Microsoft’s Surface 7 with an i5 thermal throttles extensively

Nov 19
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Microsoft's newest Surface line-up features three different variants, the i3 - 1005G1, i5 - 1035G1, and an i7 - 1065G1. On NotebookCheck, they benchmarked the newest line-up of Microsoft Surface and it showed that the i5 version of the surface thermal throttled expensively so far that the performance was worse than a Core i7 - 8565U, a CPU that is two generations behind the current release.

The Core i5 - 1035G1 thermal throttles down so bad that it is worse than a Core i7 - 8565U

One of the main reasons that this CPU thermal throttles so harshly is that in this CPU while having a faster boost clock when comparing the Core i7 - 8565U, being 3.7 GHz and 3.6 GHz respectively, along with having more GPU computing cores being 48 total cores on the i5 - 1035G1 versus the 24 cores on the i7 - 8565U. These additions cause the Core i5 - 1035G1 to heat up considerably more than the Core i7 - 8565U but in the Microsoft Surface, the CPU is the only passively cooled which does cause this CPU to overheat if subjected to prolonged stressful use.

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This is a prime example of the form factor limiting the functionality of the device, as when this CPU starts to thermal throttle, it can lose up to 27% of its performance, which leaves a significant amount of performance off the table due to the passive cooler design that the newest Surface devices use. If this processor was paired with a bigger case and an active cooler it would perform significantly better and last longer as it would not be forced to thermal throttle under normal operation.

While this processor still competes with the Ryzen 2700U in raw multi-threaded performance, over any longer course of time the Ryzen 2700U would win, because the CPU would be forced to thermal throttle dropping a significant amount of its performance. The integrated graphics (Iris Plus G4) is significantly faster than the UHD Graphics G1 in the Core i3 variant of this laptop. While this integrated graphics may be on par (in benchmarks) with the GeForce MX150, the Nvidia graphics will still be able to outperform the Iris Plus G4 because of Nvidia's matured drivers for the graphics.

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