FlyerTalk Forums

FlyerTalk Forums (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/index.php)
-   Travel Technology (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-technology-169/)
-   -   MS Surface Book - any users here on FT...? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-technology/1839694-ms-surface-book-any-users-here-ft.html)

garykung Jun 19, 18 4:00 pm


Originally Posted by lhrsfo (Post 29882128)
The other advantage of SSDs in a laptop is that there's no need for a fan, which makes it quiet.

Definitely the joke for the date.

Seriously - the fan is intended to cool down the laptops by emitting hot air.

While I don't comment whether SSDs eliminate the need of a fan, a laptop without the fan may not last as long as others, as hot air can melt down solders and total the laptop.

You would better off with a laptop with a fan.

lewinr Jun 19, 18 7:36 pm

I want to repeat that I cannot recommend any of the Surface Books.

I got an original Surface Book and it was extremely unreliable. Over time the reliability of the software and firmware improved, but the hardware deteriorated much faster than my other notebooks: USB ports stopped working, keycaps broke, the unit picked up scratches much easier than my other notebooks and looks worse, the battery is practically useless now (and cannot be replaced), etc. I still have it and use it, but I cannot recommend it.

I think Microsoft just doesnt have the long experience in notebook manufacturing that the mainstream producers have, and the product suffers as a result.

For the money, you're much better off buying a high-end notebook from one of the mainstream producers who have been making notebooks for 20+ years and already have the best practices and experience to avoid surprises.

nkedel Jun 21, 18 10:06 am


Originally Posted by lhrsfo (Post 29882128)
The other advantage of SSDs in a laptop is that there's no need for a fan, which makes it quiet.


Originally Posted by tmiw (Post 29882288)
That's more a function of the CPU and/or GPU in the machine. There are definitely laptops with SSDs that still have fans.


Originally Posted by garykung (Post 29884098)
Seriously - the fan is intended to cool down the laptops by emitting hot air.

Generally, to specifically move air over the radiator of a heat sink connected to the CPU (and GPU, if any) or a pair one for each (or occasionally a pair of fans/radiators at the ends of one big heat sink). I haven't seen a laptop with a non-heat-sink connected fan since the 1990s.


While I don't comment whether SSDs eliminate the need of a fan, a laptop without the fan may not last as long as others, as hot air can melt down solders and total the laptop.
An adequately designed laptop with passive cooling should be much more reliable than a laptop with one or more fans. As a moving part (and often one binned for low cost, not reliability), fans are often the first thing to go in a laptop. Moreover the air path is usually such that dust and hair get caught between the fan and the radiator, limiting airflow, and on many laptops it's hard to clean. Modern machines have thermal shutdowns which will kick in LONG before solder melts or there's an immediate/acute electronic failure, but a laptop that overheats and shuts down is still hardly very useful.

There is a risk of long-term thermal stress to components if the machine is running near its limits, which is more likely in a machine with poorly designed or passive cooling, but I don't know that anyone's quantified it for laptops.

As for SSDs eliminating the need for a fan, the hottest laptop-style SSD I know of has a rated maximum draw of 12 watts, and while there are plenty of machines these days do put a heat spreader on the SSD to keep individual components (usually the controller) from overheating I've never seen anyone put a fan to give one airflow.

For contrast, CPUs in full power laptops have a TDP (thermal design power -- not directly comparable to rated maximum current draw but correlated as it's a measure of the output heat a system using them should be able to tolerate) of 35 or 45W (and there have been 55W) and at typical laptop gaming GPU these days pulls 55W (with serious high end ones up over 100W) and the more typical U-series low-power CPUs in most systems these days are rated for a 15W TDP. I think I've seen some passively cooled laptops with 15W CPUs, but most passively cooled systems tend to use a reduced wattage CPU (10W or smaller) -- usually the 4.5W "Core M" cpus as used in the Macbook 12" (probably the highest-profile fanless system.)

garykung Jun 21, 18 3:09 pm


Originally Posted by nkedel (Post 29890830)
An adequately designed laptop with passive cooling should be much more reliable than a laptop with one or more fans.

