True DIY, My Experience with Building the Framework 13 from parts

So I haven’t seen anyone talk about doing this in the community, so I thought I’d talk about my experiences with building the framework from scratch.

I bought my mainboard (Mainboard (11th Gen Intel® Core™) - i7-1185G7) because it was on sale, so I didn’t have a DIY edition option available to me. It was also my first foray into the framework experience.

I ran into a few problems on the ordering end due to in part human error and in part a confusing marketplace experience so I ended up spending more money on shipping than I would have liked, but that’s part of the reason I wanted to make this post. I’ll include a full parts list so anyone who goes full DIY can know what all needs to be purchased.

All in it took me 6 orders to get it right :expressionless:

Parts list:
$399.00 - Mainboard (11th Gen Intel® Core™) - i7-1185G7
$49.00 - Battery - 55Wh
$49.00 - Power Adapter - 60W - US/Canada (Optional if you have 60W+ USB-C charger)
$99.00 - Bottom Cover Kit
$99.00 - Top Cover Kit - Original
$36.00 - Expansion Card (Your choice, at least one USB-C for charging recommended.)
$18.00 - Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210 No vPro® (Optional, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth)
$99.00 - Input Cover Kit - (Language of Choice)
$5.00 - Framework Screwdriver (Optional if you have T5 bit)
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Bottom Cover and Mainboard
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Input Cover and Keyboard
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Top Cover
$179.00 - Display Kit - Original
$49.00 - Bezel - Green (Black is only $39)
$39.00 - WD_BLACK™ SN770 NVMe™- M.2 2280 - 250GB (optional if you have one)
$240.00 - DDR4-3200 - 64GB (2 x 32GB) (amount you get is optional)
$XX.XX - Operating System (depends on your choice of OS)

$1,375.00 + Tax + Shipping

16GB RAM build:
$1195.00 + Tax + Shipping

Similar Spec’d refurbished laptops same Mainboard with 32GB ram:
~$1500-$1600 + Tax + Shipping

Your costs may vary depending on marketplace pricing and choices around expansion modules.

If you don’t get the Wi-Fi chip keep in mind you won’t have Bluetooth either, and you’ll need a peripheral such as a dock to have internet. Alternatively you could get the Ethernet expansion card, but you still won’t have native bluetooth.

Getting everything put together after all of the parts came in was a bit of a hassle. There’s no build guide for putting things together from scratch and the build guides are not totally clear on the process, so it takes a bit of either experience with working with computers or combing through the provided guides to put it all together.

The biggest hassle I had was with the screws which needed to be purchased separately (wasn’t expecting that). Using the screw maps it wasn’t too difficult to figure out what all screws needed to be put where, but be ready to really read the labels closely and double check the diameter, thickness and length

Aside from that the none of the parts I ordered came with the Wi-Fi Bracket and it is not available in the marketplace from what I can see, correct me if I’m wrong about it being on the marketplace. It seems there is no way to get this part for me.

Now why order 6 different times? Well I forgot the ram and that’s on me lol. I ended up ordering the ram with the screws, those dastardly screws that didn’t come with the parts. Order your screws! Then the bezel as well which I figured would come with either the display kit or the back frame. Unfortunately you have to order that separately as well. But that only accounts for 3 you say? Why yes, I also ordered the Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX211 No vPro® instead of the AX210. Why, you might ask, would I order a part that is incompatible with the 11th gen Intel Mainboard? Well that is due to the marketplace my dear reader, but I will get to that momentarily. As for the final two out of the 6, unfortunately, when ordering from the marketplace, some parts can not be ordered together as they come from different warehouses. As for the final order? Well, I realized, in my infinite wisdom, i ordered 4 USB-A instead of USB-C slots, which makes charging it possible, but uncomfortable.

How do you tell that this is the case? You simply cannot check-out and get a notification at check-out. Does it tell you which parts are needed to be ordered separately? Also no, you cannot. You either have to figure it out via forum posts or by removing items one by one until you figure it out. This may have been fixed by the time you read this, but alas, it was my experience.

Now for the confusing marketplace experience, you must be sure to double check the compatibility listed in the item, and not rely on the marketplace filtering to ensure part compatibility, as I discovered with the AX210 vs AX211. If you filter by the Intel 11th gen in the marketplace, it does not exclude the AX211 from the available items, you have been forewarned, fall not into the hole of 6 orders as I have.

As for the second marketplace blunder I made, the Top Cover displays two images, one of a generic keyboard, Input Cover Kit - English International, and the second of the specific layout you chose. I was unclear on the difference between the English international and the British English layouts and ended up getting the British English version.

The first issue is a bug, and should be addressed eventually. The second issue is mostly aesthetic in nature and was submitted as feedback already.

