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Creative Professional Software Experiences?


New Member
I just recently got my SB i7, 512, 16gb, dGPU, and now I have installed all of my software. I am an film editor and colorist. I don't expect tip top performance, but I would expect decent performance. I would love to use this thread to post about experiences from users running Pro apps like Adobe Creative Suite, Davinci Resolve, Avid, Fusion, etc.

This is NOT my primary editing machine, but I was hoping to have a windows computer for light edits. I have a fully loaded 15 inch MacBook Pro. And just put my SP3 and a 2015 Retina MacBook up for sale. I have edited on all of these machines successfully with the exception of the SP3. I was hoping the SB could be my windows solution, and ultraportable, replacing the other two.

My experience thus far has been a bit perplexing.I will start with video editing. For a baseline, I have some 4k clips from a GoPro and a Sony RX100IV, and they both play back just fine, and are snappy in built in player. So the computer can play the files just fine and at high resolution.

In adobe premiere the playback is stuttered, and that's with the viewer set to 1/4 resolution. I confirmed that the app is using the dedicated GPU. I can't seem to get smooth playback. Particularly the beginning of the clips, when I start the playback. On longer clips, once it starts playing, it eventually reaches real time playback.

In Davinci Resolve, the situation isn't better. This is a high end program and demands, a lot of system resources. I didn't even attempt to playback the clips without creating proxies. You can create low resolution files that the program can use instead of the complex and high res H264s. Even after waiting two hours for the proxies to be completed, I still cant get real time smooth playback. What seems to happen is the same stuttering at the beginning of playing the clip and then eventually reaches real time.

My experiences in photoshop is far better. Not much to comment here, its fast, and it feels as fast as my big MacBook Pro.

And please I know its a 13inch ultraportable, but I think we should expect more from the SB. My little MacBook Retina (NOT the pro) performs as well and it's a Core M with integrated GPU. But regardless I love this computer, it genuinely makes me excited to use it in my work, I was just hoping for some better performance. All my tests were performed with the unit plugged in.

Are there any other creative professionals that are using the SB? What have been your experiences?
I have found the performance in Fusion360 to not be great with respect to the GPU. Likewise any browser app that uses WebGL is laggy. I was hoping for an amazing upgrade from my Samsung Ativ laptop and frankly I'm disappointed. The performance is actually way worse and the exact opposite of what I would expect from this expensive GPU in the Surface Book. So, I give Microsoft a 0 out of 4 stars rating on this one. I think the media needs to stop hyping this laptop and tell the real story about how not impressive it is. I'm likely going to return it and move onto something else unless I can somehow get this GPU issue fixed.


New Member
yeah, I think its a solid basic productivity tool, but I don't see the huge increase of performance over my surface 3 in real world workflows, maybe the gaming guys do. I do have to contrast this with the performance that apple seems to squeak out of it's laptops and software.

I have been able to improve my performance in Davinci Resolve, by turning down the timeline quality to HD from 4k and using proxies. This still stands in contrast to my little MacBook Retina which could do a 4k proxy workflow flow, let alone my MacBook Pro (not a fair comparison).

I do enjoy using the SB though, I have gotten a few BSOD's but overall, its worked fine for pretty much my non intensive computing, but honestly so did my SP3. More exploration to come, I am going to try and edit a full project on it from start to finish.


Not using anything close to the level you are but I do use Lightroom quite a bit.

Just as a hobby and my experience has not been great. I owned a MB Pro only because of Lightroom. Speeed was not that much of an issue on Windows laptops but no one made a decent thin laptop that had good battery life when pushed. Mac and Windows machines both would last 8 hours doing light work.

Generate previews in Lightroom and the Windows PC was dead in 40 minutes compared to 2 hours for the Mac.

That is really what I was hoping the SB would address.

I've found performance to be decent. I'm working with 50mp images and it was not bad, for sure better than my old i7 MB Pro but I do have the GPU and GPU acceleration turned on. My MB Pro was Intel graphics only.

The bad side is I tell it to build full res previews for a series of 50 shots and never get past 5 before it crashes. Not sure if its heat related or not. Thankfully this is not a big deal for me since I do all the heavy work on my desktop once we return home.


Active Member
Not sure if its heat related or not.

SHOULDN'T be. I've run back to back transcodes on handbrake, and after 2 hours in a 72 degree room the temps never got higher than 86c. The 6600u is rated to 100c. If I put my little USB desk fan behind it, aimed at the clipboard, it brings the temps down about 10c [handy pro tip there for the temp conscious]

You can always download a free program like core temp, real temp, or hwmonitor to keep tabs, however.