China-based manufacturer Meterstone, owned by MAXSUN, is no stranger to producing a wide array of computer hardware. From graphics cards to motherboards, the brand has ample experience in this space and has been making both Intel and AMD motherboards for a while. MAXSUN/Meterstone is likely a foreign name to Westerners as the company mainly does business within China itself. However, one recent product from Meterstone has caught the global PC community’s eye and it’s coming soon.
Hybrid Alder Lake motherboard
Popular leaker HXL (@9550pro) on Twitter took to the platform to post a picture of an upcoming motherboard being developed by Meterstone. Now, the reason as to why this is worthy of a mention is because this is no ordinary motherboard. See, Meterstone is well-versed in the field of hybrid computers that put the efficiency benefits of a mobile chip and the customizability of a proper desktop together to create the best of both worlds, and this motherboard is just that.
— HXL (@9550pro) April 1, 2022
Meterstone’s Alder Lake H45 system is a fully-fledged desktop motherboard with two DIMM slots and a full PCIe Gen4 16x slot for graphics cards, along with all the connectors you expect from a desktop motherboard. However, instead of a CPU socket in the center, the motherboard actually has an Alder Lake mobile CPU permanently soldered on the board.
While the company or HXL, neither have confirmed exactly what Alder Lake mobile CPU we’re looking at, we do know that this is Alder Lake-P silicon due to the clearly visible iGPU in the picture and the lack of a chipset. Alder Lake mobile series chips have a chipset in the package itself so there is no need for one on the motherboard. This allows the manufacturer to get away with not putting any cooling on a chipset that would otherwise be on the motherboard instead, saving costs in the end.
However, the Chiphell forums, where this image was sourced from, currently do speculate that the chip in the picture is a Core i5-12500H, a midrange Alder Lake mobile chip equipped with 12 cores and 14 threads. There may even be a chance that Meterstone will produce multiple variations of its H45 system with different Alder Lake processors, but there is no official word on that as of yet.
Going by pictures of Meterston’s Tiger Lake hybrid systems that similarly featured mobile chips on desktop motherboards, we can see that there is a copper block around the CPU to assist in cooling. While this block isn’t visible in the leaked H45 system’s picture, it will most likely be provided by Maxsun in the final product.
As mentioned at the start, this is far from Meterstone/Maxsun’s first foray into the world of hybrid motherboards. In fact, the Tiger Lake systems that we just mentioned were actually unveiled in November of last year. These are offered in two different flavors: one with the Core i7-12800H and one with the Core i5-11260H, further backing up the speculation of multiple options for this leaked Alder Lake H45 system.
There are no official details regarding this product yet but Maxsun will most likely reveal this in the coming weeks. Pricing and availability will be hit or miss, if you’re interested, due to the fact that Maxsun mostly only deals in China. Regardless, even the fact that such a product exists that aims to bridge the gap between two form factors is enough to warrant the intrigue. We’ll update this article accordingly if anything comes along.