Why can motherboards like the Wii’s be trimmed down so much? What are the other parts in there for if they can just be removed with no downside?

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Why can motherboards like the Wii’s be trimmed down so much? What are the other parts in there for if they can just be removed with no downside?

In: Technology

Components that consume low power are moved to integrated circuits (microchips). Motherboard for PC needs to provide a lot more power to its components, so you have these big MOSFETs with radiators and supporting electronics taking up space.

Mainly it’s because PC’s are traditionally *upgradeable* and *modular*. Consoles are not.

– Consoles usually have exactly one system build, so you can cut out all space needed for components you won’t have.
– Console typically aren’t upgradeable, so you can go ahead and solder stuff like CPU and RAM directly to the motherboard. You’re not spending money and size on mechanical slots for the user to pop component parts in and out.
– Consoles have custom-built cases, so you can size the case exactly for what will be put in it. No need to bump up the size to the next standard case size.
– Consoles usually have much less ports on their back / front panels than PC’s.
– Most consoles have no slots for expansion cards whatsoever (the N64 being a notable exception).
– Consoles typically have less cost and performance than gaming PC’s from the same era. So consoles don’t need as much cooling, which lets you save space on the cooling itself plus extra space for airflow. Also, you can size cooling airflow spaces and fans very precisely since you know exactly what the components they are and how hot they get.