I really enjoy reading your magazine and I regularly build desktops from scratch – I use them to experiment with different operating systems. I’ve also become a new subscriber to the magazine.
My main problem is that I’m tight on space, and I wish I could build a laptop from scratch.
A few of my friends who also build computers from scratch would like the same. For people with space issues, I feel there should be options for people to build a laptop from scratch.
Ben: We had a look at building a laptop from scratch many years ago, and found that it was fraught with difficulties. Each chassis is different, using custom motherboards that will only accommodate certain components, as well as custom cooling systems that have specific limitations. That’s before you get to all the problems with expansion and making room for the ports you want.
With a desktop, you can assume that your graphics card will slot into your PCI-E slot, and that there will be room for its cooler. You can’t do that with a laptop because there’s so much variety. It also doesn’t help that the OEM chassis used by system builders aren’t usually available to the public at retail either. You just don’t have the same modular parts and standardised form factors.
You can buy hobbyist kits for making your own Raspberry Pi laptop, and so on, but your options are really limited in terms of proper PCs. I love the idea of building a custom laptop though. Is there possibly a gap in the market for a standardised bare bones chassis with different motherboard options, and where component manufacturers agree on a basic specification to provide modular components? Yes, I think. Will it happen? Sadly, I doubt it.
I’m taking my custom graphics card backplate to Insomnia, where I’m hoping to get it signed by 8pack
The lack of modular components makes DIY laptops impractical