1. hasasimo's Avatar
    I know the primary impact on battery life is from the processor, and that the i5 models probably get better battery life in general than the i7 models. But what about the dGPU? Does that have any impact? I'm deciding between the i5/256GB models with and without the dGPU. I know there are other things to consider when it comes to deciding whether to go with a dGPU, but I can't find much info on dGPU impacts on battery life.
    03-05-2016 10:38 PM
  2. gpobernardo's Avatar
    The answer may not be as straightforward as it initially seems. At first, we may say that the more components a device has, the more power it needs. So having a dGPU in addition to the CPU could mean more power requirements (shorter battery life), considering that the GPU is also a processing unit that consumes power. However, not having a dGPU will put more load on the CPU for graphics. Hence, it's a question of which is more energy efficient - the dGPU or the CPU - in terms of graphics - this is information that may be difficult to find.

    Given this, my advice would be:
    - If you intend to perform some heavy graphics with your device, go for the one with a dGPU (which may be more efficient than the CPU, considering that it should be faster);
    - If you don't intend to perform heavy graphics work in your device, go for the one without dGPU.

    P.S.
    Personally, I would go for more flexibility with the dGPU. But that's just my personal taste - I tend do buy something that is slightly more than what I need, because it will turn out that (given the pace of living now) I will need those extra features anyway after a few months.
    hasasimo and xandros9 like this.
    03-06-2016 12:32 AM
  3. hasasimo's Avatar
    Thanks for the feedback! I don't plan to buy another PC for years (my current Sony VAIO is 6 years old), so perhaps the dGPU will make it a bit more future proof, as you alluded to near the end of your post. I would have decided against that though if there was a noticeable impact on battery life. Thanks again.
    gpobernardo likes this.
    03-06-2016 10:21 PM
  4. gpobernardo's Avatar
    Exactly, and you're welcome.

    I'm using a laptop that is more than three years old now (not as old as your Sony), but back then the specs were "more than what I needed", and now it is still faster than most laptops I see in stores. I'm not seeing myself replacing my unit in the next couple or so more years. I'd rather pay more and future-proof myself than purchase several cheaper not-so-future-proof products.

    P.S.
    The Surface Book is enticing, but it is a "First". I'd go with your decision not to buy a new one just yet, and probably wait for the next iteration of the Surface Book (if there will be).
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-06-2016 10:27 PM
  5. hasasimo's Avatar
    Exactly, and you're welcome.

    I'm using a laptop that is more than three years old now (not as old as your Sony), but back then the specs were "more than what I needed", and now it is still faster than most laptops I see in stores. I'm not seeing myself replacing my unit in the next couple or so more years. I'd rather pay more and future-proof myself than purchase several cheaper not-so-future-proof products.

    P.S.
    The Surface Book is enticing, but it is a "First". I'd go with your decision not to buy a new one just yet, and probably wait for the next iteration of the Surface Book (if there will be).
    That has been my dilema to be honest. There are some worrisome stories about it but most seem to be software related. I almost decided to go with a SP 4 instead but it seems it hasn't been without its troubles either and that's on its 4th iteration.

    My conclusion (though I could be wrong, so please tell me if you think otherwise) was that the issues are pretty much all Windows 10 and Intel driver related. That's partly why I haven't even upgraded to W10 yet on my VAIO (still on Windows 7).

    I wouldn't mind waiting, but I also don't want this thing to die on me. The battery is already shot, but I didn't want to buy a new one if I was going to get a new notebook anyway.
    gpobernardo likes this.
    03-06-2016 10:52 PM
  6. gpobernardo's Avatar
    That has been my dilema to be honest. There are some worrisome stories about it but most seem to be software related. I almost decided to go with a SP 4 instead but it seems it hasn't been without its troubles either and that's on its 4th iteration.

    My conclusion (thought I could be wrong, so please tell me if you think otherwise) was that the issues are pretty much all Windows 10 and Intel driver related. That's partly why I haven't even upgraded to W10 yet on my VAIO (still on Windows 7).

