I’ve spent the past few days getting the software on my Framework Laptop DIY Edition set up just the way I like it. Everything was going great, and I was very pleased with the performance…until I starting trying to use my VMs in VMware workstation.
As soon as I boot any VM, performance of the VM and the host (i.e., the laptop) takes a dive — to the point where the mouse courser can barely move. I have never experienced this on any other system, even ones with lower specs, so I’m not sure what the cause could be. CPU temps stay in acceptable ranges.
I have tried:
Plugging in a charger
Setting the power profile to Best Performance
The system specs are:
Processor: 11th Gen Intel(R) Core™ i7-1165G7 @ 2.80GHz, 2803 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
RAM: 16 GB
Host OS: Windows 11 Pro (fresh install)
VMWare Workstation 16.2.3
I use VirtualBox and Hyper-V together and run several environments for testing, and I can say that for me, it handles them just fine, so I’m curious about what might be happening when you’re booting your virtual environment.
I agree that if it’s thermal-related, that would be pretty terrible, but it is a fixable issue. For now though, I thought I’d ask a few questions about the specific issue you’re experiencing, and perhaps try a few things.
Have you installed the FrameWork driver kit?
What build of Windows 10 are you using/where did you get it from, and how was the installer generated?
Also, randomly, what kind of SSD are you using? Are there any indications of issues in the system event log coming from Disk? Can you manually invoke a Trim operation just to see if there might be performance issues there?
What’s shutting down? The computer, or the hypervisor? Are you using Hyper-V or VMWare when this happens, or does it happen with either?
As for Hyper-V, are you using ballooning memory/can you try a static memory configuration as a test run?
I found the root cause! I was able to reproduce the issue after I installed the updated graphics driver that Intel’s update tool recommended. Sticking with the version from the Framework driver bundle works fine.
No BSODs. It has even happened while I was going through the first-run wizard of Windows 10 after I downgraded to debug this issue.
The only events in Event Viewer are messages stating that an unexpected shut down/power loss occurred.
I will be returning the Framework Laptop. As much as I love the concept of being able to repair and upgrade any component of a laptop, I can’t spend this much money on something unreliable. Poking around more in these community forums shows there are lots of quality control issues that still need to be ironed out. The display is also extremely reflective, even in mild indoor lighting — and nearly unusable in sunlight. My plan was to upgrade the display on my Framework Laptop as soon as a better panel was for sale (OLED and glass would be awesome FWIW).
I was mainly interested in the Framework Laptop for its size and port selection. After more research, I found an alternative from an established brand. The Razor Book 13 has the size and ports I need, with a fantastic display. Upgradability and repairability are laudable goals, and I genuinely hope Framework thrives. In a few years, I might be back to try Framework again, as long as reliability and display quality improve.
I regret sticking with my unit, and should have returned mine when I could. Now, I come on here hoping to see BIOS updates, wishing they’ll address some of the mentioned issues in the forum. But it’s been 4 months since the last BIOS update was released. The fix cycles are just not cutting it (if any fix is coming at all). My unit is just placed on the shelf at the moment. I’ve gone over to ThinkPads…higher reliability at the very least.
Right now, they are hiring firmware engineers, so it seems logical that it can take some time. They have projects (which?) being worked on, and there may be higher priorities, (such as making sure that the BIOS works before releasing it). They do have a beta bios, but, as stated, it’s in beta, and may brick your FW.
Sorry it didn’t work out for you. Re:“lots of quality control issues” I would say that you are experiencing a massive selection bias by trying to glean overall quality control by reading the forums. People with no issues are far less likely to post about it on the forums than people with.
The irony of buying Razer for something reliable…I genuinely hope your (non-replaceable) battery doesn’t turn into exploding pillows and you never have to interact with Razer support. For reliability and repairability I would much more recommend the business-tier offerings from Lenovo, HP, and (to a lesser extent) Dell.
If you do stick with the Razer, make sure you open the back cover and inspect the battery for any signs of swelling monthly. The trackpad deforming is also a less-obvious indicator of the battery swelling.
Assuming there’s more fixes than just the CVEs (as there’s a post stating that a power drain issue has been identified and will be fixed with 3.08). So Framework decided that functional fixes can be held back by security fixes… From a user’s (mine) perspective, I believe something needs to be released sooner to the general population, fix as they come.
e.g. It’s not a great user experience if they (on the extreme end of the argument) decide to release all the fixes at the end of a product’s lifecycle. The benefit of fixes needs to occur on a more frequent basis to maximize the benefits’ lifetime related to the product’s useful life.
At the moment, the BIOS release schedule (whenever that will be) is more aligned with Framework’s convenience (resource constraints, and internally test CVEs and other fixes in one flow)…than it is customer experience focused.
If you’re thinking of getting a Framework laptop now…don’t, wait for next gen if that’s going to be available in the pipe line. If you need a reliable laptop, don’t, also wait for the next gen if that’s going to be available (and weigh that next gen Framework against other laptop of the same generation). If you just want a laptop to tinker with…by all means, get what takes your fancy. And if you need a reliable laptop now, get something else.