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ludi
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Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:55 pm

Interesting experience. I still have an old Dell E6420 for sort-of business use that I've upgraded piece-wise to maximum specs including 16GB RAM and an SSD (no dGPU, that requires a mobo swap). The last item I could upgrade was the (Sandy Bridge-era) mobile CPU, since it's old enough to be socketed and there are now plenty of cheap pulls on eBay. The i5-2520m was a 2C/4T model while the i7-2720qm is 4C/8T with twice the cache and a wider spread of operating frequencies. Both use the same HD3000 graphics. I figured that best case, I would break even on power budget and worst-case, lose a bit of battery life.

It arrived in today's mail. Result: better than expected. The laptop is not only snappier, but runs noticeably cooler at idle and during light browsing. Definitely a recommended upgrade for anyone refurbishing an older laptop.
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ozzuneoj
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Re: Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:42 pm

Good to know that this was a worthwhile upgrade! I have an Asus Q500A running an i5 3210m and its a great system, but I wish Intel had offered a better range of IGPs for mobile Ivy Bridge. There's very little difference between the lowest i5 M (what I have) and the top tier i7 Q, since they all have HD4000 with slightly different maximum clocks.

I wonder if going from a 35W to a 45W Ivy CPU would cause any cooling issues. I know with the desktop chips Sandy Bridge ran cooler, but since there's no IHS with mobile chips maybe there isn't much of a difference.
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:00 pm

ludi doesn't say but I'm assuming there's a fresh thermal paste install. That might be a big chunk of the better cooling performance. Nice that it works.
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ludi
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Re: Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:30 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
ludi doesn't say but I'm assuming there's a fresh thermal paste install. That might be a big chunk of the better cooling performance. Nice that it works.

In fact, it's not all about that paste. I had cleaned and reattached the HSF perhaps a year ago with Thermaltake TG-7 and used the same stuff this time. The air coming out of the vent is noticeably less hot at idle, and sometimes the fan nearly stops even if the unit has been running a while, which didn't happen with the i5 installed.
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NTMBK
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Re: Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:27 am

I'm now wondering if there's a way to tell in software (i.e. without disassembly) whether my CPU is soldered or socketed. I have an old mini-PC with an i3-2330M, which is available both in soldered and socketed. If socketed I could try upgrading to an Ivy Bridge chip...
 
DPete27
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Re: Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:20 am

hmm, I dunno. Seems a little strange to me. Sure the i7 can idle down 300MHz below the i5, but I have a hard time believing that would make a significant difference. At load, the i7 ought to pull more power 45W TDP vs 35W for the i5, so the i7 should create higher temps. Although you said you reapplied TIM a year ago on the i5, its possible that you did a better job this time?

Also, was this just a straight CPU swap? Did you have to reinstall Windows or anything of that nature for the system to accept it?
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:15 am

Wow, lots of them available for $50 on eBay. Almost a no-brainer. I have a Latitude E5520 that could benefit from this.
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Vhalidictes
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Re: Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:28 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
Wow, lots of them available for $50 on eBay. Almost a no-brainer. I have a Latitude E5520 that could benefit from this.

Now all I need is a laptop with a FCBGA1224 or FCPGA988 socket...
 
ludi
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Re: Old lappy upgrade: i5-2520m to i7-2720qm

Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:35 am

DPete27 wrote:
hmm, I dunno. Seems a little strange to me. Sure the i7 can idle down 300MHz below the i5, but I have a hard time believing that would make a significant difference. At load, the i7 ought to pull more power 45W TDP vs 35W for the i5, so the i7 should create higher temps. Although you said you reapplied TIM a year ago on the i5, its possible that you did a better job this time?

If you're going to ask it that way, anything is possible, but not too likely. The HSF came off the old cpu with a thin, clean, even coat.

I'm having trouble finding detailed documentation on the speedstep states for the mobile Sandy Bridge i5s vs. the i7s, but if the slightly lower frequency also allows a slightly lowered voltage, that could make a large difference, since power scales linearly with frequency, but exponentially by voltage (in simplified terms, P = V^2 / R). And yes, it puts out plenty of heat under load.

Also, was this just a straight CPU swap? Did you have to reinstall Windows or anything of that nature for the system to accept it?

Straight swap under Windows 10 Pro x64. Didn't even re-activate. The only thing I did first was issue a shutdown from the command line to ensure it didn't go into hybrid shutdown, then wake up angry.
shutdown /s /f /t 0
# or use:
shutdown /p
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