Advice Needed to Order Framework 16

Hello, non-techie here looking for some help.

I’m planning to get a Framework 16 and need to decide on the options to order. Problem is I have no real knowledge of computer parts and I don’t have the energy to thoroughly research each individual option. My brother was going to help me go through them but he’s got a lot on and I was hoping to be able to order asap.

Right now I mostly use my laptop for office software and writing software, but I need the capability to run large/complex graphics programs as my career moves in that direction. I’m not really a gamer but I would like the option of being able to use my laptop for that purpose once in a while. It’s possible in the next couple of years I will also use it for recording and editing audio and maybe video too.

If anyone could advise me what parts to pick when placing my order, I would very much appreciate it.


If you can specify which “large/complex graphics programs” you intend to run in the future, and also how much ahead in the future, it’ll better equip the readers to give more relevant advice.

Also, is the bigger screen a more desirable feature for you in comparison to portability?

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I’m happy to blindly speculate! For video editing, you’ll want good RAM (16GB maybe bare minimum, 32 comfy, 64 to never worry about it again), and you’ll want the GPU, as video processing uses the GPU for hardware encoding. If you’re going to think about high resolution video, that uses a ton of disk space, so you could probably be comfortable with 1TB primary drive and a 2TB video storage drive if you’re planning on doing medium-serious Youtube-ing, as those recorded clips can be enormous (think 20-30GB for a 20 min video, depending on how the video is encoded).

Here’s one thing to keep in mind though, is that for the hardware, the FW16 is about double the cost of having a similarly-spec’d HP laptop, so if you’re just in need of a laptop and not a novelty item, you may want to weigh that cost too.


Well the good news is that you have all the time in the world to do your research to see what you need in your order. Even if you put your order in today you would be in batch 15 which has an estimated delivery window of Q2 2024, so April-June next year.

If you are going to be running compute-heavy programs then you might benefit from having more than 16GB of RAM, but that is going to be dependent on your workload. As for your graphics programs you will also want to look into what the requirements you will be needing are. If you will be working with anything that requires specifically CUDA to work or you expect to need more than 8GB of VRAM for whatever it is that you are doing then the 7700S that you can order with the Framework might not be the best fit for you. It is always possible to use an eGPU but most enclosures are limited to a PCIE gen 3x4 speed so you won’t be seeing the full performance of those compared to an internal card.


I believe you can change your order when your batch is supposed to be shipping. Why not order the most bare-bones version at first, pay your $100 deposit and decide on the options when you have given it a bit more thought?

You can hold off on the GPU part for now, and maybe in the future there will be a better option. Alternatively, just buy the 7700S and use that because you never know when or if there’s a bigger GPU available.


It would help if you have specific programs you’re planning to use. For office work/writing, almost anything can run those. As for graphics programs, it depends. Does the programs you plan on running support AMD or NVIDIA GPUs (CUDA? OpenCL?). Same for the video editing software.

As for games, both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs generally perform similarly. There will be nuances, but not enough for a “non-techie” to worry about.

The FW16 hasn’t shipped yet and we’re on preorder still. It’s a brand new product line and currently it’s an all AMD build (AMD APU and dGPU as an option). If the programs you’re planning on using works great with this combination, then this laptop will be great for you. If you need an NVIDIA GPU, right now there isn’t a dGPU option for you. We MAY see one in the future though (Framework is all about modulatrity - take a look at the FW13 - you get a choice of Intel or AMD, but no dGPU).

That said, you can always use an eGPU enclosure and put in an NVIDIA GPU and use that instead. It won’t be a portable solution, but it’s a solution.

Depending on how much disk space you plan on using (video, graphics, photo editing as a hobby vs getting into a huge production), you may not be able to have enough disk space to do your work on most laptops (FW16 does have 2 NVME slots though, but there are physical size restrictions - look at their website for details). You’ll probably want an external drive (NAS or DAS depending on your use case). If that’s the case, it would DEFINATELY not be a portable solution. If that works for you, then good. If not, you’ll need to find another solution. I think most creators would just use the the internal SSDs just for working on their current projects and render them out to their NAS or DAS when they get home.

There’s so much variables and it depends on what programs you’re using, how you’re using it, how big of a file you’re creating or ingesting, your work flow, etc.

A single computer has the potential to do everything (which is what it sounds like you’re getting at), but it’s the peripherials around it that makes that happen.


Not quite. Some changes can be made, however the processor model, expansion bay (ie. dGPU or no dGPU), and wether or not a power adapter is included are all locked in when the order is placed.

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@Asad1 Yes, a bigger screen is more desirable; I currently have a 15” and that’s the minimum I’d want, so 16” is fine.

