Microsoft dropped the Surface Book 2 a couple of days ago & that made many gamers pretty exited as there is a 15 inch model of the Surface Book 2 that comes equipped with a GTX 1060 & an 8th Gen Quadcore i7. So, everyone is now like super exited to use it as a Gaming Laptop as well for Content Creation. And in a chassis that’s fits comparatively thin & light form factor, the Surface Book 2 looks quite appealing as a Gaming Laptop. So, it should be a very good option for gaming right ? Well, it’s not actually build for gaming & it cannot turn as a very good gaming laptop as well. Why ? Well, Hardware limitations is the reason here. But, why would that be ? It’s straight up top notch hardware that should be good for gaming right ? Well, let me explain….
The Gaming Performance of any Laptop is dependent on it’s GPU for most of the part. The CPU is important but, it doesn’t translate to anything that much useful for Gaming compared to the GPU. So, for the Hardware department, we’re focusing on the GPU & as I’ve mentioned before, we’re talking about the 15 inch GTX 1060 model only.
Now, looking at the thin chassis, it’s probably true that Microsoft has gone with a Max-Q version of the GTX 1060. So, the Gaming performance will be 10-15% degraded compared to the regular GTx 1060 for laptops. But, this is the only way Microsoft can keep the Thermals comfortable & the Fan Noise low.
Now, if they have even used a Full Fledged laptop GTX 1060, instead of going with Max-Q, the heating & loud fan noise problems will be there. But, even if it has Max-Q, there is another big problem with the device & that’s the design. So, even for Max-Q you need a good combination of Heatpipes & Venting on the device. Now, we don’t know what is the Heatpipe design in the Surface Book 2 but, it definitely lacks the second most important thing & that is good Venting. So, the Surface Book 2 is degined towards that professional looking aesthetics. So, it’s not possible to put a lot of venting on it. So, clearly it was not designed for gaming so, the performance will get degraded automatically compared to those Laptops that are designed for gaming.
The Bigger issue however is the price. The 15 inch Surface Book 2 has GTX 1060 in all the variants but it Starts at $2499 for the 256 Gig variant & that is a whole lot money for what you’re getting. Talking about the other variants, we have the 512 Gig variant for $2899 & the 1TB variant for $3299. All these variants come with an i7-8650U,16GB RAM & the GTX 1060 and the Screen resolution is also top class with 3240 x 2160 (3:2). So it’s great for people who are into Content Creation but, it’s not like your regular gaming laptop.
Surface Book 2 vs. The Competition (Price vs. Performance)
For those price points you can easily get other good options for gaming with the Thin & Light form factor. Actually, there are thinner & more powerful Max-Q Gaming Laptops available that is cheaper than these Surface Book 2 variants. For example for the same Price of of $2499, you can get the MSI GS63VR with the GTX 1070 Max-Q (i7-7700HQ,32GB RAM,512GB SSD) & for $2699 you can get the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 with a Max-Q GTX 1080 (i7-7700HQ,16GB RAM,1TB SSD) or for $2999 you can get the Acer Triton 700 with a Max-Q GTX 1080 (i7-7700HQ,32GB RAM, 512GB SSD). And of all these laptops come with 120 Hz Screens while the ASUS & Acer have support for G-sync. The Surfacebook 2 has a 60Hz panel with no G-sync.
So, the conclusion comes to that, the Surface Book 2 is good for Content Creation & things like Virtual & Mixed Reality platforms. But, for gaming this is not the right thing to go with. Unfortunately, it was not designed for gaming & there are far better laptops using the Max-Q approach & the higher end GPUs for less price. So look at those options & don’t buy the Surface Book 2 if your main goal is to game. Also, please let us know if you have any other questions in the comments section below.