Upon contacting Framework Support they allowed for the return of the incorrect Wi-Fi card and the Top Cover. No shipping cost for the return, but new parts needed to be ordered from the marketplace, and so to with shipping costs. Framework support was mostly helpful, but as one who works doing Technical Support for a living, the friendliness could not be felt. There was no rudeness, but it also felt cold, almost mechanical, from an interpersonal perspective.

Fast support, resolves issues quickly.
Price to performance ratio was good.
Marketplace discounts were pretty good.
It was a fun experience building it. :slight_smile:
It’s doable with the build guides, but challenging.

Support felt mechanically cold.
Build guides didn’t cover my specific build case.
Marketplace experience left much to be desired. (Issues I had with it should be resolved)
Unable to get the Wi-Fi Bracket.
11th gen Mainboard has known issue with discharge of RTC circuit coin battery.
Mainboard was shipped with missing wire routing for the Wi-Fi card, and one fell off while routing the wires as well.

Overall I’d say it was a fun and worthwhile experience, and it feels nice to have built it myself. I hope my foolishness will assist those who choose to go for a from scratch build, as I have by picking up one of the discounted mainboards.


Hi @resonantenergy,

After reading this review, I wanted to better understand the context for your support interaction, so I’ve read through the entire support ticket thread.

As for the AX211 showing under the filter for 11th Gen Intel Core, I’ve tested this in multiple regions and am unable to reproduce what you’ve reported. If you perform the same actions now, are you able to reproduce what you experienced? If so, could you please provide a screenshot so that I can investigate? Never mind, I was able to reproduce this ONLY in the United States region. Other regions are properly filtering. I’ve escalated this to Marketplace Engineering. It does say that it’s only compatible with 12th Gen Intel Core in the description, but the 11th Gen Filter did not properly remove it for the United States.

As for the Input Cover imagery, yes, the top image is simply a photo that is used for all of the Input Covers in the Marketplace showing it above a Framework Laptop. The product image itself is of the actual keyboard layout. If you check all variants of the Input Cover, you will notice that top image is the same, universally. I do agree that could lead to confusion, and I’ve shared that feedback with our Marketplace team.

In your ordering, there were some mistakes made, and when attempting something unconventional, but totally possible, it’s probably best to check in with the Support team before completing the purchase as you can create a cart and have our team review to make sure you’ve ordered all the correct pieces. While we absolutely provide complimentary returns within 30 days, this is a cost we absorb per shipment, and if we can avoid the return by providing that support up front, it will save both time, money, and emissions related to logistics.

As for the mention of our responses being “mechanically cold”, can you provide an example of a response that you felt was that way? I’ve read through each response and do not personally see that, but can absolutely understand that everyone reads and interprets messaging differently. With your permission, I can share the messaging sent (minus any personally identifiable information) here for feedback. We do use some pre-formatted responses as we handle hundreds of tickets every day, but they include agent customization and friendly messaging.

We’re sorry that you ran into issues building a Framework Laptop from scratch. It’s not a core use-case that we’ve accounted for in any published guides or articles. While you can utilize a combination of guides successfully, there isn’t a single guide available at the current time to build one of our laptops from individually purchased components. If there is a demand for this, it’s something we could look into, but given how niche it is, being candid, we have quite a few priorities to tackle with the upcoming shipping launch of Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen 7040 Series) [Batch 1 imminent] and Framework Laptop 16 later this year.

We’re glad it was a fun and worthwhile experience for you and hopefully you’re able and willing to assist any other Community members that are excited to tackle the same project you did!


I’ve attached screenshots of the filtering and how it doesn’t exclude it from the store.

The experience wasn’t too frustrating, but could definitely have been more streamlined.

Good advice, on reaching out to support, but my excitement got the better of me. The predicament was definitely of my own creation. As I knew I was taking an atypical approach, I expected some difficulties.

For the support experience, perhaps this is just the script but:
“Thanks for reaching out. We’re sorry that you’d like to return the Input cover and WiFi module. Can you please provide the information below?”

With this specific message, it does not address the specific concerns I brought up in a way that expresses reflective listening. Totally understand as I work in a ticket queue as part of my day to day, but it feels very ‘service desk’ like in a way where it feels like you’re not interacting with a real person. As the issues were addressed in a action oriented solution, it feels void of connection, thus mechanical and cold.

“You need to order the correct parts via the Marketplace.”

Very to the fact and informative, but a simple expression of empathy would have made things feel more like interacting with a person.

For example, ‘I’m sorry to say, you’ll need to order the parts via the Marketplace.’ feels a lot more human. The removal of the word “correct” creates a blameless experience and it goes back to the first part of “we’re sorry you’d like to return”.

Essentially it feels the why was for the return was never acknowledged, or the ‘negative’ customer experience was never addressed. The issue was resolved for sure, and I don’t mean to present it as a ‘bad’ support experience, just a very impersonal and ‘just another number’ one from a customer service perspective.

I’ve just worked a lot of customer service oriented or people support oriented roles and a big part of what I’ve learned is creating a space where people can feel like they are heard can turn a bad experience into a positive one.

