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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 : Everything You Need To Know!

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 : Everything You Need To Know!

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 boasts a number of improvements, including new AMD Ryzen processors and a 11.5 hour battery life!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the new Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – key features, specifications, price and availability!

 

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

The Surface Laptop 3 is Microsoft’s response to the Apple MacBook Pro. Like its rival, it promises a powerful computing experience in a thin and light form factor, with a phenomenal battery life.

Two Form Factors

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 comes in 13.5-inch and 15-inch form factors, with weights of just under 1.3 kg and just over 1.5 kg respectively.

New AMD + Intel Processors

The 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 comes with the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processors, while the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 is powered by the AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition processors!

With USB-C Port

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 now comes with both a Type A USB port, as well as a Type C USB port. This gives you more flexibility connecting it to an external display, docking stations or USB accessories.

Larger Trackpad + Two Palm Rest Options

The glass trackpad is now 20% larger, and you can opt for a metal palm rest, or have it covered in Alcantara fabric.

 

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Specifications

To make it easier for you to compare both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch models, here is a table comparing their key specifications :

Specifications Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
(13.5-inch)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
(15-inch)
Display 13.5-inch PixelSense Display 15-inch PixelSense Display
Display Resolution 2256 x 1504 pixels (201 ppi) 2496 x 1664 pixels (201 ppi)
Multi-Touch Capability 10 point multi-touch
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Processor Options Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Core i5-1035G7
AMD Ryzen 7 3780U
AMD Ryzen 5 3580U
Graphics Processor Intel Iris Plus Graphics AMD Radeon RX Vega 11
AMD Radeon Vega 9
Memory 8 GB / 16 GB LPDDR4X 8 GB / 16 GB DDR4
Storage Removable solid state drive
(128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB)
Wireless Capabilities Wi-Fi 6 : 802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 5 : 802.11ac
Bluetooth 5.0
Camera Windows Hello face authentication camera
720p HD front camera (f/2.0)
Audio Dual far-field Studio microphones
Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
Connectivity Options 1 x USB Type C
1 x USB Type A
1 x Surface Connect Port
1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack
Battery Life Up to 11.5 hours
Dimensions 308 mm wide
223 mm deep
14.5 mm thick
339.5 mm wide
244 mm deep
14.69 mm thick
Weight Matte Black : 1.288 kg
Platinum : 1.265 kg
1.542 kg
Colour Options Matte Black (Metal Palm Rest)
Platinum (Alcantara Palm Rest)
Matte Black (Metal Palm Rest)
Platinum (Metal Palm Rest)

 

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Price + Availability

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is available for pre-order now, with general availability beginning 9 December 2019, and retail sales starting in January 2020.

Here are the prices for the first models and accessories :

13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3

Specifications MY SG US UK AU
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD RM 4,499 S$1,488 $978.48 £999 A$1,815.98
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD RM 5,699 S$1,888 $1,249.99 £1,269 A$2,140.78
Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD RM 7,099 S$2,288 $1,572.49 £1,549 A$2,660.95
Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD $1,993 £1,949 A$3,278.95
Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD $2,372.49

15-inch Surface Laptop 3

Specifications MY SG US UK AU
Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD $1,199 £1,199 A$2,221.98
Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD RM 6,799 * S$2,188 $1,813.99 £1,269 A$2,569.98
Ryzen 5, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD $1,619 £1,699 A$2,818.95
Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD $2,028.49 £2,049 A$3,433.95

* Available only in Harvey Norman stores for the first 2 months

Accessories

Model MY SG US UK AU
Surface Arc Mouse RM 339 S$118 $69.99 £59 A$101.96
Surface Pen RM 399 S$148 $64.99 £68.50 A$122.99

 

Recommended Reading

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AMD Ryzen 5 2400G With RX Vega 11 Graphics Review

AMD announced the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics at CES 2018, and now it is finally here!. Today, we will share with you our review of the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G APU, and its integrated Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics!

 

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Specifications Compared

We created this table to compare the specifications of the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) and AMD Ryzen 3 2200G (Price Check) APUs, against the AMD Ryzen 5 1400 and AMD Ryzen 3 1200 CPUs, that they will replace.

