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Benchmarks: Surface Book 3 15-inch with GTX 1660 Ti shows promising boost in performance

Surface Book 3 Lead
Surface Book 3 Lead (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5- and 15-inch models are set to on sale on May 21. While Microsoft has not changed the fundamentals of its most powerful laptop, it has overhauled the chips that power them bringing them up to speed for 2020.

My Surface Book 3 15 review sample arrived for some testing this week. While it is still too early for general remarks on battery life and the overall experience (though I'm not expecting a radical shift in opinion), I can run some benchmarks to see what that new Core i7-1065G7 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Max-Q) deliver.

Surface Book 3 15 – What's new at a glance

Surface Book 3 Logo Grass

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Before we get to the benchmarks, let us recap what is different from the Surface Book 3 15 over the Surface Book 2 15:

Wi-FiIntel Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0
StorageFaster, up to 2TB (15-inch only)
CPU10th Gen Intel Core
GPUGTX 1660 Ti Max-Q (15-inch)
Quadro RTX 3000 (15-inch)
Charger127W (15-inch)
AudioDolby Atmos
Power50 percent more powerful
BatteryHalf hour longer battery life

The wire mechanism that controls the display detaching is reportedly three times faster and quieter than Surface Book 2, which is a minor change, but I can report it as accurate.

And here is a full specification comparison between Surface Book 2 and Surface Book 3:

Surface Book 2 15 vs. Surface Book 3 15 specs

Surface Book 2 (15)Surface Book 3 (15)
Processor8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
RAM8GB or 16GB LPDDR38GB, 16GB, or 32GB LPDDR4x
Storage256GB, 512GB, or 1TB256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB
Display size15 inches
15 inches
Display resolution3240 x 2160
3:2 aspect
260 PPI
3240 x 2160
3:2 aspect
260 PPI
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 620
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Intel Iris Plus
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Max-Q)
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000
PortsTwo USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1)
One USB Type-C w/ video, power in/out and USB 3.1 (Gen1) data
Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II)
Headphone jack (3.5mm)
Two Surface Connect ports (1 in tablet, 1 in keyboard base)
Two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1)
One USB Type-C w/ video, power in/out and USB 3.1 (Gen2) data
Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II)
Headphone jack (3.5mm)
Two Surface Connect ports (1 in tablet, 1 in keyboard base)
ConnectivityMarvel Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Blueooth 4.1
Xbox Wireless
Intel Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
Xbox Wireless
Camera5MP Front-facing 1080P
8.0MP Rear-facing AF 1080P
5MP Front-facing 1080P
8.0MP Rear-facing AF 1080P
BiometricsIR cameraIR camera
Up to 17 hours
Up to 17.5 hours
Dimensions343 mm x 251 mm x 15-23 mm (L x W x D)
13.5 in x 9.87 in x 0.57 to 0.90 in
343 mm x 251 mm x 15-23 mm (L x W x D)
13.5 in x 9.87 in x 0.57 to 0.90 in
Weighti5 total: 1,533g (3.38lbs)
i7 total: 1,642g (3.62lbs)
Tablet: 719g (1.59lbs)
i5 total: 1,533g (3.38lbs)
i7 total: 1,642g (3.62lbs)
Tablet: 719g (1.59lbs)

Surface Book 3 15 Preliminary benchmarks

Surface Book 3 Logo Profile

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Putting the Surface Book 3 15-inch through a few popular synthetic benchmarking apps reveals expected results. There is a slight boost in CPU performance when switching from 8th Gen to Intel 10th Gen Core i7, but the significant increase comes from the GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, which is significantly faster (especially on CUDA). See how it stacks up to other best graphics card options out there.

The tests, as always, are run with the laptops plugged in and set to maximum performance in a 70-degree Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) room.

Geekbench 4

Geekbench 4.0 (CPU) (Higher is better)

DeviceCPUSingle coreMulti core
Surface Book 3 15i7-1065G71,2984,511
Surface Book 2 15i7-8650U1,1303,602
Samsung Galaxy Book Flexi7-1065G71,3174,780
Dell XPS 13 (9300)i7-1065G71,2844,848
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390i7-1065G71,2093,571
Surface Laptop 3 15i7-1065G71,3364,893
HP Elite Dragonflyi7-8665U1,1252,942
Surface Laptop 3 13.5i5-1035G71,1774,413
Lenovo Yoga C740i5-10210U1,0943,767
HP Spectre x360 13i7-1065G71,0063,402
Surface Pro XSQ17252,819
Surface Laptop 3 15Ryzen 57692,720
Surface Pro 7i5-1035G41,1914,441

Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5.0 (CPU) (Higher is better)

DeviceCPUSingle coreMulti core
Surface Book 3 15i7-1065G75,16618,743
Surface Book 2 15i7-8650U5,03614,237
Surface Book 2 13i7-8650U4,86214,694
Surface Laptop 3 15Ryzen-53,98512,079
Surface Laptop 3 15i7-1065G75,72719,593
Surface Laptop 3 13.5i5-1035G75,26517,345
Surface Laptop 2i5-8250U4,20313,233
Surface Laptopi5-7200U3,7257,523
Surface Pro 7i5-1035G45,24517,350
Surface Pro 6i7-8650U5,03713,864
Surface Pro 6i5-8250U4,28714,031
Surface Pro 5i5-7300U4,3028,482
Surface Pro 5i7-7660U4,5139,346
Surface Pro 4i5-6300U3,3196,950
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390i7-1065G75,45919,097
Razer Blade Stealthi7-8565U5,13916,339
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1i7-8665U5,46915,800


PCMark 10

Surface Book 3 154,393
Surface Book 2 154,228
Surface Laptop 3 15 (AMD)4,006
Surface Laptop 3 15 (Intel)4,604
Surface Laptop 22,748
Surface Pro 7 i53,992
Surface Pro 6 i73,644
Surface Pro 6 i53,501
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 73904,427
Dell XPS 15 75905,521
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 73904,427


Geekbench 4.0 CUDA (higher is better)

Surface Book 3 15GTX 1660 Ti233,528
Surface Book 2 15GTX 1060132,785
Surface Book 2 13GTX 105075,665
Razer Blade 2017GTX 1060138,758
XPS 15GTX 105075,636
Surface BookGTX 965M59,945


CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

Surface Book 3 512GB2,370 MB/s1,458 MB/s
Surface Book 2 1TB2,428 MB/s730 MB/s
Surface Book 1TB1,018 MB/s967 MB/s
Surface Laptop 3 152,028 MB/s806 MB/s
Surface Laptop 3 13.52,338 MB/s1,583 MB/s
Surface Pro 72,040 MB/s809 MB/s
Surface Pro 61,632 MB/s814 MB/s
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex3,376 MB/s2,983 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 (9300)3,000 MB/s1,217 MB/s
HP Spectre x360 (Optane)2,092 MB/s515 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 2-in-12,400 MB/s1,228 MB/s
HP Elite Dragonfly (Optane)2,124 MB/s548 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)3,416 MB/s3,016 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P533,567.23 MB/s2,813.25 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P523,120 MB/s1,551.5 MB/s
Dell XPS 15 75903,000 MB/s2,796 MB/s
MSI PS63 Modern3,300 MB/s1,875 MB/s


Running some other 3DMark benchmarks like Time Spy, Night Raid and Fire Strike show how the GPU shifts favorably for Surface Book 3 but falls short of most gaming laptops.

3DMark Graphics

Surface Book 3 15 GTX 1660 TiTime Spy4,979
Surface Book 3 15 GTX 1660 TiNight Raid9,448
Surface Book 3 15 GTX 1660 TiFire Strike3,406

For the full review, I'll include comparison scores for the above 3DMark ones, though you can easily compare them to 3DMark's online database. For example, the Surface Book 3 is more potent with its 4,979 score on Time Spy, while the Surface Book 2 only managed 3,557.

I'll also toss in some gaming benchmarks and framerates to see just how much better the GTX 1660 Ti is compared to the older GTX 1060 used in Surface Book 2.

While Microsoft is offering an option for NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 graphics, please make no mistake that option is not only pricier, but it won't be any better for gaming or general consumer applications. Indeed, due to the lower core clock rate, it will likely be worse. Quadro is optimized for 3D rendering and CAD applications, where its memory system is ideal for more precise work versus gaming, which is more reliant on faster core speed.

Surface Book 3 Charger 127watt

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The Surface Book 3 15 charger is now 127 watts versus the older 102 watts that came with Surface Book 2. The Surface Book 3 can utilize 120 watts with 7 watts for the Type-A port found in the base. This improvement in wattage addresses a power-draining issue with the Surface Book 2, which, while rare, was a problem for some. Even though the charger does not seem bigger, it certainly is heavy (1lb, or 455G). Luckily, it is still a dual-prong plug without a ground, which makes it great for travel.

Dolby Atmos sound tuning is also here. The physical speakers are unchanged with Surface Book 3, but Dolby Atmos gives more spatial representation to audio and it sounds great. But due to the lack of a dedicated subwoofer, audio remains a little bit less rich than preferred. In theory, I can't see why this software tweak can't be implemented on Surface Book 2, save for the licensing cost.

