Tradeoffs of Refurbed 11th gen vs. New 12th Gen?

@Nicholas_C_DeBord It really depends on your use case. It is quite likely that if you daily drive the laptop, that particular flaw will never manifest itself. Besides, what exactly would you suggest Framework do? Buy back all the boards? Issue full refunds? Ideally hardware flaws such as these would never have made it to final production but flaws were and are inevitable. Larger companies have the resources to absorb such losses. Framework doesn’t even have the funds to launch a product and keep it in stock until months after launch. Every interaction I have seen directly involving Framework support has generally been positive but there are limits to what can be done. Be reasonable.


They could maybe offer a damn good trade in discount on a 12th or future 13th gen board…

Help keep the 11th gen folks in the fold so to speak. Otherwise…off we go elsewhere.

Listen, I don’t think anyone would be happy to see you go. However, if this issue is causing so many problems for you then maybe that is your only option.

I have not had to deal with the RTC issue myself, but I use my FW laptops regularly. I upgraded one to a 12th gen, but my second is still a 11th gen, AND I have 2 additional 11th Gen mainboards now (as the result of the upgrade and a UMPC project I’m working on). 1 of those extra mainboards has recently taken up server duties and is doing a great job at being a sort of VM farm for me.

I’m not saying the RTC thing doesn’t exist, but rather that its impact isn’t the same for everyone. For me it is not even an issue.


Perhaps one could think about it in this fashion. Framework’s stated purpose was to engage with a community to produce a do it yourself laptop. They succeeded beyond perhaps their wildest dreams. An almost perfect product, albeit with inital design issues that they have dealt with in their second generation laptops. However, they buried their heads in the sand and never dealt with an issue which, in some cases, make the 11th gen laptops painful to use. As one faithful user here said, the bare minimum you expect from a laptop is that it turns on, whether you are using it today, tomorrow or next month. Bare minimum.

As Framework did not officially acknowledge this by setting up a mechanism for replacement, instead providing “buyer beware” suggestion to just sell it off to either unknowing folks or tell them about the defect and take a haircut in the sales price, I for one am left with a queasy feeling that this particular company has voided its mission statement.

Having done a few startups myself (not in tech), there are ways to mitigate the pain for the company, including write offs, insurance, etc… A partial discount would be a way forward and a temporary haircut for the company, not just the end user. Just sayin’

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That’s good for you. However, for some it is an important issue and that in no way makes it less important going forward in our purchasing decisions. If a mistake like this can slip though once, what’s to say…

If someone buys a car and the battery kept going flat, and the company just said “well keep it on charge! Nothing we can do, it’s a design thing that affects x% of customers!”, you probably wouldn’t blame the person for buying something else next time.

I like my Framework but I’m not overly loyal to it like some here appear to be. If a better deal comes along… :smiley:

Except…that is exactly what battery tenders are for. To keep vehicles that aren’t intended to be used for extended periods charged up and ready for use. If you don’t drive a vehicle for an extended period and the battery dies, nobody blames the vehicle. The laptop is meant to be used, not as a show piece. If you use the laptop regularly, you will almost certainly never run into this issue.

Framework’s advice is consistent with that analogy. They tell customers that if you don’t intend to use it for an extended period, to leave it plugged in with the battery charge limit set to preserve battery life.

Oh boy. :roll_eyes:

In 30 years of driving I’ve never had a car that needed that even when left for weeks or months.

In 25 years of laptop usage I’ve never had a laptop that needed that even when left for weeks or months.

Just the Framework. Oh well…I guess it’s my fault as a consumer.

And yet, for example in germany, every fire truck is connected to the grid to keep it charged up.

I had a car battery dying in the first corona lockdown here in germany, because I didnt use it for a month. It is a thing. This doesnt excuse the issue that framework has with the battery draining rather fast, but it happens to other devices as well, just (possibly) slower

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Ahhh sorry, I must have missed the message that Framework Community Support is basically a few committed and brand loyal individuals, telling other customers that have a problem, it isn’t a problem and therefore, it’s not an issue! Gotcha!

