I run my current laptop with a really nice one cable connection solution to my monitor that has usb-power delivery (90w), ethernet, usb-hub and DisplayPort pass through. this means by connecting a single usb cable I have two additional monitors (3440x1440-60hz and 1920x1080-60hz), have my laptop charging, network and peripherals connected.
However I could not find information about the capabilities of the usb-c out on the graphics card module for the framework 16 laptop. I would like to know more about the capabilities of this connection so I know if I could use my current setup with the framework 16.
Does the Graphics Module usb-c also support usb power delivery?
Does the Graphics Module usb-c have the capability to pass ethernet connectivity and peripherals through while driving multiple displays?
Is it possible to connect a second charger to a regular usb-c port module of the framework laptop when I need more than 90w of power delivery?
Is the Framework laptop 16 capable of combining the power output of 2 charging solutions or will it only use the most powerful one? (for example having a 90w charger and a 100w charger both connected)
If combining multiple charging solutions is possible, does it matter what ports these are connected to? (specifically interesting in regards to the Graphics Module)
The USB-C is only for DP Alt mode, not USB 3.x.
The internal expansion bay connector passes through USB 2.x, not sure if this is routed to the external USB-C. Not suitable for connecting high speed stuff.
Only 1 charger can charge the laptop, the stronger one is chosen automatically.
According to Wikipedia DisplayPort alt mode still allows USB power delivery and a non superspeed USB signal, so its definitely physically possible (DisplayPort - Wikipedia). However these are both optional features and I’m really curious what decisions the framework team made in this regard.
USB 2 speeds still go up to 480 Mbps, this is significantly more than most (and also my own) home internet connections. So in this specific use case even a 2.0 speed connection could provide benefit.
Framework’s CEO has mentioned that the graphics module’s USB-C port carries DisplayPort and USB 2.0, which would allow for peripherals and Ethernet (but only 480 Mbps of bandwidth), however afaik no mention has been made of power delivery support.
IIRC Framework has said it will only draw power from whichever charger is most powerful. I don’t think it matters which port as long as the port supports power delivery (which on the main laptop are the back two ports on either side, no official word on power delivery support on the graphics module).
Edit: Most USB-C to DisplayPort and USB adapters allocate pins to USB 3.0 even if the source only supports USB 2.0. This takes pins/bandwidth away from DisplayPort, which if trying to drive multiple displays can result in you being limited to low resolutions/refresh rates. I think that this dual DisplayPort adapter from Cable Matters gives full bandwidth to DisplayPort. If you need more than two displays you might be able to use a DisplayPort MST hub with the single port version of that adapter. Or you can use displays through the ports directly on the laptop, but those aren’t muxed so performance may be a bit degraded.
I have that single port adapter and have used it successfully with MST (2 daisy-chained DisplayPort 1.2 1440p 75Hz monitors) on a handful of laptops including some, like the Surface Book 2 that didn’t even have Thunderbolt support.
Thank you all for your answers, most of my questions are answered.
The only thing not clear is if the gpu module usb-c will support usb power delivery or not, but sounds like the framework team just didn’t publish any information about that. Hopefully they will clarify this at some point.
Yeah, from what Nrp said, I think it’s clear that there is no USB Power Delivery / no charging the laptop through the GPU’s USB-C port, at least for the current GPU module.
Basic USB 2.0 functionality would not include USB-PD.
But it does look possible for USB-PD to be added to the GPU’s port in the future. The expansion bay connector looks to allow for up to 90W fed back to the mainboard. But it would likely require additional power supply circuity within the GPU module, taking up space and increasing cost. High wattage USB-PD EPR chips are very new, so they’re probably expensive at this time.
Expansion bay connector pinout: https://github.com/FrameworkComputer/ExpansionBay/tree/main/Electrical