Surface Book i7 or rMBP 2016?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hajime, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. hajime macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, I need a powerful yet lightweight computer to replace my MBP 2010 17". The feature that I can turn the Surface Book i7 into a powerful touch screen tablet with a pen is desirable. The battery life sounds good. Hope it is true in real life. Are the processor and gpu in the Surface Book i7 better than the ones in the rMBP going to be announced on tomorrow?
     
  2. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    All I do on a portable system is cull & lightly edit photos. The pen/touch screen is a very nice feature, I had no idea how nice until I tried running Photoshop on a laptop/tablet device that had a pen and a touch screen. It's a world of difference in a positive direction. I'm afraid Apple doesn't make what I want anymore and I'll have to figure out how to use Windows, been using Macs since 1984 - figuring out Windows isn't something I look forward to.
     
  3. AfroAbel macrumors regular

    AfroAbel

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    The Netherlands
    #4
    Patience is your answer here since like you said they'll be announced tomorrow.

    However why would you be looking to buy a Macbook Pro if you find touchscreens and pen's desirable?
     
  4. CSeye macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2014
    #5
    I love Mac OSX, and Macs since '98.

    Learning to use Windows 10 isn't that bad...at all.
    http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/how-to-use-windows-10
     
  5. BaccaBossMC macrumors member

    BaccaBossMC

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    #6
    For the same price as a surface book i7, you could probably get a 13" 2016 rMBP plus an iPad Pro for the drawing part.
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #7
    No the surface book uses 15w ultra book chips with intel hd graphics, the rmbp is expected to have 28w chips with iris graphics with a 64mb edram cache for a boost to graphics.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    I believe they'll be the same.

    Its hard to compare the SB and the MBP, because apple shut the stores down.

    First let me say that I own a Surface Book, before I add any more of my opinion, so I think I have a unique perspective here on MacRumors.

    The i7 SurfaceBook you're referencing starts at 2,400 dollars (8GB of ram and 256GB of storage) and goes all the way up to 3,300 for 16GB/1TB model.

    I think that's way over priced for what you get. Do you really want to spend 3,300 on a 13" laptop when you can take that money and buy a Surface Studio (base model).

    True the high end SB has a dGPU, great battery, but in the end, its just a 13" laptop.

    Budget aside, consider how you use the laptop, what apps do you use, and which platform has the apps that you prefer. For instance, I prefer MS Office in windows, as it performs better and its just a better experience. I prefer doing my very humble web designing on the iMac because the tools I have are better on the Mac then Windows - that's just me. You need to ask yourself which platform offers you what you need.
     
  8. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #9

    Thanks for your experience. These days, I used: Illustrator CS6, Photoshop CS6, Inkscape, Office, TeXShop on the Mac. As for the Windows side, I use Solidworks, Office and some software that only runs on Windows.

    For the Mac, transition from and old one to a new one is easy through Migration. For over 10 years, never fail.
    How about the case of Windows?

    I used a rMBP 15" at school (bought using school's money) last year. It was good enough to do 3D CAD but of course I wish it could be faster. For the weight and battery life, I wish it could be a bit lighter and have longer lasting battery as I also carry a power adapter and other stuffs.

    The Adobe Master Collection CS6 was bought for my project at school. I don't think I can transfer the license to the Windows version.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    I use OneDrive for much my storage needs on windows, so moving to a new system is fairly easy and regardless if I'm on a PC or Mac, I always set it up as a new machine. That way I avoid including the cruft that builds up in the various directories of the drive.

    If you have a one year old laptop, I'd not look to buy a new one at this stage, just my $.02 but they won't be terribly faster and the 13" MBP will be slower for anything relaying on the GPU because the 15" MBP has a better iGPU (and dGPU if you bought the high end model).
     
  10. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Windows 10 is actually fairly straight forward. Just give it a few days to adjust and there's always google if you get stuck.
     
  11. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #12
    The new rMBP 15" does not seem to be much lighter than the previous ones. Touch Bar also does not seem to be very useful for me. I am trying to decide whether to get the rMBP 15" 2016 or the Surface Book i7.

    Can somebody knowledgeable about the CPU, GPU and I/O of these two laptops please comment on which is better? I think I read that ATI's GPU is not as good as the Nvidia's. If Microsoft is not lying, 16 hours of battery life seems to be better than the 10 hours rMBP 15" Apple is offering. Thanks.
     
  12. xtrev2 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 28, 2016
    #13

    Hey there, allow me to lay out a spec sheet comparison between the two:

    Surface Book i7 (2016):
    Processor: Intel Core i7 Skylake (quad core)
    RAM: 8 - 16 GB
    Storage: 128GB - 1TB SSD
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 965M 2GB
    Display: 13.5 inch 3000x2000 PixelSense 10-point touchscreen
    Battery: 12 hours
    Ports: 2x USB 3.0 Type A/SD card reader/Headphonejack/Mini DisplayPort

    MacBook Pro 15" (2016):
    Processor: Intel Core i7 Skylake (quad core)
    RAM: 16 GB
    Storage: 256 GB - 2 TB SSD
    Graphics: ATI Radeon Pro 450 (2GB) up to Pro 460 (4GB)
    Display: 15.4 inch 2880x1800 Retina display
    Battery: 10 hours
    Ports: 4x USB-C Thunderbolt 3/Headphone jack

    As you can see, it really doesn't differ by much. The graphics on the MBP are a newly designed ATI chip based on the Polaris architecture, and its performance results are yet to be seen although I highly suspect that it'll be on par with the chip on the Surface Book. It's interesting to note though, that the graphics card on the Surface Book is an old one, that was released in mid-2015, and NVIDIA has since released their new 1060 series of chips for laptops as well.