For context, if it will help you understand who I am and what I’ll be doing, I’m a fantasy writer, no books ready to publish yet, who while writing is also thinking ahead to publication and connecting with (potential) readers. I’m a member of World Anvil which allows users to create wiki-type websites for their created worlds, and I want to create some beautiful maps and other graphics to make it the best it can be.

The definite software I’ll be using is Deios, a mapmaking project still in alpha by DungeonFog; I have a preorder so can theoretically access the alpha, and did for a short while when it was first released, but I’ve had to uninstall every program on my current laptop other than my absolute essentials because the storage is … not good. I have also purchased a copy of Flowscape, a 3d landscape painting program, as well and I tried that out too; my laptop slowed down and the fan was continuously on while it was running, so that told me than I needed a computer more suited to graphics programs. @FlyingTypeTrainer Thanks, I’ll check their system requirements—should have been the obvious place to start, but didn’t occur to me! :grin:

@Nathaniel_Graham I’m not looking at Framework for a novelty item, as you put it; I’m really concerned about electronic waste and see it as an investment in not having to unnecessarily replace an entire laptop in the future. I plan to make a similar purchase when my current phone finally dies.

The video editing is a maybe; I’m not comfortable with video but have yet to make any definite decisions about my marketing strategy when the time comes, so I can’t rule out the possibility of e.g. a Youtube channel or videos on my blog forming part of that strategy. I’m guessing I probably won’t need high definition, though I have no idea what the average ‘professional quality’ definition on Youtube is.

Okay, first thing now is for me to check what my graphics programs need; once I have that info I’ll go through all of your replies in detail and see if there’s any more I need to ask. Thank you all for your advice!


I don’t think either of those programs would require anything more than the 7700s could do. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even strictly need the dedicated GPU, though it might be worth it for you, especially if you start editing videos later on.

Are you looking to get a pre-built version, or DIY? I only ask because the DIY version offers more options for storage and RAM. I’d recommend 2TB of storage. Either a single 2TB SSD, or a 1TB drive for each slot, depending on your needs. 32GB of RAM (2x16GB modules) and the RX 7700s GPU. Honestly, that would probably be overkill for the needs you’ve laid out. I didn’t dig yet to find recommended specs for the Deios program, but Flowscape has relatively light requirements and even says it runs on the Steamdeck.

I’ve edited 4K video with 16GB of RAM and no dedicated GPU (it’s slow, but works). I’m sure 32GB and a 7700s would be fine if you aren’t doing anything too crazy.

Those are my thoughts based on the info provided.

Curious, what laptop are you using now?

Flowscape doesn’t look very demanding by today’s standards, though I can’t find any system requirements/recommendations for Deios. Based on what’s been reported about the power of the integrated graphics, I think you’d be just fine without the 7700s module. That would save you some money and battery life, but of course more power is always better. :blush:

There are some quite significant limitations in what changes you can make to an order once it is placed. Certain changes (e.g. like adding a GPU, or changing the CPU) will require cancelling the order and placing a new order, which puts you further down the time line. Now this may not be a problem if batch 15 (which a new order would currently be placed in) is the last pre-order batch, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

So I would recommend that you order a spec that is close to what you want, but leave out memory and disk, as these are available outside at cheaper prices than Framework supply it at. Then when the time gets close to delivery you can decide what memory and disk to purchase elsewhere.

Thanks everyone for your advice! I’ve definitely narrowed down my options, but still have some queries, which are thankfully much more specific than “what do I need”!

  • Memory—what is the purpose/advantage of having the same GB of memory divided in two; e.g. 16GB vs 2x8GB?

  • Storage—Is it necessary to have both a primary and a secondary; e.g. could I order a primary and not use a secondary storage, or should I split the storage I want between both options?

Right now 1TB storage suits my purposes; if I ever do start editing video then I can add a couple more then. For now I’m not going to order the 7700 or go high with the memory and storage either—makes more sense to wait and see how things go.

Thanks to all who replied; I love being able to ask questions like this to a community and get helpful answers.

The two memory slots operate in parallel, in some tasks it can improve performance by up to 30-40%. That’s also why the two sticks should preferably come in a matched set with similar timings. That way there is no additional waiting due to the two sticks sending data with different delays. You can also buy one stick of memory and later buy the same model. Buying the two together is still better as far as I know (I think the manufacturer actually packs together sticks with very similar timings). Take that with a grain of salt though.

Yes, you absolutely can use only a single storage drive. Just be careful with data integrity (backups etc).


