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Return of socketed / upgradeable CPUs and GPUs for laptops at Computex?


1610ftw

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Just watched a video from Jarrod's tech and was rather stunned to see this:

 

 

Looking forward to hear more and at this point anything except external GPUs via TB5 would be a very unexpected and hopefully welcome surprise!

 

 

 

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This would be most welcome news. I can see with not only AMD chips (not sure why one wasn't made for the 7000 series) but especially Intel's Ultra/AL line up returning to some voltage sanity we could see a few models. I'm equally curious to see if it would be a hybrid like the NH55 or one with interchangeable graphics as well.

 

 

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I just hope it will be something exciting:

 

18" or more

top tier CPU and GPU performance

top tier connectivity

top tier memory and storage options

 

Or to speak in Clevo terms we want a new version of the X170 and not the NH55 and we need some kind of upgrade perspective over a number of generations.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, 1610ftw said:

I just hope it will be something exciting:

 

18" or more

top tier CPU and GPU performance

top tier connectivity

top tier memory and storage options

 

Or to speak in Clevo terms we want a new version of the X170 and not the NH55 and we need some kind of upgrade perspective over a number of generations.

 

 

 

Preaching to the choir brother! 👏🙏

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8 hours ago, electrosoft said:

 

Preaching to the choir brother! 👏🙏

 

At least it is nice that something is being done. Even if they do not get it perfect from the start others may take notice and build their own more modular system.

 

I have maintained for some time that Asus and MSI as motherboard manufacturers would be in a better position to give us a classic socketed systems.

And then you have Dell, HP and Lenovo - three very big companies that can do whatever they set their sights on - it is just a matter of going...

 

I think Dell had some very modular concept laptop some time ago that never went anywhere until now (not the Area 51m) and in my opinion the trick is to make the higher cost of modularity palatable by offering it for higher end systems. Hard to justify modularity in a laptop that with a less modular platform could be had for 1000 bucks but when we are looking at the top price ranges it is not too bad if people have to pay a surcharge for modularity and upgradeability.

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What's the tl;dr of the 43-minute video?  I can guess based on the title, but is there anything substantiated?

 

In addition to what 1610ftw wrote, a good upgradeable laptop would also benefit from:

 

 - Great cooling.  This also applies to the GPU, which in practice tends to have a wider range of power consumption than CPUs.

 - Multi-generation CPU support.  Think AM4 on the desktop.  Intel tends to only support a socket for two generations

 - Standardized interfaces between the GPU and the heatsink.  This wasn't the case with MXM and meant that unless you had metalworking skills or a high level of thermal pad modding expertise, it was often difficult to upgrade to a GPU that your laptop didn't ship with.

 - Still being a good laptop in other regards.  Good screen, good keyboard, etc.

 

But yes, I'll be interested in what upgradeable options are out there in 2026 or 2027 when my current laptop has aged a few more years.  At this point I think Framework is still the leader, with their swappable GPU module, but it remains to be seen what upgrades are offered to that in practice, and more options, especially that include socketed CPUs, would be welcome.

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Possibly a few options too!! Curious about which vendors have decided to do this.

 

8 hours ago, Sandy Bridge said:

What's the tl;dr of the 43-minute video?  I can guess based on the title, but is there anything substantiated?

 

In addition to what 1610ftw wrote, a good upgradeable laptop would also benefit from:

 

 - Great cooling.  This also applies to the GPU, which in practice tends to have a wider range of power consumption than CPUs.

 - Multi-generation CPU support.  Think AM4 on the desktop.  Intel tends to only support a socket for two generations

 - Standardized interfaces between the GPU and the heatsink.  This wasn't the case with MXM and meant that unless you had metalworking skills or a high level of thermal pad modding expertise, it was often difficult to upgrade to a GPU that your laptop didn't ship with.

 - Still being a good laptop in other regards.  Good screen, good keyboard, etc.

 

But yes, I'll be interested in what upgradeable options are out there in 2026 or 2027 when my current laptop has aged a few more years.  At this point I think Framework is still the leader, with their swappable GPU module, but it remains to be seen what upgrades are offered to that in practice, and more options, especially that include socketed CPUs, would be welcome.

 

He basically says that upgradable CPUs and GPUs in laptops could be making a return and stuff will be announced at Computex (next week). Just a 10 second mention after he talks about the Framework 16.

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8 hours ago, Sandy Bridge said:

What's the tl;dr of the 43-minute video?  I can guess based on the title, but is there anything substantiated?

 

You can just start the video, it starts at the right time code and it will only take a few seconds.

I guess we will see what really is behind it within a week.

 

Socketed CPUs that can be supported for multiple generations would be cool but the last generations of socketed laptops had the issue that even when something new came out for the same socket there was no upgrade path. This has to change or I can just get a laptop that is top of the line for the current gen and be done. 

 

And yes, I know that there are other reasons to root for socketed laptops but the only time that this was really exciting was when we went from something like a 6600K to an 8700K and then to a 9900K with socketed laptops - those were the days 🙂

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13 hours ago, Reciever said:

 

Cheaper and encourages replacing the laptop altogether instead of improving what you have.

just what i had in mind.. becuase back i didnt even knew they were soldered when one laptop stop working then i found out they were soldered. when i got my dell m4600 i found that this one is socketed. and ever since i ask my self how do i find out if the laptop is socketed or soldered. anyway to know.?

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1 hour ago, raptorddd said:

just what i had in mind.. becuase back i didnt even knew they were soldered when one laptop stop working then i found out they were soldered. when i got my dell m4600 i found that this one is socketed. and ever since i ask my self how do i find out if the laptop is socketed or soldered. anyway to know.?