Now I know, it makes sense. All is good in the world.


Thats not what I said.
I just wanted to correct you in saying that car batteries dont lose charge when not driving.

Its truly possible, that framework has a bigger problem here, I just havent noticed it yet it, but perhaps it doesnt occur in my use case.


That’s not what I said. I said that your analogy doesn’t hold up. It is a problem for those that don’t daily drive. If the computer isn’t for you then it isn’t for you. That’s fine if that’s the case. It is a problem just not a universal problem.

I’ve been doing laptop repair for over a decade, here’s my two cents. If you’re looking for a bug-less laptop, I wish you great luck in your search, you will need it. Here’s a personal observation to save you some time - there’s no bug-less laptops, there’s only laptops with bugs that won’t affect you specifically.

Other manufacturers do way less than Framework did in this situation, and they often have worse bugs. Here, we have information on official forums and actual insights - as opposed to i.e. Apple, which censor their forums whenever one of their shitty hardware choices starts hurting them a bit too much. Plus, this bug isn’t even in FrmW’s purview, or we would’ve seen modified 11th gen boards/redesign in 12th gen at some point; Intel just, fucks things up every now and then. If this bug would affect you, I recommend you wait for an upgraded board whenever Intel gets their shit together. It doesn’t affect me, I’m quite fucking happy daily driving mine.

Also, yes, car batteries do absolutely lose charge when you don’t drive for a while, I found out the hard way.


It is and it isn’t. The initial issue is Intel’s fault although since it is a silicon-level bug. FW did implement a hardware fix to allow the RTC battery to charge off of the main battery as well as mains power. 11th gen RTC battery can only charge off of mains power. See here.


However, with 11th Gen Intel Core processors, Intel shared that there is a silicon bug where low voltage on the subsystem that the RTC battery powers can put the processor into a stuck state that needs to be manually reset

I think you are mistaken and the initial issue is the RTC voltage which is independent of the bug but is triggering it.

If it were universal to Intel 11th gen we would hear news of other manufactures with the issue/it would be news.

An RTC battery normally last 5-10 years (and more) not 2-4 weeks this is a massive downgrade and a huge shift in expectation.

The rechargeable RTC batterie has a finite number of cycles (with reduced capacity along the way) it will only get worse.

I have seen threads where the user had to replace the RTC as it was dead after a year of use.

Does the 12 gen have the same battery and thereby subject to the same problem?

Yes…eventually. With 12th gen, FW connected the RTC battery to the main battery. So long as the main battery has charge, the RTC battery will not run down and will not prompt this issue. If both batteries die then yes, you will run into the same problem.

Adding to the above - if my memory is correct, the 12th gen reset procedure does not require removal of the RTC battery, either.

Much thanks for the confirmation of what exactly is going on here with Framework’s design flaws.

Ideally I would go for the motherboard replacement of my 11th gen and go for the 12gen, but can’t justify the added expense.

I would also highly recommend against buying the 11th Gen Framework. I’ve had a similar experience to others with the mainboard RTC battery issue. Thirteen months after receiving the laptop (just outside of warranty, of course), it suddenly wouldn’t start without a charger regardless of battery level. A couple weeks later, I sat down at night class, pulled out my laptop, and discovered it was completely bricked, charger or not. It’s a worst case scenario, total bummer.

It took me a little bit to find out this is a known, recurring issue. I was able to get my laptop running again after resetting the mainboard, but a few days later I already need the charger to start the laptop again. My trust in this device as a reliable main laptop has evaporated.

This is the most expensive laptop I’ve ever bought by a significant margin, and having to babysit the battery like this has really spoiled the experience. I probably wouldn’t recommend buying any Framework device at this point, but would definitely caution against buying anything with the 11th Gen mainboard.

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@BraneGenius - if you’ve already gone through the steps to fully charge the RTC battery and still have issues, you may need to replace it - the RTC battery, that is.