Surface Book 3 15 Consumer

10th Gen Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256GB, GTX 1660Ti$2,299
10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 512GB, GTX 1660Ti$2,799
10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 1TB, GTX 1660Ti$2,999
10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 2TB, GTX 1660Ti$3,399

Surface Book 3 15 Commercial

10th Gen Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256GB, GTX 1660Ti$2,399
10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 512GB, GTX 1660Ti$2,899
10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 1TB, GTX 1660Ti$3,099
10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 2TB, GTX 1660Ti$3,499
10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB, Quadro RTX 3000$3,499
10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 1TB, Quadro RTX 3000$3,699

For configurations, Microsoft is offering multiple for Surface Book 3 15, with 32GB of RAM being the most common choice. Surface Book 3 is aimed at software developers, creative "doers," social creators, architects, and engineers, and it seems to succeed in that regard with this refresh.

If you have any questions regarding Surface Book 3 15, leave them in comments, and I'll try to answer them in our review due next week.

Oh, and for those wondering, you cannot switch the tops of Surface Book 2 with Surface Book 3. Doing so causes it to get jammed on the base, and you'll have to do a manual release, which is not fun at all. Do not ever attempt this maneuver, as it won't work anyway (Microsoft seems to have reversed the magnets to avoid confusion when lining the two parts together, not that it stopped me from trying).

