Can framework chassis become incompatible in future design revisions or will it be the same for a long time?

Just a random question came in mind :eyes:

And if any part is made incompatible, for say new CPU, or GPU add-on if happens anytime, will it be just one part to be replaced like the bottom case to have a new change in motherboard, or will it affect multiple components?


Impossible to say, the question you are really asking is “Do I trust Framework to make every effort to keep compatibility across generations?”

That’s up to you to decide


My opinion is that, at some point, there will be some limitation that will prevent to maintain full backward compatibility with every single part produced up until that point. @GhostLegion I do trust the company making every possible effort, but I’m too pragmatic - or I should say realistic - and I already know that it’s only inevitable that compatibiliy will be broken at some point: if you look at Fairphone, which shares (shared?) similar goals with, they released a totally different version of their device, where all the parts are incompatible with the previous version. And that leads me to another point: even if, at some point, the current version of the Framework laptop will be frozen and won’t receive any future upgrades, how long will the device last before it breaks beyond repair? Let’s assume that its “service life” will span across 10/12 years (with some mid-life upgrade and a couple of battery swaps): is that so unreasonable? I don’t think so, and I also think that the longevity and the long-term serviceability (if not upgradeability) should be the main selling point of this product.
That said… Yes, I do trust this company making every conceivable effort to keep the “upgrade path” open for as long as it’s technically possible, but I’m also perfectly aware that things will change (maybe for the better?) in the future.


They could end up in a situation like Nikon vs. Canon and their respective lens mounts

The Nikon F-mount is somewhat compatible with cameras built from 1959 to current DSLRs. The compatibility is a mish-mash of features that work and physical limitations that may break a newer camera.
Lenses designed since 1977 are more compatible with the newer cameras, but depending on generation, may still have issues. And then autofocus was added.

The Canon EF mount was a complete change from prior Canon designs. This came in with the advent of autofocus. It broke compatibility with all previous mounts. However, all EOS cameras are compatible, so there is plenty of choice in Lenses produced in the last 20 years. Note that EF-S Lenses are not compatible by design with 35mm equivalent cameras, These are for crop sensor cameras. That’s the only issue.


In my opinion, yes there will be design changes. I think framework will try as hard as possible (much like AMD and Ryzen 5000 on x370) to make sure critical components like the mainboard are backward compatible. I would love extra features that could exist in other models to be provided via a secondary daughter board that can be removed for compatibility in older/ smaller models.

But technology changes rapidly. I nearly guarantee for example that your next mainboard upgrade will require replacing the RAM at least.


I wouldn’t be so sure. Alder Lake P still supports DDR4-3200, so Framework could in theory produce an ADL mainboard with DDR4 sockets at the cost of performance.

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Yeah, so if they provide updates on one motherboard for a sufficient promised time (like LTS version of ubuntu), it’ll be more than enough!

I’d expect even if new incompatible type comes, previous should continue its support for atleast about 10 years from the date it was first available (& more if more and more marketplace request being made), for people wanting to upgrade without purchasing whole new laptop. Then after getting ROI from work and more, people will be willing to change a few more things with motherboard replacement.

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My take is that if you buy version x of a Framework laptop it would be nice if it supported the next CPU gen at a minimum. If we got two gens…great but I wouldn’t expect more than that.

I would expect however, other manufacturers strong-arming the likes of Intel to make that difficult…

I think the issue is not that we can’t move forward its just that we get forgotten. You know like with mobile phones. One minute you are the cock of the walk with the latest and getting updates every week and then 6 months later…they don’t even want to look at you…


That’s not up to Framework. Intel choose to change their CPU socket with every new generation, and some times more frequently, so you would need a new motherboard every time.

AMD on the other hand tend to stick with the same socket over several generations, so it usually is possible to upgrade the CPU on the same board.

I’d imagine they’d try to keep the same form factor and case as far as is reasonably possible from one to the next.


I meant not about the full motherboard compatibility (where component lies in the board), but about if the design change be such that it can contain newer generations can fit in same size without making the chassis incompatible with newer CPUs. I don’t see much changes in mobile CPU’s, that’d require a complete redesign from scratch, it’ll be expensive to design as well. So if they can, make it as compatible as we can, that just was my point.

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Yeah I know. I’m happy to have the option to buy a whole new motherboard for a gen or two for the body chassis I have. After all if it happens, things will end up on Ebay and it will get cheaper and cheaper as others upgrade. When I said CPU as they are BGA then I assumed people know I meant the whole shebang. Sorry.


The cpu is soldered onto the motherboard. You’d need to change the whole board no matter if the socket stays the same or not.
It is more about if they still make boards for that form factor in the long run.