How we upgraded our Framework Laptop | TechBuzz

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A year ago, we were cautious about Framework’s promises. Today, we were able to upgrade our laptop, which we had never done (except changes to SSD, Wi-Fi or RAM). Step by step, we make you experience the upgrade of our Laptop Framework.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01892
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

After unpacking and assembling the Laptop Framework, then testing the machine, here is a third chapter: we have upgraded our laptop by changing its motherboard. As a reminder, this PC made a lot of noise when it was released. And for good reason, this system is meant to be both upgradeable and durable at the same time, allowing you to buy and replace almost any individual component if one stops working properly, or if you want to upgrade some. rooms.

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The Framework Laptop is surprisingly easy to assemble and fun to customize. We also saw that, despite its youth, it wasn’t a bad laptop. Although there were a few gripes in our test, we were won over by its performance, its screen and above all its ingenious design. From now on, we pass a second stage with the leveling of the machine. So we received a kit, a new motherboard with an Intel Core i5-1240P processor, which can be bought for just over 400 euros.

Of course, that’s not what ordinary people will do. Indeed, we don’t change processors every year… But here, it’s an exercise in projection. What happens if a few years after buying my laptop, I want to upgrade it.

Armed with a detailed step-by-step online guide, we set out to remove the motherboard that came with our original Framework laptop and replace it with the upgrade kit. Our original laptop came with a gen 11 chip, so it’s a generational upgrade.

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This upgrade kit was lent to us by Framework, along with the laptop that served as the patient here

We change the motherboard and the processor

If a single part breaks, even the screen or keyboard, the chassis is designed to be opened or disassembled so you can remove and replace just that part. Each component includes a QR code so one can scan, to find information or purchase a charging part. That’s not all, these changes are much easier than on your traditional laptop.

Plus, even the connectors come in the form of modules that plug into slots in the chassis, allowing you to change which ports you have and where.

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In short, here, we equipped ourselves with a T5 torx screwdriver, and that’s it. You don’t need anything else. It is a screwdriver that is provided when buying the machine, but it can be found everywhere on the web, from 5 to 15 euros on Amazon.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01862
The T5 torx is your best friend // Source: Frandroid

If you want to upgrade a laptop’s processor, it’s tied to the motherboard, and in almost all laptops it’s impossible. In the case of the Framework, it requires the 12th generation upgrade kit which is a motherboard with the processor already installed. This motherboard is about half the size of the chassis, the other part being occupied by the battery.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01925
The size of the motherboard, the two are identical // Source: Ulrich Rozier for Frandroid

We were sent the kit with the Intel Core i5-1240P. The latter contains 12 cores in total (four performance cores and eight power-efficiency cores) with support for up to 16 concurrent processing threads. The P-core and E-core format is intrinsic to the 12th generation “Alder Lake” architecture.

Upgrade kits also come with a new top case, it makes it feel like a new laptop. We haven’t installed it yet, it’s obviously optional here.

Changing the motherboard in a desktop computer is already impressive when you are used to it. For a laptop, it’s even more intimidating, because everything is more compact and small. First of all, the Framework guide is very complete, with photos and videos associated with each step. They estimate the operation time to be 15 minutes, which is largely doable for a connoisseur, rather count 30 minutes all the same.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01873
This is what it looks like once opened // Source: Ulrich Rozier for Frandroid

Thus, you have to unscrew the five screws under the case, turn the computer over and remove the upper part with the keyboard and touchpad. After disconnecting a small tablecloth, we have direct access to the motherboard and the battery. Then you will have to remove all the connection cables: webcam, battery, screen, speakers and so on. It’s relatively easy, everything is planned to make it simple.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01877
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

The audio cable was the most temperamental to unplug due to its shape, a small ribbon cable that goes into an equally small slot, with an ultra-thin flip tab that locks it in place.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01879
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

The next step is to remove the Wi-Fi card, RAM and M.2 SSD storage. We recover all these components to reuse them on the new motherboard. If you want to take advantage of it to increase storage or the amount of RAM, now is the time. Finally, remember to save your data from the SSD… Otherwise, you will struggle to access it.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01889
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

The motherboard is held to the chassis by five screws, always torx T5, ​​which are unscrewed. We take care of the tablecloths then we gently lift the motherboard. Everything is done simply, once again. Then, we take the new motherboard and we redo each step in reverse. Thus, we reconnect the battery, the tablecloths, the components… All this finished, we were able to screw the last five screws fixing the upper part with the keyboard.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01893
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

Make sure that the Wi-Fi module cables have been put back in place properly before screwing the bracket back on.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01919
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

The Framework Laptop booted and loaded into Windows 11 easily, booting just took longer than usual. We had to enter a security key because we had configured our Windows session to protect our data in the event of a major component change.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01928
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

The PC immediately recognized the 12th generation processor. Framework also provided a new set of Windows 11 drivers, we had downloaded these drivers beforehand.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01932
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

A performance upgrade at stake?

As explained above, going from 11 ᵉ generation to 12 ᵉ generation is not exactly what you have in mind when you buy a Framework Laptop. We will rather wait a few generations for economic and ecological reasons.

Framework Laptop 12th Intel – Frandroid  – DSC01935
Framework Laptop // Source : Ulrich Rozier pour Frandroid

But, it is clear that the 12 ᵉ generation of Intel is a significant performance leap. It remains a laptop processor, which we will compare to the Apple M2 chip in the MacBook Air.

Framework Laptop avec Intel Core i5-1240P (12e)Framework Laptop avec Intel Core i5-1135G7
GeekBench 5 Single-Core1414 points1237 points
GeekBench 5 Multi-Core7541 points4136 points
Cinebench R23 Single-Core1479 points1325 points
Cinebench R23 Multi-Core8530 points5866 points

The performance cores are further supported by the more power efficient cores. The difference in synthetic benchmarks is noticeable, as you can see above. In practice, for office automation, this difference will probably not be felt.

Since the motherboards have the same design, we end up with the weak points as those of our Laptop Framework test. Active cooling becomes too noisy and inefficient. It’s the complete opposite of the MacBook Air M2. Overall, it’s a laptop that has no major flaws and that we recommend. As you’ll see, it doesn’t have the best price-to-performance ratio, but unfortunately that’s the price to pay for scalability.

You would agree that the Laptop Framework will come into its own if and when you can upgrade from 11th Gen to, say, a future 13th or 14th Gen motherboard. Thus, we continue to believe that the laptop and its scalability are a success, hoping that the Framework business is also successful and continues over time.

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Framework Laptop at the best price?

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Dell gave us a demonstration of its Concept Luna project, a portable PC whose components can be changed very easily. The stated objective is to offer a more eco-responsible product.
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I am admin of blog & I provide tech-related news. As a part of my hobby, I make content related to technology and gadgets reviews too. I love to be a content creator apart from it, I am a full-time employee in an MNC company and manage blogs systematically. You can mail me at [email protected]

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