Can the Surface Book 2 13'' replace my desktop PC?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Tourniquet, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hey currently my primary PC is a Dell XPS 8100 with an Intel Core i7-870, 16GB RAM, Radeon HD 5750 4GB.

    I use it mostly with some VMs running, Visual Studio, Photoshop, heavy multitasking, etc. .... sometimes dolphin for games.

    I would like to replace my PC with the Surface Book 2, 13'', i7 16GB, but I'm not sure if the SB2 can sustain the performance over long periods of time since the CPU doesn't have a fan. I would also like to use it for mixed reality later on.

    Looking at the benchmarks the SB2 def. looks more powerfull (https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/compare/4835457?baseline=4831956).

    I'm often on the go and it would be great to have a mobile workstation.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

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    @Tourniquet it will replace your PC as long as you don't care about upgradeability and other business features. Decent machine otherwise.
     
  3. Tourniquet

    Tourniquet Scribbler - Standard Member

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    What I really care about is:
    - that it at least performs the same as my current desktop -> highly important
    - that it can last for at least around 7 years

    If that is the case it would def. be the right machine for me. I used a SP3 i5, 4GB before but that was never close in terms of performance to my main machine. But I already have the Surface Dock set up etc, so the Book would fit in perfectly here.
     
  4. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

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    @Tourniquet it will be obsolete by that time, given the latest trend of increasing number of cores & their efficiency. Also, being consumer machine, it simply won't last that long unless babied - and even then, Surfaces are not made to last that long. Bottom line, Surface Book will perform faster than your desktop, but you need to review your expectations of its longevity.
     
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  5. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    It will perforn better than your PC as long as the task arent continuous and long at high load. Photoshop use usually isn't, but a long video transcoding definitely will be.

    Benches and tests have shown that these quad core 15W i7s will throttle after several minutes at load. So while on artificial benchmarks like Geekbench and Passmark it scores very well, a 8550u simply wont perform like 6700 or 7700hq on those sustained load tasks.

    So just make sure that your usage scenario dont have those kinds of tasks. If they do fall into those, I would suggest saving yourself gobs of money and get a Lenovo Yoga 720 15.6". $1500 gets you 7700hq i7, 16GB RAM (plus another free slot for up to 32GB of RAM) GTX 1050 and 1TB of PCIe SSD.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  6. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I second Shog's recommendation. If you really need a laptop that will last you seven years, you're going to want something that's user serviceable (drives are bound to fail) and nothing in the Surface line falls into that category.
     
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  7. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    No way it’s gonna last 7 years.....3-4 it could....but not 7. Even if it can still perform adequately, the battery and SSD would probably be long shot by then. And even if you get a modual/user replaceable laptop....which today is already a rare thing....there is no garantee you’ll even be able to get parts 4-7 years from now. The whole portable device market encompassing laptops and tablet PCs has shifted greatly away from user repairable to user disposable.

    What exactly do you intend on using the Book 2 for? Art creation, Coding, Video Editing, Web Surfing, Social Media, etc?

    Given how old your desktop is with an i7-870....you would probably need to buy a new mother board and rebuy the ram. But in all honestly you could upgrade your desktop , or even build a really powerful new desktop...that could last for 5-7 years...and get a decent enough performing Tablet PC for mobile usage for the same price you would plunk down for the High End Book 2.

    You’ve mentioned you have previously used the i5/4GB Pro 3.....The performance from 7th/8th gen cores is substantial over the old 4th gen Haswell cores in the Pro 3 line. Graphics Power aside....the 8th gen 15w Quad Core in the Book 2 isn’t going to lap the 7th gen 15w dual Cores in the current Surface Pro line. The CPU performance you would get from the Book 2 would be way closer in performance to the current Surface Pro then a Desktop rig.
     
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  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I definitely prefer the idea of having a rock-solid studio machine (with a big Cintiq or similar drawing board), and a secondary backpack machine for on-the-go stuff. For my needs, having a fixed desk setup with a giant work surface is a significant benefit I wouldn't want to go without.

    And setting the relative horse power costs aside, in terms of security a portable machine is always going to have an increased liability. Can you afford to have your entire work flow trashed after dropping your portable in a parking lot or having somebody spill their coffee on it?

    Wacom was smart in their 'companion' line approach.

    With two machines, you can always rely on a desk-installed power house while at the same time you can stay nimble when you're on the road.
     
  9. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    This is an interesting talking point...because if you're like me and steadfastly refuse to "go cloud", what you're saying absolutely makes sense.

    However, I think most everyone (it seems? :confused:) has no problem syncing everything to MS/Adobe/DropBox 100% all-of-the time. Theoretically speaking, this would reduce your down-time to less than even if you had a desktop-laptop combo, as your application preferences, OS settings, and now, even in-progress work sessions are immediately backed up and synced:



    You can imagine a (very near) future, where all you'd have to do--literally--is go out and buy another machine and you're back business as fast as your credit card gets swiped (or
    "Apple-paid" as it were :p).

    And for 95% of users, relative horsepower has now seriously become a non-issue with the new crop of quad-core, dgpu-enabled tablets coming to market. So I think actually, we may just be dinosaurs, clinging to our old-fashioned setups... :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  10. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Don't forget the possibility of it being stolen. Alot of times when I have a free day....one thing I usually do is go to my local Starbucks/Barnes&NoblesCafe/CoffeeHouse.....usually I bring my MSP13, and get 1-2 hours of solid uninterrupted artwork done. And then afterwards I would go to my gym right from the coffee shop for a nice lengthy workout. Sometimes I leave the MSP13 in my car's trunk.......but on some days.....like the 90-100+.F degree summer days......or the 10.F and under degree cold winter days......I always feel uncomfortable leaving my MSP13 in the trunk since general use computers and extreme temperatures don't exactly mix. So sometimes I bring my backpack/MSP 13 in with me and lock it in my gym locker. Now.....nothing from me was ever stolen....and my gym is really safe in that regards....cameras everywhere and locker theft is almost non existent from what I can tell. (benefit of going to the most expensive gym chain in my state). However 2 years ago they opened a LA Fitness not even a mile from my GYM......like as far as price and features (Pool/Hot-tub, etc).....its like the #2 quality gym right under mine. They have horrendous locker theft.......a few people even switched to my gym because the problem at LA Fitness was just so bad......like as many as 10 lockers a day were getting broken into.......a nearby Retro Fitness has a similar problem as well. Even though I'm fairly confident I"m safe at my gym......hearing about the rampant theft at those other gyms......definitely makes me pause everytime I consider locking my MSP13 in my gym locker now.

    And don't even get me started on the naive coffee house laptop users......who literally leave their laptop on a table alone.....for periods of 5-10+ minutes while they go the bathroom, browse for a book, or go outside for a smoke break. Like I feel uneasy enough leaving my MSP13 on a table while I wait in line for coffee and my table is slightly obscured from my vision. But it amazes me just how many people obliviously leave a $1000+ device alone in a public setting for an extended period of time. I guess everyone just thinks it could never happen to them.......until it does.
     
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