    I wouldn't mind waiting, but I also don't want this thing to die on me. The battery is already shot, but I didn't want to buy a new one if I was going to get a new notebook anyway.
    There have been issues specific to certain Sony laptops with regards to the Windows 10 upgrade, but that has been several months ago and I think I've read that the issue has already been resolved - you may verify this first anyway before upgrading your Sony VAIO when you decide to.

    I had no issues upgrading my three-year old Samsung laptop, aside from software incompatibility issues. As for my newer Lenovo, things got corrupted a few days after the upgrade and I had to refresh the OS (Windows 10). These things were resolved anyway, and now they're working perfectly.

    Why not just acquire a replacement battery for your Sony? Besides, if you haven't been using your laptop heavily (e.g. heavy graphics that push the thermal limits of the processors), chances are that won't die. But I strongly advice backing up your important files, because hard drives (HDD and SSD) usually don't last that long.
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-06-2016 11:01 PM
  7. hasasimo's Avatar
    I may just do that after all. This would be a no-brainer if there weren't so many issues with the SB (though many seem to have been corrected) and if it wasn't so expensive. Just getting the new battery is probably the smarter thing to do, but when one is in love with a new tech product, they tend to get irrational lol.
    gpobernardo likes this.
    03-06-2016 11:07 PM
  8. orlbuckeye's Avatar
    Well on thing about the Surface Book with the DGP is it has 2 graphics cards. You can use the integrated Intel or the Nvidia as the default card. You can also set each app to use a specific card. I have noticed that if I try to detach the clipboard while an app is using the DGP I get a message that O have to close the app before I can detach the clipboard. If I end the app in the task manager the clipboard will detach.
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-07-2016 08:37 AM
  9. savagelizards's Avatar
    That has been my dilema to be honest. There are some worrisome stories about it but most seem to be software related. I almost decided to go with a SP 4 instead but it seems it hasn't been without its troubles either and that's on its 4th iteration.

    My conclusion (though I could be wrong, so please tell me if you think otherwise) was that the issues are pretty much all Windows 10 and Intel driver related. That's partly why I haven't even upgraded to W10 yet on my VAIO (still on Windows 7).

    I wouldn't mind waiting, but I also don't want this thing to die on me. The battery is already shot, but I didn't want to buy a new one if I was going to get a new notebook anyway.
    The SB is a fabulous product - when everything works. If you are okay with an i5 SB without the dGPU, you will probably fall into the group with fewer problems, and that could be a consideration.

    If, however, you are considering a more powerful model with dedicated graphics, wait for the SB2. My personal feeling, after owning an i7/8/256 SB for the past three months, is that Microsoft might still be able to deliver a few more software fixes, but the issues that the dGPU-equipped first-gen Surface Books are experiencing are not going to go away entirely.

    My guess is that a lot of these issues are related to how the SB switches between GPUs, which happens on the fly, rather than with a reboot.

    If your use case can accommodate a system without the dGPU, you will doubtless get better battery life and fewer issues. Still, based on your comment that you want something that will last you for a long time, you will be better off waiting for the SB2 and get something with the bugs worked out of it.

    Finally, I wouldn't recommend making a $2000+ purchase just to save the cost of a laptop battery. You should probably just order that now, no matter what you end up doing.
    03-07-2016 10:37 AM
  10. hasasimo's Avatar
    The SB is a fabulous product - when everything works. If you are okay with an i5 SB without the dGPU, you will probably fall into the group with fewer problems, and that could be a consideration.

    If, however, you are considering a more powerful model with dedicated graphics, wait for the SB2. My personal feeling, after owning an i7/8/256 SB for the past three months, is that Microsoft might still be able to deliver a few more software fixes, but the issues that the dGPU-equipped first-gen Surface Books are experiencing are not going to go away entirely.

