Why is my framework laptop performing badly?

I got this laptop on a friend’s recommendation, even though I hate windows, I got the base model with windows 11 and an AMD processor. So far the laptop has been slower than my 10+ year old macbook pro which has the same amount of RAM, it can’t even load youtube videos without lagging a lot, it also freezes sometimes out of the blue. Besides that it works okay but it can just be so laggy sometimes, and I’m not even doing anything demanding with it…is this a problem with windows 11 (which sucks ass btw, wish i had gotten popOS or something) or just the general laptop and amount of RAM (8gb)?

Welcome to the forum.
Bold thread title you choose.

You choose only 8GB?
That can be barely enough these days. Windows takes a lot. And then web browsers take a ton too, often due to websites themselves being built so insanely heavy.


This is not the reason for the performance loss… I think it’s pretty obvious Wibdows doesn’t manage swap that badly…

To OP, have you installed the Framework driver package? This seems like unusual behavior that might be caused by misfunctioning HW acceleration.


My laptop froze after I spent 2+ hours working on something (it was an online form that did not autosave) :sob:

I wasn’t really thinking clearly when I made this title

I got the pre-built option, so I assume that the drivers are already installed, if that is not the case, I can do that, I hope it helps. The laptop has already frozen on me twice now within just a few days of light use.

I would also check that windows has done all its updates, then reboot and check again for any more and do all those updates.

Agree with @Shiroudan there could be a driver issue but it would be interesting to see task manager while this is happening.

Otherwise you should lodge a support ticket with Framework so they can work through the necessary troubleshooting steps.

And just for my curiosity:

  • Did you really want to switch to Windows after using a Mac for so long?
  • And is your friend well-versed in Windows?
  • Could they assist with troubleshooting?
  • Would you be interested in Linux if Windows does suit you?
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if you only have 8 gigs of ram, and that ram came from framework, then you also only have one stick of ram. you need two sticks to get full usage of the memory bandwidth on the amd framework boards, which is going to be felt even more in high memory pressure situations – which you can plausibly reach with 8 gigs of ram just running an os and a tab-capable web browser running some web apps and/or some electron apps (which are themselves basically web browsers running web apps).


Hi @Oscar_Greenwell

…this option is of course still on the table! You could just install this (or try it out from a bootable USB drive) and see if you like it better. I would recommend to use one of the officially supported distributions though, which would mean Fedora 39 or Ubuntu 22.04.



Monitor your laptop’s RAM usage in the Task Manager. If it’s consistently close to the maximum capacity, then upgrade it to 16GB of RAM, it could improve performance, especially when running multiple applications or browser tabs.

I disagree with the comments about 8 GB of RAM likely being insufficient, and I agree with this recommendation to start by looking at some actual data. Maybe you do need more RAM for your workflow, but check and see before buying more. My wife runs Windows 10 and Chrome with dozens of open tabs on the 11th Gen Core i5 Framework with 8 GB of RAM, and it performs fine. I haven’t seen Windows 11 yet, but I’ve seen laptops with even less hardware (like 4 GB of RAM) being sold with Windows 11.

With that said, yeah, Windows is a hog, and seems to just keep getting worse about doing lots of “helpful” stuff in the background by default. Like @herodot said, there’s no reason why you can’t switch to a Linux distro now. I haven’t tried Pop!_OS but I’m a very happy user of Fedora on my Framework.


Don’t get me wrong, I agree with all you said and your recommendations. I just wanted to point out that just because a company sells a computer with 4GB of RAM and Windows 11, doesn’t mean it runs well. :wink:


I agree with some others here that it would be best to contact support.

There are reports of freezing on Windows 11 with the AMD FW 13, so you may be running into a bit of that. As for performance, it may be a driver issue or something along those lines. There’s certainly nothing wrong with digging into it yourself and trying to solve it. But it’s also not a bad idea to get support involved.

Good luck. I hope you get it solved.

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I couldn’t afford another macbook, I also wanted to get a laptop that will last me a while. I had my reservations about windows but to be fair didn’t realise how bad it would be until I started using it, the hate came after I actually started using it.

he’s not that experienced with windows himself unfortunately.

I hear Pop!_OS is similar to mac OS so it seems like something I’d like to try. I haven’t used Linux in years.

I looked at the Task Manager, at the moment just playing a yt video, having discord open, and one more tab with this forum open has almost 80 percent of the RAM capacity used (5.7GB/7.2GB).

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It’s close, but not too crazy. Discord is a resource hog in of itself (client is built with the Electron framework that uses Node.js and Chromium). And 8 GB for Windows doesn’t give you much headroom. Also, are you using dual channel memory, or just single? Having single channel hold back some performance depending on the application(s). Another 8 GB stick of RAM is inexpensive and is worth it, IMO.

With only 8 GB of RAM, you may want to check out PopOS! to see how well it works for you. No need to install. Just try it (boot from a Live USB) and see if you like it first. This is also a good test to see if all the hardware gets detected.

