Surface Book is Actually 3 Times Faster than the MacBook Pro (in GPU benchmarks)

Discussion in 'Surface Forum Site News' started by dgstorm, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    So, here's a slick benchmark comparison between an Apple MacBook Pro 13 and the new Microsoft Surface Book. In their promotional materials, Microsoft claims the Surface Book is "twice as fast" as the MacBook Pro 13. Of course, that all depends on how you benchmark it. The editors at PCWorld decided to test this claim and the results are impressive.

    First, for clarity, PCWorld compared the following devices:

    Retina MacBook Pro 13 -
    • Intel Broadwell Core i5-5752U - dual-core 28-watt chip with a base clock speed of 2.7GHz
    • Iris 6100 graphics
    • 8GB of RAM
    • PCIe SSD
    • The latest El Capitan build of MacOS
    Surface Book -
    • Intel Skylake Core i5-6300U - dual-core 15-watt chip with a base clock speed of 2.4GHz
    • GeForce graphics
    • 8GB of RAM
    • PCIe SSD
    • Windows 10
    When testing CPU performance, the products were relatively the same, with the MacBook Pro edging barely ahead in most tests. Considering the clock speed of both processors, this is unsurprising. This obviously refutes Microsoft's claims of being 2x faster; however, CPU tests are not the only measure of a computing product.

    We can't forget that GPU performance is also very important for some applications, especially gaming, rendering and graphics apps. You will notice that the Iris 6100 graphics is what we see in the MacBook, whereas the GPU in the Surface Book happens to be a GeForce. Now we are drilling down to the nitty gritty.

    When the PC World editors ran the two laptops through several graphics benchmarks, (including LuxMark 3 OpenCL, Unigine's Heaven Benchmark, the newest version of the game Tomb Raider, and Premiere Pro CC), the competition was a whole different ballgame. In fact, the performance difference wasn't even fair. To summarize with the benchmark that had the largest difference, the Surface Book scored 74fps in the Tomb Raider benchmark, while the MacBook Pro score a measly 23.6. That's over 3 times faster in GPU performance than Apple's device, which means Microsoft was being a bit conservative on their marketing hyperbole.

    The rest of the GPU benchmarks were at least twice as fast, except for the Luxmark 3, which was about 60% faster. The main thing we can take away from this is that if you are wanting the Surface Book for mobile gaming or for digital art rendering, then it is the clear winner by a long shot. Even at a $1500 base price, its performance advantage was significant enough to warrant that premium price.
     
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  2. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    I planned to post this, past tense. ;)
    Stormy beat me to the punch.
     
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  3. Kif

    Kif Active Member

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    I read that article. I like how well the Surface Book did however he should have listed the pricing to be fair. It's a $1500 MacBook Pro versus a $1900 Surface Book pro or did I miss something?
     
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    MS quietly added a dGPU option to the base i5 128GB/8GB model for $1700.
     
  5. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

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    Ah good, I'm glad that one game from nearly three years ago that is a crappy Windows to Mac port did so well.

    I'm impressed.

    Totally.
     
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  6. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    He also wasn't doing a full comparison - like one has a touch screen etc. This was strictly graphics performance.
     
  7. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And that it's against a device from 2013. Or did I miss something?
     
  8. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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    Great minds and stuff! :D
     
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  9. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

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    Yeah... it seems like the PCWorld editors didn't do a very good "apples to apples" comparison, but the reality is that it wouldn't change much even if we got closer to the correct comparison. The most important thing to take away from this is that Microsoft did a phenomenal job including the GeForce tech in what is basically a convertible hybrid Tablet device, and they did it at a respectable (although premium) price.

    Apple will sell their MacBook Pro at a high price as well, yet they cripple its graphics performance because they couldn't squeeze in anything as advanced as the GeForce tech from NVIDIA. I think this gives the Surface Book some extra value that many users will look at.

    Also, even though the game (Tomb Raider) is a couple of years old, it still has very advanced graphics rendering capabilities. Also, it was probably tough for the reviewer to find a game that he could run on the MacBook Pro as not everything out there is compatible with Apple's software. Just FYI...
     
  10. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

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    Yeh I think this is largely a failing on the methodology used. The Book itself is mighty impressive.

    Perhaps a more direct comparison would be to install win10 natively on the MacBook and see how the games perform.
     
  11. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Drivers would be the issue then. Do you install it under bootcamp? Or baremetal?

    If your comparing a MAC shouldn't it be MAC OSX as well?

    My experiences with Windows on MAC aren't really that good frankly, I know people tout it but then people tout W10 and we see what a mess that is in reality but it has potential. I think it's more a case of woohoo I got it installed it's great, and never admitting the flaws. regardless...

    The other benchmarks are perhaps more telling and the real world Premier Pro CC, ok not quite 2x on that one but significant nonetheless.
     
  12. Kif

    Kif Active Member

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    Boot Camp drivers are total crap. I've had multiple Microsoft people tell me the best Windows machine is a Mac with Windows installed on it. I just look at them with glassy eyes.
     
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