    The MBP is also far more costly than the Surface Book, which is a variable to consider depending on your finances.

    But really, I'd feel that it really boils down to which ecosystem you're more familiar with or prefer. If you've invested a lot into Apple's apps and programs, or really like the feel of macOS, or have an iPhone or iPad, then the rMBP 15inch, despite the price, would be worth it, only if you don't need a touchscreen on a daily basis.

    But if you're a power user that regularly does photo editing or graphic design, the Surface Book would definitely be a good blend of portability, power and input options for you. For gaming, either one would be just as great I'd reckon.

    Both options are more than powerful enough for day to day usage, their i7 cores can handle almost anything you can throw at them, and both computers (especially the MBP) can do photo and video editing decently enough. (Its interesting to see what the Creator's Update to Windows 10 will bring to the Surface Book next year though, in terms of graphics designing)

    Form factor-wise, I'm a sucker for the sleek elegance of the MBP, but the Surface is intriguing, plus you can always detach it from the base and walk around with the tablet part. Keyboard-wise, MBP uses the butterfly mechanism first introduced in the 12" MacBooks, but hands-on reviews have claimed that it's a huge improvement and a pleasure to type on. Surface claims to have the best appraised keyboard with the highest levels of satisfaction.

    Or if you're like me and just need something powerful enough for day to day use with a million Chrome tabs open and the occasional games, a 13 inch MBP would be enough.
     
  13. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Which machine has faster CPU (both regular and at burst mode) with more cache?
    Know anything about how the RAM, system bus, motherboard compare?

    I am interested in knowing how the Surfacebook i7 perform and how the battery lasts when the keyboard/GPU is removed.
     
  14. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #15
    Somewhere I read that the tablet part of the SurfaceBook is the same as the one released last year and that it uses a dual core, rather than a quad core, processor. Can anybody please confirm that? The purchase decision is getting difficult.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    The SB does in fact use a dual core, just like the 13" MBP.

    I'm not sure what you mean about the SurfaceBook is the same as the one released last year. MS only updated the high model, with a spec bump (faster processor) and a bit better batteryl. I would not say its a major update. To be honest, I find the top end Surface Book to be insanely priced and don't think its a good value but that's just me. I opted for the low end model, because it does everything I want it too and it was nicely priced :)
     
  16. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #17
    Somebody mentioned that the tablet half of the just announced Surfacebook i7 is actually the same as the one they have been selling for almost a year. Only the bottom part (keyboard with GPU, cooling system) is different.

    Given that the Surfacebook i7 only has a dual core, will the general performance be worse than the just announced rMBP 15"?
     
  17. topocalypse macrumors member

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    Apr 13, 2011
    #18
    Is this MacRumors? or WindowsRumors? LOL

    But seriously it depends on how much you need OS X. For me quite a bit. I'm more comfortable with using a Mac for my photography work. Say if i'm completely forced to only use non-Apple. I would have a gaming PC at home, a surface pro for on the go.

    I'm glad I don't have this dilemma because I don't need to buy either. Say if my MBP dies today I'll be in a massive dilemma as well choosing between rMBP 2016 or Surface.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #19
    The Main competitor of the Surface Book is the 13" MBP, not the 15"
     
  19. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #20
    While the new MBP 15" is not available for demo, I tried the new SurfaceBook i7 in a MS store. The keyboard is very good. Similar to the one on my MBP 2010 17". All the ports I need are there. The case is better than the one in the previous model. Launching Illustrator and Photoshop together completed in a reasonable amount of time. The only complain I have is that it took a long time to launch Adobe Premiere. Not sure if RAM is the reason. The machine is the lowest end one with 8GB RAM only.
     
  20. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #21
    Surface book is dual core 15w CPU.

    A 15 inch rMBP will outperform it by double in almost every dept!!
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    I don't use that app, how long does it typically take to start up on your computer? It may be cache, i.e., the first time any app starts up, it takes the longest time, regardless of it being on Windows or OS X. Close it down and restart it, and the time drops dramatically.

    As mentioned that SB does use a lower powered processor then the 15" MBP and the 15" MBP is quad core.

    The Surface Book is competing against the 13" MBP where the specs are that much more closely aligned. The 15" MBP will almost always beat out the SB in every task just because its a more powerful computer.

    I'm happy with the performance of my SB and I have the entry level model.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2016 ---
    btw, I like the keyboard on the SB over that of the new laptops. I do hate the butterfly keyboards. I'll be looking to check out the new MBPS and their second gen butterfly keyboards later today, but from what I've ready its about the same as the older one (key travel wise).
     
  22. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #23
    If the rumor about new SB and SP5 coming out in Spring with KL, perhaps it is better to hold on my 2010 17" and wait. I guess the 3rd generation of SB would be good enough. The new butterfly keyboard on the MBP is a big turn off.
     
  23. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #24
    Which computer are you talking about?

    By the way, according to PC Magazine, the SB i7 has almost 20 hours of battery. I thought MS exaggerated when they claimed that the laptop could run for 16 hours. Do you think this is possible?

    http://www.pcmag.com/review/349130/microsoft-surface-book-2016
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    What computer were you saying it took premiere to start up?

    The new SB is rated 16 hour battery, and the one review saw got a 16 hours, 20 minutes on a video run down test.
     

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