Last gen 7820HQ i7 in a late 2018 $5000 all in one? What the F are you doing Microsoft? Seriously!

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by Shogmaster, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I don't think mobile parts belong in a desktop workstation to begin with, to be quite frank. The reason you use a desktop in this day and age is because you want power, more than even the beefiest of laptops can hope to muster. That goes for CPUs and GPUs alike. Otherwise, why stick to one space if a laptop/tablet is good enough?

    Then again, I was never a fan of iMacs and other all-in-one desktop systems with no expandability to speak of, particularly because Thunderbolt 3.0 is a very recent thing, external PCIe docks are still very expensive (and limited to the PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth that TB 3.0 provides), and on top of all that, external GPUs don't help with built-in displays all that much.
     
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  2. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks for that, very reassuring for a Mac user building his first DIY PC desktop!
     
  3. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    Or because I want a larger and better display to work on.
    I don't need something more powerful than my Surface Book 2 to do my job. Why should I care for a desktop grade machine?
    There's plenty of colleagues out there who work with an iMac that's five years old and don't feel any urge to get a new machine.
    Damn, I could buy one of these and probably be fine for the next 10 years when it comes to my job if the machine doesn't die.
    We buy something more powerful because we want something more powerful, not because we need it.
    I could still be using my fist gen Cintiq Companion and be fine with it today. If I changed it's only because I wanted the next shiny new thing.
     
  4. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    If you pick the right parts, even that new desktop might make for a surprisingly good Mac. That's what some macOS fans have done in the wake of Apple not providing any good expandable desktop Macs for the past six years!

    Larger and better displays generally work with laptops and tablets, too, and if you get a standalone monitor, you don't have to change out the entire computer attached to it if you don't feel the need to do so. Too bad Target Display Mode hasn't been a thing on iMacs for several years.

    If your Surface Book 2 does everything you need to, that's fine. Most people use computers for rather casual purposes, and simple things like making Office documents doesn't require that much processing power. (Web browsing shouldn't either, but the Internet is getting increasingly bloated to the point that anything pre-Core 2 era is in for a world of hurt, especially PowerPC Macs.) These sort of things benefit far more from having a portable machine that can still use external monitors, keyboards and mice than a powerful one.

    But as for me? I'm a dyed-in-the-wool PC enthusiast for about as long as I've been breathing, one for whom even this i7-4770K overclocked to 4.6 GHz and GTX 980 can feel a bit weak sometimes, mostly when I've got the Oculus Rift on my face (where VR is far more demanding in terms of system performance than "flat"/monitor gaming). You can understand how going from that to Intel graphics on the go leaves a lot to be desired.

    The only reason I'm not rocking some kind of i9 or Threadripper monstrosity with an RTX 2080 Ti is simply that I can't afford it. That graphics card alone is $1,200 - enough to buy a used car. But if you want as much performance as possible out of one GPU (because most games these days, especially VR ones, do not benefit from multi-GPU setups at all), there is no alternative until the next generation of GPUs. Oh, and proper workstation Quadro/Tesla cards make even that one look cheap, too, because then we'd be getting into $3,000 and up territory.

    Still, just buying a new graphics card every few years is much cheaper than buying a whole new computer. Said i7-4770K build is still plenty competent enough for anything that doesn't really need more than 4C/8T (and most of my workloads don't), but it's pathetically easy to push a GPU to its limits just by ramping up render resolution and targeting framerates above 60 FPS. I've observed even with the old Core 2 Quad Q6600 build next to me that performance improved markedly just by replacing the 8800 GT I originally built it with (a near top-of-the-line card in its day) with a GTX 480, released a few years after the Q6600 itself was.

    That's why I consider being able to stay current with GPUs with little fuss that important for a desktop. It keeps them viable for that much longer.
     
