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Flip-CPU motherboards

Motherboards with the CPU (socket) mounted on the "wrong" side
 
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There are currently several motherboard form factors available on the market. AFAIK, they all put all of the major components on one side. Generally, this is convenient, because the other side is mounted against a flat plate, which may be one side of the computer's case, so there isn't much room there for anything. The only component I can think of that's usually on that side is the CPU heatsink backer plate, and that isn't even electronic. Apart from that, that side generally only holds minor support components that are tiny.

New motherboard form factors could be defined, potentially based on existing ones, that put the CPU socket (or just the CPU, for ones with a soldered-on CPU) on the other side of the motherboard from the rest of the major components. This could have advantages for cooling: If you put a conventional CPU cooler on your CPU, it has access to cool air that hasn't been heated by the other components, and its warm exhaust isn't blown all over the other components. This would of course require new case designs. In passively cooled (silent/fanless) computers, this placement of the CPU would make it easier to thermally connect the CPU to the case, which generally serves as an external heatsink in such designs. In current designs, heatpipes are generally necessary to conduct the CPU's heat to the case, because the motherboard is in between the two.

Even if these new motherboard form factors were based on existing ones, it would be a lot of work to adapt an existing motherboard model to have the CPU on the opposite side, so I expect most models would be new designs from smaller companies serving niche markets.

N/A [2019-04-25]

notexactly, Apr 25 2019

Mac Pro (2019) https://www.apple.com/mac-pro/
Mentioned in my anno. I want one, but I don't know what for. Also, I have no money, and it's probably a good idea to wait a revision or two anyway. [notexactly, Jun 21 2019]

[link]






       So the third generation of the Mac Pro has been shown [link], and I've finally gotten around to looking at it. Then, about an hour later, I was scrolling through my list of ideas posted and saw this one.   

       Apple has not implemented this idea, putting the CPU on the other side of the board, in the new Mac Pro, but they have done something similar: they've put the ram on the other side of the board, right behind the CPU. The SSDs are also on what in any other computer would be called the back side, though I think a few PC motherboards have done that already. (It's no longer really the "back" when it's just as accessible as the "front" with the case open.) And the board layout and thermal design are such that the CPU heatsink gets nice cool air straight from the intake, and its exhaust goes straight out the back, so this idea is unnecessary in that computer.
notexactly, Jun 21 2019
  
      
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