I have a VPCCW2S1E with:

I'd like to upgrade it with an i5. (or anything faster!) I see my socket is either a BGA1288 or PGA988 and an i5 such as this one support the same.

How could I possibly know if the motherboard/chipset will support these higher speeds?

  • 4
    Don't do it,Even if possible. Upgrading CPU in notebooks almost impossible and sometimes is possible You'll faced a lot of problems. – Sepahrad Salour Apr 21 '13 at 9:27
  • That's an older chipset. Even an i7 won't be appreciably faster. More economical and faster to get a new laptop. The cpu upgrade will be almost as much as a whole new system with refreshed components, not just a slightly faster cpu. And no, you can't upgrade the chipset to a newer generation. – allquixotic Apr 21 '13 at 10:42
  • I was looking that with 50$ I could go to 8GB of ram, then 150$ for an SSD and it would already look faster.. I'd need at least 600-700 for a new decent laptop (and it wouldn't be Vaio..) – George Katsanos Apr 21 '13 at 11:07
  • @Ramhound PGA is normally replaceable. BGA is the one that's soldered down. – Bob Nov 27 '13 at 2:59

As for upgrading the CPU: That can work, but is quite non-trivial. It is not merely checking if the sockets match, putting in a new CPU and running at the new CPU's speed. You also need:

  1. Check if your old CPU is soldered on the motherboard (Very rare these days). If it is you can not replace it without replacing the entire motherboard. (Disclaimer: If you have access to factory tools it is possible, but not for Jane Average person).
  2. Make sure the new CPU uses some voltages which the laptop motherboard can supply (Not always the case)
  3. Check how much power it draws. (A 35 Watt laptop CPU in socket which previously held a 25 Watt laptop CPU may or, or it may burn out things. (i3 330M is 35W, i5 430/450/460/480/520/540/560/580M are also 35W)
  4. More wattage -> more heat. Not a problem on desktops, but often a problem in laptops.
  5. Does your BIOS support the new CPU. If it does not your laptop will not work.
  6. The actual replacing might be non trivial (On a desktop you just open the large box, remove the fan and have access to the CPU. On a laptop you often have to take it completely apart. This is not an issue of it can not be done but more of an issue of it is not trivial to do. (It is quite simple if you own or can borrow a screwdriver and if you remember how everything fits. Hint: Download the service manual and/or take lots of pictures.)
  7. If your laptop has an older chipset then using a compatible modern CPU will not give you the best performance of that CPU. Compare this to putting a Porche motor in a Beetle. It will go a lot faster, but not as fast as the Porche it was designed for. (If you use an i5 CPU from the same generation as the i3 330M it is more like swapping a Porsche 2.7 motor for a 3.2 Porsche motor in a Porsche, only much simpler and a completely unrelated task to motor mechanics)

Having written all that:

  • Yes, the SSD is a good idea. It will make the system a lot more responsive. And you can transplant it to a new laptop whenever you upgrade to the next system.
  • More RAM is also a good idea, and is relative cheap to do. Please note that page you linked to shows "Max. Supported Memory (GB) 8". You may need to remove old memory to replace it with the 8GiB SoDIMM, rather than adding 8 GiB.
  • 1
    Thanks, so to sum up it's a risk given that you can't know if it will work or not.. – George Katsanos Apr 21 '13 at 11:26
  • 1
    Additionally not all laptop CPUs are actually socketed, in many cases they are directly soldered to the motherboard and so replacing them is even more nontrivial. – Mokubai Apr 21 '13 at 11:45
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    Mokubai: Good point. I will add that to the list. @George Katsanos You can google for it. E.g. I know there are people with the same model laptop as I have which upgraded their CPU. You can do the same for your model. – Hennes Apr 21 '13 at 11:49
  • A BGA CPU would be soldered. Not just soldered, but BGA (reflow?) soldering is rather complicated and requires a soldering oven. And CPUs are on the higher end of BGA soldering difficulty. PGAs should be swappable in most cases, but there is no guarantee a different model would work. – Bob Apr 21 '13 at 11:55
  • 1
    Well, you can open the laptop. Do not remove the CPU, just look if it is in a socket or on the motherboard. An easier way might be to find the right manual for it. (Usually there are two, the user manual which you also get when buying the laptop, and a technician/maintenance manual which shows how to open the laptop, how to repair it, how to diagnose it etc etc. The latter would contain this information but is often somewhat hidden on the manufacturers website. – Hennes Apr 21 '13 at 16:10

I have done this and fitted an i5 560m to the same laptop. It is a PGA socket and just plugs in.

I'm not yet seeing any performance benefit yet as my bios still thinks the i3 330m is fitted.

CPUID recognises the i5 though.

I'm now getting full performance from my 560m :-)


I cant believe the answers you guys gave to the OP. If his laptop has a socket G1 processor, you can upgrade your laptop from an i3 or i5 to i7 socket G1 processors as long as your laptops bios supports the processor. They normally have the same cooling system accross the different SKUs (ones with discreet GPUs have different cooling tho)

Safest way to do this is to review the different SKUs of your laptop and just choose which CPU to buy.

For reference, my wife's laptop had an i3 330m and I was able to slot in an i5 460m, while giving the laptop a nice wipe down in and out (dust build up cause throttling, clean yours too!)

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