NVMe SSD options

Hi there,

I’m super excited about the whole concept.
I’ve literally waited years to buy a laptop, hoping someone would one day offer the same customisation possibilities for them, as regular desktop PCs do.

Do you think the framework laptop will be big enough to include heatsink for NVMe SSDs ?
Keep up the great work !


It depends on the heatsink. A thin heatspreader would probably fit, but probably not more than that.

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Using thermal pads, could the laptop case be used as a heat sink?

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It should be possible to add a pad to sink into the keyboard bracket, but that’s not something we’re currently testing, so YMMV.


Will the motherboard drive socket be high enough to support a double-sided M.2 drive??

I have been looking into the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 4TB and the OWC Aura Pro 8 TB options, but these drives have chips on both sides.

Thank you!

Yep, replied here: Double-sided M.2 support?


Is the M.2 NVMe slot a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot or a PCIe 4.0 x4 slot?

Thank you.

Looks like PCIe 4.0

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How is the PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD cooled?

Does it use the chassis as a heatsink or is there room to attach a heatsink?

Thank you.

I can’t really provide specifics about what will/won’t fit, but I’d like to provide some context.

The Framework is a bit different from a typical laptop these days in terms of layout, so has different considerations that need to be accounted for.

Typical laptops, at least those the Framework is competing with in terms of general design/price/etc., these days have a panel on the bottom you remove to access RAM (sometimes one DIMM is under the bottom panel, the other is under a keyboard, but … I digress), storage, etc. So it’s possible to use thermal pads or other means to “thermally attach” the SSD to the bottom panel to provide a much larger heat sink that way.

However, the Framework has screws in the bottom that are holding the Input Panel (the keyboard, touch pad, power button) in place, and that input panel is removed to access the motherboard, RAM, storage, etc. This means that a thermal pad on the SSD would be thermally attaching the SSD to the keyboard, not the bottom panel. A drastic redesign would be required to use a thermal pad in the traditional sense.

That does mean that there may be more room for an SSD to have a heatsink, though. That said, the only limiting factor for a heatsink is NOT just the height available for said heatsink, but also air flow. For an SSD’s heatsink to perform well, it needs air moving over it to draw the heat it’s soaked from the NVRAM/controller away. Otherwise it’s just radiating the heat, a significantly slower process for cooling down. That might be fine for bursty loads but if actually needed for long, sustained read/write performance it won’t solve the problem and the SSD will thermal throttle. That’s a general issue in all PC’s, not just a Framework laptop.

Ultimately, while you may be able to fit an SSD with a larger heatsink into the Framework versus say a Dell XPS, the design of the Framework isn’t terribly conducive to such devices. I think a more typical NVMe, maybe with a “metal sticker” heatspreader like Samsung uses on a lot of their SSDs, is the best you can probably do.

The real question should be: Is it necessary? Many super high performance PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs do run incredibly hot when max’d out, but … do you require that in a Framework laptop? Most users, even among those of us that like the Framework for what it is/what it represents, aren’t doing such things. We’re more concerned with CPU, RAM, maybe GPU performance I imagine. NVMe performance is already well past what 95-99% of users “need” right now. I’m certain there are some users who would/could be running workloads that would be significantly more dependent on storage IO than say CPU, GPU, etc., but those workloads are not terribly typical, and for lack of a better phrase off the top of my head I’d call it a niche of a niche. So, beyond “check out these benchmarks, aren’t I a badass for having bought this thing?” numbers… you KNOW if you need a super high level of SSD performance. If you don’t know for sure you probably don’t need to worry about it. If you do, you’re going to look for the best possible performance NVMe you can fit in, you’re going to look at modifications, or you’re going to accept that the SSD will just thermal throttle sometimes. The rest of us: NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD’s are almost certainly more than fast enough already, and using a “less performant” PCIe 4.0 SSD will still be just fine.

I personally went with an SK Hynix P31. More than enough performance for what I want, lower power usage that many of the competitors.

If you do require the absolute fastest SSD possible, I think the solution is simply figuring out what the maximum height from the PCB of the SSD is. Hopefully a Framework employee can provide that from a CAD or something since it’s hard to get a ruler into a closed laptop :wink:. Even with that, though, I can’t imagine the fan in the Framework is getting enough around the chassis to really help a dedicated SSD heatsink and instead… it might be better at thinking about a full cooler replacement that may include a vapor chamber and heatpipe over to the SSD slot? Maybe something for the Framework team to consider for a future Marketplace upgrade?


