Swap out just the CPU itself?

Has anyone swapped out JUST the CPU on a framework yet? I’m curious how the UEFI handled it. The actual swapping is the kind of thing I do a lot, so thats not the challenge. I messaged Support about a possible PRO version of the CPUs and they said there wasnt a plan to produce them, so that leaves me to do it myself.

Its sad as it would bring DASH (out of band) type fleet management to the platform. Intel is a real (proprietary+$$$) bear about it with their stuff (which keeps having security issues), but AMD is much friendlier. Talking to a few other SMBs, they mentioned they would also be interested in such a solution, so if it’s a simple swap it might be worth my time to hand make custom builds, kind of like a tuner company does with cars (Cooper, Saleen, Roush, etc).

This is what I’m talking about basically if you’re not familiar with it all:
based on:


It’s not really practical. The CPU is soldered on, like most laptops have been since the beginning, almost. It’s very rare for any laptop in the last couple of decades to have a socketed CPU. I don’t think any mobile CPUs these days are made socketed, only desktop CPUs.

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The CPUs are soldered, like almost every laptop. You’d have to find someone who felt it was economical or interesting enough to source a CPU and do proper rework.

Honestly, I’d think the easiest source of compatible CPUs would be… other Framework mainboards. And if you’re gonna buy one, why risk the rework? So I don’t know if you’re going to see anyone try.

You are correct. I can and do do that type of work. It’s the after-the-swap-is-done that I’m asking about.

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Up until the last few years most fleet laptops were still socketed. Same goes for higher end consumer laptops. The trend started to shift around 2015 about when solid state storage got super cheap. Not that that was related, but just saying for mental reference’s sake.

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Awesome. Very, very few of the rest of us do :wink: So maybe it’d work, maybe it won’t. But I wouldn’t want to try it with home size/style reflow stuff, unless I was very, VERY experienced and good.

You’re welcome to do so and let us know. I suppose as long as the pinout and specs from that side are the same it could work fine. You’d know better than me probably.

I imagine Framework might be one of those rare companies that would be interested in sharing any information/resources they have on that, although probably a low priority for them to get back to you with that info.

Maybe it’d actually be something you can do a side gig for folks with Framework laptops. They ship you their mainboard, you upgrade them to a pin-compatible CPU of their choice (if you can get your hands on small quantities of the solder on CPUs). Would probably end up being cheaper than a full mainboard. $250? $300? $400? If there isn’t significant USB/TB upgrades, could be a decent/cheaper option if there was someone doing it reliably.

Personally, swapping out a CPU for a 1-2 generations newer, all else is more or less same features, that’d be an interesting possibility I might pay for.

I’d guess labor and effort and proper reflow machines would be the real $$$$$$, but if you can personally do it pretty quick (30 min? 60 min?) per mainboard, including getting the heatsink/liquid metal/etc off and back on properly, could be something you don’t have to price too high.

Really? I never did any of that level of laptop, although I suppose if you’re a company ordering thousands at a time it’d make sense you could get that feature. I thought it was much, much earlier that they stopped. Definitely the Ultrabook/Mac Pro era, where “thinner thinner thinner” was the name of the game.

After intel 3rd gen socketed cpus in laptops became extremely rare as far as I remember even in the busyness class mobile workstation segment. Before that it was quite common and after that it’s mostly just the desktop cpu in a laptop things like some meme tier clevo things.

Man I am definitely curious how that turns out. I hope you get to try it.

Where would you source the cpus though?

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It changed in around 2014, when Intel stopped offering socketed mobile CPUs. Until then they offered socketed ones for mainstream machines and BGA SoCs for the thin and lights like the MacBook Air.

4th gen were the last socketed ones.

I guess intel communicated that to the manufacturers as those seem to have been used a lot less than the 3rd gen ones. At least the product lines I cared about (mostly 14 and 15" think-pads, hp busyness class machines and to an extent dell busyness machines) started soldering after 3rd gen.