I beg to differ. When I concede that as a moving part, fan(s) can deteriorate over time. Still it is not sufficient to say a fanless laptop is more reliable than a "fan" laptop. An adequately equipped laptop with active cooling should be as reliable as an adequately designed with passive cooling.

As you have said - adequate is the key for everything. And my friend - sorry to say, it is not always the case.

lewinr Jun 21, 18 11:34 pm

I would bet all my money that even when both are "adequately designed", laptops with HDDs statistically fail more often than laptops with SSDs.

garykung Jun 22, 18 4:58 am


Originally Posted by lewinr (Post 29893439)
I would bet all my money that even when both are "adequately designed", laptops with HDDs statistically fail more often than laptops with SSDs.

While I did find this in your favor:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/ssd-re...es-experience/

The paper has also concluded that SSDs would experience more troubles than HDDs.

It is pretty much a wash.

nkedel Jun 23, 18 1:01 am


Originally Posted by garykung (Post 29892170)
I beg to differ. When I concede that as a moving part, fan(s) can deteriorate over time. Still it is not sufficient to say a fanless laptop is more reliable than a "fan" laptop. An adequately equipped laptop with active cooling should be as reliable as an adequately designed with passive cooling.

As you have said - adequate is the key for everything. And my friend - sorry to say, it is not always the case.

Active cooling is hardly superb on many laptops, and a passively cooled one is not subject to some of the environmental risks than an actively cooled one is. One rarely needs to clean out heat sink dust bunnies from a passively cooled machine...


Originally Posted by garykung (Post 29893972)
While I did find this in your favor:
https://www.zdnet.com/article/ssd-re...es-experience/
The paper has also concluded that SSDs would experience more troubles than HDDs.

Undetected bit error rate is an irrelevance in most consumer use. It explicitly states that SSDs are more reliable: " SSDs fail at a lower rate than disks "

Moreover, extrapolating from data center use to laptop/personal use is silly.

First, the workload is vastly heavier than any typical PC workload; in individual PC/laptop workloads, write lifetime is essentially an irrelevance.
Second, the thermal environment is very different (on the down side for data centers, generally higher continuous/average temperatures, but consumer drives have with and more unpredictable and possibly higher peak temperature.)
Lastly, and most importantly, data center drives are typically a fixed mount and are not subject to transit impacts/vibration, let lone drops.

Gaucho100K Nov 19, 18 11:11 am

Now that the Surface Book 2 has been on the market for a good couple of months, I was hoping to hear from FTers that have had one of these new babies in use.

As this thread can witness, Ive been salivating with these devices for a long time, and now that my Thinkpad W520 is starting to suffer from chronic overheating problems and my hard drive is at almost 98% capacity - I think that my replacement unit will have to be ordered within the next couple of weeks.

Would love to hear about some 1st hand experience with a Surface Book 2, especially with the 15 Inch version. Thanks !!!

nkedel Nov 19, 18 9:54 pm

Chronic overheating on older laptops can usually be solved pretty easily if you're mechanically inclined; the Lenovo W520 (or W530; I actually forget which I've gutted but they're very closely related designs) are not the easiest system to remove/replace the heat sink on (and potentially replace the fan on), but a thorough cleaning, repaste and if you have any doubts about the condition of your current fan, a $10 fan replacement will have the thermals on the machine basically like new.

That said, it's getting to be a pretty old machine, so don't let me discourage you from seeking a replacement. The Surface Book still seems inexplicable to me -- too much GPU, too little CPU, and zero expandability, for a weighty price (at least before discounting.) At least with the 8th generation quad-core U-series i5 and i7 processors, they finally have enough CPU power on them that I don't need to caution power users away from them entirely.

