Framework Laptop 16 User Reviews

Thanks ill check it out. I cant find any threads so if you know the name of one could you link onr just so i know what areas to check.

However the fans seem to spin with 0 resistance or sound after opening up and spinning them manually & blowing into them.


unrelated but as a H.S senior who’s intending to major in econ how do you like data science? i’ve just discovered this as a potential career and i’d love to learn more about it

Mind sharing what you printed? I’m trying to find an acceptable stand and/or cooling pad for mine but all I see on Amazon are cheap looking (as in non-replaceable fans) garbage ones. Might as well print my own, maybe, because PLA melty melty it might be a bad idea.

Thanks for the link just checked but most likely not this :frowning:

Your main complaint seems to be cost, and, if you look at it as buying a single laptop, it’s a pretty damning one. The price difference is high enough that, if you disregard philisophical and aesthetic preferences, could very well more than fully offset savings from repairs down the road. It’s also one that a lot of other reviews have understandably brought up.

However, I think this is an incomplete way of looking at the cost. Currently, a FW16 mainboard is either $750 or $950 depending on CPU variety. If we assume that those prices remain roughly similar in the future, with future iterations of the hardware, then when it’s time to upgrade, you don’t buy an entire new FW16. You buy a new mainboard. So the next FW16 you buy is <1/2 the cost of the first one, and it remains that way until they stop supporting the chassis (which they will presumably support as long as it is feasible to do so, since that’s kind of the point of the product).

I’m pretty sure that after only 1 or 2 upgrades, it becomes price competitive, plus all the other pros of a repairable, modular machine. In any case, it certainly makes the price difference, in the long term, much smaller. Not everyone is willing to pay 2x the cost for a repairable machine. But 1.1x (or whatever the much smaller long term cost delta is, I won’t pretend to have done the math, plus it depends on a ton of user-specific things such as upgrade cadence)? That becomes much more palatable to a lot more people.


I agree with you 100% here. My main objective was mostly based on repairability and with the idea that newer more powerful graphics card options will be available in the future. Right now I’m riding the full AMD bus but maybe in the future there will be an intel and Nvidia option that I can go with. Not to mention that I will be able to create a mini headless computer with the used parts to run my own servers, NAS, etc on.

While I’m not extremely happy with the performance of the device I do find it to be a good investment.


I too would like to see a better GPU. The only performance about my FW16 that I don’t like is the GPU. The CPU is awesome and blows both my desktop’s i7-6850K and my old laptop’s i7-7700H out of the water. However, the RX 7700S is still less powerful than my desktop’s aging GTX 1080 but is significantly better than my older laptop’s mobile GTX 1060. The lack of power is compounded with the fact that the FW16’s screen has higher specs than the one I use on my desktop (1440p at 144Hz) so it’s being pushed a bit harder, and the FPS difference is noticeable. It wasn’t an issue on my old laptop with a 1080p 120Hz screen.

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I actually have similar gaming rig setups (GTX 1080bTi, i7 8700K CPU, 32Gb Ram) and a 2.5K screen. On my FW16 I tend to run games at Full HD only. Makes it way more fluid (God of War, Cyberpunk and Star Citizen ALPHA 3.23.1).


I’m sure if I needed, I could lower the resolution, but I like to run all my systems at native resolution. Although I know there are some older games, I play that don’t support HD resolutions and I either try to mod those or run at highest resolution available. Luckily, I don’t really play any newer games so the RX 7700S will be perfectly fine for most of the games I play for now. I only worry about FFXIV since the new expansion will have a graphical update and my desktop currently runs that at around 90 FPS with the FW16 being lower.

Regarding the 7700s pushing the 2560x1600 screen for gaming, look to upscaling like FSR (sans AFMF/Frame gen) as an alternative to dropping the resolution.

Regarding the value proposition of the FW concpet, I think everyone’s experience will be different depending on variables like accidental damage (if any), secondary/resale market pricing (likely to vary by location and over time), length of ownership, and both the release schedule and upgrade options from FW.

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This computer was my first AMD graphics card and I was surprised at how easy it was to get AI upscaling working on it, even for old games.

