Scientist, macbook convert to framework DIY edition: more RAM in the prebuilts pls

Hellooo I’m Claire. My last personal laptop purchase was the tiny 11" macbook air in 2014, coming from a life of macbooks and apple universe since the 90s. I have a desktop pc build with a 3080, but I never use it and prefer laptops. I’m actually selling the desktop because it’s collecting dust. I am a bioinformatician and statistician (biomedical science) which means I need high memory and decent computing power for work and school even though I have an excellent cluster connection. Speed is much more important than graphics for me.
The macbook airs around 2014-15 are among the last of the line to have ANY upgradeable parts. Now in 2022 it has slowed to a snails pace, and I wanted a laptop that I can upgrade over time. I don’t think this is a crazy idea - it should be normalized.
I was about to press pay on the pro prebuilt when I realized, it does not offer 64 GB ram. Why. WHY! So I am getting a DIY edition with 64GB. I saw one thread with someone else asking why the prebuilts are not offered with higher ram, and the reply was lack of interest. I think that is plainly wrong. Anyone in the science field will need as much memory as possible in a laptop. I also second others asking for GPU options other than an external GPU. Just consider it, Mr. Patel et al. Well, looking forward to my new laptop for the next 8 years haha! Thank you!! – claire


This is why the DIY edition exists. They’re probably right that the demand for 64GB pre-built isn’t high enough for them to justify offering it as a separate SKU.


Hi Claire,

I believe I was the one who asked about it, if that is what you are referencing. I understand what you are saying! I for one was first so attracted to the Framework Laptop because of its ability to use up to 64gb RAM.

However, I think because of the size of Framework and the complexity of manufacturing and assembly, they simple can’t cater to the few individuals who want the pre-built versions with maxed RAM. The good news? Installing the RAM and SSD is trivial. The wifi card is a bit more difficult but only because you need to be careful when connecting the wifi antennas.

While I get that many people might not have an abundance of time to tinker with a laptop and would genuinely prefer one pre-built, there are some advantages to installing those modules yourself. You learn about your computer and how easy it is to work on it. Which will be beneficial to you and the life of the laptop.

Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the Framework community!


Hi thanks for replying and the reminder about wifi card install :slight_smile: As framework grows its audience, the higher end ram option for prebuilt will absolutely have a non-negligible demand. And for other higher-end upgrades in general. The total user base is small right now, and it seems to have more enthusiast tinkerers than your average laptop consumer.
The only upgrades I’ve ever done to laptops were on old macbooks, to battery and ram cards. That was fun but a sweaty one, as they say. I do not miss tri wing “security” screws.

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One of the blessings and curse of Framework is that their computers are modular. A general user who has never opened up a computer before is really daunted by that. Claire, in this instance, needs to watch a video on how easy it is to buy RAM, and install it herself.

I remember I changed RAM in college, and found out it literally takes <5 minutes while watching a Youtube video to do the upgrade.

But I do agree. It does not hurt to have a “full-specced out” option for pre-builts so users who are kinda nervous about opening it up can have the best for their money with no physical labor.

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Little bit unfair to Claire to assume that they don’t know how to do this already. Claire mentioned looking at the prebuilt option, which is totally valid to go with, and in that situation it would be easier to just buy it with as much RAM as you want so you don’t have to deal with the extra RAM once you replace it.


@Azure Thanks, yeah…I do know how to spec, build pcs and I’ve replaced ram, batteries in laptops. There’s not many people building laptops from scratch though if that’s what you mean @drewbie. Slightly condescending haha.


@RandomUser hell yeah, 128 GB would be awesome. Can’t tell you how many times my R environment has exploded because I hit ram limit (R stores data in memory).

No longer a concern, they are pre-installed now, even on DIY

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I don’t know if my hands are super sensitive but when installing the antennas I could feel a very small click once it fell into the hole and then I could properly secure it.


HI I’M TYPING FROM THE NEW FRAMEWORK LAPTOP! :smiley: My memory sticks and SSD were not pre-installed on my DIY edition. Damn, shipping was so fast!
Wifi was a delicate task but no problem. But, it came missing the fastener for SSD. I swear I did not misplace it, it was missing. So I took the one for wifi to use for SSD (since it really needs it to stay down), and wifi cover is currently held down with a bit of tape. lol.


Yep, that’s the point of the DIY version so if you don’t want ram and want to use your own you can bring your own! Contact framework and they will ship you a new one

Get rid of the tape; the laptop comes with a backup fastener for the SSD/wifi module:
(pink arrow in this image)


Thanks so much, I’ll do this right now. I was wondering what that was for.


I dont know if you guys thought about this or not but if the cpu supports it. Then click on I will bring my own ram and then buy your own 64gb sodimm kit. If you are a ‘scientist’ (I am something of a scientist myself) you might be better off running large simulations especially if they utilise cuda cores and hardware acceleration on your desktop pc. But in order to know that you should first identify if the software you use will be benefited by that. Anyway I think of laptops as more of a portable light workload machine and depending on how much power you need a desktop is a better choice. If you are thinking of selling your desktop PC I think now is a good time as any as you can fetch a pretty good deal for your gpu but I would still advise you to keep your pc for future builds down the line. I will check and edit this comment if 64 gb is not possible

Edit: Both models of cpu can support 64GB of ram. I am still pretty shocked that you would need this much. The only reason why I would get this much is for compiling. I guess statistics requires lots of data to be processed. I really want to try whatever you are doing out myself one day just to see what is going on haha

The initial conversation was about the prebuilt Framework Laptops, which do not come with the option to bring your own RAM. Not every user wants to go the DIY route, and it would be a good option for Framework to allow more RAM options in the prebuilt laptops.

If you are curious, I am not a scientist, but I have friends who do data science, and apparently the R programming language needs lots of RAM, so that is likely one of the culprits.

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@Claire, my question is, where, when and for how much are you planning on selling that desktop with a 3080?

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I’ve been trying to sell my entire old rig and some peripherals but no one wants it. I’ve decided to repurpose the 3080 into an egpu because for the bit of gaming I do on the laptop, it really struggles lol. I see thunderbolt 3/4 works through USB-C so it should be plug n play.
Yes to answer the other question about needing 64 GB ram, it’s because of in-memory data storage. Haven’t had to test that limit yet but its really nice to have.

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@Azure My bad I didn’t realise. I agree but it would be really awesome if people realise its not a hard thing to do!


@Olivia While I agree with you that it’s not hard to do, its also not something everyone wants to do when they are buying a new laptop.

I am always happy to see people getting excited on the forums when they put together the DIY version (s/o to @Claire for being one of those people), and I think that Framework does an amazing job of not only making the laptop easy to upgrade and service, but to also provide free guides to show new users how to interact safely with the laptop and components.

But I will say again that if Framework is going to offer systems that have all the components installed in the first place, It would be nice to see them give users the option to change the amount of RAM/Storage without going DIY or having to upgrade the system after buying it and then having to resell the original parts afterward. Some users just want to buy the laptop and be done, and that is valid (and technically encouraged by Framework having prebuilt systems available).