CPU and GPU upgrade on Acer Aspire 6930G

Discussion in 'Acer' started by nklive, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. nklive

    nklive Notebook Evangelist

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    So I decided to give you an idea how to change the CPU (the GPU is easy) in 6930G.
    First things, first.
    This is a vague guide and quite clumsy so I have no responsibility whatsoever if you damage your laptop or you lose your data or anything bad happens to your laptop or you etc.
    I have to mention though that there is another guide written by lucino but unfortunately he hasn’t finished it and there are no photos. His guide looks more appropriate and safer than mine which is a bit risky but much quicker. Here is the link. lucino's guide
    I am not sure if there is an update or if he is planning to include photos and finish the guide.
    You will need a cross-head screwdriver around 3.0mm (you don’t say!!!) but also a flat one
    Please use some kind of protection from ESD (electrostatic discharge) like an antistatic or grounding strap or gloves. This will prevent the static sensitive components from being ruined (memory, video card, motherboard etc).
    Sometimes I don’t use it but I know how to discharge myself (i.e. by touching a metallic surface) before touching the laptop.
    Then you will need some kind of thermal compound for the CPU and the GPU, I use Arctic Silver 5 (AS5).
    You might want to use thermal pads as well for your graphic card’s memory (I don’t) so buy some before you move on.
    You will also need good quality cotton swab, ethanol and a pair of tweezers (preferably plastic ones)
    REMOVE BATTERY AND POWER CABLE
    Turn laptop upside down. Unscrew the following screws and lift the lid (photo 1).
    Now you see the heatsink for the CPU and the graphic card (GC) sitting on top of the other part of the heat sink.

    To remove the GC, unscrew the four screws and gently lift the GC from one side (the one opposite the MXM connector) (photo 2). It is lightly stuck on the heat sink (HS) but you can pull it upwards gently. Just make sure you have totally loosen (or even better remove) the four screws otherwise it won’t be lifted up. Then you can slide out the GC and you can replace with another GC. Before putting the new GC though, clean the HS surface with mild organic solvent (like 95%-100% ethanol), remove any thermal pads or traces of them, wait to dry and replace them with new. Apply some AS5 or thermal pads on the GPU core and on the memory chips as well. But don't put thermal pads and thermal compound together. Now you are ready to slide in the new GC at 45o degrees and then push it down gently and screw back the four screws.

    Now the CPU
    That is more difficult than the GC.
    You need to loosen the four screws that are holding the HS down on the CPU (photo 3). Then lift up gently the HS and underneath you will see the CPU. The HS cannot be removed at this stage. If you want that you will need to do the whole laptop and lucino guide might be more helpful. As you hold the HS up gently, slide it to the left or to the right so you can loosen the screw of the CPU socket (where the arrow in the photo 3 is pointing) by using the flat screwdriver. Usually a ¾ turn is enough. I have attached a photo from another laptop where the screw can be seen more clearly (photo 4). You will see the whole socket with the CPU on to slide slightly towards the screw. Again I have a photo from another laptop (photo 5). On the left part is the socket unlocked and on the right locked. The CPU is released and you can remove it. Now that is not easy as the HS is in the way. So what I did, I turn the laptop upside down again and place it on a high surface. Have the laptop on the edge, almost half of it hanging out so you can see underneath it. Pull the HS down, shake the CPU or use the tweezers and it should fall on the HS (photo 6). Now with a pair of tweezers you can catch the CPU and gently pull it out, carefully not to damage the pins.
    Turn the laptop upside down again. Deep the cotton swabs in ethanol and by holding up the HS try to clean the surface of the HS that was touching the CPU. Try to remove any traces of previous thermal compound or thermal pads. Be very careful not to touch any other surface and spread the thermal compound all over the place. Look at your hands as well and wash them if they are dirty.
    Now you can apply some AS5 on the new CPU and then by holding the HS up you can slide it carefully and gently back on the socket. There is a gold arrow (triangle to be precise) on the CPU (bottom left), when you place the CPU on the socket try to match it with the triangle of the socket (photo 7 and 4). I would suggest you not to use thermal pads instead as Acer does with the laptops. You will see the CPU dropping on the socket as the pins fill the holes of the socket. Then you can tight the screw of the socket so the CPU is locked on the socket. Be very sure the CPU is in place before you tight the screw because if not all the pins are in the holes, you might damage the pins as you tight the screw and thus destroying the CPU. Finally place the HS on top of the CPU, and tighten the four screws on top. While you tighten the screws, try to hold still the HS and not letting it slide left-right because you will spread the thermal compound unevenly. That’s it, now you place the lid cover back in place, put the power cable and the battery back and hopefully the laptop will come alive as usual.

    Just to remind you, I think the 6930G with the new BIOS 3236 is not compatible with the 8600M GT. It is working fine with the 3121 BIOS. I haven’t fully tested the card though but it plays games fine and you can overclock it as well.

