Cheapest way to get an AMD framework laptop?

Hi! im a high school student who’s quite low on cash and wants to buy a laptop that can last me years. I’m EXTREMELY interested in this device, the upgradeability and modularity is exactly what i’d like in a laptop ( as someone who loves to tinker and play around with electronics) I want to get the Framework 13 AMD, but I’m quite low on cash. My parents have thrown in a couple hundred and i recently got a bonus from my job, im sitting at around $600CAD (~440usd).

I am interested in buying the DIY edition and minimising the price to as low as i can get it by buying third party parts. What are the best ones i can get? 256GB ssd and 8GB is probably enough for me (I dabble in coding but most of my computing work besides games is photoshop design.) but i would definitely prefer 16GB. What parts would you suggest me to keep the cost to a low?

thank you for reading all this!

There are several different ways you can save money when configuring a DIY purchase:

Expansion Cards:

  • USB C and USB A are the cheapest at $12 each so if you don’t need HDMI, you can just pick a mix of those cards
  • Sometimes, refurbished expansion cards sets are available for $38 which includes 2 USB C, 1 USB A, and 1 HDMI and those are a great deal

Bezel:

  • Pick black to save a bit

Charger:

As for RAM, I would recommend getting a 16 GB kit (2 x 8 GB) as 8 GB is cutting it a little close for Photoshop and games (but this depends on the games you play and what type of photo editing that you do). Also, using dual channel memory is important on Ryzen processors as the CPU and GPU performance will be severely hampered if you run it in single channel. They also don’t make dual channel 8 GB kits. This is the kit I would recommend: https://www.amazon.ca/Crucial-5600MT-5200MT-4800MT-CT2K8G56C46S5/dp/B0C79QT9DT/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=16+gb+ddr5+sodimm&sr=8-5&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.b06bdbbe-20fd-4ebc-88cf-fa04f1ca0da8

For storage, while you can find 256 GB NVME drives for $25, I wouldn’t really recommend it as A) it’s not a lot of storage and B) the drives aren’t really from reputable manufacturers. An okay drive would be this one: Team Group MP33 512GB PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD | Canada Computers & Electronics
but I do recommend investing a little more to get a better drive from a more reputable manufacturer. It’s less likely to fail and if it does, the RMA process tends to be better.

Definitely purchase your parts during holiday periods as that’s when you’ll get the best deals.

@Lavender Good luck on your framework journey😁
I just so happen to also be a highschooler that loves the idea of an upgradable laptop that can last as long as possible. I personally opted for a 16" preorder.
If you are really short on money the framework outlet has some really good deals on the intel 11th gen 13", but I do realize AMD really is the way to go processor wise in 2023-4. The reply @TheTRUEAsian wrote is absolutley the way I would go in your situation.

Yes the Framework Outlet is your best bet:

It gets you a fully working Framework laptop at the lowest price ever, it gets you a warranty, and it gets you into the ecosystem. Upgrade as funds permit, although this could work for you for years as-is.

Since you’re in Canada, the next available opportunity to get a 3rd party charger, SSD and RAM at clearout prices is Boxing Day.

I would actually recommend this charger: https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256805662049325.html
It’s really powerful at 140W and really cheap for $25, I have an older version but my Framework Ryzen has pulled up to 85w from it. Only downside is that it takes a while to arrive since it’s AliExpress and it resets every time a USBC device is plugged in. But if you’re looking for value, it’s the best you can get.
Also something to note is that SSDs are predicted to get more expensive in 2024 so you’d definitely want to buy one around Xmas.

But, there’s a listing on Ebay for a complete 11th gen Intel Framework with everything included for $640, if you have that money right now I don’t think there’s going to be a cheaper opportunity for a Framework. I imagine it’ll probably get bought pretty soon.