SpecificationsAMD Ryzen 5 2400GAMD Ryzen 5 1400AMD Ryzen 3 1200AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
TDP65 W65 W65 W65 W
SocketAM4AM4AM4AM4
Process Technology14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET
Transistor Count4.94 Billion4.8 Billion4.8 Billion4.94 Billion
Die Size209.78 mm²192 mm²192 mm²209.78 mm²
CCX Configuration4+02+22+24+0
Processor Cores4444
Number of Simultaneous Threads8844
L2 Cache Size2 MB2 MB2 MB2 MB
L3 Cache Size4 MB8 MB8 MB4 MB
Base Clock Speed3.6 GHz3.2 GHz3.1 GHz3.5 GHz
Boost Clock Speed3.9 GHz3.4 GHz3.4 GHz3.7 GHz
Max. DDR4 SpeedDDR4-2933DDR4-2667DDR4-2667DDR4-2933
GPURadeon RX Vega 11
- 704 stream processors
- 44 TMUs, 16 ROPs
- Up to 1250 MHz
NoneNoneRadeon Vega 8
- 512 stream processors
- 32 TMUs, 16 ROPs
- Up to 1100 MHz
PCI Express LanesPCIe x8PCIe x16PCIe x16PCIe x8
Bundled CPU CoolerAMD Wraith StealthAMD Wraith StealthAMD Wraith StealthAMD Wraith Stealth
Launch PriceUS$ 169US$ 169US$ 109US$ 99

 

Unboxing The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics (Price Check) comes bundled with an AMD Wraith Stealth cooler. Let’s unbox it, and see what we find inside!

Here is what you will find inside the box :

  • The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G APU (Price Check)
  • A pair of Ryzen and Radeon case badges
  • The AMD Wraith Stealth cooler
  • A set of AMD CPU installation guide, and motherboard compatibility note

Next Page > Key Features Of The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

 

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The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G APU Up Close!

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics (Price Check) has four Ryzen processor cores with a 3.6 GHz base clock, and a 3.9 GHz boost clock. It supports SMT (simultaneous multi-threading), and can therefore handle 8 threads simultaneously.

It uses a single CCX (CPU Complex), allowing AMD to fit a Radeon GPU on the same die. Its transistor count only increased by 3% to 4.94 billion, with a 9% larger die size of 209.78 mm².

 

Single CCX Configuration

Unlike the Summit Ridge-based Ryzen CPUs, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G uses a single CCX configuration. This is a cost-saving measure that yields a much smaller die size, with some performance benefits – reduced cache and memory latencies.

AMD analysed the performance of the 2+2 and 4+0 configurations, and concluded that they are “roughly equivalent on average across 50+ games“.

 

Smaller L3 Cache

Using a single CCX configuration has the unfortunate effect of halving the L3 cache size from 8 MB to 4 MB. AMD increased its base and boost clock speeds to compensate for the smaller L3 cache.

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G has a 400 MHz (12.5%) higher base clock and a 500 MHz (14.7%) higher boost clock than the Ryzen 5 1400 it replaces.

 

New CPU Package

The Raven Ridge APUs also introduce a revised CPU package, and a switch to the traditional non-metallic TIM (thermal interface material). These are again cost-cutting measures, albeit with a side benefit of allowing the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) to officially support DDR4-2933 memory.

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Precision Boost 2

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) supports the improved Precision Boost 2, whose more graceful and linear boost algorithm allows them to “boost more cores, more often, on more workloads“. It can change frequencies in very fine granularity of just 25 MHz.

According to AMD, this will allow the Raven Ridge processors to perform better with apps and games that spawn many lightweight threads, as opposed to apps with persistent loads (e.g. video editing and 3D rendering).

 

PCIe x8 For Discrete GPU

The Summit Ridge-based AMD Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 processors have 16 PCI Express 3.0 lanes dedicated to the PCIe graphics card. The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) only has half that – 8 PCIe lanes. That means any external graphics card will only communicate with it at PCIe x8 speed.

This is a cost-saving measure, although AMD also claims that the move contributed to a smaller and more efficient uncore. According to AMD, this is unlikely to make a significant difference with the type of (mid-range) graphics cards this processor will usually be paired with.

