterizes the standard of the connector in which the processor is installed (or the number of contacts on the motherboard the board to which the chip is soldered).

Processor and motherboard sockets must match. IN Otherwise, the chip simply will not work.

You can find out the processor socket from the documentation for the laptop or through a special program such as AIDA64.

Manufacturer (AMD or Intel)

Technically, processors from both of these manufacturers are roughly are the same. However, Intel releases more energy-efficient solutions. However, AMD models are cheaper, which is why these processors can be found in budget laptops.


processor performance

CPU performance is determined by its four parameters:

  1. Clock frequency;

  2. Number of Cores;

  3. The number of computing threads;

  4. Energy consumption.

Clock frequency – a parameter that determines the speed processor computing. The higher it is, the better. With the exception of a few buts.

First, a very powerful single-core processor will “count”, especially in multitasking, slower than average multi-core. Secondly, some chip models support Hyperthreading acceleration technology, which only runs one core, but very fast – faster than multi-core configurations. Finally, the higher the processor performance, the more it consumes energy and heats up more.

As you can see from the previous paragraph, the number of cores has an important but not prevailing. It should be considered when buying. budget models (Intel Atom, Pentium, Celeron, Core m), since they do not support hyperthreading and work constantly on one maximum clock speed. For more serious configurations like Core i3, i5 or i7, this option is not so important.

On some processor models can be implemented 2 computing thread per 1 core. This is found in modern Intel Core i5 / i7. It also speeds up the chip, providing maximum performance in computing.

As mentioned earlier, the higher the processor power – the he consumes more resources and heats up more. Therefore for laptops with a weak cooling system does not make sense to purchase high-performance chips with a consumption of more than 60 Tue

The presence of a graphics accelerator (video card)

Processors for laptops come in two types – with built-in video card and without it. The first option is acceptable if the computer Designed for office use, web surfing and tasks with low resource requirements.

Processors with an integrated graphics card are inexpensive, provide acceptable picture quality, but not at all suitable for games, graphics editing, 3D modeling or even watching videos in higher resolution than Full HD.

To complete all of the above tasks will require a processor that is not equipped with a graphics card. For graphics processing in such configurations a separate chip is used. Discrete graphics card provides greater performance, better quality Images, suitable for games and demanding tasks.

Use configurations with integrated and discrete a video card is also possible. Graphical system performance in this case will be determined by discrete video cards.

Generation and Type

processor generation

Processor manufacturers regularly update their model series, releasing more economical, productive and functional solutions. Therefore, when upgrading, it makes sense to get more “fresh” chip.

So, Intel for laptops now releases four chip lines – Haswell, Broadwell, Skylake and Kabu Lake. The first most popular because it is well optimized for use in mobile computers. Broadwell more often found on desktop systems. Therefore with Haswell makes sense Switch to Skylake or Kabu Lake.

These series mainly feature Intel model processors. Core i3, i5 and i7.

Each processor model is complemented by an alphanumeric code, which indicates its affiliation and basic characteristics. It looks something like this: “Intel Core i7-4600M.” And draw attention is needed precisely to the last character in the sequence.

They mean the following:

  1. Y is the processor that has the least power. Power such chips does not exceed 11.5 W, so they are very weak heat up. But their performance is minimal;

  2. U – ultra-mobile processors. They are intended for use in hybrid computers, tablets or even smartphones. Their power does not exceed 28 W, performance – appropriate. They do not reach the desktop version, but for using a laptop as a typewriter is fine are like;

  3. M – mobile processors. Intended for use in laptops, including powerful enough;

  4. Q – quad-core desktop processors. Standard solution for use in system units;

  5. X – increased performance processors. Suitable for use in game configurations. Not enough for laptops designed because they require a very productive system cooling;

  6. H – special configuration processors that are used for editing and playing high-performance graphs. Can be used in game configurations, however more appropriate to use for 3D modeling and the like classes. For laptops are also not very suitable.

The best solution for a laptop, given the low-performance cooling system are processors of the M or U series.

What else to consider

The above characteristics are enough for selection optimal processor. But, if maximum performance is also worth paying attention to compatibility a chip with a video card and RAM.

To determine how compatible they are, using special online calculators.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a processor for the computer and secrets of choosing a processor for games.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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