60W power adapter sufficient for light workload?

I have pre-ordered the Framework 16 without discrete graphics. At home I have a 95W USB-C docking station so I only need a power adapter when travelling. I mainly use my laptop for coding and rarely do something causing a longer high CPU load. I was therefore wondering if the 60W power adapter may be sufficient in my case or if I really need the 180W adapter (especially because it would be nice to travel light with a smaller adapter).


Depends if you have the GPU module. The CPU itself has a maximum power draw of I believe 54W. So in the worst case the laptop would just charge really slow.

I am sure you will be fine with 60W if you are just doing light tasks and not hitting the CPU very hard. If you want to be extra sure you could use something like throttlestop to disable turbo/boost clocks when you are using the 60W adapter just to be sure.

I doubt 60W are going to be enough as you didn’t take the screen into your calculation and the NVMe. Sadly there are no infos about the screen wattage. It will depend on your brightness setting anyway. The input modules will prolly only matter, if you use the RGB ones…
He should check its power usage at least once before travelling to determine if the 60W adapter will suffice.

I am pretty sure it will be fine because I currently have a 100 watt laptop, admittedly with a 13700h and not a 7840 but AMD is more power efficient than Intel, and USB-C cables that show the active amount of power going through the cable. At high brightness, using WiFi, keyboard backlight on, etc while doing casual stuff on it it hits maybe 30 watts for a bit before going back down to 20 or below. The processor is only going to be sipping a few watts in between ramping up for half a second while it loads a web page or file or something.

I personally carry around a 100 W power brick with me and it is quite compact- more compact than my old Thinkpad 60 W charger. the 100 W charger can get my Lenovo Legion 5 Pro charged pretty quick while using just the CPU (Ryzen 7 5800H). If using the GPU (an RTX 3060) it can help it maintain current charge, though the computer doesn’t allow itself to go full speed because it isn’t plugged into the monster 300 W brick I keep at my desk (it’s still able to play games at fine playable framerates, just not as high as usual is all).

Anyway, my point is that a 100 W charger may be worth your while since they’re still rather compact and can do a lot better than a 60 W charger… and they’re pretty cost-effective.

We might have some info. Framework has stated that they’re using a semi custom variant of a pre-existing BOE panel.

In one of the images Framework shared it was possible to see that their display has a model number of NE160QDM-NZ6 printed on it. However we don’t know if that is the model of the display they’re using or if that was just on a DVT/other prototype. Googling that panel number only brings up a sketchy AliExpress listing.

There are several other panels in the NE160QDM-NZ line of panels (just not an NZ6 variant). All of those are 240 Hz and have a 1200:1 contrast ratio (some but not all also have reduced brightness and/or DCI-P3 coverage) but otherwise very similar specs to the Framework 16’s panel. Those are all around 7w rated power consumption.

There are also a couple panels outside of the NZ line that have similar specs to the Framework 16’s panel such as the NE160QDM-NY1 and the NE160QDM-NY3. Compared to the Framework 16’s panel those both have lower contrast and worse latency (and the NY1 has less DCI-P3 coverage), however are otherwise similar. Those are rated at 6.7w and 8.5w max respectively.

Based on those it is likely that the Framework 16’s panel will be somewhere around 7-9w when at 100% brightness.

Framework has the CPU configured for 45w IIRC (it is configurable from 35w to 54w), although there are other system components that draw power as well.

That should be fine.

The Framework 13 works fine with a 60w adapter (that’s what Framework sells with it) and the Framework 16 should only be slightly higher power under light load than the 13, so that should be fine.

The CPU in the Framework 16 is actually based on the same chip as the CPU in the Framework 13. The main difference is that the CPU in the 16 is binned and tuned for higher power while the CPU in the 13 is binned and tuned for lower power. However in light loads it should be only slightly higher power than the Framework 13’s CPU.

The display on the Framework 16 is much higher power at probably around 7-9w (see above) compared to 3.4w on the Framework 13, however 5w extra isn’t much compared to a 60w power brick.

Other components also shouldn’t consume much more power on the 16 than on the 13. The additional USB controller might consume a bit extra, the input module system might be a bit higher draw, etc.

A 60w adapter on the Framework 13 is enough for it to charge at a reasonable speed even when under medium load (but charging under full load a 100w brick is recommended). With the 16 that will likely just result in it not charging as quickly (but still charging).

1 Like

Thanks for the input everyone. I added a 60W charger to my order and will report back here how well it works once I receive my Framework 16 :smiley:.


A thought, it’ll probably take a fair bit longer to charge up as well, especially if it’s actuallyin use.

1 Like

Not directly related question but… Do you guys know if the laptop is designed to use power directly from adapter if connected? Or the laptop is always feeded from the battery, even when the battery is fully charged and adapter is connected? Because the latter would mean meaningless battery wear when using it as a desktop station

I think it pulls power from the outlet first, as I remember Framework saying something about how certain use cases of the max config of the FW16 could pull more than 180W, at which point it would start pulling extra power from the battery