Just a quick post to say I’ve got my batch 17 Framework 16 last Sunday and I have spent about two days installing debian 12.5 (bookworm) xfce and much it works well. hibernate and suspend are not reliable for me which is a great disappointment but apparently other ones struggle with that as well - hibernation issues on amd-13

Other problems were

  • I couldn’t find the included screw driver - fortunately had a T5 from my iFixit screwdriver set
  • The instructions don’t mention the peel off plastic cover of the thermal pad for the SSD - thank god for the comments!
  • I found the BIOS very confusing - there appear to be two different parts, one entered by F2 and the other by F12. The F2 has the secure boot (needs to be disabled to enable hibernation). The way to boot from USB is to switch off “Auto select” and use last ?? Then it won’t boot from the SSD until you go back and switch on Auto even if there is no USB drive plugged in? Why can’t you just select boot devices in an list like in the good old days!

Otherwise everything else is working well - Bluetooth, WiFi, USB.

Yep, you do the boot device selection by using F12, not F2.

User Review of Framework 16 (Batch 17)

The Specs
CPU: Maxed out (Ryzen 9 7940HS)
GPU: Maxed out (AMD Radeon RX 7700S and blank shell module)
RAM: Maxed out (96GB Crucial Kit)
SSD: Sabrent Rocket in size 2230 (512GB for Windows 11 Pro) and Solidigm P44 Pro in size 2280 (1TB for Fedora KDE)

Story Time
I received this laptop two days before I was to attend a Photogrammetry workshop. It literally came just in time for me to set it up with all of my software, inspect it for any quality issues, and pack it up in my Nanuk 925 hard case (which fit’s it nicely even with the GPU).

This laptop is a beast. It tore through all of my rendering tasks like a champ. Did it sound like a hair dryer while doing it? Yes. But I bought this thing to compute point-clouds in the millions, edit video, and run local LLMs, not to watch Netflix (although it does that well too). I’ve heard some people complain about “coil whine” but I haven’t really noticed. Then again, I used to work as an aircraft mechanic on a ship, so it might be that I just don’t have that part of my hearing anymore. I’ve also read that it can drain battery while plugged in. I have noticed a dip of a few percent on renders taking more than 20 minutes, but I could only really see it being a problem if I were slamming it for hours at a time (in which case I would just use a server anyway). I see how this could be a problem for people who game at max settings for hours.

The modularity of this computer is amazing. My colleague said
“Wow, it’s like the Jeep Wrangler of laptops.”
And he’s right. Having the ability to easily swap components and even get better heat dissipation by removing the keyboard and track pad is a game changer. When I need to do graphically intense work, I swap in the GPU. When I need to commute with a lighter load, I just swap in the Shell module. The difference in weight is noticeable, especially if you need to carry other things too. I was worried about the track-pad spacer problem, but I realized three things when I got the laptop in front of me. One, it’s really not that bad (at least on my machine). Two, make sure to tighten down all of the screws underneath (including those in the speakers, this bought me an extra millimeter or so). And three, make sure to seat the panels properly. I like the ventilation too. Drawing air from the top and bottom ensures it won’t get choked if it’s sitting on a bed or couch.

Room For Improvement
Although this is essentially my dream laptop, there are some things that could use improvement, a few of those things being the BIOS. Having some BIOS level fan control would be much appreciated. Windows seems to know when to turn the fans on, but Linux (Fedora KDE) will wait way too long. Having some settings to either be more or less aggressive with cooling (on AC or Battery) would be nice and prevent my hands from getting too sweaty when working outside in the summer. (It has so much cooling it could do, so why should I put up with it cooking my hands?) Additionally, being able to choose to have the power button light turn off when the computer screen is on would be less distracting (I don’t need an indicator to tell me the computer is awake when the screen is doing that perfectly fine). I would also like the ability to easily cap the CPU frequency and/or under-volt the CPU when on Battery.
In terms of Hardware, I’d like to see some more useful spacers. The LED matrix is cool, but I couldn’t really justify buying it. I know there has been talk of e-ink or OLED spacers, but even just a spacer with a dry-erase surface would be very handy (and cheep to make). Sure, I could DIY it by joining two spacers together with some dry-erase tape, but I think Framework could do it better.
The keyboard is not like my old FW13 (which is enjoying a second life with a family member who needed a laptop). It’s just a little bit softer and if I had time to care about things like that, it might annoy me. But when I’m doing work, I really don’t think about it too much.
Something that would be nice is having access to the SSD slots through the mid-plate. It would be handy, but not used much after initial setup.

Closing Thoughts
This laptop is awesome and has started a few conversations. It’s nice to use and doesn’t get in my way when I need to work. I’m interested in how it will evolve over the years with new graphic cards (NVIDIA for CUDA work please), screens, and other parts.

