How to Upgrade a Dell 8500 Processor

Written by ty arthur
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How to Upgrade a Dell 8500 Processor
Upgrading your Inspiron's processor improves its speed. (microprocessor image by Pavol Kmeto from

When your Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop is running any type of software program, from games to spreadsheet applications, it is using the central processing unit. As you acquire more advanced software, eventually the existing processor may not provide enough speed to adequately run new programs with higher system requirements. Upgrading the existing mobile Pentium 4 processor at home only requires a few standard tools and the courage to crack open your laptop's case.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Socket 478 mobile processor

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  1. 1

    Unplug the Dell Inspiron 8500 from the wall outlet and remove all of its attached cables. Power down the laptop and close the LCD lid.

  2. 2

    Flip over the Dell laptop so the battery pack is facing upwards. Set the 8500 onto a stable work area. Move the silver battery bay latch toward the right, and then pull out the battery pack.

  3. 3

    Touch the unpainted metal panel on the back end of the laptop to discharge the static electricity in your hands. Flip over the 8500 and open the LCD so that the laptop is laying flat at 180 degrees.

  4. 4

    Locate the long, plastic control panel piece directly above the 8500's keyboard. Place the end of a flat head screwdriver underneath the right edge of the control panel. Lift upwards until the panel unlocks from the laptop case.

  5. 5

    Remove the control panel and set it aside. Locate the keyboard screws above the "F4" and "Print Screen" keys. Remove both screws with a Phillips screwdriver.

  6. 6

    Pull the keyboard toward you until you can view the cable connecting the keyboard to the motherboard. Unplug the cable and pull the keyboard off the Dell 8500.

  7. 7

    Locate the metal cooling assembly at the lower left end of the motherboard that is positioned over the 8500's processor. Remove the four screws securing the cooling assembly to the motherboard.

  8. 8

    Lift the cooling assembly upwards and then to the left to remove it from the motherboard. Place the end of the flat head screwdriver into the locking screw at the left edge of the processor.

  9. 9

    Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise until the processor unlocks from the motherboard socket. Grab two different edges of the processor and pull it off the socket.

  10. 10

    Place the new processor unit over the socket. Line up the pins on the underside of the processor with the holes on the socket and then push the processor down. Turn the locking screw clockwise with the flat head screwdriver to lock the processor.

  11. 11

    Put back together each of the parts in the order they were removed. Turn on the Dell Inspiron 8500.

Tips and warnings

  • You can install any processor in your Dell Inspiron 8500 that is compatible with the Socket 478 technology, such as the mobile Celeron or mobile Pentium line.
  • A new mobile processor for your Dell Inspiron 8500 can be bought through various online vendors that provide computer components.

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