 

AMD Wraith Stealth

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) is bundled with the AMD Wraith Stealth cooler. This is a basic CPU cooler, so don’t expect LED or RGB lighting, a copper base or even heatpipes.

The Wraith Stealth cooler uses a simple, low-profile aluminium heatsink, with a new spring-screw clamping system. Its main advantage – it’s quiet with a maximum noise level of 28 dBa.

Next Page > 3D Rendering, Video Transcoding & Photoshop Performance

 

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Benchmarking The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

In this review, we will take a look at the work and gaming performance of the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G APU. In the CPU tests, we will compare it to the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G (Price Check), as well as the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) and the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X ( Price Check).

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X AMD Ryzen 5 2400G AMD Ryzen 3 1300X AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
Cores / Threads 4 / 8 4 / 8 4 / 4 4 / 4
Base Clock 3.5 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.5 GHz
Boost Clock 3.7 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.7 GHz
L2 Cache 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB
L3 Cache 16 MB 4 MB 8 MB 4 MB
Memory Speed DDR4-2666 DDR4-2933 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2933
Current Price US$ 189 US$ 169 US$ 129 US$ 99

In the graphics tests, we will compare it to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Price Check), and the AMD Radeon RX 460 (Price Check) graphics cards. The graphics drivers used were the NVIDIA GeForce 390.77 and the AMD Radeon Software 17.7.

 

3D Rendering Speed – CINEBENCH R15

CINEBENCH R15 is a real-world 3D rendering benchmark based on the MAXON Cinema 4D animation software. This is a great way to accurately determine the actual performance of a processor in 3D content creation.

CINEBENCH R15 Single Core

This Single Core test is not reflective of real world performance, but it is useful to find out the performance of the individual core.

Despite its higher clock speed advantage, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) delivered a significantly poorer single-core performance than the Ryzen 3 2200G (Price Check)! You can see it in the video above.

CINEBENCH R15 Multi Core

The Multi-Core test shows the processor’s real-world 3D rendering performance.

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) was about 32% faster than the Ryzen 3 2200G (Price Check) in this test. However, it was 15% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X, even with a slight clock speed advantage. This is because it only has ¼ the L3 cache of the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).

CINEBENCH R15 MP Ratio

The analysis of the Multi-Processing Ratio is useful in checking the efficiency of the SMT implementation. The MP Ratio is independent of the processor’s clock speed.

It looks like AMD improved the efficiency of the SMT implementation in the new Raven Ridge microarchitecture.

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Video Transcoding Speed – HandBrake

HandBrake is a free, open-source video transcoding utility. Video transcoding basically converts a video file from one resolution / format to another. As you can imagine, it’s very compute-intensive. In our test, we converted a 4K video of 1.3 GB in size into a 1080p video (HQ1080p30).

Despite its clock speed advantage, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) was 9% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) at video transcoding. This is due to the much smaller L3 cache size. But thanks to its support for SMT, it is 15% faster than the Ryzen 3 1300X ( Price Check), and 32% faster than the Ryzen 3 2200G APU.

 

Radial Blur Speed – Photoshop CC 14

The radial blur filter adds the perception of motion to a picture. This is a compute-intensive operation that benefits from multiple processing cores. This radial blur test was performed on a single 13.5 megapixel photo, with a filesize of 4,910,867 bytes.

Again, the smaller L3 cache size had a noticeable effect on its performance in Photoshop. Even though it supports SMT and has a slightly higher clock speed, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) was 22% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), and 7% slower than the Ryzen 3 1300X ( Price Check).

Next Page > The 3DMark & Ashes of the Singularity Performance Results

 

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3DMark – FireStrike (1920 x 1080)

In the 3DMark FireStrike benchmark that runs at 1920 x 1080, the Radeon RX Vega 11 core of the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) delivered a Graphics Score of just over 3100. This makes it roughly half as fast as the AMD Radeon RX 460 (Price Check).

 

3DMark – FireStrike Extreme (2560 x 1440)

When we bumped up the resolution to 2560 x 1440, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G delivered a Graphics Score of just under 1400.

