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Surface Pro 2 is here.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #1
Surface Pro 2 is here.

Well, it's probably not as exciting as the price of that cylindrical Mac Pro

But I got the Surface Pro 2 this evening, and tested several things.

Spec:
Surface Pro 2, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.
Processor: Intel Haswell i5 (I believe 4200U 2 core 4 thread, 1.6GHz)
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
Wifi: Off. Bluetooth Off
Power option: High performance

DAWbench
Audio interface RME UFX (via USB3.0 port), 48kHz/24bit
ASIO buffer 256

Reaper, RXC test 77
Reaper, RXC-ext test 41


In my previous test with Thinkpad W520, I got as follows:

1. Processor: Intel i7 2820QM,4 cores/8 threads
2. CPU clock frequency: 2.3GHz (stock)
3. OS: Win 7 64bit Pro
4. RAM: Kingston HyperX SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 16GB (4GBx4)
5. Motherboard:
6. DAW host: Reaper Ver 4, 32bit version
7. Audio interface: RME UFX (USB2.0 connection via USB3.0 port)
8. Sample rate/bit depth: 48/24

64 samples, RXC 113 instances
128 samples, RXC 123 instances
256 samples, RXC 131 instances

Attention PC DAW users! Post your DAWbench scores here!

So, yeah...it's not as fast as my W520, but that's not a fair comparison. Generally speaking, it works very snappy, and probably heavier than iPad/Android tablets, but I can install full Cubase, etc, so that's really about this tablet (actually, this is a tablet-style ultrabook).

Touch screen works beautifully, and in fact, I did all the DAWbench using just touch screen with portrait mode. Portrait mode looks oddly long, but that's the aspect ratio of HD screen (1920-1080) so I just need to get used to.

TotalMix FX installation....zero problem whatsoever (duh...it's RME driver but nice to know it works in W8.1 since RME hasn't yet officially supported W8.1).

I just did 12ch recording @88.2kHz/24bit for 30min directly to internal SSD, and zero pops/clicks. I need to get 64GB micro SDXC card as 'separate recording drive' cause recording directly to OS-SSD won't be good even the available space is still ~80%.

Here's some pics showing 99% CPU load while DAWbench test.
Attached Thumbnails
Surface Pro 2 is here.-p1130806.jpg   Surface Pro 2 is here.-p1130807.jpg  
Old 23rd October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

Thats very cool on a tablet :D



there's also a load of new windows 8 tablets on the horizon from the likes of Dell, Sony, Nokia so we're in for some intereting hardware over the next 6 months.


Dell have also upped their ante with the new precision workstations and also checkout the new Yoga Pad 2 :D



MC
Old 23rd October 2013
  #3
Sony is going to have almost Suface pro 2 clone, VAIO Tap 11, but it's thinner than Surface Pro 2 (price is similar $1000 - $1300 range).

VAIO Tap 11 Tablet PC - All VAIO Tap 11 Sony Store - Sony US

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro is actually a 'monster' tablet with 13inch QHD (retina class) display with Full Win 8.1 capacity, and Haswell i7 processor.
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops...ga/yoga-2-pro/

For serious 'laptop' work, I would choose Yoga 2 pro, but it's a little bit too large to hold in one hand and operate with another hand (finger). These 11inch tablet/ultrabook hybrids have some compromise in CPU power, but lighter, so it's comfortable to hold in one hand or when doing some sketching on couch.

Having variations is a good thing.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 

D.O.A.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
norbury brook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
d.o.a. Abduction


?????????


Mc
Old 23rd October 2013
  #6
Here's some DPC latency test, using LatencyMon.

With Wifi/Bluetooth both ON,
Base values 50-90us.
Occasional spikes around 600us every 20 sec or so.

With Wifi OFF and Bluetooth ON,
Base values 50-90us
and NO big spikes.

Power option needs to be high performance. Otherwise, screen goes to sleep, and there will be a 1500us DPC latency spike and cause audio pops.

Next, I will test how many hours it runs from full charge (in high performance power mode).
Old 23rd October 2013
  #7
jesus, this thing has more processing power than my 2011 i7 MBP
Old 23rd October 2013
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmicide View Post
jesus, this thing has more processing power than my 2011 i7 MBP
Maybe yes, maybe no, depends on the model. I bet 2011 MBP would have 2720QM i7 which is almost twice as powerful than Surface Pro 2.

