Surface Dock teardown (SB/SP4/SP3)

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by surfdock, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Tsurugaya and onimod like this.
  2. unruledboy

    unruledboy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Sydney
    My Device:
    SPro3
    nice.

    so, theorectically, the SB itself should still support 3 external displays (2 USB / 1 mini DisplayPort) without the dock, right?
     
  3. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My Device:
    SPro3
    unruledboy,

    I believe that the Intel GPU/Display output block in the SB supports a max of three simultaneous distinct outputs (a 4th may be able to run in mirror mode). This means you could either run the internal panel and 2 external screens or switch off the internal panel and run 3 external screens. I'm not sure which modes are actually enabled and what bandwidth limitations there are on the MST hub in the dock.

    If you want to use the internal panel and 3 external screens each with separate content, then you may need a DisplayLink device to provide the additional output.

    When I get a chance, I try out all these scenarios in the lab.
     
    unruledboy likes this.
  4. albertan_bear

    albertan_bear Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    I did not understand, why Microsoft didn't put power brick inside dock.
     
  5. protip

    protip Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks for the tear-down photos!

    Surfdock, since you're really digging into the dock, and considering the dock is the most significant pain point for my Surface Book experience, can I ask a favor? If your lab has 4K monitors, can you see if you're able to get two 4K monitors to work concurrently via the dock (as Microsoft had advertised)? To date, I cannot find anyone who can credibly confirm that the dock does in fact support two 4K monitors.

    I want to believe Microsoft that the hardware support is there; that the issue is purely a software/driver matter.
     
  6. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Albertan,

    Power supplies typically die first in any consumer electronics application. So having a modular power brick makes it a lot easier to swap out in the field. Also separating the hot power supply from sensitive high-speed electronics makes everything more reliable overall.

    You could always use some sandpaper to scuff up both bricks and use industrial adhesive to stick the two bricks together if you want it all in one box. Then just get a longer figure-8 power cord.
     
  7. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Protip, I will try to get a multi-4K setup going in the lab but can't commit to any timeline on this.
     
  8. albertan_bear

    albertan_bear Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    Never lost charger from "higher" quality companies - Apple, Dell, IBM/Lenovo ...
     
  9. surfdock

    surfdock Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Albertan_bear, perhaps you didn't buy a lot of electronics between 1999 and 2007:
    Capacitor plague - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Bottom line is that parts fail. Even "high-quality" parts. The most failure-prone parts are typically in the power supply. So modularizing the power supply just makes engineering sense. I would like to see more products where the power brick snaps in the main device and remains modular but loses the long cable in between. But with that approach you open up a can of worms with proprietary form factors and locking mechanisms like laptop battery packs. Ugh. Sometimes its better to just keep things simple.
     
  10. albertan_bear

    albertan_bear Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    Bought a lots of things - and was probably very lucky. It just doesn't make sense for me to have two bricks (one with additional weights) to travel with or have them around ... Other option would be use standard 65W charger for charging the Dock - so I could travel with one charger and one Dock, no with 2 different chargers + Dock ...
     
  11. ccates22

    ccates22 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    Man, you were lucky. My company has been through plenty of Dell power adapters that failed. They don't hold up forever to extensive travel, mostly due to the folding and wrapping of the cords. The ones used by employees who mostly work at home or in the office last 2-3 times as long.
     
  12. albertan_bear

    albertan_bear Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    I travel for my profession a lot - I'm a hydrogeologist. But I do take a good care for my stuff - usually computer bags or heavy duty boxes.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
microsoft display dock teardown
,
surface book dock power brick
,
surface dock sp4 max bandwidth
,
surface dock teardown
,

surface dock trardown

,
surface pro dock teardown
,
surfacre dock teardown