Although the system is offered with an i7 option, it's not a guaranteed to work upgrade - it's not uncommon these days for systems to ship with different boards for the i7 CPUs. So - it'll wind up an experiment (that will void your warranty if that's a consideration).
It'll have to wait till we are a bit quieter here at work, as I use it for business. I'm planning to upgrade from an I5 to an I7 variant if I can - straight processor swap.
I use it for Labview and FPGA compiling a fair bit, so clock speed / thoughput per core is the most important for me (FPGA compiler is a single core process on Labview ).
Curious to see if you were able to simply change CPU without changing the motherboard. I want to do the same thing as you with my Dell Vostro 3550 i5 2430m. Would like a plug-and-play solution. LOL.
I have to be honest, I havent had time yet due to work loads. Sorry.
From the feedback on here it seems possible. I guess the first thing would be to open it up and check the socket type. Find a processor to suit, and then check to see if the bios supports it?
Let me know if you try it before I get round to it.