Have a hp dv7-6b63us laptop with an 2nd gen. i7-2630QM 2.0 GHz cpu. I would like to put a faster, newer generation i7 cpu in it. Does anybody know for certain how far up the chain I can go and what may be the best version that will work properly to speed up my laptop?
You need to ask your motherboard or system manufacturer what processors are supported by their bios. Then, you can select from those.
An upgrade processor must be socket, chipset, and BIOS compatible. Only your laptop manufacturer can tell you which processors are supported.
However, I would not expect much of an improvement with a different processor, with a laptop as old as yours. You would get more improvement with more memory, or swapping your HDD for an SSD. Still, your laptop is from 2011, and anything you do will still leave you with an unsupported system on Windows 10.
Best to upgrade to a new(er) laptop that is supported by Windows 10.