Microsoft will now sell you a Surface Book with no GeForce

The biggest competitors for Microsoft's Surface Book premium convertibles don't have discrete graphics chips. While that limits their 3D performance, it also means they can be thinner, lighter, and longer-running. Now Microsoft has apparently decided that folks who have no need for the standard model's GeForce graphics can have a Book as well. The company has new listings up on its web store for models of the Surface Book that skip the discrete graphics card.

The Surface Book models that skip the GeForce appear to be the same externally as their dGPU-equipped siblings. They do drop a tiny bit of weight—some four-hundredths of a pound—likely just the weight of the graphics card itself. They also drop in price, slightly. Microsoft asks $2999 for the top-end model of the Surface Book without a GeForce. That's $300 less than the top-end model with a Geforce GTX 965M, and nets you a Core i7-6600U, 16GB of LP-DDR3 memory, and a 1TB SSD. This move also drops the price of the cheapest configuration (with a Skylake Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD) to $1299.

Microsoft improved the graphics performance of the Surface Book back in October by creating a different keyboard base with a GeForce GTX 965M inside, and that was a nice step up over the GeForce GTX 940M-derivative used in the original base. Still, some people just don't have any use for the extra grunt that a mobile GeForce offers over Intel's perfectly serviceable IGP. Dropping the discrete GPU will make the machine run cooler and longer, if nothing else.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    Just buy the darn tablet if you don’t want the extra horse power.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 3 years ago

    If you’re going to go iGPU Microsoft, why not offer the people an i7-6650U instead of the 6600U for that slight graphics bump? You’re already charging Cadillac Escalade prices. Getting an Intel Iris 540 with 64MB of eDRAM instead of a 520 with none would be a big deal.

    • Alexko
    • 3 years ago

    Damn that’s expensive. Raven Ridge can’t come soon enough.

      • DavidC1
      • 3 years ago

      Not sure if the CPU makes a huge difference at this price point. Plus, if you are going to put it inside a 3K device, whatever CPU is in there has to be the best. That’s why they sell these kind of devices, for those that need the best of class.

        • Shouefref
        • 3 years ago

        It’s a ridiculous price anyway.

        • Alexko
        • 3 years ago

        Well Raven Ridge has to save a good deal of cost compared to i7 + discrete GeForce!

        Beyond that I think the availability of such a cheap SoC will spur competition in this space.

    • RoxasForTheWin
    • 3 years ago

    So no word on being able to buy the graphics dock itself? I’d buy a 965m one in a heartbeat

    • xDoritox
    • 3 years ago

    Honestly, who the hell would want to play on a 13″ notebook? It’s so dumb. My Desktop monitor is 27″ – sadly, the resolution is only 1080p and no Free/G-Sync.

      • Pancake
      • 3 years ago

      That’s not the expected use case. The Surface Book needs graphics muscle for modelling texture mapped elephants. They be very large animals.

        • xDoritox
        • 3 years ago

        modeling on a 13″ though, I don’t see it. Professional Graphics designers would be better off with a Surface Studio or something of the kind. I don’t really see much use for 13″ laptops, the mobility is cool but then again the battery life would probably suffer under heavy load and away from a power plug. Just my opinion!

          • Norphy
          • 3 years ago

          I’m not a 3D Modeller but I use a 13″ laptop as my primary work machine as I have to work on multiple sites. My desk at my primary site has a docking station attached to two monitors which I hook up to my laptop and when I’m at other sites I just use the built-in screen. These days, mobile CPUs are generally as good as desktop ones for most purposes and with SSDs, there isn’t the storage speed deficit there once was.

          Doing this saves having to use someone else’s computer when I’m working at other sites and I always have the software and data I need to hand.

            • Shouefref
            • 3 years ago

            See: that’s what I mean: if you can’t use a desktop, you use a notebook.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Premiere uses CUDA. It’s a powerful mobile editing station (albeit dual core, but expected in a 13″). Gamers aren’t buying a 3000 dollar computer with a 965m (I hope).

      The great display also makes it suitable for that, compared to cheaper laptops.

      • EzioAs
      • 3 years ago

      Some people might do some casual (or even enthusiast) gaming on the go. They might also just prefer to have one machine that they can carry around for their computing needs. Your question seems so arbitrarily condescending, it just can’t be taken too seriously. Shouldn’t we celebrate and embrace the fact that some people still want to play games regardless of their hardware rather than mocking the choices available?

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 3 years ago

      So you bought a trash $150 27″ monitor. What are you trying to say, bro?