2720QM is real 4 core 8 threads CPU, while Haswell i5 4200U in Surface Pro 2 is 2 core 4 threads CPU. That's actually a big difference for DAW use.

But, the difference is probably complete silence of Surface Pro 2 since it doesn't have fans, and write data to SSD or micro SDXC card. At 90% CPU load, the back of the body gets slightly warmer but it is completely okay to put on a lap (unlike many laptops a few years ago have all the heat problems). This is one big change in Haswell mobile CPUs (low power usage).

I'll check the core temperature anyway, while the CPU is pushed to 90%.

In the end, it's still amazing I can talk about DPC latency, core temp, DAWbench, etc with this tablet.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 

only tablet on the market right now worth having.. real OS with real programs not some silly toy with "apps"
but as mentioned there are more coming.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Maybe yes, maybe no, depends on the model. I bet 2011 MBP would have 2720QM i7 which is almost twice as powerful than Surface Pro 2.
my bad, I was looking at the Thinkpad CPU

and my MBP has the 2635QM so it is around twice as powerful
Old 25th October 2013
  #11
I tested microSDXC 64GB (Sandisk, UHS-1, Class 10) as a writing disk, since I didn't want to use internal SSD as a writing disk.

Recording setup was:
RME UFX, USB connection, ASIO Buffer 4096 samples.
Reaper 4, write buffers increased 4x from the default values.
Sample rate/bit depth = 96kHz/24 bit
Surface itself was on battery, high performance power, and Wifi OFF.

I was able to record to SDXC card up to 4 stereo channels, but 5 stereo channels caused recording dropout. So, this is about 16 channels of 48kHz/24bit recording. More than that was useless. Not bad for a tablet, but obviously not as secure as using full-featured laptop (7200rpm HD in optical bay can deal with 16 stereo channels @ 96/24). It also looked like 2.5 hr was the max time to record at that rate. I may get another newer mSDXC card to see if the channel counts can be improved.
Old 1st November 2013
  #12
I'm happy to report back, a new microSDXC card (SanDisk 'Extreme' rated as 80MB/s read, 50MB/s write) performed much better than what I tested last week.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extrem...reme+microSDXC

I was able to record 10 channels of 96kHz/24bit to that card from UFX, via USB3.0 port. And it appears I have more head room, but I haven't tested how much so far. The card I tested last week (SandDisk 'Ultra') was able to record 8 channels, but that was max.

I'm also testing USB3.0 hub (one adapter powered, another bus-powered) to see if I can use the single USB3.0 port connected with UFX and a SSD in a USB3.0 enclosure. I'll report back with some results.

Last edited by Masaaki; 2nd November 2013 at 05:44 PM.. Reason: added SD card information
Old 1st November 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
zephonic's Avatar
Wow, can't believe I missed this thread last week.

@Masaaki: how is operating Cubase with touch? I thought many of the buttons/knobs/controls/etc. would be too small for comfortable use, but would love to hear some first-hand observations.
Old 1st November 2013
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic View Post
Wow, can't believe I missed this thread last week.

@Masaaki: how is operating Cubase with touch? I thought many of the buttons/knobs/controls/etc. would be too small for comfortable use, but would love to hear some first-hand observations.
My Cubase is 6.0.5, and it certainly works using the attached keyboard/mouse pretty much like the way with PC laptops. But touch isn't really comfortable in my experience. Buttons, knobs, faders, menus, edges of the windows etc are all too small or thin, and it's a pain to add inserts/plugins, resize plugin windows, or choose one thing from long list of samples, etc by a finger. For comfortable 'DAW use', it has to be docked to a large screen (Surface Dock is available early 2014). I'm just using with my UFX just as a bid bucket...SSD recorder to save WAV files, as well as Total Mix FX functions, and DUREC of UFX.

I have similar 'difficulty' of touch operation with Photoshop CS5, because all the utility pallets are designed for desktop, and touch/finger isn't supported for those older versions.

I have to wait for the developers for touch support and need to upgrade every one of them. For example, Internet Explorer 12 (desktop app) allows to 'magnify' views using two fingers --like guys in CNN or Weather channel do--, and upgrade is free. But I bet I have to pay a lot to upgrade my Photochop to CC version to be able to use touch comfortably. I don't know Cubase 7.0 supports multi-touch magnification or not, so I will check that later, and if it does, I will consider upgrading.

