How to Upgrade an Alienware M17 CPU

Written by lucosi fuller
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How to Upgrade an Alienware M17 CPU
(processor image by Orlando Florin Rosu from

Upgrading the Central Processing Unit in the Alienware M17 laptop will increase the efficiency at which the computer runs by giving it more power to process the information that the system needs to function. Performing the upgrade is a breeze, even if there are some differences in this laptop than what's common on laptops, including a motherboard cover and a base compartment cover. You shouldn't have much trouble with the CPU upgrade and your computer will run better when it's done.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-blade screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Power down the computer and remove all the components that send an electric current into it, including the power supply cable, all other cables and the battery pack. The battery pack is in the front of the computer base. Turn the computer over, press the battery pack release tab and remove the pack.

  2. 2

    Extract the two screws on the base compartment cover and remove the cover from the computer.

  3. 3

    Extract the three screws in a line inside the battery bay and the two screws beside the notches above the cooling fan into which the tabs on the base compartment cover fit.

  4. 4

    Turn the computer top-side-up and open the display.

  5. 5

    Flip the centre control cover (also called the hinge cover or keyboard bezel) toward the display. Disconnect the power button cable and remove the centre control cover from the computer.

  6. 6

    Extract the five screws across the top of the keyboard, lift the keyboard, disconnect the keyboard cables and remove the keyboard from the computer.

  7. 7

    Flip the palm rest upward toward the display, disconnect the touchpad cable and remove the palm rest from the computer.

  8. 8

    Extract the two screws on each bracket at the top of the computer on the left and right sides and remove the brackets from the computer.

  9. 9

    Disconnect the display cable and the camera cable from their connectors at the middle-top area of the computer and disconnect the antenna cables from their wireless Mini-Cards in the lower-middle and lower-left areas of the computer.

  10. 10

    Extract the ten screws from the motherboard cover and lift the cover off the computer.

  11. 11

    Locate the CPU heat sink in the middle of the computer (it has a long copper conduit extending from it toward the display), extract the six screws from it and lift it off the motherboard to expose the CPU.

  12. 12

    Remove the protective covering from the CPU, if a covering is on it.

  13. 13

    Use a flat-blade screwdriver to turn the locking screw counterclockwise until it stops turning and lift the CPU straight up off its connector.

  14. 14

    Follow the instructions in reverse order to install a new CPU and put the computer back together.

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