DIY vs Pre-configured

I wanted to compare the pre-configured unit with DIY to see the difference in price. The difference was 98.00 but the DIY version had the increase. Are the DIY components different from the pre-configured?

Did your DIY include a Windows license? If so, then yes, when you buy a prebuilt, FW gets to use it’s “OEM” licence which is cheaper, which allows them to pass that savings on to you. The DIY version however sells you the retail license, which is more expensive.

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I was thinking the same thing about the Windows license. Note that the OEM license isn’t just cheaper; there’s a tradeoff. The OEM license is tied to that particular machine (although I’m not sure how this is enforced), while the retail license allows you to install on another machine in the future if you replace this one.

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I see. TY.
So, the reason for wanting the DIY other than it being really cool and easy to assemble the parts is that I would like to have a 1TB SSD and a bit more RAM than the Base model comes with. The i5 processor is fine for my use. Am I wasting my time by not going DIY from the get go instead of upgrading the Base model?

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Not anymore; when I inquired about something else, Microsoft told me the license is tied to your Microsoft account.


The thing is that I would like an i5 processor but a 1T SSD and 16Gb Ram

So, can I save money by ordering the base model and upgrading the memory and storage?

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I’d say spend the extra money if you have it. Save your self the headache. Assembly is easy but If something is defective it will be caught in their hands then and there rather than dealing with communication delays back and forth. Support is slow at the moment. (experience)


The whole Windows license is a whole different thing now. Basically Microsoft doesn’t really care about domestic and small business licenses. It gets its money from other sources now.

You never pay that $100 OEM price if you know what you are doing. The license key gets attached to the motherboard. But if you push hard enough it can move to another…and another.

I really don’t know why MS doesn’t give Home away for free or just a $5 activation fee.

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@Danny My recommendation is to decide if you want convenience or a deal. You can save yourself a hassle by ordering a DIY version with the added RAM and SSD all through Framework and paying a little more money than you would otherwise. You can save some money by getting a preconfigured model, then buying your own RAM and SSD. The only downside is that you’ll have to resell the RAM and SSD, or pay more in the end to keep them as backups/spare parts. If you are willing to go hunting for deals, you can save money by getting the DIY, then finding the RAM, SSD, and Windows license from other retailers. It’s up to you whether you want to pay more or do more work to get the full computer. I ended up getting a DIY, but that’s because I already had RAM and an SSD from my previous laptop that I transplanted into my Framework. There is no best option, but you have to decide how much money and work you want to put into it.

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Just a reminder. In any case you buy your own RAM for the laptop pls check this list first.


Btw did you all receive your DIY pre-assembled or was it assembled for you? I received mine (DIY) last week and was pre-assembled(only had to put ram and ssd). Didn’t give it much though but I actually find it bit odd haha

When I was looking ahead of being able to pre-order, Framework’s prices on the components were absolutely fair, but they’re fairly high-end components.

You can build it cheaper if you don’t need those specs; if you do then there’s not going to be much in it, and which way it swings might depend what Amazon/hardware-retailer-of-choice has on offer that week.

Also not mentioned here yet I think is that the WiFi card slightly differs between pre-built and DIY models (which do now come with it non-optional & pre-fitted) - AX201 on the former and AX210 on the latter IIRC. In each case with/out vPro according to CPU model.

That is how the DIY model comes for everyone. The original plan was to have it come as a set of parts that the user would fully assemble themselves, but Framework ended up finding that it wasn’t logistically possible for them to do that, and ended up opting to make the DIY model assembled except for the RAM and SSD (Wifi card was originally separate, but that was changed when shipping first opened up to Europe.) Nirav details the original plans and why they had to change them in a blog post here.


That and it meant they didn’t have to have a Support and Returns team that numbered in the several hundred.

Imagine the chaos… :rofl:

Makes sense. I was under the impression that the thing they assembled themselves was the wifi card, that was hard to put, but yeah, difficult to provide support for all people that would be assembling. Anyway :slight_smile: thanks for the answer

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I’d like to add as well that if you own a Windows license tied to your Microsoft account then you can apply that license activation to any computer you use, as long as it’s your account logging into that device.

i got a Toshiba Satellite July 2013 with Win8, upgraded to Win8.1 then Win10 with the free updates over time, then connected the license to my Windows account to have a permanent free Win10 license on every device I’ve installed Win10 on. I’ve 3 totally separate desktops that I’ve built myself, and numerous motherboards and hardware configs within those 3. I’m still using a Surface Pro 3, and I’ve installed Win10 on over a dozen devices belonging to family and friends.

~ Jamie

Thank you so much for posting this info. After reading this post I located the Windows product key from my desktop. I then logged in microsoft and found that the desktop is listed on my account! Good start, I think.
I have a question. I understand from another post that FW has instructions for loading an OS. When I receive my FW laptop do you (or FW personel) know if those instructions give me the opportunity to insert my product key in order lo load the OS?

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@Danny If you’re installing a fresh copy of Windows there will be a pop-up that will allow you to enter your product key during installation, otherwise it can also be done any time after install from the settings menu.