I am currently using an 6500U and - apart from when the processor is under proper load - the machine is generally quiet.
By quiet I mean no audible fan whatsoever, not just a quiet fan.
I had similar expectations for a 12500H I recently used, but unfortunately the machine was rarely not audible and most of the times - even without proper load - one could hear the fan, even if it was admittedly quiet.
Now, my question is, how does P behave? Does a, e.g., 1240P behave more like the 6500U and does not spin up the fans unless under proper load or is it more like the 12500H and you can usually hear the fan, even if rather quiet?
Would a 12xxU model be better in that case? Even if Framework does not offer it yet.
This depends largely on the cooling design. However on the framework, its silent until it gets a heavy load. My fans only spin up while compiling code or slicing 3d models and sometimes when charging while the laptop is turned on.
Sure it can, it just depends on how much you are willing to tune the laptop. I am typing this up in bed right now and the fan isn’t turning at all. If you are willing to put in that time then it can be dead silent, especially if you are willing to go to extremes and limit performance. Hell, you can even disable cores and turn a P series into a U series.
I’d say it’s fine OOTB but the fan will spin. It depends on the OS used as well. I use Linux and I’ll admit that Windows is a better experience OOTB. The fan wasn’t screaming all the time or anything like that. You wanted dead-silent right? No fan spin? That will require some tuning regardless of OS, like setting custom fan curves.
I’ve been low-key waiting for a passive cooler for the framework motherboard, and kinda frankensteined one of my own for a small server build. A professional solution, even if it wasn’t fully passive, but instead used a low noise fan like the NF-R8 would be very nice. However, I don’t see way for something that even remotely fits the chassis or even the cooler-master cases.