Would be neat if they would take another crack at socketed mobile cpus like they did with camm for memory but soldered cpus is something I can relatively comfortably live with, soldered ram I find a lot less palatable (though also somewhat understandable given the drawbacks of sodimms, lpcamm should have solved that though so no more excuses) and soldered storage is a hell no for me.


Another nice feature of the PRO SKUs would be ECC support. If you try this I would really like to know if that works. Poking around with Smokeless UMAF seems to indicate that ECC is not disabled in my AMD 13 UEFI settings. There might be missing initialization code/implementation, but the settings are visible there.

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Has DDR5 ECC the same pinout as non-ECC?

Can you please videotape this?
I want to either learn how something like this is done, or see your face, when it doesn’t work at all and you break your new and expensive mainboard :smiley:

Yes, use some in my AMD 13 right now. Without parity actually working of course.

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Yeah, the TDP was lower on the U chips. Which is why you end up with oddities like the ThinkPad X240 with the U chip being slower than the X230 that it replaced. :joy:

The L and the T series we got at work still used the socketed M chips. I’ve got a T540p somewhere as a backup machine, with a really fast quad core in it. Still runs Linux well today.

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To be fair it was also significantly more power efficient and smaller than it’s predecessor, and optionally came with a screen that didn’t make you want to gouge your eyes out XD.

I do still have 1.5 X270s and used to have an x250 and then x260 (the only one I got new was the x250). Still love the form factor, I should probably do a modded thicc base for the framework for nostalgia sake at some point.

I modded a quadcore in a t430 once, ran well but the screen (I know there are mods to fix that but it would have cost more than I spent on the entire thing) was so bad I ended up selling it. Fun project though and it’s just simply cool that was even possible.

Regarding Intel, going back through my piles of laptops (literally close to 100 units), most the sockets die out at around gen 3-4, but online I can find reference to sockets up into the Broadwell architecture, though not all laptops used exclusively ‘mobile’ CPUs so even that doesn’t strictly mean anything. They still sell CPUs that old, so I still see new PCs with these older chips in them all the time; you don’t need the newest chip to process financial transactions or door card access. :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s all somewhat moot though as I’m focusing in on AMD for this project and the newer Framework 16 series. I’ll admit though, it would make sense to start with the older used intels/boards that are available to see whats likely to ‘break’.

I do this to servers, too, and cars. So unless this costs more than a quad CPU Xeon or a Tesla, I’m not really concerned. But yah, I think recording it would be cool.

If you wanted to do it yourself, cheap tooling to do it would be a few hundred dollars, good equipment would be a couple thousand (or more of course). The first laptop I ever did I used my kitchen stove and a steady hand; I still have that one and it works. So it really boils down to what skill set you have, attention to details, and a surgeon’s-level steady hand (or machine). Nerves help too I’d say. lol

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Yah, I saw a clevo not long ago with a Skylake I think it was. I dont touch them too much though. Mostly I work with fleet stuff, high-end gaming stuff, toughbooks and the ilk, or things with Xeons in em. I was actually surprised when I opened an HP and found the Xeon was BGA. That’s not normal to me.

For this project I could just source a MB with the CPU I want from the used markets and remove it. Easier (and cheaper) than buying a whole tray of CPUs.

This is the kind of info I’m wondering about. It’s not like I’ll get this info from any other manufacturer, but HERE I actually might, which makes it feasible to try.

Otherwise I’m stuck hacking BIOS/UEFI dumps, which is not my jam. I can do it …ok…but not well and its not what I like doing. And now days its even worse with some outfits compiling the ‘bios’ and/or only offering ‘updates’ with no core if you need a full reflash (looking at you Lenovo).

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You see that too today with things like the Intel 10700 vs the 11700. You would think that lower speeds or reduced cores would hurt, but the other improvements, like the amount of work that can be done per cycle, and the efficiency, can be worth the trade outs. More recently for gamers its the 5800x3D vs the 5950x3D debate; the cache makes or breaks the real world performance, not the speed or core count (although that depends on the application, but thats getting into the weeds).

If it was all just about raw speed numbers, the AMD bulldozer/Piledriver would have been a great CPU and not the dog pile it was. (I just noticed I have one sitting in front of me; irony!)