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Ever since I got into tech, I wondered if it would be possible to make a custom laptop from scratch. One of my friends said yes, with the right parts it would be possible. But when I looked online, I couldn't see a single dedicated laptop motherboard for sale, excluding ones people took out of their old devices. Why is it that laptop components aren't produced and sold like their desktop counterparts?

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2 minutes ago, MWR Tech- Samuel said:

Ever since I got into tech, I wondered if it would be possible to make a custom laptop from scratch. One of my friends said yes, with the right parts it would be possible. But when I looked online, I couldn't see a single dedicated laptop motherboard for sale, excluding ones people took out of their old devices. Why is it that laptop components aren't produced and sold like their desktop counterparts?

Because a lot of things in laptop mother board (especially the CPU and GPU) is being mounted using whats called a ball grid array or BGA. BGA is just like pins in your CPU or your motherboard, but for the chips to function, youll need a special solder to melt the balls and basically "glue it together". This can apply to a lot of parts in the laptop boards, and the tools, experience to use the tools, and the inherent time and money can get REALLY expensive. I think by "right parts" he means "right suppliers". You should try search around for laptop OEMs from the likes of Clevo who have been in the game for way longer. A lot of companies rebranded Clevo products as their own as part of cost saving measures and experience building, and you can buy from them directly.

I don't work at Dell, i just love semi formal English.

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5 minutes ago, SorryClaire said:

Because a lot of things in laptop mother board (especially the CPU and GPU) is being mounted using whats called a ball grid array or BGA. BGA is just like pins in your CPU or your motherboard, but for the chips to function, youll need a special solder to melt the balls and basically "glue it together". This can apply to a lot of parts in the laptop boards, and the tools, experience to use the tools, and the inherent time and money can get REALLY expensive. I think by "right parts" he means "right suppliers". You should try search around for laptop OEMs from the likes of Clevo who have been in the game for way longer. A lot of companies rebranded Clevo products as their own as part of cost saving measures and experience building, and you can buy from them directly.

Thanks, this is very helpful. I've heard of Clevo before and will look into it.

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BGA has nothing to do with it, that wasnt a thing just a few years ago, ie haswell and older were socketed.

The reason laptop motherboards arent standardized is because laptops arent standardized, theyre all different. There is no laptop equivalent to the atx standard which defines where components must be on the board, what shape the board has to be, what types of slots, ports and other connections it must use, what power delivery it has to accept, what battery it has to accept.

 

Heres the motherboard from a Thinkpad T48061WOpZm41IL._AC_SL1280_.thumb.jpg.0b72703edc390b04049ebfaf20f1cc4c.jpg

 

Heres the motherboard from an HP 14 (8th gen)

AJB8_1_201909171280910915.jpg.4d107c1c7f62c314a704aabdc87fd7b5.jpg

Heres the motherboard from a 2018 macbook pro

GS184006.thumb.jpg.408a51be6b71c394fa12aaa400473d03.jpg

 

There are no off the shelf options because there is zero standardization. BGA has nothing to do with it. There are desktop boards with BGA soldered on processors and there were laptops with mobile sockets.

 

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The only exception to this are groups or individuals who make modern motherboards to replace the standard boards in old machines. For example a chinese group called 51nb makes modern boards for old thinkpads.

me972aaekuv41.jpg

This machine is a thinkpad x201, which took first gen i5/i7's, maxed at 8gb of 1066mhz ddr3, and had a 1280x800 display

Here is it with a 51nb "x2100" motherboard, which is an 8th gen i5, up to 32gb of ddr4 and a 2880x1920 display panel

All in the shell of a thinkpad from 2010.

 

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49 minutes ago, 8tg said:

BGA has nothing to do with it, that wasnt a thing just a few years ago, ie haswell and older were socketed.

The reason laptop motherboards arent standardized is because laptops arent standardized, theyre all different. There is no laptop equivalent to the atx standard which defines where components must be on the board, what shape the board has to be, what types of slots, ports and other connections it must use, what power delivery it has to accept, what battery it has to accept.

 

Heres the motherboard from a Thinkpad T48061WOpZm41IL._AC_SL1280_.thumb.jpg.0b72703edc390b04049ebfaf20f1cc4c.jpg

 

Heres the motherboard from an HP 14 (8th gen)

AJB8_1_201909171280910915.jpg.4d107c1c7f62c314a704aabdc87fd7b5.jpg

Heres the motherboard from a 2018 macbook pro

GS184006.thumb.jpg.408a51be6b71c394fa12aaa400473d03.jpg

 

There are no off the shelf options because there is zero standardization. BGA has nothing to do with it. There are desktop boards with BGA soldered on processors and there were laptops with mobile sockets.

 

Noted. Thanks for pointing that out.

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