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Ashes of the Singularity (1080p)

In the RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity, the single core CPU performance has a significant effect on the actual frame rate. We tested the cards using the Low setting preset.

At the resolution of 1920 x 1080, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) delivered a frame rate just under 30 fps. But remember – we tested them at the Low settings. So gamers will want to drop the resolution even further to get a decent frame rate.

 

Ashes of the Singularity (1440p)

We then bumped up the resolution to 2560 x 1440, again with the settings set to Low.

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) held up surprisingly well at 1440p – its frame rate dropped only 9%.

Next Page > Warhammer & For Honor Performance Results

 

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Total War: Warhammer (1080p)

Like Ashes of the Singularity, the single core performance appears to be crucial in Total War: Warhammer.

At 1080p, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) delivered a decent average frame rate of 42 fps. However, note that the quality settings were set to Low.

 

Total War: Warhammer (1440p)

We then bumped up the resolution 1440p to see how they fare, again with the quality settings set to Low.

Alas, 1440p is just too hard for the Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) to handle. The average frame rate of 24 fps is just too low to be playable.

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For Honor (1080p)

We started out testing For Honor using the Low settings, which means Trilinear Filtering and no Anti-Aliasing.

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) was able to deliver a playable frame rate, which averages out at 39 fps. This makes it half as fast as the AMD Radeon RX 460 (Price Check) graphics card.

 

For Honor (1080p)

We then increase the resolution to 2560 x 1440, still using the Low settings.

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) was definitely not powerful enough to handle the increased workload, with an average frame rate of only 24 fps.

Next Page > Our Verdict, Price & Availability, Suggested Reading

 

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Our Verdict

First off, it bears reminding that the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) is an APU – basically a quad-core processor, with built-in AMD Vega graphics. Even with the added graphics capability, AMD kept the Ryzen 5 2400G at the same $169 price point as the Ryzen 5 1400 CPU it replaces.

AMD achieved this by using half of a Summit Ridge processor die, allowing 11 Vega Compute Units to be inserted with a slight bump in transistor count and die size. This clever bit of engineering compromise, and a number of other tweaks, allowed them to keep costs low.

The biggest problem with the decision to use a single CCX – the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) only has a 4 MB L3 cache – half that of the Ryzen 5 1400 CPU it replaces. AMD increased its clock speed to compensate, actually making the Ryzen 5 2400G run faster than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) on paper!

The Ryzen 5 2400G was 9-15% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X in our benchmarks, which makes them both equal in price / performance, because the 1500X is 12% more expensive at $189. The Ryzen 5 2400G, however, has more value, thanks to its integrated Vega graphics.

When it comes to games, AMD promised that it will deliver “1080 HD+ gaming performance“. That may be true for less strenuous esports games like League of Legends. In the games we tested, its Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics core can only deliver playable frame rates at 1080p if we use the lowest possible quality settings.

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Make no mistake – the Radeon RX Vega 11 processor graphics is no replacement for a good graphics card, like AMD’s own Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56.

So what is the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G really good for? We see it being used mostly in small form-factor esports gaming PCs. It offers great CPU performance paired with good gaming performance for games like Dota 2, League of Legends and CS:GO in a single, highly-affordable and power-efficient package.

Remember – the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) offers 4-core, 8-thread CPU performance, with faster than average processor graphics, for just 65 watts of power consumption.

If you are looking to play games with all of the bells and whistles enabled, you need to opt for a dedicated graphics card. But if you are a casual gamer, or just want a really affordable and power-efficient esports gaming system (looking at you esports cafe owners!), it’s hard to beat the value proposition of the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check).

Mark our words – the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G is going to shred Intel processors with integrated graphics to pieces.

 

The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Price & Availability

As AMD announced, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G (Price Check) desktop APU will be available starting 12 February 2018.

It is priced at just US$169 (RM 759 in Malaysia), making it an affordable gaming solution. This will be a relief to many esports gamers, who are suffering from extremely high GPU prices because of cryptocurrency miners.

You can help support Tech ARP by ordering your AMD Ryzen 5 2400G from this Amazon link.

 

Suggested Reading

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