I just replaced my 2-year-old mainboard and my friend was considering buying all the other parts for a laptop. They’re worried they’re going to miss some of the things they need. Is it possible to just buy a laptop without a mainboard? Or is there a list of all the components you’d need to buy separately?
No, you would have to buy all the components separately. Assuming that you’re just supplying a bare mainboard, these are the components they would need:
Bottom Cover Kit
Top Cover Kit
You should also double check with Support if the Top and Bottom Cover Kit come with the necessary screws. From the images, it looks like they do but never hurts to double check.
The expert mode version of the DIY kit.
Link to someone who built the entire system from Market Place parts:
$49.00 - Battery - 55Wh
$49.00 - Power Adapter - 60W - US/Canada (Optional if you have 60W+ USB-C charger)
$99.00 - Bottom Cover Kit
$99.00 - Top Cover Kit - Original
$36.00 - Expansion Card (Your choice, at least one USB-C for charging recommended.)
$18.00 - Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210 No vPro® (Optional, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth)
$99.00 - Input Cover Kit - (Language of Choice)
$5.00 - Framework Screwdriver (Optional if you have T5 bit)
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Bottom Cover and Mainboard
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Input Cover and Keyboard
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Top Cover
$179.00 - Display Kit - Original
$49.00 - Bezel - Green (Black is only $39)
$39.00 - WD_BLACK™ SN770 NVMe™- M.2 2280 - 250GB (optional if you have one)
$240.00 - DDR4-3200 - 64GB (2 x 32GB) (amount you get is optional)
$XX.XX - Operating System (depends on your choice of OS)
$786 + (tax & shipping) - 16GB ram + wifi & bluetooth but OS not included.
You can install windows for free then get a license later or install Linux.
Honestly, as others mentioned, just message support and they’ll help you pick out all the parts and save a lot of headache.
I reached out to support a while back and unfortunately they don’t offer DIY kits without the motherboard. I should point out you need to pay attention to availability if you’re buying parts from a list. I preordered one of the new AMD mainboards instead of getting a clearance intel because they don’t have kits available without a motherboard, and several key components were out of stock at the time.
If anyone between you is open to having an extra mini PC or headless server, you could buy a Cooler Master case instead for your old mainboard.
One other thing I forgot to mention is you need to be careful what ram and wi-fi card you get. Some configurations won’t work with some mainboards. So always double check the mainboard’s compatibility with the parts or contact support for confirmation on the compatibility of the parts
There are some parts that weren’t listed, but that’s because they’re included in some other kits. The original top cover kit includes the antenna module, the webcam module, the cables for those two things, and the hinges. The bottom cover kit includes the audio board and cable, the speakers, and the WiFi bracket. The input cover includes the keyboard and the touchpad, and their associated cables.
Check with support to see if you need any of those fastener kits. You certainly won’t need the input cover one because the input cover itself comes with all its fasteners. The bottom cover comes with the fasteners for the parts it includes but may not include the mainboard ones; similarly the top cover and the fasteners for the display.
You could choose the CNC top cover rather than the original; that doesn’t come with the hinges or the webcam module so you would also need to buy those parts, but would give you the option of going with the nicer second generation hinges. You can also choose the matte display rather than the original glossy one if you like; it’s the same price.
If you’re building with the 11th gen or 12th gen mainboard, you want the Intel AX210 WiFi card. (The older AX201 that came with the pre-built 11th gen systems will also work with the 11th gen mainboard if you have one lying around.) The AX211 is strictly for use with the 13th gen Intel mainboard and will not work with the earlier ones; an AX210 will also work if you have one. The RZ616 is the recommended card for use with the Ryzen mainboard. I believe an AX210 would also work, though it’s not a supported configuration; an AX211 will NOT.
The real catch with all of this is that the price isn’t very appealing if you have to buy everything; you might do better to wait until refurbished DIY systems show up again. This option might make more sense for an owner who already has some leftover components; for example, if you upgraded to the CNC cover and therefore have an unused original one, or you upgraded to a Ryzen mainboard so you have leftover DDR4 RAM.
Previous discussion of a similar topic: Framework DIY minus mainboard