This is a written version of my latest video, feel free to check the video below for a watchable version of this article. I recently picked up a Lenovo ThinkPad T440P for $210 Australian dollars and with it being one of the rare laptops with an upgradeable CPU slot I decided I would upgrade it along with replacing the Hard Drive with an SSD.
Video of The Project
The parts I used to upgrade the laptop are an Intel i7 4700MQ which I got for $65 AUD ($42 USD) and a Crucial BX500 240GB SSD I got for $55 AUD ($35 USD).
#Step 1. Removing the Backplate This is incredibly easy to do on the T440P as it only requires removing two screws from the bottom of the laptop pictured below, once these screws are removed the battery needs to be slid out using the two switches on the bottom of the laptop. The last part of this step is to slide the backplate of the bottom of the laptop which reveals the slots to replace the CPU, RAM and HDD.
#Step 2. Replacing the Hard Drive Now that the laptop is open the first thing we are going to replace is the old 500GB Seagate Hard Drive. This step is quite simple, it involves first removing the single screw that holds the hard drive caddy in place and once that’s removed we can lift the caddy from the laptop. We now need to detach the hard drive from the caddy, which is as simple as detaching the plastic from the drive. Once it’s detached we can then install the new SSD into the caddy and then into the computer. When the drive assembly is installed into the computer we can reinsert the screw to secure the drive back in place.
#Step 3. Replacing the CPU Replacing the CPU is very simple on this laptop, it involves first loosening the screws that hold the cooler in a star pattern. Once the screws have been loosened you will need to disconnect the cooler fan plug. The cooler should now lift off the CPU, it would be a good idea at this stage to make sure the CPU cooler is clean of dust as it can really build up over the laptops life. Next, we will take the CPU out of the rPGA947 socket, to do this we need to grab a driver and rotate the screw to the correct direction for the CPU to lift from the socket. Once the CPU is lifted from the socket we will replace it with the i7 4700MQ CPU, make sure the markers on the CPU and socket are lined up with each other before installing. Once the CPU has been installed we will need to clean both the surface of the CPU and cooler with rubbing alcohol and a cotton bud, we can now install the new thermal paste onto the CPU but make sure you only use a pea-sized amount of thermal paste and that it doesn’t overlap the die. Next, we will need to reinstall the cooler which involves first plugging the fan header back in and then retightening the cooler screws in a star pattern.
#Step 4. Reassembly Once this is complete we can complete the final step of the process which is reassembly, we just need to slide the bottom cover back onto the laptop and reinsert and tighten the two screws we removed earlier. Once we have reinserted the battery and the plugged in the charger the laptop can be powered on and if everything went to plan the laptop should boot and show the new CPU and SSD in the BIOS. If you have any issues make sure you inserted the CPU correctly into the socket.
Overall this upgrade was incredibly simple and almost doubled the performance of the laptop, one disadvantage of this upgrade though was the extra heat produced by the upgraded CPU and the battery life lost. If you have any questions or feedback feel free to leave it in the comments below.