    My guess is that a lot of these issues are related to how the SB switches between GPUs, which happens on the fly, rather than with a reboot.

    If your use case can accommodate a system without the dGPU, you will doubtless get better battery life and fewer issues. Still, based on your comment that you want something that will last you for a long time, you will be better off waiting for the SB2 and get something with the bugs worked out of it.

    Finally, I wouldn't recommend making a $2000+ purchase just to save the cost of a laptop battery. You should probably just order that now, no matter what you end up doing.
    Another extremely helpful response, thank you. Actually, my original preference was indeed for a non-dGPU model, specifically the 256GB one that seems to be only available online and not in stores.

    I use Photoshop, but that is the most processor-intensive application I get into aside from some music stuff like FL Studio. And I don't really do any batch processing within Photoshop. From my understanding, that probably alone isn't worth getting a model with the dGPU, correct me if I'm wrong, please. Going with a dGPU model was really more of an effort to future-proof the device, though it seems that may not be necessary.

    When I thought about it some more, it seemed like it wouldn't make much sense to get a non-dGPU Surface Book over a cheaper Surface Pro 4 with the same internal specs. That's kind of what made me begin considering a dGPU model. I guess that means I'm trying to psych myself into justifying a Surface Book purchase. I really like the SP4, but I love the SB.
    savagelizards likes this.
    03-07-2016 01:02 PM
  11. hasasimo's Avatar
    One more point I wanted to bring up... I'm not sure the 2nd generation SBs will necessarily have much fewer issues. I mean, you'd think so, but the SP 4 for example is wrought with its own problems.
    03-07-2016 07:46 PM
  12. savagelizards's Avatar
    Another extremely helpful response, thank you. Actually, my original preference was indeed for a non-dGPU model, specifically the 256GB one that seems to be only available online and not in stores.

    I use Photoshop, but that is the most processor-intensive application I get into aside from some music stuff like FL Studio. And I don't really do any batch processing within Photoshop. From my understanding, that probably alone isn't worth getting a model with the dGPU, correct me if I'm wrong, please. Going with a dGPU model was really more of an effort to future-proof the device, though it seems that may not be necessary.

    When I thought about it some more, it seemed like it wouldn't make much sense to get a non-dGPU Surface Book over a cheaper Surface Pro 4 with the same internal specs. That's kind of what made me begin considering a dGPU model. I guess that means I'm trying to psych myself into justifying a Surface Book purchase. I really like the SP4, but I love the SB.
    That's exactly how I came to get the model I have. I was originally going to get a Surface Pro 3, but then the SP4 was about to come out, so I hung in there. That was the product I had planned to purchase when they announced the Surface Book. The Book includes a keyboard, which was an add-on purchase with the Pro, and the screen was nicer and the battery life was going to be better. So I talked myself into the SB. But then as you said, it didn't seem to make sense to go that far and not get the dGPU.

    You don't need a dGPU for photo editing, though it can still speed up performance. If you are doing a lot of 3D work, or if you if are doing video, you are going to want to spring for the graphics chip. Of course, if you are handling Photoshop just fine now, you already have your answer.

    One more reason to consider waiting this out - Intel's Skylake chip is brand new, late to market and still finicky. All of the current generation Skylake notebooks seem to be suffering some of the same growing pains the SB is experiencing. Add to that the challenge of having the SB swap between GPUs on the fly without rebooting and you can see why Microsoft is playing catch-up. You might be better off in October when the next SB (hopefully with an improved set of Intel silicon) hits the market.
    Last edited by savagelizards; 03-07-2016 at 10:07 PM.
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-07-2016 09:08 PM
  13. hasasimo's Avatar
    I think you guys may have successfully dissuaded me for now. I appreciate the honest feedback... not always easy considering most of us are sincere fans of and believers in Microsoft. I think I may hold out a while... either til October for the SB2, or if a serious deal for a SB1 that I can't pass up comes along in the next couple of months... like if it drops to current SP4 prices. And I'm now leaning toward a non dGPU model.
    gpobernardo likes this.
    03-08-2016 01:05 AM
  14. savagelizards's Avatar
    I think you guys may have successfully dissuaded me for now. I appreciate the honest feedback... not always easy considering most of us are sincere fans of and believers in Microsoft. I think I may hold out a while... either til October for the SB2, or if a serious deal for a SB1 that I can't pass up comes along in the next couple of months... like if it drops to current SP4 prices. And I'm now leaning toward a non dGPU model.
    Thanks. I get it - I feel the same way too. I absolutely consider myself a believer in Microsoft. They have a great team, and a fantastic vision. They really do great things. The Surface Book is really a big leap forward. I would love to recommend it whole-heartedly, and hopefully one day soon I will.