      • chµck
      • 3 years ago

      People who have the notebook hooked up to an external display?
      The 13″ form factor is very portable for people who use it as their primary machine between home and work/school.

      • f0d
      • 3 years ago

      people play games on a 4″ phone, a 13″ notebook is easy in comparison

    • Shouefref
    • 3 years ago

    It’s a piece of crap. Look at the keyboard. After an hour typing you have to see the doctor to remedy your destroyed fingers, hands and pulse.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      WTF? Your comment makes [i<]no[/i<] sense because the keyboard looks exactly the same as every other chiclet keyboard from Apple, Dell, Acer, HP, Razer, Asus etc. What exactly are you getting at?

        • Ninjitsu
        • 3 years ago

        MS is in bed with doctors
        Illuminati confirmed

        • Shouefref
        • 3 years ago

        All notebooks are a piece of crap. The only real computers are desktop computers. Notebooks ae an emergency tool.

          • LoneWolf15
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah, my ThinkPad T430 with its excellent keyboard , 16GB RAM, switchable graphics and two SSDs, and 1600×900 LCD says otherwise.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    They sold the original model with a keyboard dock only (no dGPU) option right? The original 940Mish card was an option, not default. This is just the newer model with no dGPU now, the “Surface Book i7” as they call it, I assume?

    [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_Book#Hardware[/url<] If it's still 6th gen core processors, what's actually different than the original SB that was sold without the dGPU?

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      There is no “newer model”, and the keyboard dock has the dGPU. You could not as far as I know ever buy the Surface Book without the keyboard dock.

      The “newer model” called the “Surface Book i7” is actually the “Surface Book with Performance Dock” that I linked above. That’s an updated and thicker dock with a GTX 965M, but otherwise the machine is identical — same [i<]lack of[/i<] Kaby Lake CPUs, same ports, etc. [i<][edits in italics][/i<]

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        The keyboard came with it from the start, the keyboard with a dGPU was optional from the start –

        “Surface Book’s keyboard is a thick and sturdy part, capable of folding back behind the display. It contains two USB 3.0 ports, full-size SD card slot on the left, Mini DisplayPort and SurfaceConnect port on the right, has an integrated additional battery and an optional Nvidia discrete GPU with 1 GB of video memory.”

        The dGPU just went from a 940M in the dGPU base to the 965M in the “performance base”, but if the Surface tablet part is the same that’s the same as saying each model always also came with a keyboard-only model.

        Here’s a review of the original

        [url<]https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/surface-book-review-the-laptop-that-replaces-your-tablet/[/url<] GPU options: Intel HD Graphics 520 or Intel HD Graphics 520 + NVIDIA GPU with 1GB GDDR5

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        It looks like what this is is that the highest end SB i7 model specifically can now be had without the dGPU, but you could always get the SB without a dedicated GPU, this is the news from today –
        [url<]http://hothardware.com/news/microsoft-launches-cheaper-flagship-surface-book-sku-without-dedicated-geforce-gpu[/url<]

          • MOSFET
          • 3 years ago

          What Zak said. That link is from today. At launch (and afaik until recently, like today) you could not buy one without the keyboard dock and therefore dGPU (wouldn’t that pretty much be a Surface Pro?).

            • tipoo
            • 3 years ago

            See the ars review or the wiki. Not every keyboard dock included a dGPU, which is where I think the confusion is.

            “”Surface Book’s keyboard is a thick and sturdy part, capable of folding back behind the display. It contains two USB 3.0 ports, full-size SD card slot on the left, Mini DisplayPort and SurfaceConnect port on the right, has an integrated additional battery and an OPTIONAL Nvidia discrete GPU with 1 GB of video memory.””

            Ars review at launch of the original
            [url<]https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/surface-book-review-the-laptop-that-replaces-your-tablet/[/url<] GPU options: Intel HD Graphics 520 or Intel HD Graphics 520 + NVIDIA GPU with 1GB GDDR5 The difference from today's news which I linked to clear this up, is the top end i7 model can now come without the dGPU, but the Surface Book itself could always come without one, but include a keyboard.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            Fair enough. That’s my error. Thanks for the uhh, tip, tipoo. 🙂

            • tipoo
            • 3 years ago

            Here’s the original Anandtech review. Keyboard != dGPU, there’s a second keyboard with either dGPU. I think that’s where you’re both getting confused here. You had to step up a few tiers to get the dGPU from the start.

            [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/9767/microsoft-surface-book-2015-review[/url<]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This