Is the Framework Laptop 16 a game changer?

I find the idea behind the Framework Laptop 16 very interesting. A modular laptop that is easy to open and maintain is a good idea. The upgrade option to continue using and supporting the device for a later future is a good idea in itself. But now comes the big thing: Will there really be the option later to put together different configurations, e.g. an Intel or AMD mainboard, entry-level, middle class and high-end mainboards? Will there really be GPU modules that are developed for different applications and more importantly: will this really happen or will it just be used as a propaganda drum so that many people buy this laptop and in the end you are left with nothing but hot air and all promises have not been kept. Don’t get me wrong, I am very interested in this laptop and have shortlisted it for myself to buy. But there are some things I would like to know. Many laptop manufacturers (Asus, Alienware/DELL, Acer, Schencker/XMG) had released laptop models in the past that had or at least promised a certain upgrade option. DELL has offered replaceable GPUs with the Alienware 51M and claims that new modules of the RTX 3xxx generation should be offered. The project was discontinued after a year and not complied with. The same with AMD laptops that have an AM4 mainboard (Acer Predator Helios 500 or Asus GL702ZC). You can change the desktop CPUs on these laptops and it would even be possible to change to newer generations via BIOS update. Unfortunately, this was of course never done by the manufacturers, in the end it’s all about the money. You can only use the CPU generation with which the devices came onto the market. I now have the same feeling with the Framework 16. This is definitely a great laptop that wants to compete with the big players with a modular design and upgrade options. I hope that all the promises will be kept and that Framework will bring a durable product to the market that will be supplied for years to come.

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Short answer, if the cost of the framework remains very high like this, then no it will not be a game changer. But then again, rent in San Francisco Union Square can’t be cheap. Gotta pay for that somehow. :wink:

We don’t have an office in Union Square. That’s a mailbox.


I don’t have a magical crystal ball that I can see into the future with (though I really wish I did) but what I can look to is the past two years of the Framework Laptop 13. With 2 generations of Intel mainboard updates, and an AMD version on the horizon, Framework has kept their promise of upgradeability and seem to still be committed to their cause without selling out. I think at this point the limiting factor will end up being their hardware partners. Framework can only make new mainboards if AMD and Intel (or other processor creators) continue to support their vision. They can only make new GPU modules if AMD or Nvidia can give them GPU stock and work with them to build new boards.

Unless the Framework Laptop 13 was a years long scam to sell the Framework Laptop 16 then cash out and disappear, I believe that Framework is still planning on doing everything in their power to keep this going, especially because a scam like this seems very poorly executed. The only thing to remember is that Framework relies on other companies for their hardware and silicon, so that is their biggest limiting factor. We obviously didn’t hear much behind the scenes about the AMD edition, but the snippets that were leaked were that despite Linus (Tech Tips) trying to get Framework and AMD in contact years ago, AMD didn’t respond right away, which kept Framework from being able to make an AMD board. Now that AMD is partnered with Framework, we have an entirely AMD Framework Laptop 16. Hardware partners are an unfortunate necessity for a small company like Framework, which is a double edged sword as well.


No, cannot stand that saying, or the term future proof, they are both dumb. Could it nudge other companies into this direction? Sure. Significant numbers, the death of the standard laptop? Nope.

For me (a 47 year old grognard), the Framework 16 is going to be the first new laptop I’ve ever purchased, and the first one I’ve ever purchased with the plan of actually using it on a weekly basis… previous laptops were purchased for a specific purpose, used once or twice, then piled in my closet. On rare occasions, I’ll pull the laptop off the top of the pile and use it for something specific, then put it back.

Even if Framework doesn’t ever release any upgrades for the 16, it has still already changed the game for me.

That said, the industry as a whole won’t be swayed by Framework… laptops have become what they are though decades of evolution to fit the demands of the majority of customers. It will almost certainly always be possible to make more money faster building and designing “mainstream” laptops than something like a Framework, and it takes a special kind of (private!) company to purposefully ignore that.

Only Framework staff can answer your questions with any certainty. That said, look at the FW13 and the three generations it’s gone through. Not only new mainboards, but FW also released several other upgrades (although some cannot yet be purchased by 11th/12th gen owners). However we have some track record here indicating FW upgrade commitment isn’t “propaganda”.

