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hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
I won't tolerate bugs to be honest...if there are hiccups within the first week or two it will be going back to MS. I'm starting a new position and the last thing I will need is an unreliable machine.

If anyone cares to argue for just going with the SP4, I'm all ears.
Based on your first statement, then the SP4 is out as well. If you cannot tolerate bugs, then stay away from microsoft. As brilliant as i find the surface line, and have 3 of them, it would be a lie if i said they were not riddled with bugs (some people are lucky, others are not). Most are very minor, but some can prove very disruptive.

Regarding bugs though, a large number of them are because of windows 10, so you will be hard pressed to find any windows 10 device that is bug free. I've recently encountered BSOD's simply trying to snap 2 programs side by side.
 
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rmgatl

New Member
Great comments and advice. I've looked at Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad X1 as an alternative - you have to get a certain version to get full pen functionality (second button for erase) but it looks ok.

I have played with both the Book and SP4 but will do it again.

I could be optimistic and assume the Book is a fast moving situation i.e. even month or two could be a lot different. By May we might be lucky with better releases. Like someone said, I can send it back.
 
If you do not want bugs - stay away of new Dell XPS 15 too. In our company we were in similar situation as you are in the end of the last year - got some money for new rigs. A colleague originally selected MS Surface Book, after couple problems exchanged it for new Dell XPS 15 - and he is pissed even more - their service sucks, next business day repair usually doesn't work, service center is in some 4th world country with personnel without knowledge which often hangs off after hours waiting ... And he has problems with returning money ...

My Surface Book after initial problems works OK since mid-December. I use it daily for hard tasks - big Excel tables, AutoCAD Civil 3D, groundwater modelling software ...
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
What are your coworkers using? Not that you should follow what the do but your choice reflects on your decision making abilities.
 
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rmgatl

New Member
What are your coworkers using? Not that you should follow what the do but your choice reflects on your decision making abilities.
University professors - machine choices are all over the map but I understand one person has been using the SB and likes it. IT group won't support Mac OS but lots of folks buy Macs anyway. I don't think anyone cares so long as you have the budget.
 

Cimmerian

Member
You mentioned Fruity Loops earlier, I bought the 1Tb Surface Book for the sole reason of being able to put all of my music plugins (500gb+) on it and have had nothing but good experiences when making music. When making music on my desktop even with a SSD I had to wait for a good 5 minutes before all of my plugins would load properly and play on time, but with the Surface Book everything is ready to go as soon as I open my DAW. Of course I use Ableton not FL Studio but I'm sure the performance in FL would be just as good. Don't know if you have already decided what to buy but I thought I would just throw my 2 cents in, and to be honest with you I have had almost no technical problems with my SB. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe people are even talking about the same device with all the bugs and bad experiences they've had. Like you said before you can always return it if you end up having some problems but I think you'll find it's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. It's basically replaced every device I've used in the past aside from my phone. I use it at work (working with spreadsheets and programming), I use it at school (great for taking notes with the pen), I use it for making music, and I use it at home for games and entertainment. I also have a dock at work which has been great, very easy for me to just plug in and get working. When I have a question at school or work being able to just pop the screen off and take it with me to a co-worker or teacher has been awesome. If I had a $5k budget I'd go all out, get the 1tb model and a dock. I have absolutely no regrets buying mine regardless of how much I had to pay out of my pocket for it. At the end of the day whatever you choose to buy I hope it works out for you!
 
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rmgatl

New Member
Thanks, great to hear this! My sense is W10 has been at the root of many of the problems but there seems to have been some releases (both OS and firmware) in the last 3-4 months that have made a huge positive impact. I mentioned low tolerance for bugs but the truth is I get a BSOD with my W7 laptop about 2-3 times/week (some kind of USB driver/firmware bug that MS support could not figure out) so maybe not so sensitive. I replaced the HD with an SSD and it made all the difference. Rebooting from a crash isn't really horrible.
I think I'm going for the SB...nobody mentioned particular configurations being problematic so I guess I'll go higher end like you suggest.
 

Cimmerian

Member
The Core i7 gets pretty hot but doesn't throttle, it can be scary to see temps get up that high but it's not actually an issue. I get no where near 12 hours of battery life, I get 5 at the most. But I'm a power user, always running 4 or 5 programs, no battery saver, screen brightness all the way up. I imagine the battery life is better on the i5 but I'm not certain of that and I would personally take the extra power of the i7. 16gb of ram has been good, I could use more, but it's pretty good, definitely couldn't do 8gb. I need the 1tb drive but if you don't at all feel you can fill that up you could go with 500gb, but then again if your budget permits it I see no reason not to go all out unless you are wanting to show mercy on your employer haha. If you get either of the top tier models I would definitely suggest getting the extra warranty, I'd be too scared owning something this expensive that I take with me everywhere without it.
 
My i7 Surface Book is way colder than previous Surface Pro 3 i7.
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For your work I would recommend same model as I have - i7, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SDD with dedicated graphic card. You can go with less or more space on SDD - 256 or 1024 GB. 32 GB RAM would be fantastic, but there is no such a machine.
 

