Speccing out a Framework Laptop for a Family member

Potential first time framework customer here, as I have always been interested in the framework laptop since it launched. As the family IT guy, I have to help family members replace their laptops from time to time and a family member’s laptop is coming up to be replaced shortly.

My sister is now going into university and her laptop is due for replacement. Her current device is a Thinkpad X395 with a Ryzen 5 3500U, 16G RAM and 512GB SSD. She has been complaining about random shutdowns on battery as well as overheating. While I suspect that the laptop should be good again after some cleaning, new paste and a new battery, the 3500U is really showing its age and starting to struggle with heavier workloads.

Her main needs are as follows:

  • General desktop usage (Web browsing, document processing etc.)
  • Light gaming (notably Minecraft)

For a new laptop, she would like something that’s thin and light and has decent battery life. (When buying her current device, she was presented with the T495 and X395 and she picked the latter.) I haven’t shopped for a laptop for a very long time (outside of macbooks because my mother is a mac user) so I would like some feedback on the specs I’ve come up with.

Specs I’ve come up with:

  • Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7640U
  • No Memory from Framework
  • No SSD from Framework

I am going to buy the following extra items from Framework:

  • Intel AX210 Wifi module (No vPro)

I’ve read about many issues with the Mediatek Wifi cards both from users of ASUS laptops that ship with MT792x chipsets and users of laptops with the RZ616 chipset, so I’m saving myself some headaches here.

I am going to supply my own memory and storage with the following items:

  • 2x Crucial DDR5-5600 16GB modules
  • 1TB Crucial T500 SSD

Framework sells ADATA memory (Yes I know its framework branded) and WD SSDs on their shop. Both are brands that I don’t particularly like (Read: SX8200 Pro, SN750 SE, SA510). Therefore I am providing my own memory and storage from other manufacturers.

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Or spending unnecessary money.

While there is a substantial number of users that have had issues, there are many that don’t (but they usually don’t go online to post that their Wi-Fi card is working fine).

The RZ616 in my Framework laptop has worked 100% reliably in Windows and my only Linux issue (occasionally not being able to connected to Wi-Fi after the laptop was asleep) was resolved with an update.

That is still a substantially higher percentage of users experiencing issues compared to those with Intel Wifi chipsets, especially considering that Intel almost certainly ships many times more Wifi modules than Mediatek into the laptop market.

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You seem to have a good grasp on all the hardware specs and issues relating to different components for someone who hasn’t shopped for laptops in a while. Your choices with regards to specifications for this use case are spot on.

You may not like the brands that Framework aligns with, however do you want to have to deal with troubleshooting an issue with non-Framework RAM or wifi module if an issue occurs while she is at university?

There should be no problem with using the RAM or wifi module you have selected but people have had issues on this forum with 3rd-party RAM in these systems in the past. The posts seem to have reduced in frequency over the last few months but something to keep in mind.

The OS your sister will use will certainly influence the battery power time of the device.
The SSD and Ram too.
My daughter going to university next year wanted to have a laptop, light, powerful and for the same target apps as your sister’s.
I got her the base device as yours + 16Gb Ram (2x8GBytes) from Framework - pricing was cheaper then amazon at that time. (*1)
But I opted for a Hinix P41 SSD NVme (Solidigm P44 was not more available). It has the lowest Idle power consumption and is as fast as the others. Means, it won’t heat up (roughly 37⁰C here) and writes data to storage fast. At the same time, it uses up less power.

With that in place, she is able to have around 9Hours of regular work with the device (as all kids, she puts screen luminosity to 15% …).

*1. For my FW16, I went with a 64GBytes Kingston FURY Impact which worked flawless in my device.

20 bucks for peace of mind may be worth it.

I’ve heard many good things about SK Hynix SSDs in terms of power consumption. However according to a friend working as IT, the after sales service for SK Hyinx / Solidigm / Intel SSDs in my region is less than ideal.

I did a quick search and didn’t see posts complaining about Crucial memory modules being problematic so I should be good to go.

I am purchasing the AX210 from Framework. Framework | Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 No vPro

In the case that happens, since this is a framework, I can easily guide her to replace potentially faulty parts remotely to troubleshoot. I plan to let her put the device together herself when first receiving the laptop as well.
Also she will be living at home and my family usually has a spare machine or two on hand so she wouldn’t be left without a device to use.

I know 16GB would have been enough for her, but I usually go overkill on the memory when speccing out PCs. Putting in way more memory than the user actually needs can 1. almost eliminate tech support requests for not enough ram and 2. Future proof the device very well. I ordered 16GB Ram from Lenovo for her current laptop for this exact reason, back in the time where the common notion was 8GB is all you need for light tasks. The 16GB seems to be holding up just fine even today with all the crap Microsoft has stuffed into Windows 11. Would have been a totally different story if I went with the base 8GB

Just buy that disk on Amazon. They run when you scream :smiley: because they don’t want a bad reputation!

I live in Taiwan, there’s no Amazon in Taiwan

You are at the SOURCE! :slight_smile:

ooof I definitely understand this!

Buying electronics in Taiwan can sometimes be a pain