@wordnerd Based on what I’ve read in this thread, you should be good to start with the base preconfig Framework 16 without the graphics module. Writing isn’t a very intensive task any more, and the graphical programs you’re using don’t really challenge the integrated graphics processor given that they’re pretty capable on their own. The good thing is, if you find that you need the graphics module later down the line, it should be a half-hour job to perform the upgrade and won’t cost you any extra to get it later.

Regarding storage, any modern operating system can support the various storage devices that the Framework 16 can use: 2280 SSD, 2230 SSD, or the storage module. If you want to have your data in a flash drive like format for portability purposes, you can get one of the storage expansion cards which are (effectively) flash drives that can integrate with the shell of the laptop.

Just a heads up, all of your conclusions are spot on, but there will be no extra waiting time introduced by two mismatched modules. All the settings the slower module supports, will also be applied to the faster one. You will leave some performance on the table this way, but there won’t be any weird behavior, like different transfer-speeds between the modules.


Oh, good to know, thanks!

Thanks (again) for your answers. I was almost ready to place an order, then my dad threw a spanner in the works …

Apparently my brother bought a repairable laptop from a company which went under six months later and he was no longer able to get the parts. So I have to ask: should that happen to Framework (and obviously I really hope it doesn’t), are all the parts of the laptop easy to replace from other sources, and how would a non-techie go about finding compatible ones?

What company? As far as I am aware no other company has come anywhere close to what Framework has done.

Start-ups often fail due to a lack of cash flow. To put it simply every time a company sells a laptop they make a little bit of profit. If they aren’t selling many laptops (ex. because they’re a small start-up) then they don’t make much profit. In order for a start-up to grow and survive they need to invest a lot of money both into expanding capacity (so that they can sell more laptops and make more profit) and into designing updated versions of their product (otherwise it will become last gen and the amount that people will be willing to pay will decrease, reducing profit). Start-ups often don’t make enough profit to invest reasonable amounts in both of those, which leads to them going under.

Framework was a start-up, however they have grown past the point where I would be concerned about that happening.

Some of the parts are available from other sources, however for the most part there are not standards for repairable laptop parts so Framework had to develop their own (interestingly the expansion bay system uses the same connector as the Dell Graphics Form Factor, however because DGFF is closed source it isn’t electrically compatible).

Framework have been around for 4 years , and delivered 12th gen, 13th gen and AMD mainboards as an upgrade for the Framework 13 that originally shipped as 11th gen.

I’m not aware of any similar companies that went under. Big companies like Alienware/Dell and MSI have promised upgradable laptops before and failed to deliver.

Since none of us have access to Framework’s finances, it’s hard to say they definitely won’t go out of business before the end of your warranty, but, that seems pretty unlikely given how many batches of Framework 16 laptop pre-orders are they into now? (I saw a guy say he’s batch 14 a few threads over)

That and they are four generations of Framework 13 motherboards in.

You’re more likely to encounter support challenges from growing pains and explosive popularity than from them shutting their doors. Or at least that’s the impression I get at the moment.

There’s another angle though. How cost-effective is your hypothetical out-of-warranty repair for your alternative laptop? That comes down to how strategic your purchase is, more than anything else. Does your big-name laptop have modular WiFi, RAM, and SSDs instead of soldered-down components? Did you buy a very common model? How far out of warranty are you, and where’s the repair-vs-buy-used cost ratio? And would failures be more common in socketed components vs. something on the motherboard where you’d need component-level repair? The big brand name isn’t a slam dunk for cost-effective repair out of warranty, is my point, and you could come up with hypothetical scenarios where you’re still ahead with the Framework because it’s as modular as it reasonably can be, which is a lot less common than it used to be in laptops, even in some desktops.

Even in the worst case, some motherboard failure happens on the Framework 16 say two years out, at least your hypothetical component repair person will have schematics, and availability of motherboards probably isn’t zero on the used market. You could probably do better with some Dell … Inspiron? with all socketed components (if they make those? I dunno…), so that you could find a used motherboard in working condition, but that’s not a very comparable laptop. There is no comparable modular gaming laptop right now. You could get similar modularity and performance for higher costs from a workstation laptop, but… that doesn’t make cost sense today, right?

Say your hypothetical non-Framework gaming laptop has a graphics card problem a couple years out, vs. the Framework 16, with Framework being out of business. You’re probably in the same position in both cases, falling back to integrated graphics and unable to replace the graphics card. With the Framework, at least you can remove it and save some weight.

You get the idea.

Ultimately, you’re buying a gen 1 laptop from a startup company for ideological reasons, and likely paying a premium, and most likely it’ll have better repairability and upgradeability. Nothing in life is certain.