Lab – We updated the Framework Laptop with a 12th generation Core i7


Framework’s customizable and upgradeable laptop gets its first update with the arrival of a 12th generation Intel processor. For the occasion, we installed the motherboard and redesigned our tests.

The Start-up Framework was launched a little over a year ago and promised a customizable laptop, but above all capable of evolving over time. Today, the manufacturer offers a motherboard equipped with a 12th generation Intel processor for sale to update its Framework Laptop, released with an 11th generation Intel processor.

age lake intel 12th generation laptop frame

Framework Laptop and its new motherboard.

© The Digital

Usually, once we have chosen a laptop, we are often stuck with the same processor throughout the life cycle of the device. Since this is soldered to the motherboard, no manufacturer sells a motherboard, let alone one with a newer processor. Framework, it allows this update. So that’s what we did with our copy of the Laptop Framework (67245) that moved from a Core i7-1185G7 with 4 hyper-wired cores to a Core i7-1280P with 8 efficient cores and 6 high-performance hyper-wired cores. . On paper, although there is only a generational difference, the transition to Alder Lake’s hybrid architecture represents a real technological leap.

A heart-lung transplant

As we saw when we received the Framework Laptop, it turned out to be particularly easy to open the PC and access it. Changing motherboards requires only a little patience and organization, especially since Framework has published a complete and very detailed tutorial.

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After removing the modules and keyboard, disconnect the battery from the system board, and then remove the RAM and SSD to install them on the new system board.

Disconnecting the card from the cabinet requires the removal of four cables that connect the monitor, speakers, webcam, and sound card.

age lake intel 12th generation laptop frame

The new motherboard is simply placed in the housing before it is fixed.

© The Digital

Last item to extract, wifi card. It is not necessary to disconnect the antennas, but be sure to note the wiring.

All that remains is to unscrew the five screws that hold the motherboard to the chassis. No need to disassemble the cooling system as it is already in place on the new motherboard.

To install the new motherboard, simply repeat all the steps in reverse. No further manipulation is required.
By taking us time, and even though we are used to performing this kind of manipulation, the whole operation will have required about fifteen minutes.

Sharp increase in performance

Equipped with its new motherboard, the Framework Laptop now features an Alder Lake processor and its hybrid architecture. It benefits from 20 logical cores with Core i7-1280P compared to 8 logical cores previously with Core i7-1185G7.

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performance core i7-1280P i7-1260P amd Ryzen 7 6800u macbook air m2 apple

With the Intel Core i7-1280P processor, the Laptop Framework is back in the game.

© The Digital

With its Core i7-1280P, the Framework Laptop achieves a performance index of 123, a gain of 41%. It thus shows higher performance than the ZenBook 13 Oled with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor (111) and Samsung Book2 Pro 15 with its Core i7-1260P (115).

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Controlled temperatures, more ventilation

After changing the motherboard and therefore the processor, we stroked the Framework Laptop under the sensor on our thermal camera. From one processor to another, the temperatures vary very little, finally.

Intel Core i7-1280P

Intel Core i7-1185G7

However, the same cannot be said about noise pollution. With Core i7-1185G7 we find 42.2 dB after our traditional coding under HandBrake. Now equipped with its Core i7-1280P, the Framework Laptop tends to trigger its fan at the slightest request. Result, we measure 45.7 dB, a feeling almost doubled. It will be necessary to go through Windows power management to calm the fan flights.

Status quo on the autonomy side

On the autonomy side, the Laptop Framework takes 6 hours away from an electrical outlet. Either the same duration as with his old motherboard. The hybrid architecture of the 12th generation Intel processor heralded better control with its efficient cores, but the founder preferred to rely on the performance of its architecture to overtake AMD.

age lake intel 12th generation laptop frame

Laptop Framework and its replaceable modules.

© The Digital

Framework succeeds in its efforts to offer a laptop that is both customizable and scalable. If the customization can seem anecdotal and allow the brand to stand out from its traditional competitors, updating the processor to the latest generation is a success. Users are unlikely to manipulate each new generation; But knowing that this is possible provides a real added value to the Laptop Framework.

Framework: a laptop that is heavily dependent on modularity and scalability

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