Framework announced new 13 inch models (Intel 13th gen, AMD 7040 Series) today, as well as a 16" device with a new type of GPU expansion bay (that includes potentially upgraded cooling) and modular input bays.
The 13 is an actual product I’d be more interested in. Really the AMD 13 is one of the first non-touchscreen / non-tablet devices to tempt me in a long time. Mostly, I love their philosophy on repairs, and a Zen4/RDNA3 would be a huge leap from my Pro X.
That being said, the 16 is exciting from a new technology standpoint.
I know some people hate him, but Linus had a good summary of the changes (personally, I tend to like the videos presented by others on his team more than I like the ones he presents). It has a really awful clickbait title and thumbnail as is necessary on Youtube these days, but once you get past that there’s some good information in here. Disclaimer though, as is noted in the video, he is an investor in Framework, but most of the video was factual and not opinion-based (and the ‘bad decision’ referenced in the title is not having invested more ). The Framework CEO makes an appearance as well, but doesn’t really provide much new info.
I’m in batch 2 so I’m probably about a month away still, but with the reviews coming out today… and because I haven’t seen anything else catch my eye… and because I’m getting desperate to get away from ARM, I’m leaning towards sticking with my preorder (13" Ryzen).
The 7840U is slightly behind Intel on single-core CPU, ahead of Intel on multi-core, and 1.5x-2x compared to Intel on GPU. Battery reports seem to be conflicting in this early stage, but seems to be as good or better than my (admittedly half a pound lighter) Pro X.
Negatives for me: No touchscreen or tablet features, no LTE, and no Windows Hello camera. But at the very least I could still keep my Pro X around as a dedicated OneNote machine. And using my phone as a hotspot isn’t THAT much worse of an experience.
Received my 7840U Framework 13 last night and have everything mostly set up at this point. Used 64GB DDR5-5600 (CL40) and a 2TB Hynix P41 SSD. From a performance perspective, about as impressed as I expected. Cinebench 2024 scores about 4 times what my Pro X did. Mostly just happy to finally switch away from ARM though.
It does get pretty loud and hot under heavy load though compared to the fanless ARM device I’m switching from.
The internal layout and repairability is still impressive. In my case I got the “DIY” version, so I had to install my RAM, SSD, install the screen bezel, and install the keyboard. Still amusing to me that the DIY versions cost less even when they need to install RAM and SSD at the factory for testing, and then manually remove them to ship to customers. But the DIY steps probably also add to a sense of ownership for users in general. The device feels very solid despite the repairability. No real keyboard flex or anything like that.
I like the modular port selection, I set it up currently with HDMI, microSD, and 2 USB4 ports. Also got a USB-A port and an Ethernet port though I suspect I’ll very rarely need either of those.
I don’t play many AAA PC games anymore just because a lot of the shooters just don’t interest me these days, but will definitely be doing some light gaming on it. As a test, I loaded up Rocket League. Running at native resolution with all settings on high quality, the 7840U easily manages a steady 60fps so that’s promising.
Edit: I will say though that the built-in speakers aren’t the best I’ve ever heard.
Edit 2: Will also add that it apparently runs Nintendo Switch games as well as the Nintendo Switch other than stuttering at compiling shaders (which my gaming PC does too). Tested the new Mario game and Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (both of which I bought and own on the Switch itself) and Mario runs at a smooth 60fps (as it does natively) and TOTK runs at a fairly steady 30fps (though this is much more affected by the shader compilation stutter).