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Why are the results of the geek bench 4 not in order of performance. First I didn't look good enough and thought the surface pro 7 listed was behind a lot of devices.
  • Couldn't stop laughing at your comment. It's some thing I would have tried.
    "Oh, and for those wondering, you cannot switch the tops of Surface Book 2 with Surface Book 3. Doing so causes it to get jammed on the base, and you'll have to do a manual release, which is not fun at all. Do not ever attempt this maneuver, as it won't work anyway (Microsoft seems to have reversed the magnets to avoid confusion when lining the two parts together, not that it stopped me from trying)."
  • That feeling when you think you broke a $2,800 review unit and the Surface Book 2 in less than 24 hours ... 😂😑
  • There's that ohh S#!t moment and then the priceless sigh of relief when you manage to fix a problem that should have never happened in the first place. 🤣
  • Does Surface Book 3 allow Fast Charging? I couldn't find information anywhere and it doesn't seem to be advertised as a 'feature' per se. I'm considering switching form Book 2 13 to 3 15 (big move!), and battery life is critical for me. Thanks!
  • What do you consider fast charge? 1 hour.. I don't think it matters on a laptop. When you at a desk you plug it in.
  • it does matter when you are on the go. In an airport/train station going on a plane/train with no outlets. In a lecture or hall with no accessible outlets.
    Most people that are using laptops are on the go not always at their desk. There are computers which are much stronger for that reason.
    With your logic never go into any tech field please.
  • ""in an airport/train outlets""
    How will you charge without an outlet?
    Don't confuse fast charge and battery life.
    They are two different concepts.
  • I was looking for this as well. The Surface Pro 7, Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X from memory all came with fast charging, but cannot see if there is any fast charging on the Surface Book 3. No mention of it in the specs.
    Fast charging comes in handy if you don't have much time to charge in between meeting. I had the old surface pro 2017 and it wouldn't last all day even with an 50m charge at lunch. But the SP7 with fast charging gets me a cross the line with a quick charge mid day.
  • Pretty sure it does via Surface Connect. I'll get some firm charging number for the review.
  • Hey Dan, Can you use hwinfo64 and take a look at the maximum watts used by the NVIDIA GPU during some sort of load? would be interesting to see the wattage that microsoft has tuned the device to.
  • sure, I can do that. will save for the review.
  • Your comment at the end there had me thinking that someone must have tried to bork a connection between a Surface Pro and the Surface Book keyboard (just for fun!) but I can't find anything. I know you can't just plonk the Pro on it's side and precariously balance the surface connect port because of the extra connectors on the keyboard but has nobody made a female to male surface connector cable you could try this with? Would love to know what would happen with this!
  • Does the battery drain while plugged in and under full load? Thanks.
  • No, now it doesn't due to the increased 127w power supply instead of 102w in last gen. Another plus is that now it charges faster as well.
  • Why does Microsoft hate thunderbolt port? I've always thought Microsoft Surface products line was created to face Apple's mac ones..
  • Microsoft argues that most people want TB3 for an eGPU, but the need for an eGPU is less when you have a 1660 Ti on board. That's kind of true, you'd end up dropping $1,400 do get an eGPU enclosure and a 2080/2080 Ti just to make a real difference in performance. Not sure this audience for Book 3 would do that.
  • Where is the 2TB Commercial SKU? 10th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, ****2TB***, Quadro RTX 3000
  • As far as I have seen, you can only get 1TB with Quadro. 2TB commercial has the 1660Ti. It is the same as the consumer model except it has W10Pro.
  • Hey Daniel, just wondering, if I have to use the Surface Book for editing 4k videos, should I go for 1660 Ti, or the Quadro Series and would it make any sense, I hardly game though, but sometimes I do play PUBG
  • Go for GeForce model. Quadro won't be that much better (could be worse) and doesn't justify the cost. GeForce is the one video editors go for, whereas Quadro is better for scientific calculations. high-end CAD, 3D creation and rendering. To be clear, Quadro will work, I'm just not convinced it will be better if not doing 3D rendering/modeling with it.
  • Also keep in mind the biggest HD you can get with Quadro is 1TB. That extra HD space on the GeForce model would be crucial if you are editing 4k video.
  • Would you then say that it is absolutely a go if you do cad and 3D? or the difference won't be worth the price bump? I have been waiting for 6 years to get a SB and it seems the time has finally come.
    Also, will you be reviewing the dell xps 17? I am sure you will do the 15's but would be great to compare both new xps with surface book 3.
  • If you do CAD, 3D work, and you have certified apps that run with Quadro/professional level, then sure. I feel most people who need Quadro also know they need Quadro ;) You can read more about it here, but you should be using software that is independent software vendor (ISV) certified for Quadro status e.g. SOLIDWORKS. And yes, will be doing XPS 15 and 17 whenever Dell sends those over. Very excited for them, but I can tell you already they will be much more powerful than SB3.
  • Thanks Dan, after 12 years of XPS desktops and laptops, the move is quite a bit scary...
    I always felt safe going with the "best" but I just want something else now. The form factor of the SB3 seems perfect for me and yes, I use autocad, 3ds max, adobe CC...
  • My big question is can the 1660 ti be used for video editing. I know it's fine for Premiere Pro, but I'll be using DaVinci Resolve. I've seen that the recommended card for DR starts at the 2060, but I'd also love the ability to have the SB form factor for other design purposes. It's either this or a Razer Blade 15...
  • 1660 Ti is neck and neck with 2060 minus RTX, they're pretty close with 2060 having a slight FPS lead, but not by much. You should be fine for video editing. It's just one of those things where a stronger/more powerful PC will always be "better" and since you can get a laptop with a 2080 Super these days, there is always something faster. FWIW our old video editor used SB2 daily for his workflow.
  • 2060 is not worth the price, the 1660ti is much better price/spec.
  • It would be helpful to see benchmarks against the top configuration of the original surface book. Probably not a lot of SB2 users ready to upgrade, but if there is a large jump from the SB1, then I could definitely see upgrading those.
  • Sure, I should have some benchmarks around for those. I may dig out the old SB, but will take a few days to get it updated, etc and load on the bench sw.
