This motherboard with the CPU socket on the back is a modder's dream

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,436   +132
Staff member
Bottom line: Enctec’s goal with the Rev. Q270 was to create a board designed specifically with passive CPU cooling in mind (for industrial applications, to limit the build-up of dust from fans). Modern processors generate an incredible amount of heat, and simply put, they weren’t able to design a heatsink with enough surface area to keep a chip cool enough without interfering with other components on the front of the board, like the memory or PCIe slots. So, they moved the CPU socket to the back of the board and created a giant passive cooler.

I’ve had this idea in my head for years that it would be neat if a motherboard manufacturer built a board with all of the connectors on the backside of the board. It sounds foolish at first, but imagine how much more you could do in terms of cable management if everything plugged into the reverse of the motherboard.

Sure, you’d need a case with properly aligned cutouts and enough space behind the motherboard tray to accommodate the build, but that wouldn’t be too difficult to find or make yourself with a Dremel.

I haven’t yet seen a board built like this, but Linus from Linus Tech Tips just showed me that the next best thing does exist.

In his latest video about watercooling an air cooler, Linus shows off a board from Enctec called the Rev. Q270. It looks a bit pedestrian at first glance but upon closer inspection, you soon realize why – the CPU socket is on the back of the board. Weird, right?

Turns out, Steve from Gamers Nexus took a look at the same board and heatsink combo earlier this year. He tested the board with Enctec's own Cooling Extreme HP-01 fanless heatsink, both with and without a cooling fan.

As a silent PC enthusiast and cable management fanatic, the possibilities here - on both fronts - are very intriguing. I'm still holding out hope that one day, someone will build a board with all of the connectors on the rear but for now, this will have to suffice.

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VitalyT

Posts: 5,837   +5,897
cpu.png
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,603   +1,710
"imagine how much more you could do in terms of cable management"

I'd have to see a detailed image to see what you're seeing.
You want no exposed cables with the panel off? Why?! How bad is your cable management work?
 

Geralt

Posts: 559   +785
Absurd to put the CPU cooler on the other side. What a mess! Maybe with CPU liquid cooler it could work, I don't know.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,196   +5,943
It's nice to see that even if you an't pass 9th grade plane geometry, or are ignorant of the practicalities of spatial relationships, there is still a place for you in modern high tech computer world.

In other words, I place this on my crowed desktop, and I have the heat sink hanging in front of the monitor, or I reverse the cabinet, and I have to walk behind the desk to turn it on.:

And then to have the hubris to think I'd sit here watching 18 minutes of video with someone bragging about it, is more than I could bear.
 

Stark

Posts: 180   +172
It's nice to see that even if you an't pass 9th grade plane geometry, or are ignorant of the practicalities of spatial relationships, there is still a place for you in modern high tech computer world.

In other words, I place this on my crowed desktop, and I have the heat sink hanging in front of the monitor, or I reverse the cabinet, and I have to walk behind the desk to turn it on.:

And then to have the hubris to think I'd sit here watching 18 minutes of video with someone bragging about it, is more than I could bear.

Bad day, huh?
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 944   +1,740
The only really odd thing is that it's a socket motherboard and not embedded: custom layout motherboards for very specific appliances are as common as well, appliances really: almost all modern electronics have a form of motherboard and given how many "smart" appliances we now have they're actually fairly close to what we're familiar with in DIY PC parts even. They just happen to almost always have embedded processors and not the niche, high powered socketed processors we're used to.

It seems like it would be easier to design a passive cooler that reaches into the normal socket placement and in fact, I've seen passive coolers that do just that. But if you're willing to spend the time redesigning your board and like an extra 5 bucks sent to the PCB manufacturer they'd flip it around for you no problem.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,196   +5,943
Bad day, huh?
Not at all. For the longest time I've enjoyed listening to our membership whine and whimper about their dashed hopes and desires, regarding the acquisition of all sorts of technology.