    The upgrades I did were the CPU, from T5800 to T9300, the graphic card, from 9300M GS to 8600M GT, and the memory, from 3GB to 4GB.
     

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  2. nklive

    nklive Notebook Evangelist

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    The maximum photos I could put in the previous post were 6 so the 7th photo is here
     

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  3. Nm1

    Nm1 Notebook Consultant

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    Can't find 3121 in Acer's site? Where can I find?
     
  4. nklive

    nklive Notebook Evangelist

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    You can look in the European ACER Support site.
    (I couldn't put the link because it was unavailable at the time)
    Both BIOS are there. Or you can look in the FTP site.
    ACER FTP
    In the European FTP site only the 3121 Bios is there.
     
  5. chrisfrancis27

    chrisfrancis27 Newbie

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    Hi

    Forgive me for asking, as I don't know much about these things, but would the 6930G support a GPU upgrade from 9300M GS (256MB) to 9600M GT (512 MB)? Acer ships this laptop with both of these cards, mine has the 9300M GS, and I'd rather have the 9600M GT!;) I gather I'd probably just need to flash the BIOS, and make sure that the 9600M GT had an MXM-II connection, have I missed something here...?

    Cheers
    Chris
     
  6. nklive

    nklive Notebook Evangelist

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    Welcome to the forum mate.
    The 6930g will support 9600M GT DDR3 or DDR2 (DDR3 is much better than DDR2) and as far as I know, in most cases, you don't need to flash the laptop's BIOS but you might need to flash the graphic card's BIOS (vBIOS). If the 9600M GT has Acer BIOS on it, then you are safe. Otherwise, you can install the card and if it's not working then you might need to flash the card. Of course the card needs to be MXM-II, but I am not sure if there are other types of MXM for the 9600M GT. In other words, I don't think you are going to have a problem with the MXM type of the card.
    Another card that you might find interesting to install is the ATI Mobility HD 4650 1GB DDR2 (link). That also is compatible with the 6930G. Regarding performance I think the ATI has the edge but both are quite good. It's a shame there isn't an ACER ATI 4650 DDR3 MXM-II for the 6930G, that would have been awesome.
    If you have any other questions, feel free to come back to this forum. If you do manage to do the upgrade, you can let us know how it went, if you have any problems, how much more powerful is your laptop etc.
     
  7. chrisfrancis27

    chrisfrancis27 Newbie

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    Thanks for the excellent info nklive, and great tutorial by the way. I didn't know that the ATI 4650 would be compatible - that's really interesting as it looks to be a more powerful card than the 9600 GT. So you're saying that the 6930G is able to accept both DDR2 and DDR3 graphics memory? I thought it was not possible to interchange these, although I'm guessing the DDR connections are on the GPU itself and therefore won't affect the motherboard.:confused:

    Cheers
    Chris
     
  8. nklive

    nklive Notebook Evangelist

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    Triturbo managed to install the ATI 4670 DDR3 MXM-II in his laptop 5920G. He posted the result of his achievement today. He probably got his card from MSI directly (disappointedly, he doesn't want to reveal his source) and then managed to installed it in 5920G without any problems.
    I would suggest you to wait for a couple of weeks or even a month before you buy any card. You might be able to get yourself a much better card. However if you want one now, 9600M GT DDR3 is a very good option compared to the 9300M GS you have now.

    I didn't quite understand your question regarding the type of DDR memory on the graphic card. In Acer 6930G you can install either the 9600M GT 512MB DDR2 or the 9600M GT 512MB DDR3. That doesn't mean it can accept any MXM-II card that has DDR2 or DDR3 memory.
     
  9. chrisfrancis27

    chrisfrancis27 Newbie

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    That's brilliant, thanks so much nklive. Yeah I reckon I'll probably just go for the 9600M GT as that should be sufficient for my needs, and I know for sure that there are stable BIOS versions for the 6930G and cooling shouldn't be an issue.

    My mistake about the DDR2 / DDR3 question - that would only apply if I were to try and change the memory on the GPU itself, which I definitely won't be doing! Seems to me that the 6930G would be a pretty easy laptop for upgrading the GPU, relatively speaking.

    I know that I'll eventually be limited by the performance of the CPU (T5800 2.0GHz) but for anyone reading this who wants a quick and easy gaming framerate increase on their 9300M GS, just turn off all PhysX settings (through the control panel) - I practically doubled my framerate just doing that with NO loss in visual quality.
     
  10. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Just note that it's GDDR3 that you want for GPUs. In a nutshell, the HD 4650/70 GDDR3 > 9600M GT GDDR3 > HD 4650/70 DDR2 (no G, just regular DDR2) > 9600M GT DDR2. Make sure of the memory type on the GPU before you purchase since you cannot change it yourself. Btw the T5800 should still be fine for most games since even the HD 4650/70 GDDR3 would still be limiting.
     
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