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Is the USB system on the Surface Book 2 heavily restricted?

ByteSlinger

New Member
I bought a top end (i7 16GB RAM, 1TB 15", GTX 1060) Surface Book 2, primarily to use for work.

This involves some basic video editing when on location, but primarily is for backing up loads of camera memory cards at the end of a days shooting. This can involve several TB of footage spread over a number of cards, all of which needs backing up to two separate drives.

I've found the SB2 seems to be VERY slow for doing anything with USB, especially if you have more than one device connected. Now I'm used to doing these exact same tasks both on a old 2013 mac book pro, as well as several windows setups, but the SB2 does seem exceptionally slow.

I bought the official dock in the hope that having powered USB3 ports that run into a separate port on the keyboard may mean that they aren't all shoved through the same bus but if anything, that £140 lump just made things worse!

Are all the ports limited in total speed and ability as they are all fed through the limited ports available on the keyboard -> screen connectors?
 

MickeyLittle

Active Member
I believe the SB 2 has 2 USB 3.1 ports so make sure you get a 3.1 USB and not a regular 3.0 USB as that will make a world of difference on its own. Also are you sure your camera cards are not the bottleneck? Probably a dumb questions but had to ask.
 
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ByteSlinger

New Member
I'm fairly sure all my cables and perhiberals are all 3.1 compliant.
Currently I've got the following connected:
- 1x USB C external drive
- 1x USB 3 External drive
- 2x USB3 card readers
- Files from both cards are being copied to both drives via a copy management system.

Now the copy management system (Shotput pro) does take longer than a standard drag and drop as it does a hash checksum to verify the files have copied, but I've used this same software on all my previous setups and never have I experienced such poor performance.
 
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ByteSlinger

New Member
Do you know if the USB C port on the SB2 is 3.1 or 3.2?
If it is 3.2 then that may solve my problems by getting a 3.2 hub for that port, but then again, if all the ports regardless the source are all being bottle necked somewhere, it's kind of irrelevant.

Scratch that, a quick google showed me it's 3.1.

Interestingly, I did just move my card reader from the USB hub to one of the direct ports on the laptop and it was running multiple times faster! This doesn't explain previously however where I've been getting slow speeds even before I bought the hub.
 

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
@ByteSlinger ,

I render videos from my Surface Book 2 to USB 2 and 3.1 hard drives with no problems - unless the transfer involves changing files on a OneDrive synced folder. As a habit, I suspend (pause) OneDrive when rendering or editing/saving as I go.

You may have had OneDrive causing your slowness, or perhaps you were missing a drive you now have installed/configured properly.
 
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ByteSlinger

New Member
@ByteSlinger ,

I render videos from my Surface Book 2 to USB 2 and 3.1 hard drives with no problems - unless the transfer involves changing files on a OneDrive synced folder. As a habit, I suspend (pause) OneDrive when rendering or editing/saving as I go.

You may have had OneDrive causing your slowness, or perhaps you were missing a drive you now have installed/configured properly.
Rendering isn't that fast so shouldn't ever really have that issues it's taking time to produce each frame before writing it to your destination. A straight copy should be significantly faster but I'm not hitting anywhere near those speeds
 

MickeyLittle

Active Member
I'm not sure what the speed of the built in card reader is but what you might consider trying is a USB 3.1 Card Reader. The only issue is I did a quick search and could only find it in Type C so that would cost you an external hard drive.

upload_2019-5-13_4-27-20.png
 
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ByteSlinger

New Member
I'm not sure what the speed of the built in card reader is but what you might consider trying is a USB 3.1 Card Reader. The only issue is I did a quick search and could only find it in Type C so that would cost you an external hard drive.

View attachment 9231
Thanks, though these aren't standard card readers for standard cards. They take professional cards such as Sony SXS+ cards, DJI CINESSD cards, Canon C-Fast cards, and RED Mags.
They are all at least USB 3.1 already.
 

MickeyLittle

Active Member
Good deal. Well you have exhausted my limited ideas. Hopefully someone else will be of more help as I know the SB2 is a great device and hopefully will meet your needs. Regardless please post back as to the outcome as I'm interested in how this works out for you sir.
 
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ByteSlinger

New Member
Good deal. Well you have exhausted my limited ideas. Hopefully someone else will be of more help as I know the SB2 is a great device and hopefully will meet your needs. Regardless please post back as to the outcome as I'm interested in how this works out for you sir.
I appreciate the help, thanks anyway. I'll definitely let you know if I get any further in my investigation.
 

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