What is the cheapest way to get a framework with these specs?

So I am looking into a framework with a Ryzen 5, 16gb of ram, windows 11 home, 500gb of storage, power adapter, english keyboard, and black bezel. Any ways that I can make it cheaper by using 3rd party items?

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You’ll have to get the mainboard from the Marketplace. Unless you can find another user selling an extremely cheap laptop shell, you may as well get that from Framework too, putting you at $711 for a DIY Ryzen 5, english keyboard, and black bezel.

Looking at a couple of online retailers, 16gb of DDR5 sodimms for the $80 that Framework offers it for is pretty middle of the road, but there are definitely 16gb kits that you can get for as low as $48 if you’re willing to go for 1x16gb and give up dual channel. Unfortunately RAM is going to be expensive on the Ryzen laptops because you can’t use DDR4 sodimm modules

The cheapest way to get Windows 11 is to just install, but never activate it. There are other not legal ways of getting it free or cheap, but I will not recommend them here. You could try to find a Windows 7, 8, or 10 key on an old computer you or a family member owns but doesn’t use anymore as those will still activate 11, or you can pay for an official license, which will run you about $140 on Framework’s site or the official Microsoft store, but there may be other retailers with official copies on sale, if you do a little internet searching (note that OEM keys are not official keys).

for 500gb of storage, a pcie gen 3 drive will get you the most bang for your buck, and you likely will not need it to be faster. Make sure it’s NVMe, M-keyed, and in the M.2 form factor. I would recommend a well known brand like Samsung or Crucial, but other brands can be much cheaper Otherwise this is another case where the WD drive Framework sells is at a pretty good price point.

For your charger I would try not to go too cheap, but if you want something that is less than the $49 Framework charger, I have been using the Anker Nano II 65w since I got my laptop, which is currently on sale for $35 on Amazon, Anker has had a little drama lately with it’s Eufy security cameras, but I have had no issues with this charger other than the fact that it can get a little toasty while it’s in use. Make sure to look for a USB-PD charger that will do at least 60W output.

Overall, Framework offers decent prices on all the parts it offers, and unless you have Amazon Prime for free shipping, you may actually save some money by shipping everything in one order from the Framework Marketplace. Otherwise make decisions on what specs you’re willing to downgrade (4800 vs 5600 Mhz RAM, PCIe 3 vs 4 SSD) and watch out for sales on parts you want between now and late Q3 when the laptop will be sent out!

(note, all my analysis is in USD, since that is my region and you did not specify yours)

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First off: DIY edition. Basically free money.

Second, Framework’s non-exclusive shipped components are marked up. Even if you buy the same product elsewhere, it’ll save you. Alternatively you can go cheaper by researching alternatives from lesser known brands (there’s a budget SK Hynix SSD that’s really popular in this laptop). Check the forum or do some careful research to make sure you’re buying a good product! My RAM, for example, is from a Taiwanese company, but from my research they’re considered Taiwan’s best ram manufacturer and it was around 3/4 the price of a Crucial package.

Third, buy a new old stock Windows 10 key on ebay. Make sure it’s a reputable seller, but there are warehouses full of CD disk installers for Windows 10 Pro with keys, and nobody wants to sell them in stores so they go for bargain prices (I got mine for $50, less than half of the price of win11 pro from framework). You can use a windows 10 key to activate a windows 11 install.

Charger could save you $30 (I got an unbranded one for my home desk that still does 60W on Amazon), but honestly the framework charger is so good it’s probably worth it

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There’s a very popular Lenovo type-C 65W brick that can be found for $20 iirc

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I’m just here to warn you to NOT buy cheap chargers, you will most likely regret it.
Do actually spend the money on a reputable brand, I for example can only speak very well of my Anker charger. Or go the official charger route, that would be another smart decision.

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I ran without a battery for about six months. Not by choice, mind you, I just bought everything a la carte from Marketplace and they didn’t have batteries for a long time. Mind the fasteners!

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According to Amazon reviews, the one I bought is just the really popular Lenovo one without the badging, so yes, it’s quality and works great with the framework.

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If you are near a Micro Center store you can get a great price on their “Inland” store-brand SSDs. Performance is quite good relative to others at this price point (though it can’t compete with the much more expensive name-brand drives).
The 500 GB “Inland Prime” model is currently $35.

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Thanks for all these suggestions guys, Honestly I think I will just buy all the parts directly from frameowrk as it will be too much of a hastle to get these parts

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That’s an approach that will get you a laptop, but it will come at a markup. For reference, DIY edition with my configuration buying all parts from Framework would have been $1500, but it was $1100 because of my shopping around.

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Do they make NVME or just SATA m.2 drives?

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The one linked is nvme

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They make both, and they have Gen 3 and Gen 4 drives. Make sure to check the TBW rating before you buy; I don’t recommend their cheapest NVMe drives (the QN322 line) for most uses because they have really terrible durability ratings, and a drive you will wear out before you wear out the computer is no bargain. (They might be acceptable if most of the storage will be used for static files, like a DJ who uses it to store a music collection.) For example, the 1 TB drive is rated for a measly 200 TBW. (The rating are proportional with capacity.) For comparison, the Premium 1 TB drive has a rating of 1600 TBW – EIGHT TIMES as much. The Performance Gen 4 drive has a rating of 1800 TBW.

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While this is certainly a factor, most regular users very likely won’t even scratch even the shittiest dramless qlc flash before the drive gets too small or they switch to a new device. Still probably a good thing to look out for if a much better drive is only a little more expensive.

Also I am pretty sure framework customers skew a little further from “regular user” than most other manufacturers.

My laptop before the Framework was a Dell Inspiron. (6th gen Intel, SATA M.2 SSD.) I managed to wear out the original 500 GB SSD in less then three years. When it reached 10% remaining lifetime according to its internal counters, the OS (I had it as dual-boot, Windows and Linux, and this applied to both) put the drive into read-only mode, which made it useless as a primary drive. That was an OEM drive, so I have no specs for it, but I imagine Dell went cheap.

I replaced the SSD and continued to use the Inspiron for another year and a half before replacing it with the Framework.

Currently the price difference between those cheap Micro Center SSDs and the next step up is small, which makes it hard to recommend the really cheap ones. I’m also basing this on the likelihood that a Framework buyer will keep the system longer than an average laptop buyer because it’s repairable and upgradable.

Not just that but the mSata era was a bit of an awkward one for ssds, even the shit controllers these days are a lot better than back then.

Might not want to go with the aliexpress special but pretty much all the ssds you can buy now are “good enough”. And hell price doesn’t seem to be a good indication lately, seems like the fanciest ones have the biggest gremlins XD

@Breenseaturtle

I have a top cover, bottom cover, and black bezel that I’m looking to sell off. All in perfect shape. I’d sell off all for 120$ (half of new) + shipping.

Basically all you’d need is the hinges, screen, webcam, battery, motherboard, ram, ssd, wifi card, input cover, expansion cards, and charger to have a complete system.