Framework Laptop for Computer Science Student

I am a college student studying Computer Science and I have been using a mid 2015 MacBook Pro for all of my classes. It runs like it’s brand new but the only issue is the speed. I can tell it’s slowing down so I was looking at the framework laptops and heard nothing but good things from them. The only issue was the battery. I was wondering if I should upgrade to the framework laptop or replace the RAM in my current MacBook and continue programming on it.

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  • It runs like it’s brand new

  • I can tell it’s slowing down

If you notice the fan is getting louder, you might have a dust problem. If it’s slowing down without cause, back up your school work before it slows down to zero. The 2015 should still have the built in Apple Hardware Test as I recall, that’ll give you a brief look at whether something is failing in an obvious way.

As to your proposed solution, I believe that model has soldered memory and you’re stuck with what you’ve got.

Just something to consider.


Should I just upgrade to a framework laptop instead? The customizability of it should make the laptop last a while too as you can just replace broken parts in the future. I had my Mac for some time now anyways so I just need opinions.

I love my Framework. I happen to have a 2015 MBP 13" as well but I never take it with me anymore (though they nailed that trackpad. I do miss it.) But you’re asking a complicated question. Is the Framework going to be faster? Yes. Will the battery last as long? Probably not, but the AMD mainboards are a big unknown so far. Will it survive past graduation? More likely than the MacBook but who knows? Are you going to miss the MagSafe charger? Probably Connector, probably, brick and weird gummy Apple Rubber, probably not. Is this the best use of your money as a college student when you already have a working laptop?

Thus the comment about backing up your work to cloud or external storage. If your laptop finishes dying but was satisfactory up until now, yeah a Framework would be a great choice to replace it. If it’s merely slowing down and you still have some service life left, being patient (especially for more details on Framework 16") may be prudent. Not trying to DISCOURAGE you from buying one, just to think it through.

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A old OS with patchworks of updates is going to run worse than a new one with everything built right the first time.
If you don’t have a habit of shutting down your Mac/PC, you also need to do that at least occasionally.

Dust isn’t really an issue unless you notice the fan spin up more frequently, or the laptop gets hotter in general. The CPU won’t get slow(er) unless it’s overheating.

If you are the type of person that often forget (or just don’t) plug in laptops at least daily, Framework is not yet for you. If you have niche engineering software/USB tools to use like I do, Framework is for you and I don’t think you have much choice.

I would remind you to change/upgrade the SSD in the Macbook if you can. it’s been a good few years and you really want to top it off so it wont die on you as fast.

Regarding RAM:
RAM does not make your system faster, unless your system always have 100% RAM utilization. In which case, that’s a problem that needs to be immediately addressed. RAM simply allows more stuff to be open at the same time (more browser tabs, more different apps, etc.) If your RAM usage goes to 120% when you launch XCode (or visual studio code), maybe chuck in an extra 4GB or 8.

RAM speed does matter, but there are limits. Assuming DDR4, the fastest speed (according to spec) is 3200MT/s. If your current RAM speed is 2400/2666, it’s not worth it to upgrade.