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Old 11-09-2012, 03:21 AM   #1
nibunnoichi
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Default Surface Pro: Would you accept a 3 month delay for Haswell?

There are no concrete release date or price details regarding the Pro yet. It is vaguely supposed to be released around Jan/Feb. There's been some speculation that MS might be holding out / delaying to put Haswell into the Pro. I'm thinking the chance of this this are pretty slim, but I would welcome it if true. Haswell is supposed to bring very significant leaps in performance and battery life, but it's not due out until mid 2013. MS might have a deal with Intel to get Haswell for the Pro sooner - but that's pure speculation. What do you think the chances of this happening, and would you actually prefer it if MS delayed the Pro until it's got Haswell (say around May)?
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:25 AM   #2
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I doubt you will see Haswell in Surface tablets anytime soon.
Not in a year at least.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:47 AM   #3
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I am willing to wait. An extra 1.5 hour battery life is worth the wait. If its 30 minutes of added battery then maybe not.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:04 AM   #4
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Pro will be coming, Haswell will not be coming with it. At least not for the first round.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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I think it's silly that the Surface Pro is already coming 3 months after Windows 8 launch. Seems this really should have been ready by now.

At the moment I'm either going to buy a Windows 8 tablet within the next month or two (if any actually ever show up for purchase) or I'll probably just give up and wait until the next generation of stuff probably in the summer time with Haswell processors.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
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I think it's silly that the Surface Pro is already coming 3 months after Windows 8 launch. Seems this really should have been ready by now.

At the moment I'm either going to buy a Windows 8 tablet within the next month or two (if any actually ever show up for purchase) or I'll probably just give up and wait until the next generation of stuff probably in the summer time with Haswell processors.
Intel is doing a special run of 10W Ivy Bridge chips that coincidentally will be ready around January.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:22 PM   #7
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Intel is doing a special run of 10W Ivy Bridge chips that coincidentally will be ready around January.
I think that'll just give more oil to the fact that it's not reasonable to expect a powerful x86 chip to run in an environment with barely any cooling and not be thermal throttled.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:46 PM   #8
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I think that'll just give more oil to the fact that it's not reasonable to expect a powerful x86 chip to run in an environment with barely any cooling and not be thermal throttled.
Did people not think that before? It's not as if Microsoft can suddenly take essentially the same hardware platform and battery size that's in the 11" MacBook Air, stick in a 1080p panel instead, and expect more than 5 hours of battery life without changing something. And I remember reading a quote somewhere about the Surface Pro where they said something to the effect of "a tablet with bad battery life is DOA".

I'm hoping for 6-8 hours, but know that the real battery life improvements won't come until Haswell where Intel basically creates an SoC design with CPU, GPU, and platform chipset all integrated into one chip.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:07 AM   #9
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I don't think the issue is that people didn't think about it... but more like... they don't really care.

The iPad and similar tablets have set a pretty high bar (8 to 10 hours) in terms of battery life for the form factor.

It's more about expectation than facts here, I think. People know in the back of their minds that there are limitations imposed on current technology, yet they expect magic and unicorns.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:12 AM   #10
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Intel is doing a special run of 10W Ivy Bridge chips that coincidentally will be ready around January.
If the chip isn't ready until January and Microsoft is selling the Surface Pro in January, I'm guessing it won't have these chips.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:10 AM   #11
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If the chip isn't ready until January and Microsoft is selling the Surface Pro in January, I'm guessing it won't have these chips.
The 10W chips are the only reason TO wait until January.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:31 AM   #12
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The 10W chips are the only reason TO wait until January.
According to Microsoft, the reason is they wanted to spend ALL their time getting the Surface RT right first. Then they are going to do the Surface Pro after and that apparently takes 3 more months. So it doesn't seem like it's a hardware timing thing.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:18 AM   #13
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According to Microsoft, the reason is they wanted to spend ALL their time getting the Surface RT right first. Then they are going to do the Surface Pro after and that apparently takes 3 more months. So it doesn't seem like it's a hardware timing thing.
One would assume that the hardest part of creating a tablet is initial hardware design, which was apparently done in June. The software itself has gone gold since August 1st. Driver support should also already be finished since most of the "newer" components like sensors and such are already in Surface RT.

Besides thermal testing for the fan design, there really isn't anything left. It's a PC, through and through with a touchscreen. Maybe it's because they are waiting on 10.6" 1080p panels which are unique to them or it's the 10W Ivy Bridge CPUs like I stated before, but I do not take what Microsoft says 100% at face value when there are clearly other factors at play.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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But it's actually reasonable to not expect 10W chips in the Surface Pro when the 10W chip isn't going to be available all the way up until the introduction of the device.

Unless Intel already had working engineering samples sent to Microsoft a few months before the current time frame. It's not as easy as simply slapping a new chip in and expect it to work 100%.