Unfortunately I have nothing for you in regards to switching OSes. There’s just no shortcut to relearning everything you used to do with a big switch like OS. It’s the same going from Android to iOS, and it’s the same going from MacOS to Windows.

If you use the terminal a lot in MacOS, you’ll at least feel more at home with Linux. Windows has WSL, but it seems you’re more hung up on the GUI itself. If that’s the case, again, there’s just no way around it. You’ll have to relearn the interface whether you go with Windows or PopOS!.

Also with Linux, you have a lot of choices for your desktop environment. Maybe this is a good time to experiment with different ones to find the one you like.

PopOS uses a custom Gnome environment that has some extra features that’s nice (they call it Cosmic). They are currently working on a new desktop environment from scratched (also called Cosmic) and not based on Gnome at all. Their goal is to keep the interface and features they cultivated while building the underlying codebase from Rust.

Otherwise, check out different “spins” or “flavors” of other Linux distros to play around with the different base desktop environments.

Fedora spins usually is as close to vanilla (they don’t customize the base DE), so you get a good idea of what the base DEs are like before venturing on your own to customize your own OR find other flavorized/customized versions based off these base DEs.


Then there’s Ubuntu. They do “flavors” where they customize base DEs to suit their branding and workflow philosophy.

There are so many other Linux distros with their own “flavor” on base DEs (I kinda like Zorin as well - highly custom Gnome-based DE that can look like Windows or Mac). And Linux Mint uses their own Cinnamon DE (a derivative of an older defunct Gnome 3).

This is why Linux is so cool but also confusing to newcomers. Lots of choices.

If you’re not adverse to a new workflow and desktop paradigm, my suggestion is to go with vanilla Gnome (Fedora 39 default spin). I like having a new paradigm to learn because it prevents you from thinking and doing things from habit (forces you to unlearn your old OS habits), but it’s clean and easy enough so you can relearn how it works WITHOUT getting too frustrated.

If you MUST have something that looks familiar, I think Zorin has a Mac-like interface option (may be a paid option?), or PopOS!, which has a dock. But having an interface TOO familiar with what you know will make you more frustrated when it doesn’t work as you expect it to. Having LOOK like your old OS doesn’t mean it will act like it (hence why I like a completely clean slate to work with, like vanilla Gnome).

As a Windows user, KDE Plasma would have been perfect for me on paper. While it’s similar looking to WIndows, Windows IT IS NOT, and it was frustrating to use for me.

Welp, just something to chew on. Good luck!


I was going to also say that 8GB is too low these days. Windows needs 6 minimum which only leaves 2 left for everything else. 16 should honestly be the minimum nowadays. You’re better off running a Linux flavor on your machine with 8GB. It’ll use substantially less RAM.

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Have you checked thermal data from the processor?
Maybe it’s a case of a motherboard with a very faulty cooling system that makes your CPU reach high temperatures even with a light load. I don’t know if its possible, I’m just making up random explanations.

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The Performance Monitor utility may be helpful here. Check my post here to give it a try, then we can review the results to determine if you’re hitting some kind of bottleneck. Your symptom description makes me think this is a misconfiguration (drivers?) or faulty hardware (cooling issue?) though rather than an actual performance problem.

Also, if you dislike Windows that much you should give something else a shot. PopOS or ElementaryOS might be good options for you if you’re coming from Macintosh.

When you say it ‘freezes’, are you getting slowdown or an out right crash?

Yeah, these problems sound like Windows hasn’t done all of the required updates and (GPU) driver installation. I’ve had very bad performance when I did a fresh Windows 11 install on a desktop, until I did a Windows Update which installed the missing integrated GPU drivers and made the whole device usable. Granted, it was Tiny 11 on an “unsupported CPU”, but it helped a lot.

As some have said, 8 GB of RAM is more than sufficient for all basic computer tasks (even stuff like programming and compiling!). You do not need more RAM as that really won’t fix this problem. Also, even if Windows 11 might do loads of things in the background, all CPU SKUs shipped in Framework laptops are powerful enough for users to not notice any slowdown. Single- or dual-channel memory won’t make any difference with the problems you are describing.

I’d say that 4 GB of RAM (and something more than a dual-core Intel Pentium N4020) is starting to be the minimum limit for Windows 11, especially if the device has an HDD and not an SSD* mostly due to its background processes and its general bloat, including of its accompanied software.

(*which is not a problem with Framework laptops as I do not believe that HDDs exist in an M.2 2280 NVMe factor)

As you use more RAM for other tasks, browsers (including Discord’s Electron) will free/minimize their memory use in response to increasing memory pressure. If you are using Firefox, you can even manually issue such commands in about:memory. This is due to the fact that browsers have a tendency to use memory for caching data, and thus can scale their use depending on the available system memory. Sadly, as websites have a tendency to slowly become more bloated in our world, memory usage of each page tends to increase over time but that should be negligible for general browsing with 8 GB of RAM.

Apart from Windows Update, have you tried running a virus scan or checking Task Manager when your computer is acting up?