Silence model

Hello, will the Laptop be a mostly silence model for office work, and only become fan noise by e.g. photo or video work?

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Hi @Guenter_Matthaeus! You’ll be able to choose your “Power Plan” in Windows 10 to prioritize silence/battery life or performance. Our default setting will be a balanced one. We’ve also designed our thermal system to be able to cool well without generating a lot of noise. There is some more information about this in a recent blog post: https://frame.work/blog/the-upgradeable-mainboard

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Dear Nirav,
many thanks for the hint. I’ve read the blog and it sounds good. My experience is that the noise I feel, depends of the frequency of the running fan.
But i’m in the comfortable situation that shipping for germany will start later, so I can read the first real tests :grin:

best regards from germany and please keep on your ideas and plans

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What about fan noise on Linux? I’ve heard that some laptops are noisier on Linux than on Windows because of lack of proper fan speed control support. Will the Framework Laptop have this problem?

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I’d also like to know about linux support here.

After using mine for a few days, I found that the fan was still too loud when plugged in, even on the left-most Better battery slider setting, which sets the PL1 to a pretty high 15W. I also looked in the power plan settings but only found the Balanced profile.

To work around this, I enabled the Maximum processor state setting in the Advanced power settings menu (this guide shows how). I then created a new power plan named Silence and set Maximum processor state to 50%. This limits the CPU to about 6W & 50C regardless of the power slider setting, minimizing fan noise while still having usable performance. I can then quickly switch between this and the default Balanced power plan using PowerPlanSwitcher or as described here.

A first-party “Silence mode” would definitely be nice, but I’m happy with my workaround for now.

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I would encourage people who are trying to optimize their laptops’ performance (in basically every respect) to look up guides on how to undervolt their CPU. It’s a super valuable customization that’s free to do and safe for the hardware (undervolting cannot damage the CPU, it only affects system stability if overdone). Just a couple hours to get the ideal stable undervolt on your CPU can save you noticeable amounts of fan noise, battery life, and power draw, and if you want to move to high performance modes an undervolted CPU will perform at higher speed as well.

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@Frosty You are spot on. Many people don’t seem to bother undervolting their chips. Intel’s chips have always benefited from this. I had a gaming laptop from college that due to its thin build supposedly always ran hot according to people on the internet. I replaced the thermal paste and undervolted the CPU. My laptop did get warm after a few hours of gaming but it wasn’t bad at all. I also managed to easily get an extra hour of battery compared to other test I had seen when doing light loads however I think I got a golden chip so don’t expect that on all laptops. It’s something that many people should look into for Intel chips.

Unfortunately Intel has disabled voltage control on 11th gen processors at the hardware level.

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Is that so? That’s extremely disappointing to hear, I had not heard that covered regarding these chips. Pretty frustrating that Intel insists on disabling things on its own silicon that would be a free benefit to the user, just so that it can artificially enforce product differentiations.

This is total speculation, but I wonder if Intel had it unlocked for so long because it was required by Apple due to their practice of selling their laptops with factory undervolts. Now that Apple is making its own silicon, there are no more OEMs pressuring Intel to keep that capability unlocked.

@feesh I did not realize that. Man that’s absurd I can understand disabling overclocking but under clocking what the heck! C’mon Intel

I didn’t want to be one of the rabid “AMD or nothing” crowd, but I’ll just say that when Framework releases that AMD mainboard I’ll just be waiting patiently for my intel one to croak, haha. I’ll have very few reasons to buy Intel again, the only reason why I’ve done it this time is because of Framework.

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For folks who are seeing higher than expected fan noise, could you check the CPU temperature using something like Open Hardware Monitor while running Cinebench R23 Multi Thread?

In general we would expect CPU package temperature to spike to 100C while at PL2 (>30W) for a few seconds at the start of the benchmark, and then drop to PL1 (28W when set to Best Performance) with CPU package temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s in normal ambient temperature conditions for the rest of the benchmark.

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@nrp While I used AIDA64+Heaven for a combined CPU+GPU stress test instead of Cinebench, here are my findings for power/temps across different power slider settings, plugged and unplugged:

AIDA64+Heaven stress test

On battery saver mode (which is only available unplugged) the fan noise is kept at a minimum. But plugged in on better battery mode, 15W still ramps up the fan quite a bit.

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Thanks for the feedback! We’ll take that into account as we look at potential future driver and BIOS updates. Perhaps we need a “Silent” profile that is below the current “Better Battery” (which is not really the right name anyway) when plugged in.

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Running R23 multi-core on AC power at about 29°C ambient I averaged 85-88°C at 28W on the CPU Package.

Fan was certainly running (is there a way to get RPM readout?) but with a fairly broadband noise profile with no annoying tonality. Noise level sounds acceptable to me for a heavy load.

When using “Better Battery” the CPU package power goes up to 28W+ and the temp goes up to 100C.

@nrp As far as I can tell - I least when plugged in - the “power mode” (best battery vs best performance) makes 0 difference in W, freq or temp.

So I’ve created the following power plans:

  • A “Quiet” power plan with Processor power management set to 80%.
    • Pretty quiet.
    • <70C in Cinebench r23 (HWiNFO logs: Cloud)
    • I can even do some gaming (Cyberpunk 2077)
  • A “Silent” power plan with Processor power management set to 50%.
    • Very quiet.
    • <58C in Cinebench r23 (HWiNFO logs: Cloud)
    • But big FPS drop in-game.

For those using Windows, there’s a setting in the advanced power plan menu which toggles between active CPU cooling and passive (meaning disabling fans). My settings are in French, but it roughly translates to System Cooling Strategy.

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Any specific recommendations?

Could you confirm if you have the Driver Bundle installed? While Better vs Best Performance are somewhat similar, Better Battery should end up quite a bit lower power.