The postmodern has come.

Is it possible to build desktop PC with PGA988 mobile intel CPU?

Replace the laptop

I’m running a laptop home server. But many says running laptop computer as server potentially causes accident because they are not designed to run 24/7. While I was thinking replacing the server, my working office laid off 2 old PCs. Of course their destination has changed to my home from landfill.

However, there is an problem. Those PCs are also laptop. So, I planned to reuse their parts to build new home server PC. I disassembled them and picked some parts like CPU, memory, and Wi-Fi card.

It must have been a easy work. Just get a case, storage, power and build them. Done! But I got hit by another problem soon. The CPUs have PGA988B pins which is designed for laptop platform and basically desktop motherboards doesn’t support. Here I introduce the CPUs.

I’ve got 2 CPUs

One is Core i7-2670QM, a Sandy Bridge generation CPU released in 2011. Another is Core i7-3610QM, an Ivy Bridge CPU in 2012. Though they are much old, it doesn’t matter because my running server’s CPU is i3-370M, a first generation i processor. X Bridge i7 is reasonable enough for me.

CPU’s speed is okay for me. But, is it possible to use the mobile CPUs on desktop motherboard? The answer is yes. Some boards adopt mobile platform in order to save their size. Some ITX motherboards hire mobile CPU. But, usually mobile CPU on ITX board has BGA factor interface which prevents users from replacing CPU because they are fixed by solder on the board.

So, what’s my option? Google told me that there are enterprise motherboards with mobile PGA988 CPU socket. I found a cheap one mainly sold for about $50 by Chinese sellers.

Mysterious Chinese motherboard

Its eBay page says the product name is “Magideal HM65-988 DDR3 Single Channel Desktop Motherboard MINI ITX Board”. “Magideal” is apparently the manufacturer, but I couldn’t find any information on the board more detailed than the eBay page.

“HM65” must indicates an mobile intel chipset which supports the 2nd and 3rd generation i CPUs and “988” does Socket 988B. HM65 released with the 2nd gen i CPUs and initially didn’t support 3rd ones. Some motherboards need firmware to be upgraded to use the 3rd gens with HM65.

It’s of course unsure that the motherboard’s firmware available with my Core i7-3610QM. At least it may be with 2670QM. Also, it’s unsure that what kind of CPU coolers are capable by the board because usual CPU coolers are designed for desktop platform such as LGA1156. If the board require special cooler?

Anyway, I paid for the motherboard. I’m going to try building a PC with it after it arrives home.