Socketable CPUs

Socketable cpus are a thing of the past. But what if they wernt? Would there be a way to make a socketable CPU motherboard for the framework laptop? Maybe a slot where the cpu goes, as socketable cpus wouldn’t really work otherwise with modern cpus.


Technically you could use a desktop CPU as some desktop-replacement laptops do, but they’re larger and are configured for higher TDPs (usually no lower than 35-45w), though they can be manually set to lower TDPs by some good-ol’ fashioned underclocking and/or undervolting (something that could always be done out-of-the-box with a custom BIOS as well - though apparently Intel has locked down undervolting nowadays?).

Also, I’m not sure about Intel, but I know AMD has an “Eco mode” in their desktop BIOS that simply runs 65w TDP desktop CPUs at 45w (as well as running 105w TDP CPUs at 65w) - that’s something that could simply be enabled by default (which is at least what one AM4-based laptop did when paired with the 105w TDP Ryzen 3950X).

Lastly, again I’m not sure about Intel, but I know that AMD processors can be ran without a chipset as seen by the A300 and X300 not-so-chipset (which is more akin to a I/O passthrough more than anything) used by the likes of the ASRock DeskMini AM4 series.

So, at least in the case of just re-purposing desktop CPUs, it’d probably make more sense for a future theoretical 15" laptop or the like, if not just to even have additional space just to physically fit the larger dimensions of a desktop CPU, let alone the extra volume needed for a larger heatsink.

…unless you do something derpy like run a heatpipe to an additional heatsink in one or more expansion bay slots (which themselves could even include a small, slowly-spinning fan since surface temperature would be a concern with such a rig-up unless you want to maximize heatsink surface area and throw caution to the wind; Louis Rossmann’s suggestion of detachable internal USB-C connectors would have worked well in such a situation to provide more room for a heatsink and/or fan)


For sustainable and environmental and for so many reasons. Can Framework use socketed processors on their motherboard?

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Short answer: no

Longer answer: The only socketed processors are desktop models and those suck down power like there is no tomorrow. This is an ultra-portable not a desktop replacement so battery life (which hasn’t been fantastic to begin with) would absolutely nosedive. It would also require a complete redesign of the chassis, cooling solution, literally that’s a whole new laptop and would negate the whole point of upgradability thus far.

This question has been asked multiple times and you can find more info if you search the forum.


I feel like you didn’t read my post…

Protip: mobile CPU dies are identical to desktop CPU dies (though sometimes you can get a secondary desktop & workstation-exclusive die that is only used in higher-end desktop parts).

Also fun fact: socketable CPUs were a thing on laptops as recent as 2012 (it stopped being a thing with Haswell aka 4th gen Intel); heck the AMD E-350 in my 11.6" HP DM1 from 2011 which is a lower-watt part than Framework’s current offerings used a socketable CPU (though it’s absolutely buried unless you “cheat” and cut a bit of plastic, then it’s really easy to get to)

Honestly, a bigger problem might be that, even on desktop, Intel only tends to have two CPU generations on a motherboard socket, and those that have been “hackable” to support more generations is only because 6th through 10th gen all use the same CPU core architecture (e.g. no IPC gains outside of cache tweaks and security mitigations).

…but logistically there’s also the bit that Framework would need to basically have custom binning unless the aforementioned “eco mode” on AMD CPUs even works on their 35w GE parts like the Athlon 200GE to take the wattage even lower…though, at the same time, 35w and 45w are totally doable in a more mid-sized laptop (e.g. 15") and is theoretically possible even in a smaller 13" if you simply stick with integrated graphics as is seen by even 14" laptops with discrete graphics (my sister’s old HP 8440p was one such device with an i5-520M + NVS 3100M which, btw, was also a socketable CPU)

My post was moved from another thread

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Ah, so you technically wouldn’t have read it after all. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, on the Intel side of things, they have their T-sku desktop processors that have a rated base tdp of 35w such as the i5-12600T, though the turbo tdp is much higher (though turbo tdp tends to be configurable on the motherboard/bios side of things anyway).