By the way, I'm not planning to use Cubase with Surface Pro on regular basis, because the eLicenser dongle occupies the USB port, and I need to carry USB hub all the time. But I'm getting a bus powered USB3.0 next week, and I may change my mind.
Old 1st November 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
zephonic's Avatar
Thanks for your reply!
Old 1st November 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
My Cubase is 6.0.5, and it certainly works using the attached keyboard/mouse pretty much like the way with PC laptops. But touch isn't really comfortable in my experience. Buttons, knobs, faders, menus, edges of the windows etc are all too small or thin, and it's a pain to add inserts/plugins, resize plugin windows, or choose one thing from long list of samples, etc by a finger. For comfortable 'DAW use', it has to be docked to a large screen (Surface Dock is available early 2014). I'm just using with my UFX just as a bid bucket...SSD recorder to save WAV files, as well as Total Mix FX functions, and DUREC of UFX.

I have similar 'difficulty' of touch operation with Photoshop CS5, because all the utility pallets are designed for desktop, and touch/finger isn't supported for those older versions.

I have to wait for the developers for touch support and need to upgrade every one of them. For example, Internet Explorer 12 (desktop app) allows to 'magnify' views using two fingers --like guys in CNN or Weather channel do--, and upgrade is free. But I bet I have to pay a lot to upgrade my Photochop to CC version to be able to use touch comfortably. I don't know Cubase 7.0 supports multi-touch magnification or not, so I will check that later, and if it does, I will consider upgrading.

By the way, I'm not planning to use Cubase with Surface Pro on regular basis, because the eLicenser dongle occupies the USB port, and I need to carry USB hub all the time. But I'm getting a bus powered USB3.0 next week, and I may change my mind.
I'd guess that Cubase 7 would be a bit nicer to use on a touchscreen, with it's scaleable mixer/larger buttons etc.
Old 2nd November 2013
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Well, it's probably not as exciting as the price of that cylindrical Mac Pro

But I got the Surface Pro 2 this evening, and tested several things.

Spec:
Surface Pro 2, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.
Processor: Intel Haswell i5 (I believe 4200U 2 core 4 thread, 1.6GHz)
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
Wifi: Off. Bluetooth Off
Power option: High performance

DAWbench
Audio interface RME UFX (via USB3.0 port), 48kHz/24bit
ASIO buffer 256

Reaper, RXC test 77
Reaper, RXC-ext test 41


In my previous test with Thinkpad W520, I got as follows:

1. Processor: Intel i7 2820QM,4 cores/8 threads
2. CPU clock frequency: 2.3GHz (stock)
3. OS: Win 7 64bit Pro
4. RAM: Kingston HyperX SO-DIMM DDR3 1600 16GB (4GBx4)
5. Motherboard:
6. DAW host: Reaper Ver 4, 32bit version
7. Audio interface: RME UFX (USB2.0 connection via USB3.0 port)
8. Sample rate/bit depth: 48/24

64 samples, RXC 113 instances
128 samples, RXC 123 instances
256 samples, RXC 131 instances

Attention PC DAW users! Post your DAWbench scores here!

So, yeah...it's not as fast as my W520, but that's not a fair comparison. Generally speaking, it works very snappy, and probably heavier than iPad/Android tablets, but I can install full Cubase, etc, so that's really about this tablet (actually, this is a tablet-style ultrabook).

Touch screen works beautifully, and in fact, I did all the DAWbench using just touch screen with portrait mode. Portrait mode looks oddly long, but that's the aspect ratio of HD screen (1920-1080) so I just need to get used to.

TotalMix FX installation....zero problem whatsoever (duh...it's RME driver but nice to know it works in W8.1 since RME hasn't yet officially supported W8.1).

I just did 12ch recording @88.2kHz/24bit for 30min directly to internal SSD, and zero pops/clicks. I need to get 64GB micro SDXC card as 'separate recording drive' cause recording directly to OS-SSD won't be good even the available space is still ~80%.

