AMD CPU's, An Open Letter to the Framework Team

Dear Framework,

Right now, it should be apparent from the community’s response that a Framework laptop with an AMD CPU is desirable by many people, myself included.

To be clear, we know that you’ve essentially confirmed that you want to release laptops with alternate CPU options in the future, however, the statement is rather vague and no other official statements (that I could find) have been made since.

On one hand, I want to support the company by buying the product, especially this early on when the company needs all the support it can get to grow and be successful. On the other hand, the lack of an AMD option is a bummer, especially since AMD’s current offerings are far more competitive than they have been in the past.

What we need right now is an updated statement specifically addressing AMD CPU’s. Will they be an option? If so, roughly when will they be an option? Two months from now, or two years from now? Can users with the current Intel model board upgrade to an AMD board down the line?

This will help customers decide between buying the current Intel spec Framework laptop and upgrading later or simply waiting for a new AMD model if its right around the corner.

Thank you


TLDR; We don’t need a specific AMD CPU model release date, we just need a statement regarding a rough estimation of if and when AMD options will be available so potential customers can decide if they should buy now or wait!

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I understand the desire CRFslick, but as a previous poster has alluded to before, there are VERY good reasons for a company to remain tight-lipped about such a thing. For example, a young company like Framework absolutely requires cash flow. Releasing news of a next edition of any product basically kills sales of the old generation. Result? No cash flow. Dead company.

I’m just as excited about a future where I could buy an AMD Framework laptop, or when we could see a collab with Sensel for a sick-nasty trackpad, or when we might see a 2-in-1 with pen support. But for the team, divulging the type of information you’re looking for would be spitting in the face of market and business realities.

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I also came here looking for AMD CPU’s. When I first heard about this company early in the year I just disregarded it because of the lack of AMD support.
Now I see that LTT and others have gotten behind it and I hope they are going to succeed.

With that being said; I just won’t waste money on an Intel based laptop. Intel’s platform is just too bad these days to be considered competitive and Intel as a company is engaged in many extremely unethical practices.
I understand that for Framework Intel may have helped them with designing the original boards in exchange for some exclusivity agreements for X period of time… The fact that Framework hasn’t even mentioned that AMD versions will be coming in the future other than a vague statement about “additional platforms in the future” means that we might never see an AMD version… or atleast not for some years.
After reading the tons of comments on various threads and via YT; it seems that MOST people interested in this are also interested in AMD.

I write this from an AMD powered Surface 15; and honestly a laptop like this is the best I’ve ever used in this formfactor. I’d really love to buy one of these laptops if they supported AMD.

There are enough competitive AMD models on the market now that I cannot see most people “biting the bullet” and buying Intel over AMD just to support this company.

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I feel like this has been answered in multiple comment threads for the past month, at least 4 or 5 a week. AMD does not support USB4, nor does it support TB3 (or any TB revision). The ports on the Framework need to support USB4 for Framework to get its TB certification. TB certification is a huge milestone and opens up plenty of exciting things (eGPUs are the most common example).

As far as when AMD will support TB? I have no insider knowledge. It may be with their mobile 6000 series release, it may not. Its unknown. I also can’t speak for Framework, but a majority of laptop manufacturers do not have this inside information.

To answer your question of “Can you upgrade from AMD to Intel?” You’re misunderstanding what is happening. You aren’t changing an Intel laptop to an AMD laptop, you’d be changing the entire mainboard. The IO doesn’t change any specs. The battery isn’t Intel proprietary, nor the screen, the SSD, the RAM (although it is DDR4 and will likely need to be upgraded to DDR5 by the time AMD release USB4 compatible devices).

