Microsoft Surface Book GPU Gets Revealed



Let’s be clear, I’m a hardware freak. It’s hard for me to be satisfied with much these days. The hype train comes into the station, docks for a while, and leaves briefly after a flashy new announcement. The past couple of weeks have been filled with these instances, and Microsoft’s Surface Book was one that had me rolling for quite a while.

The device seemed to check all the boxes for me.

Large High Density Touch Screen? Check

Removable Tablet? Check

Surface Pen? Check

Two batteries? An actual keyboard?? A Skylake Processor?? 8-16 GB of RAM??

I was absolutely floored. But what really did it for me was the announcement of the dedicated GPU. I was head over heals at this point. Microsoft seemed to have created something that bridged design and productivity in such a beautiful way. But the thing was, they wouldn’t say what GPU it was. I even asked NVIDIA and got this as a response:



That wasn’t helpful at all. I wanted a model and I wanted it NOW.

Flash forward to today, and people have finally gotten a chance to play with the device. People finally had access to the full specs AND.. essentially a 1GB 940m.

Microsoft is charging a $200 premium for a GPU that is likely not much better than the Iris Pro integrated graphics built into the model below it. So essentially, the dream is dead.

I know Microsoft was never marketing this as a “Gaming” laptop, but that was the whole point for me. I was so excited that a company was finally ready to cut the crap with the whole “LOOK IT’S A GAMING LAPTOP” thing, and make something that had powerful dedicated graphics that could be portable and elegant.

Now I know reviews have not come out yet, and the 940m could perform a lot better than I expected. Heck, having GDDR5 means the memory bandwidth should be super fast. I’m just worried that you won’t be able to do more productive tasks such as 3D modeling; something that actually melted the motherboard on my Razer Blade 2013, which was THE most powerful laptop out at it’s release to fit into such a sleek and portable form factor.

In short, Microsoft is playing with my emotions big time right now. I’ll still take this news with a grain of salt, though it feels like there is a little too much salt in my blood at the moment as it is.

I’ll report back when we have more information on how this thing actually performs, but until then, the dream is dying a slow, painful death.