I’ve been searching for resources to show power consumption on Gen3 vs Gen4 NVMe. Have you found something or done testing yourself to determine that this specific model is lower power? I’m trying to pick a model for myself.

I got mine based off the Anandtech review: The Best NVMe SSD for Laptops and Notebooks: SK hynix Gold P31 1TB SSD Reviewed (Page 7 for the power management portion: Power Management - The Best NVMe SSD for Laptops and Notebooks: SK hynix Gold P31 1TB SSD Reviewed)

I picked up a couple of the 500GB model when I saw them on sale. I originally got them to use with the Hackboard 2, but ended up cancelling my order for it due to some of their changes. They were understandable changes thanks to hardware shortages, but wouldn’t do what I wanted anymore so I cancelled. When I ordered the Framework I realized it’d make sense to use one of them here instead for the power savings.


Wow, this looks significant. I’m not sure I can see any real-world benefit from something like the SN850 or the 980 Pro - but I still kind of want them for bragging rights.

Battery life or benchmark bragging?

Well, one gives you real world benefit and could be bragged about (doubt it’ll be a huge difference but if I get another 15 minutes battery life I’ll brag about it), the other can be bragged about until some jerk like me comes along and points out how meaningless it is :wink:.

But seriously, there is a value to the speed of a SN850 or 980 Pro, it really is just a question of which matters to you, storage IO performance or battery life. My gaming desktop has a 980 Pro for a reason. I care about those millisecond faster loading times being there, but on my daily driver laptop it won’t make a difference in my day to day, but that extra couple minutes of battery might. As with a lot of things, it’s a pro’s and con’s, Pepsi or Coke decision.

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@JP_Powers Do you know if the SK Hynix P31 supports self-encryption? I’ve seen conflicting reports that it does and that it does not. Whatever drive I get, I’d want to encrypt but would prefer to not use LUKS dm-crypt and avoid the CPU handling the encryption/decryption.

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@Enjewneer I believe it does not support self-encryption. I rely on Bitlocker for Windows and LUKS for Linux for encryption, and I’ve poked around a bit and don’t see anything about it. Intel specifically has had AES-NI built into almost all their CPUs for years now, which will handle the encryption the vast majority of the time. While the CPU handling it does technically hinder performance still, from some benchmarking I’ve seen in the past it’s rarely enough to bother me at least. Specifically, an article I recall is: The 2019 Laptop Performance Cost To Linux Full-Disk Encryption - Phoronix

I agree with the synthesis at the end:

For most of the real-world workloads, the cost of full-disk encryption on modern hardware is between minimal and a justifiable level for knowing your data is protected especially if frequently transporting your laptop.

It’s a bit older, but the situation (should have) only gotten better, not worse. Certainly, depending on your workload, the performance hit might be untenable, though. That said, if you’re looking for that specifically, then looking at the faster drives may make the decision easier since in my shopping experience it’s a bit more common to see self-encryption support as something of a checkbox feature to further justify the cost.

@JP_Powers Thanks for letting me know! From benchmarks I’ve seen run of dm-crypt using memory only, I see about 4000MB/s with the i7-1165G7, so LUKS wouldn’t bother me on something like the Hynix P31 as that is above its theoretical max sequential R/W. Still, I would prefer a SED because of the ability to erase it in a cryptographically secure manner in an instant.

You know, in case I ever become a fugitive.

Anyone serious about security wouldn’t trust (closed source) hardware encryption as there have just been too many backdoors bugs and master passwords. I use truencrypted containers for vital files AND my backups are also encrypted BTW which is equally important.

I am more interested in the possibility of two NVME drives and sockets perhaps one on top of the other and possibly closer to the thicker part of the laptop because of the increased thickness. The design ship has probably sailed on this one as well but may still be a possibility for an AMD motherboaed when one comes out (as it has too as I won’t be buying in until it does or Intel’s core/thread count matches AMDs as I couldn’t justify the framework price to performance ratio compared to cheaper but less flexible AMD alternatives! When it does though I will be all in!!).

Has anyone used the P5 plus by crucial with this laptop? What are your thoughts?

Haven’t used it but I just looked at a review by Tom’s Hardware-seems fine
checks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned

Is available in larger capacities if desired
Is fast enough for me (I use a Gold p31 for the battery life)
Manufactured by a reputable company

What more do you need?