Obviously the FW16 is a different product and will require this same commitment like the 13 has had. My concern is FW may have “partnered” with AMD for the FW16 and may have given AMD some short/long term exclusivity. FW staff has been tight lipped on this and whether future Intel based and/or Nvidia based options will be forthcoming. Once they begin discussing future upgrade opportunities, then you’ll have your answer. Don’t hold your breath, for now FW has quite a few pre order batches to fulfill for the FW16 that will keep them busy for the next 6 months.

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Even if Framework was exclusively partnered with AMD, at least for the GPU there is a slight possibility that other manufacturers could produce compatible cards and/or the possibility of a passive adapter module allowing you to use standard desktop cards via the expansion bay (the fact that it can be passive really increases the likelihood that it happens)

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This! I bought myself one new laptop back in 2007. It was an awesome core 2 duo laptop for like 2 years at most, then became my home server for many years after. I never bought another new laptop since then and just went back to maintaining my desktop where there is more power for much longer and you can upgrade parts one at a time. Framework 16 is my first new laptop I have bought since then and am willing to pay higher for the upgradability now. I do hope upgrade mainboards become more affordable in the future.


This. Technically anybody could do it themselves, for pretty cheap. Have a PCIe port for a riser cable, an Oculink port for enclosures that support it, and perhaps even an 8-pin power connector incase you already have a beefy USB-C power supply that suffices so you don’t have to run a separate power supply. Though the 8-pin would definitely need some active power regulation, the power passed through to the GPU is not guaranteed to be exactly 12V! Also it would need serious protection from shorting

Well, I would say the short answer is yes. But that is because I seriously believe that framework staff has a culture of thinking that it is not a company, but rather a mission.

But to answer the question, let’s take stock: the 16 laptop has only a couple of flaws (e.g. antiquated chin below the screen, the fact that graphics dock is not hot swappable, only mid-range specs so far, high price). But all of these “flaws” have reasons. Some are because it is technically not feasible to do it otherwise (at least for a company that doesn’t have resources like Microsoft which can just throw money at development). The mid-range specs “flaw” is likely due to manufacturing partners. I am saying “flaw” because high-end laptops are inherently more sustainable, not needing an upgrade for longer ;). But after all, the situation of framework is a bit special. They are revolutionary and other companies may be sceptical that it is possible/will be financially viable/is worth the time or fear it will cannibalise on their business.

Then also build quality is key. I heard it’s excellent, so that should be covered. So I am 100% believing in Framework to the extent I even think they have to be supported no matter what.

But let’s assume the worst case scenario for all those that are not as optimistic. Even if nothing more would happen, we would have the freaking Framework 16 notebook. And trust me, people are going to DIY mod that to the moon and back for years. So if the company doesn’t follow through, Reddit reading, 3D printing, DIY cable developing enthusiasts will.
PS: I personally give this scenario 0% likelihood, given track record of Framework so far.


By the way, sometimes I feel a bit strange posting in these threads as I am just an enthusiast consumer ;). So while I followed notebooks very closely for almost 20 years, I have little grasp of how difficult it must be to actually build this on scale. But I guess these threads are for voicing wild consumer preferences assuming a perfect world scenario. But for the record: most impressive company philosophy I have ever seen (by far) and most impressive notebook I have ever seen (by a little bit, followed by Razer starting to put desktops into professional ultrabooks almost 10 years ago).

It’s like you’re reading each and every thread made and sneak into it when required.

So maybe in the future I shouldn’t tag you anymore, if you read everything anyway. :wink:

You didn’t really need to defend for an office in SF though,- that seemed like an obvious bait tactic.

I feel like this could be infact a stone that brings the industry rolling again. While I do not believe others will follow within the next 1-2 years, I could totally see the first alternatives as early as summer 2025.

While I do not currently have a need for a Framework 16 laptop myself (using an 13 with an eGPU which is enough) I do however know that a lot of people actually are.

What I would hope for the industry to happen is a general change of minds, especially with the new environmental laws starting from the EU.

Also, to be frank with you, I wouldn’t mind if Framework were to keep the head in this race and is the pacemaker for the other companies to follow. After all, they’ve had a pretty good run so far and I can’t imagine they would slow down in the forseeable future.

Yes, the office reference was pretty good.

I guess the whole thing also depends on how framework can handle market pressures. It has to develop a competitive price policy for future graphics expansion bays, this will be key to go beyond “niche”.

Another side point: needless to say, Framework should go into the EGPU business (it already is a bit). What we need is a framework razer core x equivalent that also supports oculink. All this of course in the name of sustainability. So you can choose if you want to upgrade graphics expansion bay, or desktop GPU in the Framework EGPU in the future. Would be bought I believe and be in line with sustainability.

