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Surface Studio 2 Review - Performance Review

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  • The Surface Studio uses a seventh gen Intel core i7 laptop CPU and is available with either 16 or 32GB of RAM.
  • GPU options are limited to previous generation Nvidia GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 options.
  • Performance is still good enough for creative work and triple-A gaming at 1080p.

The Surface Studio 2’s hardware is solid, but a little old. The i7 CPU used in every model is a particular sticking point. The 7th-gen CPU is more than two years old and far from cutting-edge. The new iMac features a current-gen CPU and is in the same ballpark, price-wise.

The previous-generation Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 GPU options are more than good enough for creative work. The 16GB and 32GB RAM options should also be more than sufficient for everyone but the most demanding of power users.

Real-world performance is solid, too. The Surface Studio 2 blitzed through digital painting projects without any sign of heating up. 3D modelling and video editing put a bigger strain on the machine, but never to the point that I noticed any CPU throttling. It also proved capable of playing demanding triple-A games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, at just shy of 60fps in 1080p with the graphics set to very high.

Running Trusted Reviews’ standard set of synthetic tests, the Studio 2’s scores matched my real-world findings. You can see how it compared to the Cintiq Pro with the top-specced Pro Engine in the tables below.

Related: Best graphics card

Surface Studio 2 performance

Geekbench 4
Geekbench 4 is a CPU-focused benchmark that gauges single and multi-core performance. It provides a good indication of how well a device will perform CPU-focused actions. Here you can see that the Surface Studio 2 performed well. But it likely won’t match the performance of the new iMac, which features a more modern Intel CPU.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10 is a generalist benchmark that synthetically tests a variety of processes including web browsing, text editing and video calling. Here, again, the Studio’s score is solid and high enough to meet most users’ needs.

3DMark: Fire Strike
3DMark’s FireStrike benchmark is a gaming-focused test designed to gauge GPU performance. The Studio 2’s score is in line with what we’d expect from a PC with a GTX 1070 and indicates that the all-in-one will be able to play most games at 1080p, and is powerful enough for video editing, animation and 3D modelling projects.

CrystalDiskMark
SSD read and write speeds determine how quickly applications will launch and files can be saved or transferred. The CrystalDiskMark benchmark tests both. The 3103Mbps read speed is excellent and puts the Studio 2 on a par with the 4K iMac. The 956Mbps write speed is also very good and means the SSD is more than nippy enough for creative work.

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