Setup for college

Howdy all, I am going to be starting college in the fall and I intend to purchase a framework diy edition for it. My question is where and what should I look for as far as parts go to get good deals and save some money. I’m planning on using this laptop as well as having a monitor and eGPU setup for gaming and back at the desk work. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Well, that’s the beauty of the whole thing. You can kit out the computer however you need to to meet your demands. I game on a ThinkPad T430 at the moment, but it would fall apart playing WoW or Star Citizen.

Some rough approximations to ensure you can play most games would be:
500GB Hard drive - bare minimum
the i5 base processor should do for most games.
16GB RAM - minimum

Of course, you also have to think about what you’re going to school for. If you’re going to be doing CAD work, Video editing, or performing complex computations on large amounts of data, you may want to move up in the processor and memory.

I can’t guide you on the eGPU, though I plan to do the same thing, myself. The good news is that, the way the Framework Laptop is designed, you can get what fills your needs now, and upgrade/replace parts later if your demand grows.


Thank you so much for the info! I greatly appreciate it and you make a good point. if anything ever needs to be improved I can do it quite easily.

Glad I could help. When I get the eGPU set up, if I can remember to, I’ll try to remember to document it here.

The only thing is, be sure you buy enough CPU at the outset. It will probably be relatively expensive to buy a new mainboard (the CPU chip is almost certainly soldered in, so a new board is likely the only upgrade path if you run out of CPU down the road).

My understanding, and I hope that @nrp will correct me if I’m wrong, is that the processor is not actually soldered onto the mainboard.

The CPU is soldered to the mainboard, as there are no longer socketed mobile CPUs being made by Intel or AMD. We socketed memory, storage, and WiFi, which helps reduce the cost of a mainboard+CPU upgrade.


Ah, okay. Thank you for clarifying!

Yes, it seems the big buyers of CPU chips do not have upgradability on their minds, since their lifeblood, their business model, depends on selling a whole new faster laptop to the average consumer every few years. The chip makers have reacted, as Nirav said, by making what their buyers (not the end users) want. Anyway, a socket just adds a few mm of thickness that the Framework might not have room for!

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So with the cpu being soldered in is it worth going up to the i7 for another $300 for future proofing? I’ve been out of the computer scene for a little bit. I appreciate all of your responses!

Really depends what you plan on using it for. The i7 will definitely give you a bump in power, but it will sacrifice some battery life. I use an i5 for work and it’s plenty powerful for basic day to day usage. If you aren’t pushing it, it may be worth sticking with the i5 so you don’t have to charge up quite as frequently especially while running between classes.

The beauty of Framework (assuming concept becomes reality) is that in a few years you could sell your i5 board in the community and upgrade to a future version of i7 at a price that will hopefully be more palatable than a whole new laptop. It definitely changes the importance to “future proof” and allows you to purchase a system that meets your needs at that moment.