DIY lap­tops

Custom PC - - FEEDBACK -

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

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