Gaming on the Framework Laptop 13

Hey everyone!

After buying the Framework laptop 13, I saw the announcements and ads regarding the Framework Laptop 16. It looks cool and I’m a bit jealous. I was wondering, is it possible to game on the 13. I understand that competitive games will need a monitor for the higher fps. But can an external GPU be used to game comfortably? I’m asking because I don’t have the money to buy a full tower, but I was wondering if I can play by just buying an external GPU.


The bottlenecking will be crazy. Thunderbolt 4 will bottleneck the bandwith. Not to mention the CPU too. Egpu’s via thunderbolt are really expensive for what you get. What is your budget for a GPU and a Egpu enclosure.

To be honest I haven’t given it much thought. I wanted to find out if gaming with an external GPU was a viable option before I really looked into it and thought about a budget.

I’ve an egpu pair with a rtx 4070. It works but yes, you will loose a lot of performance. If you can wait for the framework 16, go for it.

For the igpu part, if you play older game, it run great. I’ve been playing ffvii remake with the igpu and i get around 40/50 fps at high settings. (And 4k with the egpu)

Last things… the fan can be noisy… so consider that

Yes, you can game comfortably with an eGPU. You won’t get as much performance out of a GPU as you would if it were plugged into x16 or x8 PCIe but it works well enough. I play Starfield, BG3, and a number of MMOs on a 1440p display with an RTX 2080 Super and it works just fine.

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Honestly, you can game very comfortably on the AMD FW13 even without an eGPU; the 780M is quite nice. I can run older titles just fine at native resolution with pretty high settings; newer titles may have to dial it back a bit but I’ve been able to get pretty much everything I’ve tried running >30FPS.


having done gaming on a 2018 mac mini with an egpu enclosure running over thunderbolt 3 (which doesn’t have the bandwidth of usb-4), it’s my opinion that unless you are expecting genuine high performance it should be fine. if you set reasonable expectations for a non-gaming laptop you should get comfortable results.

just make sure you get good components that can actually support the throughput you need. not all enclosures are going to be equally happy with various configurations, and critically many cables will not actually run at 40+ gbps reliably, which will severely impact things.

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If on Linux, one can run gamescope on lower resolution with FSR upscaling for a rather good performance gain. Today I got Starfield running on 30FPS with gamescope FSR and FSR2 turned on inside and Cyberpunk even got to 40 with the same trick. Does the job for gaming on the go.

As for eGPU, I’ll report when OneXGPU ship from their current campaign on Indiegogo. :slight_smile:

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I think this is something that cannot be stressed enough. Even well-known cables can have problems (I’ve had issues recently with cables from both Cable Matters and Anker, though YMMV).

yeah and batch quality can vary a LOT, even if you get a cable other people have had success with. that part sucks.


  • DON’T try to get long cables; if you need an entire meter of cable between the port and the egpu and it performs poorly you probably need to fix your desk arrangement, not hunt for another cable.
  • docks between the device and the egpu can also sometimes be massive sources of problems, so it’s best to connect directly, even if it’s inconvenient for port arrangement.

if any of the above sounds like too much hassle, planning on an fw16 might be the play. (unless of course you expect to need more vram than the gpu add-on for the fw16 has, in which case you probably aren’t going to have an ideal result whatever you do here)

but really though the amd fw13 has better graphics capability than the steam deck, which admittedly is resolution limited, but you can still get surprisingly comfortable performance out of it. the 780m can do quite a lot if you’re willing to make sacrifices. (and hook up an external display, obviously. i wouldn’t want to game on something with that response time.)

edit for clarity on the last point: i’ve got a fw16 reservation, and i’m personally planning on gaming using its onboard graphics myself. probably going to run the machine at 1280x800 resolution, which will basically make it a jumbo steam deck for me XD

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7840 runs most stuff pretty well, the really weak point for gaming on the fw 13 is the screen. The ghosting is REAL.

To update: the FSR2FSR3 mod by LukeFZ is doing additional wonders for gaming (not only on Linux). The mod basically wires FSR3 to work through DLSS controls in games that support it, including the Frame Generation (FSR3 biggest addition), which can boost your FPS count almost double. I’ll try getting some numbers from FW13 with the mod (since I keep it in the office, so I need to get it from there to test).