JaeMelo

Member
The Core i7 gets pretty hot but doesn't throttle, it can be scary to see temps get up that high but it's not actually an issue. I get no where near 12 hours of battery life, I get 5 at the most. But I'm a power user, always running 4 or 5 programs, no battery saver, screen brightness all the way up. I imagine the battery life is better on the i5 but I'm not certain of that and I would personally take the extra power of the i7. 16gb of ram has been good, I could use more, but it's pretty good, definitely couldn't do 8gb. I need the 1tb drive but if you don't at all feel you can fill that up you could go with 500gb, but then again if your budget permits it I see no reason not to go all out unless you are wanting to show mercy on your employer haha. If you get either of the top tier models I would definitely suggest getting the extra warranty, I'd be too scared owning something this expensive that I take with me everywhere without it.
The i7 actually does throttle. Open up your task manager and pay attention to the clock rate after a session of consistent heavy use and also after a cold boot when the unit has been off for quiet awhile. You'll see the difference almost immediately; its clear as daylight. In 1 scenario the cpu frequency will hit the absolute limit specified by intel while in the other it will constantly hit a wall. A cold unit that hasn't been taxed under heavy use will initially clock right up to 3.4Ghz peak frequency, assuming you are in Balanced/Performance Mode and haven't hit the low voltage induced throttling; while the unit that is heat soaked with the fans running will peak out anywhere between the 3.2 - 2.8Ghz range.

In regards to battery life on my i7/16GB/512SSD/dGPU hangs around the 10-12hour mark sometimes even more if I stay away from the games and use the correct settings. If you often put your laptop in the "High Performance" Plan in Power Options. Try using "Balanced" instead. That's assuming you've done the registry tweak. The High Performance mode is flawed hence why it was removed in the first place. You will achieve the exact same peak clockrates in balanced as in high performance mode, except they will be achieved when it is deemed necessary. (cpu being taxed.) Unlike in high performance mode those clock rates are at/near their peak rates constantly, even when its absolutely not necessary(idle). This not only drains the battery faster but heats up the core quicker and makes hitting the throttled clock ceiling occur even sooner.
 
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Cimmerian

Member
The i7 actually does throttle. Open up your task manager and pay attention to the clock rate after a session of consistent heavy use and also after a cold boot when the unit has been off for quiet awhile. You'll see the difference almost immediately; its clear as daylight. In 1 scenario the cpu frequency will hit the absolute limit specified by intel while in the other it will constantly hit a wall. A cold unit that hasn't been taxed under heavy use will initially clock right up to 3.4Ghz peak frequency, assuming you are in Balanced/Performance Mode and haven't hit the low voltage induced throttling; while the unit that is heat soaked with the fans running will peak out anywhere between the 3.2 - 2.8Ghz range.

In regards to battery life on my i7/16GB/512SSD/dGPU hangs around the 10-12hour mark sometimes even more if I stay away from the games and use the correct settings. If you often put your laptop in the "High Performance" Plan in Power Options. Try using "Balanced" instead. That's assuming you've done the registry tweak. The High Performance mode is flawed hence why it was removed in the first place. You will achieve the exact same peak clockrates in balanced as in high performance mode, except they will be achieved when it is deemed necessary. (cpu being taxed.) Unlike in high performance mode those clock rates are at/near their peak rates constantly, even when its absolutely not necessary(idle). This not only drains the battery faster but heats up the core quicker and makes hitting the throttled clock ceiling occur even sooner.
You're right, it seems that RealTemp was giving me inaccurate information, just went and got CPU-z and did a stress test and there is throttling. But with the battery ordeal I do have my settings set to balanced but I haven't done anything in regedit. There's some voodoo magic I can work on my registry files to double my battery life? You're saying you get 12ish hours of screen on time?
 

JaeMelo

Member
^Hehe no voodoo here. I am not sure if a solution for improving your battery life lies in your registry; however here's what gets the job done for myself:

In Power Options set the Power Plan from "Balanced" to "Power Saver"
Left Click on the battery icon on the taskbar and select "Battery Saver"
Keyboard brightness is almost always turned off thanks to the keys being silver, unless of course it is dark.
Set backlight brightness with the (FN+Del) or (FN+Backspace) and set it 3 clicks down from the brightest setting..


Doing this with moderate consumption of youtube media or listening to music aside from my daily tasks will grant me around that 10-12hr mark. Dropping the brightness even lower near the halfway mark and avoiding youtube will push it past 12hours, but at that point the machine is barely usable and becomes an inconvenience.

Id like to throw it out there that this laptop is about 2weeks old now so the battery could possibly be in a tad bit better shape than yours if you are perhaps an early adopter?!(less charge/discharge cycles) Almost all my phones and laptops in the past have shown a noticeable deteoriation in batterylife/uptime at some point, some succumbing to the issue much earlier than others. The first device that came to mind regarding this issue was my old Dell Adamo 13. The battery life was about 5 hours the first few weeks of owning it iirc... Eventually it could barely hold to the 3hour mark.

If the above in italics doesn't work for you perhaps your machine could be exhibiting some wear on the batteries already?! Just a thought.

Sorry OP for taking your thread off topic..
 
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