Future upgradability plans If i buy now

If i buy a framework now, say if they came out with a 15 or 17 inch version, would i be able to transfer this motherboard into a new chassis? is there any chance that would be a no? are you already near or hitting the pcie lane limit so that I couldn’t get a new chassis with possibly more ports while keeping the same motherboard? I really want to get a framework, But I also want to have open possibilities for framework’s future, such as a 15 or 17 inch chassis, without spending a lot more money then I have to.


First off, welcome to the community, we’re glad to have you here!

In a blog post about the mainboard, Framework has talked about the potential for upgrading to new mainboards

but you should be cautious because there has been no official talk of a 15" or 17" laptop, so it’s all just theory that there would be a potential for upgrading the mainboard into a new chassis.

As for PCIe lanes, it has been said in other threads that the ports are already stretching the 20 lanes on the 11th gen cpus thin. Adding more ports would be a difficult task as they would have to adapt from the 4 ports on the board, and those ports would have to share the 4 PCIe lanes allocated to each of the soldered ports.

All in all, the current mainboard was designed for the laptop that is available now, and while it definitely CAN be put into a new chassis if it was made, you can’t get more functionality out of the silicon that is already there just by making the case bigger. I would say that you should buy the Framework for what it is today, a very capable and repairable 13.5" laptop, and if that isn’t what you need, you should either wait to see if Framework announces a 15" or 17" model, or you should buy a laptop that is better suited to your use-case.


It would go against Framework’s basic principles if you couldn’t! So I would say yes, I can’t give a concrete answer though.

Thing is though, a 15" or 17" laptop would use a wider shell, and the expansion cards currently plug directly into the motherboard that is sized for the width of a 13" laptop.

So the only way I can see this working is if Framework implemented Louis Rossmann’s suggestion of the internal USB-C ports being connected to the motherboard via detachable ribbon cables - thereby allowing the internal USB-C ports to be positioned at the distance needed for expansion cards to plug into even if the width of the actual motherboard would otherwise be too small.


My personal guess on motherboard upgradeability is that it is just possible within the same form factor.
While it is possible to move the current motherboard into a 15" case, there is the problem of where to put the ports on the outside without screwing up the actual 15" motherboard design. And there is really not a big use case for a U-series CPU in a 15" case due to way better cooling capabilities.
Overall I think it’s simply not worth all the hassle for the developers.
As already mentioned: If the current 13.5" works for you, order one and support framework. Otherwise wait for new releases, but it’s pure speculation what and when those will come.

Maybe a bit off-topic, but since you mentioned it above:
Does the U-series also have 20 PCIe lanes?
And how many lanes does a single TB4 port need?
Or where to find that kind of information in general? Since i tried and failed. :slight_smile:


4 lanes per TB4 port and Intel ARK has info on every product Intel has produced in recent years

Edit: I realize now you meant where to find info on the Thunderbolt specification

I’ve seen it floating around in launch briefs I believe although there was a Technology Connections video where he talks about using a laptop dock and mentioned TB3 allowed for 2 lane or 4 lane implementations

I believe TB4 requires 4 lanes now so the math goes like this - 4 lanes to SSD, and 4 lanes to each TB4 port equals 20

1 Like

Thanks a lot!
So every 11th Gen Intel CPU has 20 CPU PCIe lanes, no matter if mobile or desktop CPU?

1 Like

Correct but desktop CPUs get around this restriction by having PCIe lanes come off the chipset, allowing for greater expansion at the cost of some additional latency or adding additional SATA controllers for example

Edit: For those who want to know more


Thanks @GhostLegion for the info, I didn’t actually know the specifics, as I was just going off information that had been posted in other threads (I don’t have a lot of knowledge on hardware beyond what I read here and some google-fu skills)

1 Like

@Azure You’re welcome! I follow hardware pretty closely but my knowledge isn’t terribly technical, I rely on other more knowledgeable people for that stuff lol.

How all these computers and electronics work? I’m certain its magical in nature, how else can people make sand think?

1 Like

The screaming sand makes pretty pictures for me to look at and I try to keep the magic smoke inside the machine so it doesn’t stop. :smiley:

1 Like