Why does this tool exist? Over two years of personal frustration, and a desire to not be defeated by multinational corporations are just two reasons! Find out more on this page!
Since the Intel GM965 Express family of chipsets were released alongside their companion Merom processors back in 2007, many users have reported some very interesting findings — laptops marketed as using the low-end GL960 chipset, actually supporting upgrades and features very close to that of the higher-end GM965 chipset.
To make matters worse, Intel, of course, remains very silent on the subject, and refuses to explain why this is possible in the first place. Naturally, Intel would like as much market segmentation as possible to falsely justify the need for three tiers of chipsets for laptops based around the Core and Penryn architectures. For Intel, the less people know, the better.
Now, it's important to understand that not all laptops equipped with a GL960 chipset will be as flexible as their higher-end relatives. There are most definitely laptops out there with true GL960 chipsets, and therefore upgradability and processor compatibility for such laptops is very limited in comparison.
After many, many hours of research over the past five years, I was caught in the very same scenario with my ASUS X58L laptop. I battled through customer services and couldn't directly get the answer I wanted, and so ultimately I was only going to get a definitive answer through trial and error. Needless to say, I'm certain that my machine was the first to sport a T9000 series Core2 Duo, and the first to appear on GeekBench showing what an improvement such a processor makes. Since then, I've helped numerous others in finding the best upgrade options for their supposed "GL960" machines.
Ensuring upgrade path compatibility is very much a hit-and-miss situation, and is therefore understandably confusing for many users.
That's exactly why I made this tool. Since Intel refuses to provide any kind of insight into the existence of falsely advertised chipsets, it's up to the community of GL960/GM965 laptop users (a relatively large community, even still to this day) to help each other out with knowledge and suggestions. This tool is intended to assist in providing accurate and reliable upgrade paths for users with GL960 chipsets. It can also be used to identify legitimate GL960 chipsets against those that are closer feature-wise to GM965 chipsets.
To understand the differences between the GM965 Express family of chipsets, please head on over to the GL960 page, where I also provide a comparison between a true GL960 chipset, what's commonly marketed as a GL960 chipset, and the real GM965 chipset.
I'm urgently stressing that this tool does NOT take into consideration BIOS support for processor upgrades, as this would be nigh impossible to achieve, given how many different laptops were produced with both true GL960 and false GL960 chipsets. Use this tool at your own will. While there's no risk of damage to your laptop, there most definitely is a risk of purchasing upgrades that may not work. Always make sure you can return hardware you buy based on the results from this tool, and always seek a refund, should your upgrade be unsuccessful.
Intel is in no way, shape or form, affiliated with this project. The project was created purely as a tool to help and assist in laptop upgrades for systems based around Intel's Santa Rosa and Santa Rosa Refresh platforms, encompassing Merom and Penryn processor cores, and the GM965 Express family of chipsets.
Intel, the Intel logo, Celeron, Centrino, Intel Core, Intel SpeedStep and Pentium are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidaries in the United States and/or other countries.
Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.