  5. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    You don't look at a surface studio with the eyes of someone who needs to use it in its intended purpose: pen in hand producing things.
    I don't have a purpose for a display that doesn't let me draw on it, so there's really only two options if I were ever going to get rid of the Surface Book in favor of something that stays on my desk: a Surface Studio (which sadly comes too expensive in Europe) or a Cintiq Pro 24 (which sadly comes from Wacom).
    A photo retoucher, a graphic artist or an illustrator like me, even an architect doesn't need the sheer amount of power you're expecting from a computer.
    We just need something that can make the job done.
    If a computer with the power of a Surface Studio 2 can, and can make your work easier or more enjoyable than it's worth the investment. It will repay itself in a couple years.
    The rest is something that interest other kind of creatives that need other kind of machines.
     
  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thought about that - whenever a Windows update comes through that actually stops me creating any art like the ironically named "Creator's Update..."
     
  7. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    My dream Studio:

    -Wacom EMR (Microsoft lolz)
    -Desktop i9 or Threadripper equivalent
    -RTX 2080ti
    -64 gigs RAM
    -2TB SSD
    -Modular base for user upgrades
    -Same screen size dimensions and beauty. (they got that part right)

    nevermind I just described a small form factor PC with Cintiq 24 pro.
     
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  8. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I look at it as a very expensive all-in-one that has to compete with the Cintiq (or other non-Wacom penabled monitor) + desktop or laptop combo. Which approach offers more value for my money? stoneseeker's post right above me should give a pretty strong hint...

    I'd normally even propose connecting the Cintiq to a Tablet PC like my Fujitsu T902, which would facilitate being able to just disconnect the laptop/tablet from the monitor and work on the same files on the go, but there's a quirk whether either the Cintiq pen digitizer or the T902's built-in digitizer works, not both; perhaps it's a driver conflict between "consumer/Tablet PC" and "professional" Wacom drivers that only gets switched on reboot. It doesn't help that the T902 is very specific about which driver works correctly on it (7.2.0-10, in my experience). I'd test it with my Surface Pro as well, but I can't currently do that without a miniDisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter.

    Were it not for that problem, then I'd think that just connecting an external penabled monitor to a laptop/tablet would suffice just fine for light usage, with said external monitor's main purpose being that you now have a much larger space to draw on, while still retaining the laptop/tablet's own display for image references, touch controls, or any other dual-monitor usage you can think of. As a bonus, when you have to take that laptop/tablet on the go with you, you can continue whatever you were working on with the built-in penabled display.

    I do, however, admit that I view computer usage through the very hardware-intensive lens of game development. Cutting-edge "tech demo" sorta games like Crysis and Star Citizen don't get produced on obsolete GPUs, after all, and game development encompasses a wide range of disciplines from sketching up concept art (which is why I'd want a penabled monitor in the first place) to modeling and texturing 3D assets (texturing also being one of those things that benefits from a Cintiq) to editing video cutscenes and trailers to programming all the actual game behavior in the engine of choice, if not outright writing your own game engine. Besides, you can't effectively code for CPU instruction sets or GPU features like hardware ray-tracing that you physically don't have.

    It's not like a gaming computer can't be a creative one, either. They're borderline workstations as it is, not like decades past when you needed some kind of specialized, expensive NeXT, Sun or SGI workstation running a UNIX derivative for the real heavy lifting. All it takes is the addition of a Cintiq or similar monitor that you can put a pressure-sensitive pen on while providing good color accuracy and perhaps a wider gamut, and that's exactly what the Surface Studio has to go up against here. The most you might have to deal with is a separate box and a few cables linking that box to the monitor.

    Is paying extra to not have a separate desktop case and monitor worth it to you, as the sort of person who mostly needs a monitor that can be drawn on?
     
  9. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    If I were in the USA and I were to buy a Cintiq 24 touch + ergo stand + a decent desktop, I wouldn't pay extra if I'd get a $3500 Surface Studio 2 instead.
    Would it be worth it for me? Probably, considering my awful experience with the Cintiq 27 Touch.

    In Europe it's another matter because Microsoft went greedy and the Surface Studio line costs far more compared to the USA, so a baseline Surface Studio 2 would cost more than said Cintiq Pro 24 + desktop combo (which costs at least €4100)
     
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