Surface Book Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by DRTigerlilly, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    As Lisa pointed out in one of her recent videos, the GPU harmony is still a little gimpy...
     
  2. kruzilla

    kruzilla Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Ah. Good to know. I'd forgotten to check out Lisa's review (a thousand apologies!) Gonna watch it now.
     
  3. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Ok - here comes rant nut again - but how on gods green earth do you trumpet the superiority of the SB dGPU and then deliver it gimped with non-optimized NVidia drivers?

    I'm sorry - not stalking just to b;/$& - really - but I'm just really worried about the reception for what should be a groundbreaking device falling so flat. IT is still trying to get my sons working a week later.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  4. Mr. Boosh

    Mr. Boosh Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    And I'm definitely not sorry to say that this device is not groundbreaking. Depends which aspect of it you consider groundbreaking though.
     
  5. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Weird. The image is showing up for me. But, you're spot on: it's 1057MB/s. :eek:

    Definitely unfair comparison, I concede that. But, if this is even remotely possible on these Surface Books, I think that is telling.

    The quality control issue: we won't know for sure until we know what NAND chips are being used on the PM951. However, it would be absolutely suicidal if they kept using the PM851's/840/840 EVO 19nm TLC NAND. It's very likely they've moved to the 40nm TLC V-NAND used on the 850 EVO drives. On Samsung's word, these V-NAND drives shouldn't have the issue and, actually, I trust them on that. From Anandtech's update:

    But, what if another QC issue pops up like this? The "trust" has been broken and I'm a little afraid to give it so readily back to them...what assurances were made that the "system" that created this QC failure have been fixed so that this doesn't happen again?

    What makes me less likely to trust them is that they never released a patch for the 840 and only released a beta patch for the PM851. The beta patch for the PM851 is just a band-aid (it looks like it is based on the original 840 EVO patch); the issue reappears after a short time! :( Only the 840 EVO was properly patched, but it also reduced the lifespan of the drive by 26% because it had to keep re-writing old data so that it wouldn't slow down.

    Again, Samsung & Anandtech agree: the newer TLC V-NAND shouldn't have this issue. But, it's a lot of trust lost.

    In real-life work that you mention, it should be minimal. You'll be losing, at most two to three hours of time (waiting for files to copy) over the lifespan of a few years of using the device. But, it's not really "losing" = does anyone just sit at a file-copy window and do nothing else?

    The exceptions are if you routinely copy lots of files (or even a few large files, in the GBs range). Then, it will just be annoying.

    My USB 2.0 example is a good analogy, I think: would your life be really different if the Surface Book had USB 2.0 ports? Probably not (unless you copy lots of files). It just rubs me the wrong way that they would put that on a premium 2015 laptop.

    The separate issue is that it's Samsung NAND. That shouldn't be an issue, but that depends on how much trust you give Samsung. I am a Samsung 840 EVO owner and I just don't like the way they responded to the issue. It's almost more of an ethical issue, because with any company, quality control failures will slip through.

    The response is most telling. And, in my view, Samsung failed on that part.

    So, maybe that's my final conclusion here: it's a weak part for 2015 in terms of raw performance, but it shouldn't impact real-world usage (unless you copy lots of files) and it's made by a company who, after having a massive QC failure with a similar part, only responded partially after months of user complaints and still sells the unpatched drives. Yes, you can still buy the Samsung 840.

    --

    For those of you wanting more detail about the old bug, it actually was really annoying. If you didn't touch some files on your Samsung drives for a while, they would take forever to open. Example, booting up Windows: if you didn't turn on your PC for a while, that first boot up when you got back would take ages (minutes upon minutes). And it wouldn't fix itself: you had to "warm up" the drive for a few days of usage before it got even somewhat back to normal. To see a Surface Pro owner suffering:

    From this reddit thread.:vboops:

    The original thread at OCN, over 3000+ replies.

    I don't like trusting a company that, 1) still sells SSDs with this problem and will not release a patch for them and 2) never acknowledged the issue on their 840 drives.

    -----

    EDIT:

    I thought you were joking. o_O
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  6. czm2000

    czm2000 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I'm bored. That is all.
     
  7. alextrela182

    alextrela182 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The speed quality of the SSD not only matters for copy or moving big amount of files from one place to another but it matters a lot in video/image processing/rendering/booting Windows/extracting file.

    And yes those of you are artist/photographers/engineers or doing any kind of photo/video/files processing with any kind of program for that propose you want as much level of performance especially in write section of the SSD.(mb/s)

    That's why number of Samsung SSD unit with 150/300 mb/s of 128/256 SSD is deal breaker,especially for that high premium and value machine today.