I simply think the idea is bizarre and impractical. I admit these sentiments "whaa, boo, hoo, this computer gets too hot. Whaa, boo, hoo, my computer's fan is so loud", ad nauseum, may seem overwhelming to some. But they can be somewhat tedious and juvenile as well...

But hey, that shouldn't deter you from grabbing one, (or more) of these cases in an attempt to impress your friends.

However, if you're looking to cause me any, "computer envy", good luck with that.
 
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paul1122

Posts: 154   +143
"I'm still holding out hope that one day, someone will build a board with all of the connectors on the rear but for now, this will have to suffice."

Put your window on the back of your computer case. Done.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,196   +5,943
"I'm still holding out hope that one day, someone will build a board with all of the connectors on the rear but for now, this will have to suffice."

Put your window on the back of your computer case. Done.
I'm thinking the cooling "tower" hanging out the side of the case should be rather more phallic. You know, someplace you could hang your codpiece to dry after doing battle with a dragon in "Skyrim".
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 972   +1,416
Did you read the article? It's designed for a large passive sink... I.e. thin and flat finned slab.
Most of the people commenting on this neither read the article or watched the videos. If they had, they would have found out that the manufacturer that did this didn't just do it for shits and giggles - they needed to make motherboards for other manufacturers (like Samsung) that could be passively cooled, as they'll be used in dusty, industrial environments, and need as few moving parts as possible, while also not being as temperamental and risky as liquid cooling is. A standing cooler on the top side of the motherboard can only get so big, and never large enough to satisfy the needs of a passively cooled system, so they built this reversed socket in order to build a bigger heat sink on the other side.

This isn't some consumer stunt like liquid cooling where you're getting fringe thermal and acoustic benefits at the expense of high risk to your components, or a fatuous vanity project like aesthetic LED lighting. This is a project that grew out of real-world industrial applications and use cases that the manufacturer is now trying to gauge demand for elsewhere - much like how the PC itself worked outward from office and business applications to the mainstream.
 

pmshah

Posts: 173   +35
"imagine how much more you could do in terms of cable management"

I'd have to see a detailed image to see what you're seeing.
You want no exposed cables with the panel off? Why?! How bad is your cable management work?
This cable management thingy can get really nasty since not one cabinet maker has rearranged the physical location of the internal peripherals like power supply, DVD drives slots, HDD, Floppy derive slots used for front access to USB and audio sockets.
I have seen some change only in HP machines where they moved the power supply to the bottom instead of top.

Even their introduction of front access to USB at least a couple of years behind me. I had taken a 10 core flat cable and built myself an extension for the Berg header on motherboard that would allow me to install the 2 port USB header in one of the DVD drive slots in front by doing some DIY fixing.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,196   +5,943
Wow, that time of the month you guys? Settle down.

I think it's neat. At least someone in technology is trying to do new things besides find new ways to be an Apple cargo cult.
I have my internet box, (and 1 other machine), sitting on a desk,next to a litter box sized for my 25 pound Maine coon.. I can assure you, while it may not get as dirty as a fan driven cooler, it will get plenty dirty.

Not to mention that I'm liable to knock the cooler off trying to drag the machine out through the front door to blow it out with the sir hose...

For those of you who don't have cats but do have air purifiers, rock on. But for me, no. I'm sticking with my stone age solution, both cases have carrying handles. (y) (Y)
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,072   +982
In terms of ergonomics and space saving, this is a regression 2 steps back. Modern cooling solutions are already good enough inside the main casing area. This is a novelty that no one would follow, including those who are defending it currently.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,196   +5,943
In terms of ergonomics and space saving, this is a regression 2 steps back. Modern cooling solutions are already good enough inside the main casing area. This is a novelty that no one would follow, including those who are defending it currently.
That's pretty much what I said. So how come nobody accused you of being on the rag? (Yet :rolleyes: )

I'm sure this thing has its uses though. Please refer to my post #11.