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I also don’t think that we are going to see an amd based laptop before the ryzen 6000 series realeases next year. As for USB4, the ryzen 5000 mobile cpus should be able to have those. If i remember correctly a ryzen 5000 mobile processor has a total 16 or 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes. In the future it should be possible to have 4 USB4 ports with 4 PCIe lanes per port. I think the framwork laptop also uses PCIe to TB4 controller for its USB ports

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This needs to be repeated again and again. It is a VERY important point that I think many people are not aware of. A laptop capable of using eGPUs extends its use significantly, and also insulates its usefulness for potentially many years beyond that of a competing laptop without that capability.

That said, I would love an AMD model as well, simply because they play nicer with Linux, etc. But the Framework laptops runs Linux without issues, as it is right now, and this includes the fingerprint scanner and eGPUs.

So maybe if you could explain what it is you are wanting from an AMD based mainboard that you aren’t already getting, and in most cases better than what AMD offers, from the current Intel based one that would make a stronger case for an AMD based Framwork?

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One issue seems to be ideology. There are several posts on here about not buying a Framework Laptop because Intel sucks.

Um, ok. Whether Intel sucks isn’t really the issue. They’ll keep existing pretty much no matter what you do. By not buying a Framework Laptop now, you’re prolonging the time before Framework makes enough money to make AMD motherboards.

Prolonging the time before you can buy an AMD motherboard, ditch the Intel, and get back to your ideology.

Which I’m pretty sure you can’t do with any other laptop…

Some of it also seems to be technical: Intel may or may not suck, but their processors suck.

This feels like a commercial argument to me. Systems don’t stop working when other, newer, better ones come out - no matter how much the vendors try to make you believe otherwise.

Intel processors are clearly capable of the quadrillions and quadrillions of calculations they’ve collectively performed since the 4004. Because they’ve, you know, performed them.

They might not be as fast, have as many cores or cache, or yeah - even spy on you if you don’t prevent it.

But they do work. They compute. They input, they process, they output. That’s what I was always told a CPU does.

Preventing Framework from growing and TRYING TO MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS because you have a problem with one of their suppliers makes no sense to me.

But - that’s IMO. Everyone has their needs and desires, and I’m not trying to force my opinions on anyone - I’m just talking about what I see.

As soon as I saw that Framework is trying to address MY ideological/technical values (there’s a rant on here somewhere) I ordered the laptop:

  • Repairability
  • Upgradability
  • Sustainability
  • Versatility
  • USB-C ports on the motherboard that aren’t tortured to death by the user by design.

Not even for me - my machine doesn’t move, it’s basically a desktop replacement. I don’t do a whole lot of I/O shifting, so it’s not as if the expansion card system is all that critical for me. But it sure is going to extend the life of the motherboard, which goes right back to those ideological values.

Don’t care who made the processor, or the screen, or even the keyboard. The computer will substantially do what I need it to do - just like a lot of other machines out there. I’m not supporting them.

The company I’m supporting by buying the Framework Laptop is… Framework.

I’m trusting them to hold to their values when it comes to picking their suppliers, to the greatest extent that they can.

If they succeed, they’ll likely put out more models - like the 15" size I have now and would prefer. Or with an AMD processor, if for no other reason than to respond to all the requests. Or with the onboard numeric keypad I would have sworn I couldn’t live without.

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The company is to young to introduce another model, this is because of cash-flow. If you grow to fast, you crash and burn in the beginning. They will probably introduce a AMD model in a year or two based on how sales of the Framework 1.0 go.

Not to mention they probably are going to have to make sure the motherboard is thunderbolt enabled because there are pretty much no AMD powered laptops that charge over USB-C at this point due to the lack of Thunderbolt 4 support. Like its why I am seriously considering buying this laptop because the computer supports charging over USB C.

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What is the most open firmware & BIOS we can currently achieve on AMD systems? Seems closer than Intel, but not sure… We can’t yet confirm the PSP (AMD’s black box OS aka “management engine”) is actually disabled as far as I can see.

