This started as a long-winded post on the community Discord, but the more I thought about it the more feasible it seemed. I’m going to be working with some MXM graphics cards in the near future, and that level of modularity really impressed me and made me think, “Man, wouldn’t it be cool if the framework had an MXM slot. Looks like Falconnor4 is working on a Thunderb-- er, USB-C to PCIe to MXM chain of converters, which should be pretty darn cool, but what if in a future 15” version of the framework there were a much larger expansion card format? The “definitely not Thunderbolt 4” ports supply more than enough bandwidth and power and with a fancy vapor chamber and low profile fan, a fully self contained dGPU could be packaged in it’s own expansion card and slotted into the left side of the motherboard and chassis.
I understand that this flies in the face of the mass-market appeal that helps to make framework possible, but it would go a long way towards expanding the real capabilities of the laptop.
I don’t quite see that. I mean with Thunderbolt 4 enabling the use of the proposed MXM expansion card you mentioned, what you are talking about is really enclosures and form factor. The capability already exists for the 13" Framework Laptop to use those components, and with eGPU enclosures even exceed them in terms of performance.
Personally I would much rather prefer a more compact eGPU enclosure that was more amiable to transporting. If it could be powered by the USB C ports of the Framework even better. But I believe those requirements would also constrain the performance of that device.
And that brings us to the two points working against any such thing:
and to a lesser extent:
I much prefer the eGPU as it keeps the heat away from my mainboard, has its own power supply and powers the Framework. It is not that portable, true. But for now it is the best solution given the constraints, and it is a solution the Framework laptop is already more than capable of taking advantage of. The MXM expansion card you reference does help a little with the size constraint, but I do wonder about power. Still all exciting stuff!
Ok so yes, my thing is doing the thing, I am currently waiting for parts to ship and building a custom PCB while waiting using diagrams I found online, some problems with the design though are that the MXM GPU will take anywhere from 100w to 200w of power, meaning that the dinky 100w charging cable won’t be able to keep the computer charged while working, So I am integrating a secondary 300w power supply for charging both the computer and powering the GPU.
So my workaround to this is my extension adds about another 10mm to 15mm to the bottom of the laptop, something that isn’t exactly small but still manageable, Power and battery life wise when you don’t need the GPU or the power you can just… take of the module. The power I am busy making a charging solution and for heat don’t worry I’ve got you covered, I’m gonna fit an entire Noctua NF-A12x15 inside the chassis so that whatever GPU I can get my hands on will be running at max clock speed and effiency.
Hi minecrafter. The idea has been raised, and there’s some discussion here:
as well as in some other threads. Bottom line is that there isn’t enough flexibility in this form factor for it, for a number of reasons. Now if Framework works up a 15 inch or larger laptop, there may be some ability to include a replaceable GPU daughter card, but it’ll likely be a while before we see anything like that. For now an eGPU is the best bet for improving graphics performance (lots of discussion in the forum on the topic).
As for the battery option, again, there’s just not enough room in this form factor. That said, any external battery pack that offers PD charging should be able to charge the Framework. Or you could go with something like the Linedock 13:
It’s a bit like carrying around an extra half a laptop, but it provides a 19,350 mAh battery, the option for additional storage, and 9 ports.