Would be curious if anyone weighs in with direct experience, as these are kind of niche. I'm not aware of any other detachable 2-in-1 with a reasonably powerful GPU; foldable rather than detachable ones are already uncommon enough.

AltaBound Nov 20, 18 12:17 am

I have been using the Surface Book for sometime now. I have been very happy with it. It does everything I need. Battery life is decent. I do not use the tablet as a separate unit often but when I have, it has worked well. I use for general business use not gaming so that may make a difference.

Gaucho100K Nov 20, 18 8:02 am

Thanks. Do you have one of the newer Book2 models..? Is it the 15 inch version...?

How do you rate the keyboard for feel and response...?


Originally Posted by AltaBound (Post 30447788)
I have been using the Surface Book for sometime now. I have been very happy with it. It does everything I need. Battery life is decent. I do not use the tablet as a separate unit often but when I have, it has worked well. I use for general business use not gaming so that may make a difference.


Gaucho100K Nov 20, 18 8:07 am

Interested in a little more feedback on your too little CPU and too much GPU Comment. Do you think this still applies for the Book 2 model with the 15 Inch and therefore I7 processor...?

I will not be using this as a Gaming Laptop, I may run the occasional game or two but it will be a Business laptop for 95% of its usage. I do want the tablet option and also a 15 inch screen, hence my interest in the Surface series of products. Also, I do need a real/full keyboard as Im a very fast typist and am worried about overall feel and response - if you have a review of the keyboard that would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks !!!


Originally Posted by nkedel (Post 30447551)
The Surface Book still seems inexplicable to me -- too much GPU, too little CPU, and zero expandability, for a weighty price (at least before discounting.) At least with the 8th generation quad-core U-series i5 and i7 processors, they finally have enough CPU power on them that I don't need to caution power users away from them entirely.


AltaBound Nov 21, 18 1:59 am


Originally Posted by Gaucho100K (Post 30448655)
Thanks. Do you have one of the newer Book2 models..? Is it the 15 inch version...?

How do you rate the keyboard for feel and response...?

I got the Book 2 when it first came out. I bought a mid-range model, most of my work involves Excel, simple PowerPoint Presentations and PDF manipulation. I love the keyboard and having the pen is great when I am annotating documents. I am not using the 15 inch version. I found it too big for travel. I do use a second monitor quite a bit and I have not experienced any issues to-date. To provide some perspective I also have a Surface Pro 3. It is not seeing much use these days.

film_girl Nov 25, 18 6:34 am

I think the SB2 15” is a terrific laptop but I’ll ageee with what AltaBound said and say it’s likely too but for travel. I typically travel with a 13” MacBook Pro (the Touch Bar variant) and a 13” SB1 (though I recently got a new Matebook X Pro that is slimmer than the SB1, as it is an unabashed MacBook clone), but if I didn’t fly as much as I’ve started to, I would consider the SB2 as my primary desktop replacement machine.

Gaucho100K Nov 27, 18 6:45 am

Thanks for the great feedback.

Im not at all worried about oversize and weight, you have to bear in mind that Ive been schlepping around (for the past 6+ years) a now vintage ThinkPad W520 that has a 15.6" screen and is pretty much an aircraft carrier in terms of both dimentions and weight. Also, dont forget the massive power brick that comes with it. Trust me, I can handle weight and size... :D LOL

Im looking for a high-end specs machine that will work as a mobile desktop replacement unit... and has docking station options, etc. etc. as I will be eventually looking at an external monitor as well.


Originally Posted by film_girl (Post 30463760)
I think the SB2 15Ē is a terrific laptop but Iíll ageee with what AltaBound said and say itís likely too but for travel. I typically travel with a 13Ē MacBook Pro (the Touch Bar variant) and a 13Ē SB1 (though I recently got a new Matebook X Pro that is slimmer than the SB1, as it is an unabashed MacBook clone), but if I didnít fly as much as Iíve started to, I would consider the SB2 as my primary desktop replacement machine.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 5:34 am.


This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.