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I agree, other manufacturers will hop onboard prob with in 2 years. FW is essentially capturing a % of the laptop market. People who used to buy a whole new laptop every 3-5 years will buy into fw and buy upgrade parts over buying new laptops.

An interesting question by the way I am also asking myself is, will you be able to save money in the long term with FW16 laptop? This will be related to the “game changer” question. I can only reiterate, last challenge I see is price policy. If they manage to keep GPUs cheap in the future, then it is a game changer no matter what.

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I’d say the answer to this is both yes and no.

On one hand, there’s nothing else quite like Framework’s laptops on the market. The fact that almost anyone could fix a broken Framework laptop without having to go to a repair shop (or ship it for an RMA) is a massive boon. Plus, you can upgrade components as needed over time. Personally speaking, the Framework 16 may be the last laptop I ever purchase if things go as planned.

But will it disrupt the market? That’s hard to say. It depends on how much Framework eats into the sales of Dell, HP, Apple, Asus, Acer, etc… Even if it does sell well (at least, initial pre-orders seem pretty strong), it may not make any impact as to how other manufacturers handle things. I’d be willing to bet that the other PC manufacturers will continue following the Apple route in making computers that are less-and-less user-repairable/upgradable and more-and-more locked down and glued in.

The biggest deciding factor will be the Framework company itself. While I do have a lot of faith in them, if the company goes under then so does the future of the laptop. While I don’t know what their financials are like (aside from Linus Sebastian investing in the company), I don’t think they could afford to make costly mistakes that would drive away customers. So far, I think they’re making good decisions, but I’m no business expert.


Well… if I was smarter with my money I wouldn’t have bought a Framework haha… but I wanted to support the idea of modularity and repairability… I also like the looks of it too. I know for half the price I could have gotten a 4060, or even 4080 laptop for 30% less.

If the prices remain at this point, no, it cannot be a game changer. If you want to sell a gaming laptop which the 16" is, you need to compete with your contemporaries. I am hopeful that upgrade boards and PGUs will be affordable, but this 7700S is something like double what it would cost on a legion. The NVME and RAM are also about double what it costs from outside vendors. The Framework 16" performance can be had for $1350 from Lenovo.

I think, suspect, that Framework will be fine. While Lenovo’s have very long lifetime to them and never really get bogged down… Acers, HP, Dells just crater with time. I have no idea why, I have even formatted the darn things and they never bounce back. There’s something about them that just craters and bogs down. My IDEA is that framework won’t suffer from this and not having bloatware is a dream when it comes to laptops.

I have a little buyer’s apprehension… but in general, I am pretty darn happy. I think. It is quite a premium that I am having to come justify in my head. But maybe the next Famework GPU modules will be… like, half the price of this one. Maybe. I hope so. My 7600 was $250 cheaper and crushes a 7700S in performance in every way. I’m hoping and placing my trust in that with time and enough support framework will be able to cut down their production costs. The response to the 16" has been PHENOMENAL and I am kinda willing to pay the premium to show my support.

A modular laptop… it should be the way it is. This should have happened 6-7 years ago with the release of Ryzen and Intel catching up. Advancements in GPUs were pretty significant in this period too in terms of efficiency to power.

Framework stepped up and is actually making the attempt. I’m mainly, honestly, just supporting that. But most people out there who buy gaming laptops won’t want to pay for that principal or to support entry technology. They want the most performance for the cheapest price… Framework is not that, they’re not even close haha. So unless they cut down costs significantly to somethings like $1600-1800 CAD for this specific unit it won’t change the game.

But in the future? If they cut down production costs and pass that onto the consumer, compete with prices… yeah they could. $1600 for this unit I would have not even a split second of regret even though the Legion 5 is the same thing for $1350 performance/component-wise. Heck I would be pretty happy with a $250 markup for modularity and I think that in the wider consumer market might be do-able too.

Who knows, the GPU form factor and modularity, as long as Framework hasn’t patented it into a closed system, could actually spread to other companies. That could make a standardised format and these GPU modules or other modules could plummet in price and their performance could skyrocket.

It’s open. Not a patented closed system.


That’s awesome, with how successful he preorder campaign has been here, other laptop vendors and manufacturers have to be looking on with keen interest at the idea of GPU modules. A standardised format means its pretty easy for others to get on board with it.