The Framework 16 got a lot of attention at the photogrammetry workshop from scientists in the academic community. They have a hard time justifying a computer with “Gaming” in the advertisements when writing grants and doing taxes, but all of the “Gaming” computers have the specs to handle the type of work they need to do. By not advertising it as a “Gaming computer”, Framework really opened themselves up for a lot more people and institutions to buy this thing.


Just thought I’d mention this project to bring CUDA workloads to AMD GPU’s. It’s ‘maintained’, but since the dev hasn’t been able to drum up a relationship with Intel or AMD, they say it’s effectively a personal project for them now. Still, it might work for the CUDA work you’re looking to do, too.


Yeah, seems like it was this after all. How strange. Not sure what to think other than that I am glad I was finally able to clean it off.

Hello, so yesterday I assembled my FW16 and I would like to write my first impressions. I have Ryzen 7, no dGPU, 32GB of kingston ram and samsung 990 pro ssd. So far I am testing it only with Windows and I will upload a full review once I switch to linux.
TLDR: It is a very nice laptop with awesome features but it needs some improvements.

The awesome

  • Expansion bay: It is honestly a perfect idea. When you have some unused PCIe lanes, it is very smart to expose them, so consumers can use them. Add the fact it has been open sourced and it seems like an ideal combo. Now it is absolutely crucial for framework to develop other modules or help guys like Josh develop them. This brilliant idea will only metarialize if you keep expanding the module options, so please do not disappoint us.
  • Display: It is just brilliant - high brightness, high refresh rate, 16:10. Honestly, coming from Thinkpad P50 with FHD 60Hz display, I cannot complain.

The good

  • Form factor: I know this is a personal preference but I really like the fact it is quite thin, not so heavy 16 inch laptop. My previous P50 was far too heavy, thick and bulky. This is a 16 inch laptop but at the same time is meant to be carried around. Reminds me the form factor of Macbook Pro 16 (yes, it is larger but similarly heavy).
  • Expansion cards: This is another brilliant idea by framework. Whilst it limits the number of ports the laptop has, it makes it far more durable. Imagine I am not careful and destroy a USB-C connector. Usually those are soldered to a motherboard, so the fix it not very easy. On the other hand, if I destroy my USB-C, it will cost me 10€ and 20 seconds :slight_smile:
  • Bottom chasis: It is sturdy, thin and feels quite nice.
  • Top part of the input deck: This one is actually quite polished. I have a numpad and a keyboard and they are at the same level. I also understand some people like the numpad and some not. This solution tackles the issue. Unfortunately, the bottom part is a different story.

The average

  • Temperatures: This is a funny one. Because the laptop has a midplate and bottom part of the input panel made out of aluminium, it is quite warm when under heavy load. On the other hand, the cooling solution is really good. I compared my results of benchmarks to a friend who has the same chip and I was 7-8% ahead of him in Cinebench. Personally, I would rather have a warmer laptop that is properly cooled than having limited performance due to thermal throttling.
  • Keyboard: It is not the worst, neither the best one I experienced. I am personally get used to thinkpads and they have better keyboards than FW16, especially those ones from 2010s. Here I lack keyboard travel and the midplate flexes more than I would like.

The bad

  • Bottom part of the input deck: Spacers and the touchpad modules are not flush. Funnily enough, it is better than yesterday because the fact it laptop was closed resulted in bending the touchpad module in the correct dorection a bit xD (due to lid’s pressure). Issue is the fact it is made out of a thin piece of alumunium. I would suggest using a more rigid matrial such as carbon fibre or titanium. I bet some people would be willing to pay more for it.
  • Shipping: First of all, it is a shame FW does not ship to all EU countries. I get the argument that different countries have different VAT but this does not apply to companies. Companies in EU have to deal with VAT themselves, so at least for companies shipping should be EU-wide. In addition to that, my laptop was given to a random neighbour by fedex. Whilst not necessarily FW’s mistake, I am not happy that a 2k laptop is given to a random guy from the complex to which it was delivered.

So far these are my first impressions. I am enjoying my new laptop and I would also recommend it to a friend. I just hope FW continues to exist and continues to producing this laptop alongside the improvements.


UPDATE: I’ve done some further testing, and this heat issue occurs only when I’m charging the laptop. If there isn’t a power cable plugged in, it just gets warm. [Tested with Fallout Shelter and World of Warcraft]

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If there isn’t a power cable plugged in (the official one), then you aren’t even running the dGPU at higher wattages, so this completely makes sense.

But yes, the bottom gets quite hot. Got a 2nd degree burn on my leg a couple weeks back because I had shorts on.