Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

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Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:37 pm

Considering buying the Microsoft Surface Book for use with Sketchup.

On paper it looks like it will be a great, portable Sketchup machine but I've been wrong in the past.

Anyone got experience with the top spec version? (i7, 16GB RAM, Discreet GPU)
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby pbacot » Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:18 pm

Great to meet someone who can even give a link for THE time they were wrong. ;)
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:45 am

Haha - I've been wrong plenty of times. Was surprised by the HP Z book problem and don't want to face that again
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby juju » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:08 am

which CPU / GPU / HDD options are you considering?

(plenty of different i7 CPU's, there's a range of nVidia GPU's)
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:29 am

Information from Microsoft is scant.

However, according to this page, the GPU is custom built by NVIDIA but is "roughly equivalent to Nvidia’s GeForce 940M, according to a report from Hexus based on the findings shared via reddit. The GPU has 384 CUDA cores, a clock speed of 954MHz, and one gigabyte of GDDR5 memory."

The i7 chip is 6th Gen and according to this post is an i7 6600U which, to my untrained eye, has a reasonable turbo frequency speed of 3.4ghz so would seem to be quite capable for all SU related tasks despite only being able to utilize one thread with SU.

Does that help?
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby juju » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:48 am

ashscott wrote:Information from Microsoft is scant.

However, according to this page, the GPU is custom built by NVIDIA but is "roughly equivalent to Nvidia’s GeForce 940M, according to a report from Hexus based on the findings shared via reddit. The GPU has 384 CUDA cores, a clock speed of 954MHz, and one gigabyte of GDDR5 memory."

The i7 chip is 6th Gen and according to this post is an i7 6600U which, to my untrained eye, has a reasonable turbo frequency speed of 3.4ghz so would seem to be quite capable for all SU related tasks despite only being able to utilize one thread with SU.

Does that help?


CPU: yep, go for the highest clock speed, remember to go the notebook systems management and set the CPU power preferences you prefer, I set mine (on my Lenovo Y5070) to run at full tilt all the time.

GPU: seems reasonable, but could be better, the GTX series is preferable, the amount of GPU RAM might hurt you in future, I'd say minimum 2GB if you won't be doing any rendering with the machine, my machine has 4GB and I can't really complain
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby Charlie__V » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:34 pm

I am following this thread as I too have interest in the MS surface book.

I have heard the display resolution may be problematic for SU, though info is scant.

Anyway, sorry I could not be of more help.

PS, I also heard if you have a MS Store nearby, they may install software (SU) on a store machine for you to test it out..........again though.........info is scant on this as well.

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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby matt.gordon320 » Fri May 13, 2016 9:23 pm

Hey guys, sorry I'm late to the discussion. I actually had a Surface Book (i7/16GB/512GB/dGPU) and it ran SketchUp pretty well. The issue was that SketchUp 2015 could not yet utilize the dedicated graphics, it only recognized the integrated board, so running complex models with Style and Shadows was not great, workable, but not great. I'll probably end up getting one again when I finish a couple auto projects that I've got budgeted out. Honestly, running SketchUp on the touchscreen with an onscreen keyboard modifier set was very pleasurable, if not quite as fast as running keyboard shortcuts.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Sun May 15, 2016 10:15 pm

Yeah we ended up getting one here - has had multiple issues with display resolution (especially when using additional monitors) but is otherwise pretty good and SU 2016 seems to utilize the graphics card well.

The display issues are a pain but not enough to stop us from buying another.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby adamj0112 » Tue May 17, 2016 2:16 am

I have surface book with Nvidia and i7 and all is well except when i am drawing and wanting to make sure I hit the specific point, it is almost impossible to see that the start point has turned green so that I am drawing in the exact location. Also the layers drop down menu is distorted and impossible to read or scroll thru. I have worked with surface book to fix this and have had no luck...and it is not only sketchup that I am having weird display issues with when the program opens.

I keep calling support to find a resolution but nothing yet...I am actually writing this as they are remoting into my surface book.

as of right now it is great to display finished designs but a pain to design on, even with a 22" monitor attached.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Tue May 17, 2016 2:45 am

You've bumped resolution settings in windows down to 1920x1080?

3000x2000 caused a lot of issues with SU
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby bthomas3 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:20 pm

Has anyone any better suggestions for a portable sketchup ('16) machine? I'm buying just so I can do DC programming away from my desktop, needs to be presentable, smooth, responsive.... I'm willing to wait a short while if something better is coming out soon. Thanks
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby pilou » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:18 pm

And what happen when using http://my.sketchup.com/ ?
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:40 am

Update:

Problems with Sketchup on the Surfacebook i7 with discreet GPU have been ongoing from point-snapping issues because of the screen resolution configuration through to the GPU not running with Sketchup even when set to under Nvidia control panel because an automatic Win10 update has stuffed everything up.

The things are certainly not all they're cracked up to be. At least on a less elegant HP/Lenovo/Acer you can actually access stuff to control. On the SurfaceBook Microsoft has tried to stop the user from fiddling with their configs and it is so annoying.

