Surface Pro X Discussion Thread (October 2019)

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by JoeS, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    We are still trying to figure out how to test it properly for use with our devices but we do have a bit of preliminary results.

    With native ARM apps we couldn't find any measurable difference between the 8GB version and the 16GB, e.g less than 2 seconds in a couple of tests that run about 2,5 minutes each

    OTOH if you are using x86 apps it seems to make a sometimes substantial difference in a couple of scenarios. First is using multiple X86 apps at the same time.

    One test we have is doing a sort of 45,000 items in our custom App while having Word, Excel and Chrome open at the same time.

    8GB- 1 minute 55 seconds
    16GB 1 minute 12 seconds

    The other direct benefit to 16GB most definitely is if subsequent open and closing of X86 apps during the day. For instance Acrobat pro takes close to 40 seconds the first time it launches, but subsequent launches take about 8 seconds.

    In both cases, we are certain it's 100% due to the X86 emulation being able to stay fully resident on the 16GB version. On the 8GB dependent on what you are doing it looks to be swapped out or slept frequently.

    With Native ARM APPs I think the only reason there doesn't seem to be a difference is that there aren't any apps that take advantage yet.

    As a coda to the above: Qualcomm told us yesterday that they are aware of the issues with X86 emulation performance and there is "extensive focus on important improvements underway"
     
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  2. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Is there a native ARM executable of Office? Or is it only 32bit emulation?
     
  3. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    It's some ungodly hybrid apparently. Mostly ARM behind the scenes, with some x86 stuff thrown in for.. macro compatibility? Was that it? So performance wise it should be good.

    That said, I still don't know how to figure out whether the installer actually installed this ARM-ish compile. In my early Book2 days I wasn't sure if the Store app was needed, or if an Office 365 install would automatically install the right version, and if so, if it was only newer Office 365 installers. It's all pretty opaque at least for this particular end user.
     
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  4. Bishop

    Bishop Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to share that @desertlap . It’s very helpful.
     
  5. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @Bishop, Happy I could be of help.
    @dstrauss , as @JoeS stated its a mix. For instance the core executables in Word and Excel are native, publisher, access, powerpoint and outlook are not.

    But it gets more complicated as lots of the shared libraries are still X86 so for instance if you want a pivot table in excel or just to view a word doc in publishing mode you are getting x86 libraries. OTOH sorts in Access use native code:confused:

    On the upside MS does seem working on it ongoing, porting bits and pieces to ARM with each monthly patch update.

    BTW: they are using the dual binaries method so it's rather challenging to know which parts are and are not ARM native yet. The method we have used so far is to compare sizes e.g if a library or executable takes a significant jump in size we assume it's had ARM code added.

    MS: If you read this please come up with an easy way for the average user to know which is native. It would actually help with customer satisfaction if they knew for instance if a particular app or function seems slower than what they used to, people might cut you some slack if they can see it's not native yet. Just my $.02

    And PS: I agree that performance for the most part is quite good overall
     
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  6. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Does everyone around here know what FUBAR is - if not, you are seeing it in action with MS. Various reports are that the SPX has been under development for THREE YEARS. In that amount of time, they couldn't deliver Office and Edge as native ARM applications at launch? My biggest weakness is that I don't even know what I don't even know, but if you were marching out a whole new platform, with your own idea of hero hardware model, would you "oops - we forgot the basic software"?

    Imagine building a new turbocharged Grand Prix and oops - I put diesel in the tank. I know, I know, I'm being a bit of a jerk, but I am so reminded of that old Flip Wilson routine where he was an inventor in ancient Rome, and he was sitting in front of the Colosseum holding a disk in his hands, spinning it around and around, and muttering "now if someone would just invent a damn record player."
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  7. sitoudien

    sitoudien Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Who's in charge and will they lose their job? But then this is standard operating procedure for ms.
     
  8. patwwh

    patwwh Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Can anyone who have bought Surface Pro X or 7 help confirm:
    If I always turn it on as a mobile (just turn off its screen), will it be overheat in a bag ?
     
  9. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I haven't had any issues with heat period with the new x and typically carry it around in a pack or briefcase during the day.

    Changing subjects, Windows Central has their review of the X up. It's actually pretty good in most respects but he completely muffs the display section. He first states that he cant really test it because his tools are not updated.

    But then he goes on to just goes on to make a ton of assumptions that are just flat out wrong and misleading. The Pro 7 and the Pro X have completely different displays in every way; different physical size, resolution bezels etc. He then goes on to talk about gamut, HDR etc assuming that what he knows about the pro 7 display applies to the Pro X

    Proof positive of the adage when you assume you make an *** of u and me:mad:

    For what it's worth, our preliminary and incomplete tests seem to show a considerably wider color gamut and much better gray scale linearity with the Pro X display compared to the Pro 7. In fact it hangs right with Apples iPad pro 11 display generally.

    Ok done ranting, link to review below which is worth reading despite the display BS
    https://www.windowscentral.com/surface-pro-x
     
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  10. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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