How to combine the advantages of a laptop and a desktop computer? Analysis of problems and solutions (Part 2)

    After my previous publication , the community had questions, and most of them (and first of all, comments with the highest rating) turned out to topics on which, it seemed to me, questions should not arise at all. However, these questions arose, and it became obvious that almost no one understood my idea. So let's get a little deeper.

    The idea is to combine all the advantages of a computer and a laptop . That is, mobility, compactness, and the ability to work autonomously should be taken from a laptop. And from a stationary computer, in the end - productivity, the possibility of a wide selection of components for the needs of those who wish, and so on and so forth. But how to implement this?

    If we undertake to make such a decision “right now, today, without delaying”, then we will not succeed. The market of components for stationary computers is sharpened to the sizes intended for stationary computers. Thanks to the advent of mini-ITX cases, some steps have been taken, but the dimensions of modern components are still too large, and other parameters (the absence of a lithium-ion battery, etc.) do not suggest the possibility of taking it in one jump make a decision that combines all of the above benefits. So, you need to do this gradually, step by step.

    What will be the first step? We have two options:

    1. Try to bring the "laptop to the computer"
    2. Try to bring the “computer to the laptop”

    “Zoom in” in this context means to add benefits to the first from the second. That is, in the case of the "approximation" of the "laptop to the computer" - to increase the performance of laptops, reduce the price, increase the opportunities for upgrade. Large companies take this option (it should be noted, not because they want to go this way, but because the laws of the market require it). But it is worth noting that this path is more complicated for startups - it is necessary not only to place ready-made components inside the case, but also to produce these components, which has significant technological difficulties.

    For startups and small companies, the second way is simpler - “bring the computer closer to the laptop”. Some of them are engaged in the production of compact monitors (for example, GeChic) Someone produces various kinds of peripherals.

    The easiest way is to produce compact cases, and many startups, in particular those listed in the previous article, go this way. They raise money using crowdfunding platforms such as , and subsequently sell their products - it should be noted at very high prices.

    I want to choose this path for the first step (if, of course, I have enough enthusiasm and the strength to do it), and I see my initial audience among those who are interested in those buildings that collect money on platforms like kickstarter. Considering the cost of cases from these sites, people who buy such cases clearly assemble high-performance systems, which means that my offer for them will most likely be more interesting than the ones they choose, given that my problem is much better solved cooling.
    I also want to “delay” part of the audience from those who prefer ready-made solutions, such as the MSI Trident system blocks listed in the previous article.

    How can the solution described in the previous article be mobile? You can carry small peripherals (mice, keyboards, etc.) with you, and look for large ones (monitor) at the connection point. For example, in this way you can work: during the day at the office, the system engineer brought to the workplace, in the evening he brought home. If you need good performance for work
    (for example, you are a designer, and you need a cool video card and powerful processor in your computer), then such a solution will be very useful. If you are a professional gamer or streamer, you get a solution with which you can come to another city and have a performance that suits you. If necessary, the monitor can almost always be found (for example, connected to a TV). Or, again, there are specialized compact monitors.
    Be that as it may, from the very beginning (if, I repeat, this will be the beginning) my goal is to gather an audience by which the solution proposed by me will be relevant. I don’t doubt that this audience will be (see reasons above). I understand that such an audience is far from 30% of the world's inhabitants, but it will help me take the next steps.
    All these steps will be associated with standardizing the components of a personal computer in a more compact size than those that exist on the market now, and adding the missing functions to these components. Part of this standardization is described at the end of the previous article, partly it depends on the requirements of the time and manufacturers, but on the fingers I’ll say the following: I don’t see any reasons preventing the video card from being reduced to parameters, say, 200 * 110 * 20 (that is, reducing the length the reference printed circuit board and installation of an exactly the same water block on the dimensions of the printed circuit board, and not the decisions that are taking place now, with a remote adapter), the motherboard - up to the thin mini-ITX standard (170 * 170 * 25 ), power supply - at least 15 mm thick (size built-in fan) and so on. I repeat