Example, you have to do a regedit just to get the thing to run at its available power settings: https://youtu.be/k-VWlincHO4
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:20 pm

More problems with the Surface Pro, this time opening/closing groups/components is extremely slow. Everything else in SU runs real fast and snappy but opening and closing groups and components is PAINFUL
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby matt.gordon320 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:52 pm

Ashscott, any thoughts on the newly released "Performance Base" version, and/or the release of SketchUp 2017 with the updates to the graphics engine? I'm curious how the combination of those two together would behave. I may end up getting one and returning it within the time period to do some first hand tests.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:36 am

I think 2017 is definately an improvement but there are still some display issues.

For example, if you add dimensions directly in Sketchup at a font size that looks reasonable on screen, when you print the font comes out so small you can hardly read it.

We also have to constantly turn plugins off too because they cause a loading error when it takes several seconds to open/close components. Turning certain extensions off resolves the issue for some time until it happens and then randomly turning off another extension temporarily fixes it.

My anecdotal experience is that Windows 10 with its bizarre update system that seems to mess with everything without asking is partially to blame as is the proprietary GPU as is the Hi DPI screen. All three have collided to make a system that is usable but frustratingly not as good as it could be.

The SU 2017 graphics updates (in my understanding) are to handle transparencies better, which they seem to do. I don't know anything about the "Performance Base" version but would say that it doesn't resolve the three issues I mention above.

My personal day to day workhorse is a near four year old HP DV6 on Windows 7 that seems to just work with SU seamlessly on 100mb+ models.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ccaponigro » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:14 pm

I am watching this thread closely. I am on the verge of replace it my HP Elitebook 8730w moble workstation. It runs SU and Autodesk apps like a powerful desktop. Here is the rub. It's heavy, big and runs hot hot hot, and kills a battery in about 20 min.

I have looked at HP, Boxx, and Surfacebook. If I configure any of them to a specification I think will perform I get into the $4000.00 to $5000.00 area. OUCH.

I really want something small and light with ultimate power and good battery life. Maybe it's just not out there yet for a reasonable price. Please keep the information coming about your experiences.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby matt.gordon320 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:25 pm

ccaponigro wrote:I have looked at HP, Boxx, and Surfacebook. If I configure any of them to a specification I think will perform I get into the $4000.00 to $5000.00 area. OUCH.


Yeah, if you're looking for mobile, that's a tough one. I can say Boxx makes insanely great computers, I have a Boxx desktop, and even three years on it's an unreal power-house. Like you said though, they're extremely pricey. Microsoft currently has their holiday return policy in effect until Jan 31st if I'm not mistaken, so I may just pick one up and test it thoroughly. If I do I'd be happy to post regular updates.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby kaas » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:51 pm

Anyone already tested SketchUp with the new SurfaceBook & performance base?
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby toddster » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:12 pm

I have a surface pro and iam about to kill myself, so painful speed wise at times i wont to rip what little hair i have left straight out
OMG
I dont remember it being this slow at first but when i first started using the program i was just learning, so now my demands are getting more intense
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:46 pm

Do whatever you can to turn off Windows 10s rediculous updates (good luck with that) as they often return your machine to what I call "gutless" mode.

You can over-ride some of this with a basic registry edit as shown in this video: https://youtu.be/k-VWlincHO4

Doing so made a big difference for us. Still, everytime a Windows 10 update slips through we have to go through the process again to actually get the power we paid for
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ArchiJeff » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:13 pm

I have the Surface Book with performance base, i7 top end yadda. When I set the nVidia control panel to force SU and Layout to used the dedicated gPu, I can open a SU model file successfully, but the model is invisible. A white drawing space. So frustrating to have to settle for the integrated gPu after this kind of cash outlay.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ashscott » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:01 pm

I feel ya. It will take a lot of convincing to get us to pay for Microsoft hardware after this debacle.

Doing a basic regedit as shown in this video may make the GPU play a little nicer: https://youtu.be/k-VWlincHO4
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby matt.gordon320 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:52 pm

@AshScott, quick question for you after reading over this thread again. Are the video driver issues you mention present all the time, or only when you have an additional monitor plugged in? Just curious.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby ccaponigro » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:35 pm

Thought I would say in closing... I wound up bitting the bullet and bought a Boxx. Runs quite, cool and fast. So far so good.
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby sketch3d.de » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:53 pm

ccaponigro wrote:...bought a Boxx.

Notebook models in the new nVidia Max-Q design might be interesting here too, e.g.:

Asus ROG GX501 Zephyrus
Acer Predator Triton 700
MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro

nVidia Max-Q Design-Philosophy Laptops Are Available Now
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Re: Microsoft Surface Book and Sketchup

Postby MelResDes » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:06 pm

Do any of you that have used the Surface Book with SketchUp have any updates since the last post? I am seriously considering getting a Surface Book i7, 16gb, 512 ssd with the performance base. I want to run SU 2017. Keep in mind I will be using this to mostly present models and make some adjustments on the fly. Most of my modeling will be on my desktop.
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