Here's some pics showing 99% CPU load while DAWbench test.
lol was looking at it as i type lol ....great ....
Old 2nd November 2013
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
I'm also testing USB3.0 hub (one adapter powered, another bus-powered) to see if I can use the single USB3.0 port connected with UFX and a SSD in a USB3.0 enclosure. I'll report back with some results.
Okay, it was kind of surprising but USB3.0 powered hub I got performed really well, and exceeded my expectation.

D-Link DUB-1340 4-port SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hub - Newegg.com

I was able to record 10 channels @ 96/24 for an hour or so, both RME UFX and a recording drive plugged into the hub. The recording drive is OCZ Vertex 4 in USB3.0 enclosure:
Rosewill RDEE-12002 Aluminum 2.5" USB 3.0 SSD/ HDD Aluminum Screwless External Enclosure support up to 12.7mm - Newegg.com
Old 2nd November 2013
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Thks *Masaaki for all those priceless infos !!
Old 2nd November 2013
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
Thks *Masaaki for all those priceless infos !!
You're welcome

I also posted a feature request to RME forum, asking about multi-touch support for Total Mix FX.

I think in the next year or two, lots of PC laptop users will use touch and RME USB interfaces (Babyface, UCX, and UFX), so the support for multi-touch will be essential.

At the moment, I'm using a stylus pen for small buttons and faders, but it's nice to zoom in/out these small objects on tablets.

Also, if you haven't seen this 'special' keypad for Surface, check this out:
http://www.surfaceremixproject.com/

Also thread by Pete (Psychlist1972)
Surface Remix (Windows 8.1)

I think it's good for your students, don't you think?
Old 2nd November 2013
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Exellent initiative for the RME (as an UCX owner also) multi touch is a must !! great !!

Bringing my HP 8560W everytime at school is a pain (i don't like to bring it for simple cours ) and sometime i want to take the metro , so great to know that for 1 K i can have some serious i can still give cours with

Thks again ...also for the links ...
Old 2nd November 2013
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
oh can you also give use

HDD brand
and a quick wrpime 1.55 32test results as well as a dpc latency (wifi on and "disabled" , not off )

thks
Old 2nd November 2013
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
oh can you also give use

HDD brand
and a quick wrpime 1.55 32test results as well as a dpc latency (wifi on and "disabled" , not off )

thks
The latest version of rPrime (ver 2.10) gave me 'unknown error', so I couldn't get the benchmark. I guess Haswell 4200U was not recognized? But here's Passmark benchmarks of this CPU in Surface Pro 2:
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU Specs and Benchmark - Laptop Overviews, User Reviews, and Comments

It's not the fastest, but it is really a decent CPU for its size and power consumption.

As to the HDD brands, I tested several.
Hitachi (HGST) Touro 500GB USB3.0 7200rpm pocket drive: Didn't work. System did not load the drive. The USB3.0 is probably underpowered (even with AC/DC adapter to the Surface is attached), and the drive itself doesn't have external power port. If it's on powered USB3.0 hub, it works of course, and perform somewhere around 80MB/s read/write.

Rosewill USB3.0 enclosure for 2.5inch drive: This 'cheap' enclosure works brilliantly. I put OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD in it, and it performs >300MB/s read write via the USB3.0 port. When I put 2.5inch Seagate Momentus XT 750GB drive, it is still 100MB/s read/write. The enclosure has external power port, so I can plug in a cheap 5V adapter to supplement the drive power.

Main SSD in the Surface Pro 2 itself is "HFS256G", but I couldn't find what is the brand name of this. Maybe some kind of OEM, I guess.

As to the Wifi 'disabled' DPC latency test, I have to log off from Gearslutz, but I'll do in the next hour or so.
Old 2nd November 2013
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Hitachi (HGST) Touro 500GB USB3.0 7200rpm pocket drive: Didn't work. System did not load the drive. The USB3.0 is probably underpowered (even with AC/DC adapter to the Surface is attached), and the drive itself doesn't have external power port. If it's on powered USB3.0 hub, it works of course, and perform somewhere around 80MB/s read/write.
Did you connect the drive *after* plugging the AC power in to the Surface? I haven't seen anyone with those specific drives, any issues I've seen with external drives have been related to the Surface not being actually plugged in (make sure Windows shows as on AC power when you swipe in the charms)

If it's still a power issue, I wonder if the docking station would make this work?
Docking Station - Microsoft Store

Pete
Old 2nd November 2013
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychlist1972 View Post
Did you connect the drive *after* plugging the AC power in to the Surface? I haven't seen anyone with those specific drives, any issues I've seen with external drives have been related to the Surface not being actually plugged in (make sure Windows shows as on AC power when you swipe in the charms)
Yes, I tried both before and after plugging the AC power to the Surface, but the drive did not mount.