    Other components of the stationary PC will also develop in parallel, I have no doubt. For example, LG is now preparing to debut a collapsible OLED display with a large diagonal. He, of course, even in the assembled state is not quite compact, but he is sure that, if necessary, and with the development of the technology, a similar solution with a diagonal of 20-30 will be created. Ultimately, manufacturers will achieve that in the folded state the display volume will be very small. In addition to Moreover, this display can be changed, as well as other peripherals, and the internal components of the system unit. As a result, such a computer turns out to be easily adaptable to the requirements of the time. This is much more interesting than a 22 "laptop :-D.

    Inside the power supplies, at one point, of course, someone thinks to shove a lithium-ion battery, and thus this power supply can give some autonomy. With greatly reduced frequencies of the processor and video card (that is, it is impossible to play games, but at the same time it will be possible to do some small work) this autonomy will last for several hours of work - that is, similar to laptops.

    I believe that the previous wall of the text explained what my motives are and answered 90% of the questions. Now I will answer those good questions that have not yet been answered :


    A completely liquid cooling system has one not obvious drawback - with the complete absence of air cooling and a tight layout, even 1 watt becomes a problem, and 20 from a hard drive is fatal. On the motherboard, in addition to the processor, there is also a north and south bridge, power chips, etc., 20-50 watts (especially if you have top-end hardware). All this can be covered with water blocks and this by itself will require even more space and weight.

    In general, air movement, even in a compact housing designed for liquid cooling, will have to be designed and you still need to use 1 or even two coolers. It will not be possible to put everything together tightly like leaves in a book. On the other hand, one cooler can be in the power supply, and the other to remove heat from the radiator of the water block.

    By the way, the radiator of the water block takes up decently places, it would be an order of magnitude more effective in the occupied place if the case itself were the same water block and radiator of heat dissipation, but you can’t find the ready-made compact ones, but to put it mildly, it’s very expensive.

    ps I dream about the times when water cooling will become the standard and will be integrated into the motherboard, and the chips on it will dissipate heat in its direction and the entire periphery will have water channels in the corpus by default.

    Thanks for the great comment. Let me now give an answer to it.

    I was professionally engaged in microprocessors in due time. And, having some experience, I can professionally answer you: about 1 watt you are not quite right. In my experience in this matter, in order for the element to have enough passive cooling, the heat should not exceed 1 milliwatt per square centimeter per degree delta. If you really subject the heat-producing components (the processor core, the core of the video card, and, possibly, a number of other elements you listed) to liquid cooling, then the rest of the elements will have enough passive. And for this it’s enough just to drill a few holes in the body. A 2.5 "format hard drive allocates far less than 20 watts, but much less (more than 5 watts I do not even know the model).

    But as for the radiator of the water block - it, of course, takes up decent places, but these are the realities. They haven’t come up with anything more effective. And I'm not going to invent yet. There are simpler options.


    In my opinion, you are greatly exaggerating the problems of compatibility of processor sockets with water blocks / pumps / maintenance-free CBO. For quite some time now, all (or all relatively decent), they come with adapters for all mainstream desktop sockets. And even a change in socket generation at Intel does not change anything in the installation dimensions of the cooling system.
    Not certainly in that way. The LGA 1151 platform differs from AM4 and LGA2066 (and a bunch of other, similar, platforms) indeed, in the size of the mounts, but they have the same dimensions of the landing sites. Solutions on the TR4 platform have other, significantly larger landing pad sizes, and there are no options at all: standard coolers with a standard size cannot cool Threadripper well.

    But I have already said that this is not the main problem. Indeed, if you do not take the traders and epics, we can assume that the size of the landing sites of mass processors will not change. And how will you cool the elements of the power system that are different on each motherboard? What about graphics cards? In a word, I thought for a long time on the topic of "is it possible." But in the end, now it seems to me that it is better to do exactly as I wrote.

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