    There are times when the SB is really amazing, and I can see where Panos Panay and the design team were going. They will get the rest of the way there, but I suspect it will be the SB2 that really shines.
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-08-2016 10:58 AM
  15. zerospace-net's Avatar
    Well guys, its looking more like early 2017 for the next Surface Book. Rumors are that new hardware is getting delayed along with Redstone 2, now slated for early 2017 (at least from the headlines I've been seeing for the past couple of days).

    savagelizards, I think you and I have just about the same feelings regarding the Surface Book. It IS an amazing device, and should MS and Intel ever sort out all of these nagging problems, it will be one heckuva piece of hardware. It may happen this year, but IMHO, its going to be much closer to the launch of the next generation of Surface devices before that happens. For now, it's just too rough around the edges for me to totally depend on it the way I depended on my Surface Pro 3 (which was, in fact, everything Panos Panay made it out to be in his presentation of it, which is why I trusted MS when I plunked down almost $2,000 on my Surface Book the day it launched). I agree -- the Surface Book 2 will probably be the rockstar that the Surface Pro 3 was for the Surface Pro line. I wish I had waited.
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-08-2016 06:24 PM
  16. Hardcore1973's Avatar
    I have owned every Surface out and currently have the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book i5/256gb/DPGU, and Dell XPS 15 9550 i7/1TB/16GB/DGPU. The Surface Book is my go to device everyday. You can pick up the Surface Book all the time for $200 off at any Microcenter.com store or site and then not worry about the cost factor. While the Surface Pro 4 is an incredible light and portable device, nothing comes close to the versatility of the Surface Book. Yes my Dell XPS 15 is more powerful on paper because of the Quad core processor and double the RAM, it does not feel like twice the machine. I say you get the Surface Book and if you like the new Surface Book Gen 2 then sell your existing Book and get the new one. Technology changes about every 6 months so you either want to keep up or you buy the latest gear to hold on to for 2-3 years. I myself just love all tech gadgets and it is really a hobby of mine and my profession. You guys can check out my new tech channel on any of these devices at www.youtube.com/chadchristian
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-13-2016 11:40 AM
  17. orlbuckeye's Avatar
    I came to the same conclusion as you as I went to the store to look at the SP4 and came away wanted the SB for the same reasons. I got the 256gb 8gb i5 DGP version mainly for the 256 gb. I purchased at Best Buy and they only had the DGP with the i5 8gb 256 gb so i got it.
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-15-2016 12:43 PM
  18. hasasimo's Avatar
    I came to the same conclusion as you as I went to the store to look at the SP4 and came away wanted the SB for the same reasons. I got the 256gb 8gb i5 DGP version mainly for the 256 gb. I purchased at Best Buy and they only had the DGP with the i5 8gb 256 gb so i got it.
    How are you liking it so far?
    03-17-2016 12:01 AM
  19. orlbuckeye's Avatar
    I love it. My other PC is a 20 pound Alienware 18 (counting the brick - I still love the AW). I imagine just having the DGP doesn't increase your battery consumption unless you use the added power. I imagine editing an Excel spreadsheet wouldn't matter much which card you were using.
    hasasimo likes this.
    03-17-2016 01:26 PM

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