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Hi @resonantenergy,

As for the AX211, please see my post edit above as I was able to reproduce only in the United States. I tested other regions, but not the US given you had purchased a keyboard typically used for non-US purchases. I’ve escalated this for review and resolution.

As for the messaging, I think perhaps expectations are a bit out of reach as we have to adapt messaging to be applicable across a number of languages through translation as we utilize a technology integration for multilingual responses. The level of response you are suggesting does require fairly advanced linguistic engagement and we are utilizing outsource staff. While you are in no way incorrect regarding an ideal state support interaction response, unfortunately, at our size and with the volume of tickets we engage with, being fully transparent, that’s just not possible.

You had asked,

"Hello Framework Support team,

Would it be possible to ship out the correct parts after receiving the
incorrect parts back?

[address redacted here]"

And the full agent response to that was,

"Hi [redacted],

Thank you for confirming your address. You need to order the correct parts via the Marketplace. We’ve escalated your ticket for return processing and one of our staff will be back with you soon with additional instructions.

Thank you for your patience!"

I think the only missing word here is “would” prior to “need” to be both concise and smooth out the sentence you provided, but we purposefully avoid unnecessary fluff in messaging as it comes off as inauthentic and fabricated.

Again, I don’t disagree with your assessment of an eloquent support conversation, but what we’re trying to accomplish, and what your expectations are, are unfortunately not in alignment. Could they be spruced up and taken to another level as you’ve suggested, sure, absolutely. Could I apply this across all of the agents, both internal and outsourced (Philippines), shortcuts, snippets, supported languages, and glossaries at scale while still achieving concise, friendly messaging that avoids translation errors and can be globally digested? Likely not. Do I think our approach is mechanically cold? I guess we’ll also have to disagree there as well.

We appreciate the feedback, and we’ll always work to improve/enhance the levels of support we offer to our global customers.

Thank you!


Automation is by nature mechanical, cold (cold being defined by a lack of the vitality of human connection), and inhuman. That’s not to say I disagree with it as an approach. At scale, it’s not likely viable, I agree.

I think the system Framework has built is elegant in its own ways and there are always tradeoffs and balance to be had an any implementation.


Eh, I think that’s a nitpick. As long as the agent helped you in a timely manner and was professional, I think that’s what counts.


They definitely provided fast support and were professional.

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We are in full alignment here, friend. As someone who has built international support teams positioned over multiple contacts centers managing dozens of languages, avoiding automation in all aspects of the support experience is an impossibility at scale. It’s about balance. Utilizing guard rails so you don’t roll gutterballs. You have to manage average handle time, messages sent per agent, response and resolution timing, and more while still hitting golden CSAT numbers. All of this while staying within budget and avoiding under/over-utilization.

Welcome to the show.

Did I mention I’m also accountable for Reverse Logistics and Repair, Community, and Loss Prevention on top of Customer Support? :wink:


Then they’ve fulfilled their responsibility to you as a customer. Nothing else you can really ask for as I know a lot of other tech companies that have provided worse support such as taking forever to answer emails.

Oh man who wears many hats, I salute you :saluting_face:


Are there situations where building like this could be cost-efficient?

Looking at the current pricing of the i5-1340P at $849

If we take out the mainboard costs of $449, it leaves the base frame components at $400

That would be equivalent to purchasing the:
$179.00 - Display Kit - Original
$99.00 - Bottom Cover Kit
$99.00 - Top Cover Kit - Original
$99.00 - Input Cover Kit - (Language of Choice)
$49.00 - Bezel - Green
$49.00 - Battery - 55Wh
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Bottom Cover and Mainboard
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Input Cover and Keyboard
$5.00 - Fastener Kit - Top Cover


Overall it’s cheaper to buy the DIY edition (at $400 for the frame) compared to the parts separately (at $589) with the current marketplace structure. Unless you consider mainboard that you want to buy to be worth that $189 difference then it would be better to go with the DIY version of a current iteration mainboard.

One point to consider is the cheapest current iteration mainboard goes for $449 whereas the cheapest, currently on sale, mainboard is the Intel 11th edition (Out of Stock) at $199. The ‘savings’ would be $250, which would cover the cost ($189) of purchasing components separately and result in ‘savings’ of $61, but that would be of nominal benefit for the 11th gen mainboards which have some quirks as mentioned in the original post as well as the inability to acquire the Wi-Fi card mounting bracket.

If one day a DIY bundle came out to support the purchase of the mainboards as a build, and the costs were closer to the DIY edition, then the savings would be worth it in my opinion, but with the difference only being $61, I’d recommend sticking with the newer editions and just eating the cost difference due to not only having a better, intended even, build experience, but also a newer and better iterated mainboard.

The on sale mainboards are much better suited for the 3D printed cases by Cooler Master on the Marketplace as things stand.

Side note:
If you get the plain black bezel, savings go up by another $10.