Framework NUC and Converter Kit?

I was thinking long term of how I’d want to upgrade my laptop in the future, and I’ll probably end up buying a new board once they come out, and when the time is right for me. This probably wont be for at least a few years however.

The problem with this is that the board I have in it will then end up becoming ewaste if I cant use it for some other purpose. I have a NUC I use on the side for a few things, and this framework board could theoretically replace that lower powered device. The problem would then be how would I do that? Does anyone have any thoughts on making a NUC converter kit, or outright selling NUC’s with the same laptop boards in them?

It would need to have enough USB outputs and HDMI, or possibly leverage the same expansion card idea as part of the case, hopefully in the back of the case. Other things like VESA mount and 2.5 inch drive bay slot would be bonus points, although usage of said feature would require a board with SATA on it.

I’m in no rush for something like this, I personally want to see a 15.6 inch framework laptop first before I see a NUC, but surely someone in this forum has ideas on how to implement something like this.


Folks are way ahead of you on this one:

I myself am making a UMPC with mine. I’ll be posting about it as soon as I can make more progress on it. I’ve been waiting on some parts for a while now.

What you see above is precisely the reason why Framework engineered the mainboard to be usable outside of the Framework laptop. It is their commitment to longevity made evident by the fact that these sorts of things are even possible.

:+1: :+1:


I’d love a relatively simple (read: solder-free, 3d-design-free) solution to replace my NUC. I could see the Framework board in a tiny desktop version, but am not sure I want to spend the extra $$ on another Framework that I might screw up…

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I’m glad to see somebody else is considering the same problem I had in my mind (not the NUC part but the e-waste part). Although guys did make cool DIY units of their mainboard, I think we have to admit that the mainboard cannot compete with those tiny NUCs in size, making it less attractive in some ways.
I was hoping Framework could come up with a trade-in and refurbish solution. It’s not e-waste anymore if we can turn back mainboards when upgrading and Framework use them to build refurbish units targeting at lower prices. Not everyone needs the most up-to-date powerful CPUs. Wouldn’t it be great for people who have a limited budget to get refurbished old-module Framework laptops to fulfill their basic needs, and upgrade the laptops when they have more money in their pockets?


What about the reverse? Recycling the old mainboard in a framework laptop and upgrading the “nuc” :wink:
I just found out about framework and thought about this for many years now.
Over time I settled on the nickname “deskbook”. Many times I’ve considered the option to just buy a NUC but it doesn’t fulfill my scenario, not optimally at least.

The scenario is this: A power user that works full time with a decently powered machine. Needs to work in two locations. At each location the user has access to an external monitor/keyboard/mouse/ethernet/power supply. The user has other devices for small/unrelated tasks (aka the old mainboard powered framework :grin:). The user doesn’t care to use the device outside of said two locations. The device is then the minimum amount of hardware necessary to bring along to have all data/computing power/functionalities.
In short a notebook that isn’t. Just a case for laptop hardware.

I’ve come to the conclusion that such a case should be sized as a normal notebook, just without the hinged lid. It should be made of 3 parts: base cover, top cover and replaceable sides to allow for different ports designs. Every part is upgradable and especially there could be a market for exotic materials or custom art designs for the covers given that they would greatly outlast the electronics (titanium anyone?)

Seems obvious but worth mentioning: thunderbolt and usb c changed the game on this. The device MUST be able to be powered and deliver connectivity to 2 monitors, mouse, keyboard, network with a single cable (the framework mainboard shouldn’t have problems with this already).
The battery is not required, maybe just a small single module to act as a UPS (with auto hibernate after a short while as you wouldn’t see anything as the monitor loses power).

Oh boy…I could go on but I’ll leave it here to see if there’s any interest

@Shion_Valenta You’ve practically described what I’ve done previously on my previous HTPC (a laptop with the top screen removed) and what I’m doing for my primary PC (a Ryzen-based “gaming tablet” with the internal screen disconnected) in order to have my PC not generating heat in the same room that I’m in (the room I’m in is at the end of a hallway, so all I have to do is position the PC at the end of the hall where there’s roughly a foot of “blank” space and run the cable(s) through the gap under the closed door).

However I’m also quite OCD about fan noise, and fan control was non-existent on both devices so, in both situations, I unplugged the internal fan(s) and rig up some 120mm/140mm ATX case fans with the top or back cover of the device removed.

My future plan for my primary PC is to quite literally use a Framework laptop mainboard, maybe with the bottom laptop housing just to hold things in place (though I might just use the inside of a motherboard box or the like) as it ticks several key advantages over other SFF solutions:

  • fan control
  • battery charge limit functionality
  • can boot with the battery disconnected
  • can be used in a portable form-factor when I’m on-the-go
  • theoretically could support ECC memory via the WIP CoreBoot porting efforts

I really would want at least 6 CPU cores so the Alder Lake version is my bare minimum unless Framework makes a budget-focused AMD Mendocino version that’s substantially cheaper, then I’d be fine with 4 cores.

That being said, I really need to be able to have aspect-preserved GPU resolution scaling on X11 and, while it “just works” on AMD iGPUs, it does not “just work” on Intel iGPUs for external displays (see also: this Linux Mint forum thread where I documented my woes trying to get this to work on Intel graphics).

…unless someone wants to buy me a new monitor that has not only low power draw (my current one is only 10-11w measured from the wall) but also has built-in aspect ratio correction options. :stuck_out_tongue:

The absolute perfect solution would be if there were a way to mount a nice large heatsink and fan to the Framework’s CPU. I’m even willing to use a graphite pad so that I don’t have to keep re-pasting if/when I use it in “laptop mode” (I used a graphite pad when fixing my cousin’s RROD’d Xbox 360 under the premise that we’d rather not have to crack open the thing again).

It’d be even better if someone also made a 4x lane m.2 2280 --to-> dual 2x lane m.2 2230 riser/adapter; I can’t imagine that, as m.2 2230 SSDs gain more capacity and PCIe speeds keep growing, such a thing won’t eventually get made at some point (there’s even talk of using only 2 lanes for PCIe gen5 SSDs so as to allow more lanes for other I/O).

…though it looks like A+E --to-> M-key m.2 adapters exist (though they can’t fully sit into an m.2 2230’s spacing) so it’s only work with the mainboard “docked” and not in “laptop mode” unless you fit it into the battery compartment or something (would would obviously only work with the battery removed).