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Dose framework sell cpu on its own?

No, these are mobile CPUs and all soldered onto the mainboard, like all other laptops.

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thats a shame i understand all other laptops do it that way just wandere if there was a issue with just the cpu it would be nice to be able to replace just that insted of the whole motherbard

The issue is that Intel and AMD no longer make any socketed mobile CPUs, they are all soldered. Framework can’t use something that does not exist. And desktop CPUs can not be used, they’re just unacceptable for mobile use.

@ mods, perhaps merge with Socketable CPUs


I may be just been uniformed but at some point in the manufacturing frame work solder the CPU on to the main board.

It’s not something normal people can solder. Not without experience and costly equipment. It would be a High-Density BGA package.


Yes, the CPU gets soldered onto the main board because it is the only way of connecting it. There is no socket for mobile CPUs that can allow for CPU swapping, they only come in LGA/BGA packages, meaning they need to be soldered onto the PCB.

A solution can be a custom footprint to socket conversion board and a custom socket, but I think it would be an economical suicide and would increase points of failure. Not to mention the possible signal degradation.

I get the fact it might not be economically sound business. The most people argument seems hard most people don’t replace any part of a broken laptop and ether it becomes e waste or expensive to get fixed.

So would a mother board with a dead CPU just become e waste even though it is fixable.

It’s pretty rare for modern CPUs to fail. Usually, other components will fail first. So it’s really not a concern.


If really just the cpu died, a professional shop could still replace the cpu, though since the cpu is probably the most expensive part of the board there is a big question on if that is worth it from any angle. A fault in the board tends to be the reason for a dead cpu a lot more than the other way around.

Soldered storage on the other hand is just evil.

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This is probably the stinkiest part. To be clear, I’m all for the return of socketed CPU’s as a matter of principle, but honestly the benefits are so small and rare compared to the costs. At this point I think it would take a concerted engineering effort on the part of chipmakers to overcome some of the drawbacks to make this a viable option, and I don’t think they’re going to do that to reach a situation where they sell less chips because we can now salvage and resell CPU’s. I don’t think even the EU can force that to happen.

I think we’ll sooner see at-home BGA soldering equipment, which honestly I’d totally buy if it were easy enough to use. I’ve got a bad GeForce chip that’s been plaguing my old laptop for far too long!

At this point I kinda see the board of a laptop as an extension to the cpu, nobody is asking for socketable cpu dies even if those are separate parts soldered together. Also over time more and more of the motherboards jobs have moved into the “cpu” (more of an soc these days) so you are replacing pretty much the whole thing anyway. Back in the day the main-board at least housed the soldered chipset and soldered memory controller, all of that is on the cpu now. Hell with the intel chips they even offloaded parts of the wifi card into the cpu. At this point the mainboard pretty much just has to handle power and help with the io (most of that is on the cpu now too).

That’s actually a thing already, the chinese electronics scrappers are extremely crafty in that sense. You can get old laptop bga chips on an adapter to put in desktop boards, very janky but works. Or the salvaged mobile gpus that are sold as pcie cards with sometimes very sketchy drivers which might give you computer aids but actually kinda work. It’s just not something a normal person can do anymore.

On the other hand most of the ways you could kill a cpu back when they were socketed are not really a thing anymore. They all have built in thermal protection so dodgy cooler installation (or running without one) won’t really harm it and you can’t really over-volt them to death too. Physically cracking the die of course still works but with as small the laptop dies have got that is harder too, much easier with the giant gpu dies these days.

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Ah bless I remember the days of having desktop CPUs in laptops. I had a Compaq laptop that used desktop Athlon SKT939 CPUs in it. I upgraded that baby three times.

Upgraded many Intel based laptops with the laptop CPUs over the years as well. Always nice when the manufacturer made access to the slot an easy one. Even used to upgrade customers laptops for free if it was an easy swap. I had so many CPUs laying around.

But now everyone wants thin and crispy…forget it. Can’t have it both ways guys.