Interesting observation was system chimes, so obviously the port itself recognizes the hardware. And I looked from the Manage>Disk management, and it actually prompted me to format the drive as GPT.

So, accurately speaking, the drive was recognized but the volume was not....very strange. And I made sure the exact drive isn't faulty by plugging to several other PCs with USB2.0 and USB3.0 ports. And the drive is just fine. Only Suface Pro does this thing....

I haven't contacted to Hitachi or MS, but I'm not really interested in reporting because I have lots of other alternatives. I can use the drive for other things, and the Surface Pro is perfectly happy with the SSD/USB3 enclosure.
Old 2nd November 2013
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Thks Masaaki ...

Try to dowload everest to know brand of HDD ...

For wprime , be sure to run it as admin ..and try with an ol version with Xp or 7 compatibilty mode if you have time ....
Old 2nd November 2013
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
For wprime , be sure to run it as admin ..and try with an ol version with Xp or 7 compatibilty mode if you have time ....
Ah, that was IT!

I'm not familiar with this benchmark test, but I just got 32M 22.799s as a final score......maybe not so good?

As to the DPC latency mon tests with Wifi 'disabled' (from Device Manager), I actually got slightly better numbers ~30us, occasionally up to 60us, but the problem was 300-400us spikes by ACPI.sys. When Wifi is just OFF, ndis.sys gave 100us-120us spikes with average 50-60us base values. When Wifi is ON, the base values were the same, but occasional 400-450us spikes.

I don't have graphs showing these DPC latency figures because I'm using LatencyMon.

EDIT:
Just as a reference, I did wPrime 32M tests with some other machines. Scores were: Thinkpad W520 (3820QM i7)= 7.4sec, AMD FX8350 =7.7sec, and 3820 i7 =6.8sec
Old 3rd November 2013
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Thks a lot Masaaki !!

Wprime is the test that is the most in pair with how HT and turbo bosst is used in real DAW projects , also i nice way to situate one Cpu !!

Mobile Processors - Benchmarklist - NotebookCheck.net Tech

So this is on pair with a : Intel Core i7-2637M or killing a Intel Core 2 Duo T9900 witch was top notch in some MBP few years ago ....

More than enought for me to produce on the go !! and to do quik mixes (duende and waves based since it's light on cpu)

My HP 8540W was with an I5 back then and it was scoring at 16 ms so pretty impressive for this small thing !!
Old 3rd November 2013
  #29
Gear Guru
 
Jeezo's Avatar
By the way dpc latency is great !!! thks dude ....even with a hub (multiplying the latency by the number of device connected ), it will be still ok !!

a Fireface UCX + a akai LPK and ready to produce on the go !!!
Old 3rd November 2013
  #30
I got a little bit disappointing reply from RME saying that they will not develop 'pinch' gesture magnification 'within' TotalMix. Instead, they've already have TotalMix for iPad which has a special magnifying button, and touch-optimized user interface. I suggested to port such touch-optimized user interface to Windows platform, but I don't know they take it as serious or not.

Anyway, I sought after a way to use only a finger and touch to operate TotalMix in my Suface and the key is the 'ease of use' tools, especially magnifiers.

I've never used those 'ease of use' tools. To be honest, I always thought they are for users with handicaps, but I'm discovering how useful they are for users without handicaps especially for touch based laptop with small screen.

After adjusting magnifying increment to 50%, I can comfortably zoom in and out quick enough, by pressing + or - corners. And the nicest thing is the scroll area on the edges, that allow to browse entire screen right/left, and up/down. With this magnifier tool, I can comfortably operate knobs and buttons. For some reasons, moving a fader with a finger still needs some practice, which may be due to some touch latency of the screen.

I attach the screenshot of the magnified TotalMix FX, and this screen was taken from the 1920x1080 10inch display, so you can imagine how those knobs and buttons are enlarged. I can be sure which button I'm pressing with my fingertip, especially buttons are place next each other.
Attached Thumbnails
Surface Pro 2 is here.-screenshot-1-.jpg  
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