    When you spend 1300-1500$€ I'm expecting the maximum of the speed and quality in any kind components under the hood.


    Sent from my iPad Air 2
     
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  8. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Me, too. I'm waiting for Anandtech's SB review to settle this SSD nonsense, the big November update dropping for Windows 10, and the next firmware update for the SB to fix battery life issues, Windows Hello drain, and all the NVIDIA detach bugs.

    Where do you guys go for your Surface news? I check reddit, this thread, and Windows Central's forums (in that order). I'm starting to check the Microsoft Answers forums, but it's hard to navigate and it's overflowing with threads (I think it's an issue of too many people).

    I'm hoping, come Black Friday time (with Microsoft's expected $50 off "sale"), we'll have lots of stock of stable Surface Books and at least we'll know how to snag a Toshiba XG3 drive (or least settle for the moderate performance of the 512GB Samsung).

    Exactly. I think Lisa put it well on the Yoga 900 review (stellar, BTW--I finally subscribed to your channel): for a $1400 laptop, the Yoga 900's screen isn't great. And if you're paying that much, you kind of want a nice screen. Same with the SSD on the Surface Book.

    --

    Actually, I will be pretty surprised if Microsoft gives any sort of official response. There is no "saving grace" here, especially for 128GB owners (where a USB 3.0 port would be more than enough to max out the sequential writes, much less PCIe). The return period will end on Monday for some launch-day devices (2 weeks). You can't easily open up the SB to replace the drive. Microsoft is unlikely going to be making a massive "switch" to the Toshiba drives and, if they were, would they really be willing to switch out old drives?

    And, I think in the corporate world, unless you have the solution to a problem, it's better to not acknowledge it at all.

    The same happened with the SP, SP2, and SP3's SSD (with the PM851--they all released so quickly that they all use the same SSD, apparently, haha--and its stale data issues).

    The only real solution is somehow figuring out how to get the Toshiba XG3 drives (barring anything crazy wrong with them, but early reviews didn't seem to mention that and most early review units had the Toshiba).

    I doubt it'll be easy: Microsoft likely dual-sources a number of parts in these laptops. Hmm..I don't really want to play the "buy -> check -> return" game, but I'll also regret it at day 31 of the return period when I'm saddled with a Samsung drive for the next 5 years. :(
     
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  9. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Pen Pal - Newbie

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    You guys seen this yet? Crucial's first TLC SSD? It's not the Year of the Sheep, guys, but the the Year of going back 5 years in SSD performance.

    At least we should be thankful Microsoft didn't pick this drive (keep scrolling):

    [​IMG]

    Also, the M.2 850 EVO results results seem correlate strongly: the PM951 is the "OEM" NVMe-enabled 850 EVO. Note how weak the M.2 120GB is, the moderate improvement but still weak the 240GB is, and the normal performance of the 500GB.

    So, actually, if you guys want a review of the PM951, the 850 EVO review (sans NVMe) should be it...

    EDIT: Well, I got curious. The mystery of the terrible PM951 128GB performance has been solved. It uses a single 128GiB chip (greatly decreasing parallelization) and doesn't, according to Samsung's site, support TurboWrite (the SLC cache in the 850 EVO that allows it to put up decent numbers, at least up to 3GB transfers):

    [​IMG]

    But, Samsung used to mask this terrible write performance with TurboWrite (turning ~3GB of the TLC into a super-fast SLC cache). Problem is, on the PM951, it doesn't have TurboWrite.

    [​IMG]

    Most consumer workloads fit just fine into that ~3GB SLC cache on the 850 EVO. But, even on those, if you push them, the 3GB cache runs out and you get the original poopy performance:

    [​IMG]

    Again, all these issues only affect Samsung TLC drives. But, these affected the Surface line, too, because they use the PM851! I wondered...Turbo Write will definitely help these pitiful PM951 drives, too, (and let Samsung advertise a 500MB/s write speed instead of the more honest 150MB/s and 330MB/s). Did the PM851 (the 840 EVO drive) ever get Turbo Write? Maybe in the beginning, it wasn't ready, but they enabled it later? From the PM851 tech. sheet:

    [​IMG]
    Noooopee. hahaha, got a little optimistic, didn't I?

    Maybe we are crazy lucky, guys. Now, with the Toshiba XG3, Microsoft is finally waking up and giving us a normal SSD drive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
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  10. alextrela182

    alextrela182 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Well that's some of us want to know.
    How do we get the Toshiba drive?

    I'm going to test my luck by ordering two unit and hope one of them has Toshiba.
    Otherwise I'm thinking of getting used unit if I know that's the only way for sure 100% getting Toshiba drive.
    Samsung drive is deal breaker.


    Sent from my iPad Air 2
     
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