  • Daniel, do you know if MS has solved the battery expansion issue from the original SB? SB2's are still not old enough to judge if they have the issue since most started well after 3 years. I have an Sb1 that after a plane flight, the battery in the tablet decided to expand to the point that it pushed the screen off the bezel. To my surprise, I found out this is a well known, common issue on these units. MS will replace the unit...for $599. I was looking forward to SB3, but this scares me. I paid a premium price for the dedicated GPU. Don't want to do the same again for a PC that could explode.
  • No idea. I have heard this even with Surface Pros. It's an ongoing challenge for MS, but each new release is better than the last.
  • The MSFT service guy I talked to said it was only an issue with Surface Pro 4 (in addition to surface book). If he is correct, that is encouraging.
  • I am fairly certain the Pro 4 and Book 1 mainly have this issue. I also read that since Pro7 (maybe Pro6) and Go1; Surfaces are better protected against overcharging / trickle charging. If you really want to play it safe, I would suggest in Windows Power Plan set the max cpu to 90 or 95% (this also sometimes fixes issues from oem laptops and increases battery life).
  • Ah crap. I'm a software developer with a Surface Book that I'm looking to replace. Was waiting for the SB3 but found myself underwhelmed (especially when all the comments I saw after its announcement were "too bad it's not ryzen) so I'd kind of let it go. I like the new XPS 15 announced yesterday, but I sure do love the 3:2 screen on SB. You may have just pulled me back in.
  • I'm thoroughly enjoying SB3, so far. It's very zippy all around. And yeah, news XPS 15 and 17 look legit. Very excited for those.
  • Many people tend to blow this Ryzen vs Intel thing out of pro-portion because they compare the H/HQ variants of Ryzen with the U cores of Intel (so they compare cpu's that use lots of power vs cpu's that use little power). If they would compare U Ryzen vs U Intel than the differences will be a lot smaller and mostly just a bump in multicore performance. Besides that I would mainly get the SB if you need the graphics power, since seeing the benchmarks that is what the SB 3 15 really shines in compared to other ultrabooks.
  • Hey Daniel, I have some questions, hope you can help me. I’m an architecture student looking for the right laptop for mi studies, exclusively for that. As you can imagine, all this involves renders, CAD programs and performing heavy and complex work, like 3D, etc. I have been reading for two months to get in touch with this and to pick the right laptop, but I have come to the conclusion that there’s no perfect one, because the technology is constantly being updated. My idea is to spend a good amount of money and that the laptop covers me all my studies and if possible part of my life as a professional, to work. I want to know what laptop do you recommend me? what brand? or what information can you give me? some doubts: intel core or xeon? what generation? nvidia quadro or gtx? how much ram memory? how much storage ?. I'll be waiting for your answer, thank you so much
  • Another one to consider is the upcoming Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro with Quadro. I can't decide which to go with myself yet...
  • Thank you! I keep that in mind! Hope we choose the best one. Good luck
  • Pdch is right about Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro with Quadro, as that is a viable choice. You can get much more powerful Quadro systems from Dell, HP, or Lenovo, but the Book 3 is kind of in its own league. It's not as heavy, gets great battery, and does inking - plus it's just a "fun" laptop. I can't say that as much about other workstations. But if you don't use inking or the tablet/drawing part, not really worth getting SB3, imo. That said, if you don't need inking HP's forthcoming Z Book Studio looks great - you get up to NVIDIA Quadro 5000, and Xeon processors. That has way more power, is only 4lbs, and I think looks great.
  • Thank you for the advice and your point of view! I will consider both options. Best of the wishes
  • Ezel Pro can also come with Xeon W and Quadro 5000, has a wacom pen, and transforms into most of the "shapes" you would use a SB3 as (except tablet doesn't detach). It looks like it is getting close to release since a "buy now" botton shows up for a second on the webpage. I suspect it will be quite expensive, however. Looking at the pricing of the conceptd 9 is enough to make you think it will be high. Price could be a determining factor. I am thinking Ezel Pro could be around $5k (this is a guess).
  • Hi Dan, How does the 15" Book 3 Handle WMR? I know the ports aren't ideally placed, but from a purely performance aspect I'd be interested in switching to it if it doesn't choke or stutter. Thanks
  • Good question, will give it a go for the review. I may have a solution to the ports too that I'll put in there.
  • Looking forward to it. If it isn't the solution you mentioned, looking at whether the Surface Dock 2 has an impact would be interesting (to me at least) as I imagine a perfect setup would be if the headset could be left connected to the dock. Having the single Surface Connect cable to "mag-in" would be easier and cleaner looking. Thanks
  • No thunderbolt yet again.
  • Practically speaking many would not really need it though. Usb-C is good enough for lots of docks. Egpu is useless with such an excellent gpu performance (especially when you factor in the losses you have when using an egpu by thunderbolt). The only thing I could imagine is a few VR users that also want a Surface device, but those could just buy a Surface dock so who cares actually...
  • TB3 is still niche. Great for the few who want it but useless for most people. If you want TB3 then there are a number of options so there's really cause to complain.
  • I have the SB 1 and the one thing that most disappointed me was USB on the machine. The original SB was limited to 512 GB SSD so I attempted to run a VM from an external drive. It would always lock up and the drive would disappear until a reboot. I tried multiple SSDs and hubs to no avail with one exception. My LaCie rugged external worked. The other drives worked fine on other machines. Even doing large file transfers would lock up the drive. To this day I still have issues even trying to boot to a USB. At the time I recall others with the issue as well.
    It would be great to see some benchmarks of the usb system on these high end laptops. They tend to be used for more than just copying data.
  • Hi Daniel, thanks for an interesting article.
    I'm in the process of ordering the Quadro version as I use CAD (Solidworks) and 3D modelling. On paper it looks like the Surface Book 3 can handle VR (I don't mean WMR, I mean Rift, Quest, Vive), but I know there was an issue with the surface book 2 in that the VR headset would connect to the integrated GPU as opposed to the discrete GPU. Do you know if using Oculus Rift / Quest(via Oculus link) / Vive is possible with the Surface Book 3? I've looked everywhere online and there's no mention of it at all.