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How to build )small( motherboard

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AdmiralGeekFace

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i am designing and eventually am going to build a small pc (about the size of a GBASP), but am having trouble with finding a motherboard small enough. so i am gonna make a custom m'board.

any advice/good sources etc?
 

wp100

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Hi,

If the Intel Atom processor and motherboards are too big for you what do you intend to use ??

The hardware alternatives seem very low and have you considered things like the operating system or bios etc ??

You could make something from a micro controller but of course that will hardly be able to run any PC progams.

Notice on Amazon you can buy second hand Game boys for £15 - that might be worth it just for the case alone.
 

z9u2k

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What are you computing requirements?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean, but if you're thinking about designing and building your own fully fledged x86 motherboard, you're probably in for a lot of work...

First, which chipset do you have in mind? (Northbridge and Southbridge)
Checkout their datasheets.

Second, CPUs have a very demanding power requirements. You'd have to build a power supply capable of delivering sometimes up to 200W @ ~1V in very short bursts while keeping no more than 10mV ripple. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_converter#Multiphase_buck) - Again check the target's CPU's datasheet.

Third, operating at high-speeds, laying out the traces of the PCB is a tedious task avoiding crosstalk and interferences.

And least - you'd have to do all that under your size constraints, which seems to be quite limiting.

These things pops to mind - there are probably hundreds of other things to take into account... This is a big one :)

If you can get away with building a low-end device, like those TP-Link routers, powered by a small MIPS processor, or using one of the simpler x86 compatible VIA CPUs (if they still make those...), then you would have it much easier.

Or just go with an ARM SoC. But then again, if that IS an option, you may be better just rip off a board from a portable device and installing your own firmware.
 

AdmiralGeekFace

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"If the Intel Atom processor and motherboards are too big for you what do you intend to use ?? "

im looking...

"Operating system or bios etc ?? "

gonna see whut i can fit in the body, then work around the hardware.

Added after 7 minutes:

"f you can get away with building a low-end device"

thats the plan, almost like a big smartphone. sans calling/texting function
 

wp100

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AdmiralGeekFace said:
thats the plan, almost like a big mobile phone. sans calling/texting function

Sounds like Apple and Blackberry are going to have some serious competition then 8)
 

AdmiralGeekFace

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I have had a look around.

Microcontroller based system seems to be the way to go, though there will be a lack of functionality.

I found another topic, almost identical to this one, and am sorry i didnt find it earlier.
 

fodder128

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Um when you say you going to build your own motherboard I hope you relize the scale of the project. Ive made basic single board computers using 8086 and z80 processors. but to build a full working motherboard for this genaration of CPUs is no easy task.

Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended.
Abdul Kalam

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AdmiralGeekFace

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"relize the scale of the project"


i have a six week summer to kill. i realise the scale.
 

fodder128

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Truthfully I think it will take about 6 weeks just to plan a project like this. Sometimes the most difficult part is sourcing the components to use excpecially if you are doing a once off. A couple of years ago I wanted to make a graphics card and I must have spent a good 10 months looking into it and trying too get the IC's. Im not to sure what kind of workshop/Lab you have but working with surface mount IC's can be tricky without the right equipment


Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended.
Abdul Kalam


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