Trying to decide if this is right for me?

Good Afternoon,

I have been trying to find the answer of is this laptop right for me? Hopefully you guys and gals in the community can help me figure it out.

I am currently going to need a computer in the Fall of 2022 with some life changes. My laptop from the Spring of 2016 is on it’s last leg as far as battery and usability. I am looking for something to use for school but also possibly plug up to use on a dual screen remote desktop. I haven’t found really any support or people with the answer on using it as a part time desktop?

Currently here is my wishlist:

Dual Screen Desktop Use
Possibly do some photo editing in desktop use
School Work-MBA with emphasis in Data Analytics
Possible Remote Desktop use through work
Current occupation is in Accounting/Finance
The ability for this to last as long as a Mac Computer

My wife really has always loved Mac computers for the interface. She has also really said that we need a family desktop more than anything, but trying to convince her I need the laptop for the school side. I also told her it would be helpful just in case we needed it on trips.

Feel free to ask me any more questions if you think you can help! I am a newbie at this, but not afraid to work on this laptop at all.

I bought my Framework after my 2016 Macbook Pro had a RAM module go bad. I have yet to send it off to Apple to repair, but knowing that it’s going to cost upwards of a couple of hundred dollars for RAM, and that it wasn’t end-user serviceable was enough to steer me away from wanting another Mac anytime soon.

I use mine primarily as a “desktop” with an external monitor attached. Sometimes I have the laptop screen up, sometimes I close the lid, just depends.

I also use mine to connect to my virtual machine at work over Citrix.

Do you have an OS in mind? There are several Linux distros that are popular and have multi-touch trackpad support similar to a Mac (though some users here have complained that the trackpad is not as good as a Mac - I personally don’t have any issues with it). I often use an external keyboard and mouse when it’s attached to the external monitor, so differences in trackpad gestures don’t bother me as much as somebody who might predominantly use the trackpad on a Mac.

I will probably use Windows.

What monitors do you use and what is your dock situation like?

There are a lot of users with docks here and there have been a fair number of docks tested:

It sounds like the laptop would do all that you want of it, and if anything went wrong you can get in there and repair it yourself. It should last at least as long as a Mac and unlike a Mac you can upgrade it.


@Fraoch gotcha. So dumb question, but ultimately the end life of this laptop is when they quit making shelf parts for it? Essentially you could just keep upgrading the processor, storage, memory forever? Replace things when stuff breaks? I am just trying to justify the upfront cost as well.

Sure! The key here will be if Framework survives long term, but that’s looking better all the time as they have sold at least 6 batches, are expanding to new markets and looking for more. The main idea is that all key components are located on a replaceable, upgradeable mainboard. When Framework makes a new upgraded mainboard, the entire board can be replaced.

The mainboard is self-contained and can actually run on its own outside of the laptop.

Various components on the mainboard can be replaced as well should better components come along (RAM, SSD, WiFi).

The same goes for the display, it can also be replaced should a new one with newer technology be released.

And the trackpad, and the speakers, and the camera module, and the microphone. And the battery.

The ports are easy, they’re in expansion modules and are fed by the fastest peripheral connection method currently available, USB4 (40 Gbps) - Thunderbolt certification pending. You just use the USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort or storage modules as you require, and new ones have been made by the community or are in development, such as Ethernet.

Lots of back-n-forth about justifying this here:

I have this Dell P2715Q monitor that I connect using this USB-C to DP cable.

Sweet. Thanks @Fraoch

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Cool thanks @gclimer

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@Mulerider As @Fraoch pointed out, I had a similar decision. I knew I wanted Windows laptop for sure, but the price-to-benefit ratio was hard for me to swallow at first. After much debate and advice, I did indeed opt to give Framework a chance. I think the i5 will take care of all my non-gaming needs well into the future, vs the Ryzen 7 which does look great on paper but probably overkill for me (coming from a 5 yr old Pentium lol).
The struggle is real. But I hope it’s an investment that costs less in the long run. I received it today (2 business days after ordering). Can’t wait to start playing!


I actually have a MacBook and a framework. I use the framework as a desktop.

What I found was that with the price of thunderbolt docks I just reconfigured it with the HDMI port and it worked perfectly!

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@Terry_Holderbaum how do you find it works with a desktop? Also what specs does your Framework and Mac have?

Ad a desktop it is fine. I had intended to use it closed in a docked mode when I was in my office. I have a 32 inch 4k monitor. But my dock was taken out with a power sure and I can’t justify a new thunderbolt dock at these prices. So instead I use is in open undocked mode with the HDMI port.

I typically work on three computers at once. Mostly my desktop does compiling and other stuff, so my Frameworks laptop is my primary machine. To be honest, it is the perfect size and shape for what I do.

My Macbook is a Macbook Air M1. it has 16GB of ram but the base level processor and 256GB of ram. I really love it, especially for the battery life.

My Frameworks Laptop is an i7-1165, with 32GB of ram and a 500GB PCI-E 4.0 drive. The thing I love about Frameworks is that I was able to consider my choices. I had a budget of $1,600 form work, and I already had a Windows 11 Pro license.

So on Storage, I was looking at the PCI-E3.0 1TB SN750 for $129 or the 500GB SN850 for $119. Ultimately it came down to performance, with the 850 being twice as fast. Coworkers got Dell XPS15 with a faster processor, but PCI-E 3 drives and my computer beats them in performance because of the drive.

On memory, I wanted 32GB minimum so I got that in 16x2 formfactor.

On the processor, The 1165 was the sweet spot for me. The 1185 was faster by about 5-7% in benchmarks, and I just didn’t see that being worth the extra $400.

And for Wifi I got the top line card. My computer is the prototype for what I intend to be the standard config in our company, so i wanted to play around with vPro. The wifi card was the only real fiddly bit, easily 15 minutes of the 20 min build time was spent getting the wifi antennas connected.

For expansion, I went with 4 USB-C, 1 USB-A and one each of the display port, and HDMI ports. Currently I run 3 USB-C and one HDMI port. I love the reconfigurable expansion slots. The nice thing is the expansion cards work on the Macbook as well.

Ultimately, what I will probably do is upgrade the mainboard to Alder Lake when it comes out, and then take the current mainboard and have a 3d case printed for it, and then velcro that to the back of my monitor as a desktop.

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