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I agree about AMD being superior… but honestly i can still work on intel no problem (at worst i will lose a couple of minutes a month in those situations when i need more cores at full usage to save some seconds), for me, supporting framework and right to repair is more important than having the “best” (or fanaticism), I would like to have AMD, but i don’t need AMD to do my work, honestly, you also don’t need it, be honest, you are not doing molecular modeling 24/7 on your laptop.

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What I would like is an AMD Rembrandt 6000 RDNA 2 APU. This would just be awesome. AMD machines can have TB4. Intel will now certify TB3 non-Intel, but not TB4. You can get ASUS AMD motherboard right now with TB4. Heck, my AMD desktop is running 2 4K monitors over TB3.

This would allow the laptop to play some pretty serious games while keeping the motherboard form factor the same as it is now as there would no need for a discrete gpu chip.

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Could anybody explain, why Framework needs TB support? All current expansions look like use just simple USB protocol. Power Delivery is also supported on many AMD laptops without TB.

I am really waiting for AMD motherboards with 6600u/6800u CPUs which were announced recently. 6800u gpu power is between MX450 and GTX1650, in this case we do not need dGPU and other formfactor.

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That’s what I’m hoping for as well, the APU seems very powerful, with it’s RDNA2 Architecture.

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Not only just powerful. AMD 6000 series integrated GPU have Raytracing support, while there is no any Intel chip with it.

It is very difficult to make board with discrete GPU and replaceable RAM in current form-factor. And ryzen 6000 series is the only way to get RT in current Framework body.

P.S. RT is not only about gaming. Many modeling software starting to use it, and of course software like UE5.

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Need is rather extreme, but let’s look at this from the perspective of Framework’s goals; primarily a device intended to last.

While Framework does not specifically support eGPUs, they work on the Framework without issue. This is one case that most AMD models can’t talk about.

But let’s look at the mainboard in various external duties once it is replaced with a new model: What if the mainboard is repurposed as a NAS, Movie Repo, or even as a straight up server itself. TB makes it possible to expand storage potential significantly.

TB is an ultra fast interface that simply increases what the Framework Laptop is able to do.

Is any of this needed? Of course not. Does this functionality help to extend the Framework Laptop’s usefulness? You bet.

I too am happy to see AMD getting some wins, and I would love an AMD based Framework as well, but honestly, you aren’t loosing anything at this point without it. The same can’t really be said the other way around. (Yes I am aware that AMD plays nicer with Linux distros, etc. I think this is all great. I’m merely talking about a performance angle.)

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I suggest that there is more people who need more powerful options than need of TB. eGPU is still a pretty rare thing. NAS or repo - it is more about amount of storage, but not speed. Even under USB 3.2 there is plenty bandwidth for multiple hdds.

P.S. Actually, why not give choice? More external devices - Intel motherboard, more performance and more powerful gpu - Amd.

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Okay, ordering i5 one for now, but really hope that Amd motherboards will be available in the near future.

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It seems to me like what you really should be doing is hounding AMD to provide Framework with the engineering support they will inevitably need to make the products. Without a partnership with AMD, Framework won’t be able to design the mainboards nor get the processors to put on them.

So it kinda makes sense that Framework went with the supplier they could get the support they needed from…which frankly is plenty good enough for the vast majority of the market!

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Actually, Unreal Engine 4 has supported hardware raytracing for around 2 years. The magic of UE5 is their new software based RT system ‘Lumen’, which doesn’t require GPU RT cores. It’s bringing RT to the masses. However, hardware RT still gives better results in some cases, such as reflections. An ideal case IMO will be a mix of Lumen based global illumination and hardware RT reflections

(Game developer and UE user here)

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As long as we get frame.work to support ECC on its first Ryzen motherboards, then we can have ECC support for free! The mobile Ryzen CPUs in ThinkPads all support ECC - but no laptops I know on the market do because the manufacturers refuse to bother supporting the CPU’s features on their motherboards! Not for anyone, but many pros (Linus Torvalds) will appreciate it. I guarantee Linus give you a massive shout out @frame.work just for supporting it.