So I think the only factor, if anything, is that 10.6" 1080p panel.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:41 AM   #15
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Kind of a shame Windows is still so rubbish with higher DPI screens. But a Surface RT just doesn't have enough performance or freedom in software for me to care, so I only hope that the Pro ends up having enough performance at its target battery life.

What I really want is a chip that can run really low speed when its unplugged but I can ramp it up to full performance quad core when I have it plugged in, so I don't have to worry about low performance on the desktop when its got a keyboard and on a desk.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:46 AM   #16
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But it's actually reasonable to not expect 10W chips in the Surface Pro when the 10W chip isn't going to be available all the way up until the introduction of the device.

Unless Intel already had working engineering samples sent to Microsoft a few months before the current time frame. It's not as easy as simply slapping a new chip in and expect it to work 100%.

So I think the only factor, if anything, is that 10.6" 1080p panel.
Intel has already stated that the 10W Ivy Bridge parts are "limited" and will be working with specific partners to implement them in new products. For most OEMs, they will never be able to use them and will have to wait until Haswell 10W parts.

I would like to think that Intel and Microsoft are still buddy buddy enough that Microsoft could use those chips in their own tablet. After all, whatever makes ARM "look" bad is always in Intel's interest, and what better tablet to do it in than one from the OS-vendor? Plus, the side-by-side comparisons of performance of the Surface RT and Surface Pro are just too good for Intel to give up.

Regardless, the true power advantages, as has been said already, will come with Haswell when everything is fully integrated, and even non-Intel chips are held to higher QA testing parameters.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:57 PM   #17
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No, MS needed their Surface tablets on the market, and ready to be on the market, 6 months ago. They can't afford to wait indefinitely, they're already pretty much going to be a bit player as it is.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:48 PM   #18
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I think that'll just give more oil to the fact that it's not reasonable to expect a powerful x86 chip to run in an environment with barely any cooling and not be thermal throttled.
They already do. It's called a Macbook Air (or really any other ultrabook). That thing is practically a tablet and it manages to do just fine. Intel's CPUs are getting ridiculously efficient and are getting to the point where they don't need a lot of active cooling.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:50 PM   #19
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They already do. It's called a Macbook Air (or really any other ultrabook). That thing is practically a tablet and it manages to do just fine. Intel's CPUs are getting ridiculously efficient and are getting to the point where they don't need a lot of active cooling.
The 11" MacBook Air only gets 4-5 hours of battery life (similar battery size as Surface Pro, but lower resolution screen). Tablet owners expect more.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:46 AM   #20
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They already do. It's called a Macbook Air (or really any other ultrabook). That thing is practically a tablet and it manages to do just fine. Intel's CPUs are getting ridiculously efficient and are getting to the point where they don't need a lot of active cooling.
I don't see any vent on a tablet, do you? If there is no vent or fan, the stakes are much higher. Yet I don't think Microsoft wants to risk having their tablet labeled as "dust collector" or "loud under load".

On the other hand, the MacBook Air does have a fan. Its whole hinge area is the vent, and the thing gets extremely loud under load. Not to mention it's also 30-40% heavier than the heaviest tablet.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:48 PM   #21
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On the other hand, the MacBook Air does have a fan. Its whole hinge area is the vent, and the thing gets extremely loud under load. Not to mention it's also 30-40% heavier than the heaviest tablet.
It also gets hotter than the surface of the sun when you're doing CPU intensive tasks. HD video, SC2, etc.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:34 PM   #22
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It also gets hotter than the surface of the sun when you're doing CPU intensive tasks. HD video, SC2, etc.
Yeah, that too.

I have handled a 11" MBA that got even hotter than my 15" rMBP. The keyboard area directly above the CPU region got so hot that I couldn't even touch it at some point. The small and thin chassis + limited air flow don't make for a good combo IMO.

Needless to say, every Ultrabook I have touched also suffers from the same thing... though some of them are less severe because they ran i3 processors.

Not sure how Microsoft plans to push such a chip inside the Surface Pro and still gets away with no air vent.

If there is a vent... then I already know the outcome... by handling the Samsung Series 7 tablet.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:56 AM   #23
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Yeah, that too.

I have handled a 11" MBA that got even hotter than my 15" rMBP. The keyboard area directly above the CPU region got so hot that I couldn't even touch it at some point. The small and thin chassis + limited air flow don't make for a good combo IMO.

Needless to say, every Ultrabook I have touched also suffers from the same thing... though some of them are less severe because they ran i3 processors.

Not sure how Microsoft plans to push such a chip inside the Surface Pro and still gets away with no air vent.

If there is a vent... then I already know the outcome... by handling the Samsung Series 7 tablet.
Surface Pro has perimeter venting that wraps around the entire side of the device so that they can't be blocked when you hold it in your hand. That's why it's 4mm thicker.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:12 AM   #24
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It also gets hotter than the surface of the sun when you're doing CPU intensive tasks. HD video, SC2, etc.
so i can't expect to play SC2? dammit....
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