 

That transition occurred around the time of Haswell, hq (soldered) had replaced mq (socketed) respectively for the CPU SKU 

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It would be great and if there a market for it and not super expensive. I really like what framework is doing with their laptops and i wish other OEM's was doing what they're doing. What i want a bit more than a swapable CPU and GPU is a swapable keyboard like back then since its the most fragile component of a laptop and currently you'll have to tear down a laptop completely to be able to replace it and the parts are hard to find...

 

3 hours ago, Reciever said:

 

That transition occurred around the time of Haswell, hq (soldered) had replaced mq (socketed) respectively for the CPU SKU 

 

Yea, Haswell was the last socketed CPU in laptops. I once did a motherboard replacement of my old HP ENVY Haswell laptop after the GPU failed and it pretty cheap then. Removed the CPU from the old motherboard which used a torx screw, and install on to the new motherboard, Still works now  

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8 hours ago, raptorddd said:

just what i had in mind.. becuase back i didnt even knew they were soldered when one laptop stop working then i found out they were soldered. when i got my dell m4600 i found that this one is socketed. and ever since i ask my self how do i find out if the laptop is socketed or soldered. anyway to know.?

 

Intel 13th and 14th gen and AMD Zen 4 are 100% soldered and the last really high performance socketed laptop generations were Intel 9th and 10th gen from Clevo, Dell/Alienware and MSI.

 

3 hours ago, KING19 said:

It would be great and if there a market for it and not super expensive. I really like what framework is doing with their laptops and i wish other OEM's was doing what they're doing. What i want a bit more than a swapable CPU and GPU is a swapable keyboard like back then since its the most fragile component of a laptop and currently you'll have to tear down a laptop completely to be able to replace it and the parts are hard to find...

 

 

Yea, Haswell was the last socketed CPU in laptops. I once did a motherboard replacement of my old HP ENVY Haswell laptop after the GPU failed and it pretty cheap then. Removed the CPU from the old motherboard which used a torx screw, and install on to the new motherboard, Still works now  

 

Usually HP and Dell workstations have easy to replace keyboards and most higher end Clevos, too.

Still got an old socketed 14" HP Elitebook - very nice design, not that big and most important built like a tank.

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OK, so first announcements / reports from Computex have so far not shown more modularity or anything like it for Acer, Asus and MSI.

 

We have other candidates of course like:

 

Clevo

Dell/Alienware

Framework

HP

Lenovo

TongFang / Uniwill

 

and some very unlikely candidates like Gigabyte / Aorus or Razer

 

So it will be interesting to see what happens in the next days.

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4 hours ago, 1610ftw said:

OK, so first announcements / reports from Computex have so far not shown more modularity or anything like it for Acer, Asus and MSI.

 

We have other candidates of course like:

 

Clevo

Dell/Alienware

Framework

HP

Lenovo

TongFang / Uniwill

 

and some very unlikely candidates like Gigabyte / Aorus or Razer

 

So it will be interesting to see what happens in the next days.

 

XMG have announced some BGA stuff too. Only a few models so hopefully more to come, but looking less likely to be Clevo or TongFang.

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I strongly doubt that anything coming from XMG would not be from Clevo or Tongfang/Uniwill and yes it would be nice to see more serious releases from them.

 

I have read in several places that Eluktronics were looking to release an 18" unit which would mean that hopefully later this year or next year we will see an 18" offering from TongFang/Uniwill.

 

 

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15 hours ago, 1610ftw said:

I strongly doubt that anything coming from XMG would not be from Clevo or Tongfang/Uniwill and yes it would be nice to see more serious releases from them.

 

I have read in several places that Eluktronics were looking to release an 18" unit which would mean that hopefully later this year or next year we will see an 18" offering from TongFang/Uniwill.

 

 

 

Aah yes I meant it's looking less likely this upgradable notebook will be Clevo or Tongfang. What gives me hope is that they announced only a few models so hopefully there is more to come.

 

If Clevo or Tongfang aren't releasing an upgradable notebook I'm not sure who else on that list it would be. Dellienware seems unlikely so you're left with Lenovo? More upgradeable models from Framework? My other guess would have been MSI but they've already announced. Would be sad if Jarrod has just misheard or been fed bad info...

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I would agree that what Jarrod said may have been premature as I would expect the upgradeable CPUs to be the ones that have barely been announced or that have yet to be announced so an announcement of a new laptop that has them would have been very early in the game especially for something that has not been done for a while.

Regarding the upgradeable GPU this is even more true as they have been a thing of the past for even longer and at the show Nvidia has not said much about the upcoming 5000 series.

 

So far there has been an announcement from Framework but it was before the show and there is no upgradeable GPU plus Framework is the only manufacturer that has done that before and has already been mentioned in Jarrod's video so it makes more sense that he expected something from another manufacturer:

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Framework-Laptop-13-gets-Intel-Core-Ultra-7-165H-and-120-Hz-3-2-display-also-available-as-upgrade-kits.842591.0.html

 

In any case we can always check back with him when the show is over.

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It is unfortunate to write this, but I think that we won't see fully modular laptops in the near future, any production is primarily earnings and then everything else, it is simply not profitable for them and in addition everything began to go down the way of cheaper and more mobility in this product segment.

 

I really want a miracle to happen and Clevo or someone else to hear these wishes, but there is less hope for this every day.

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I think he was referring to framework laptops. I would be surprised if any other manufacturer returns to LGA or PGA/MXM.

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Would not really make sense to mention the comeback part if it only means Framework just after he already mentioned them.

 

If it is supposed to be a comeback it would need other manufacturers / designs. Maybe all of that was postponed as a lot of stuff did not seem to be quite ready yet and there were neither more upgradeable nor non-upgradeable workstations / DTRs / gaming flagships announced from any manufacturer.

 

 

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