The Surface Book 2 is sleek, svelte, and damn powerful. Sadly, it also struggles with a maddening battery drain issue during intense loads or when gaming, even while plugged in. This tends to affect the 15-inch model most. Thankfully, there is a workaround you can try to mitigate this problem.
Why does this happen?
Our Executive Editor Daniel Rubino wrote extensively on the matter previously, noting that the wattage on the Surface Book 2 15-inch adapter isn't powerful enough for the potential contained in this device. From Rubino:
In the vast majority of scenarios, you probably won't run into this issue. The problem arises in games that are intensive on the GPU and CPU, as the Surface Book 2 fans spin up to cope with the additional load. The issue persists in games, particularly those built for DX12, which no longer supports full screen exclusive mode. Full screen exclusive mode allows games to take command of your resolution, shrinking the resolution to match the game automatically. Games like StarCraft Remastered, despite being 2D, run in a window, using up all of the Surface Book 2 15-inch's juicy, power-hungry pixels.
The best way I've found to solve this problem is to simply lower the resolution of the Book 2 manually. Here's how to do that.
How to fix Surface Book 2 15-inch power drain
Follow these steps to change Surface Book 2's screen resolution:
- Right click on the desktop and select Display settings.
- Scroll down to Resolution.
- Select a less intensive resolution setting. (I typically go for 1680 x 1050, because, sadly, there isn't a decent 3:2 option below the Surface Book 2's default.)
- Alter the layout scaling to your preference. (With a lower resolution, windows and other programs may appear huge with the Book 2's default 200 percent scaling.)
- Get gaming!
In this resolution, I've found that running games on ultra sttings at around 1080p or lower doesn't even dent the Book 2 15-inch's battery. The display simply wasn't designed with intense graphics in mind, clearly.
Do you have any tips for gaming on the Surface Book 2? Hit the comments and let us know.
See Surface Book 2 at Microsoft (opens in new tab)
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Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
Not fit for purpose then... Mmmm...
Did you actually watch the video?
Most games won't even drain the battery.
Also You can always set the power to recommend.
What are you talking about? Do you know the actual resolution of the screen, it's bonkers. Normal gaming laptops come with 130 watt power supply but well the size and weight of those powersupply is just not for anybody who are purchasing device like surface book 2. They preferred SB 2 because they want a device that looks cool and comparatively light and sleek. I would rather have battery drain in some specific cases and go through workaround to solve that issue instead of carrying 2 pound charging brick with me.
I specifically switched from the Razer Blade cus I wanted inking heh, the display issue isn't a big deal since we can change the resolution imo.
Just undervolt CPU and GPU
This is way easier and less permanent.
You can create a costum resolution in Nvide control panel, so you don't need to go that low
My comment was pushed in the bad article. Sorry. Moving it to the good one :) (and i can't delete my comment :P)
What bad article?
You'd think just using a USB-A to USB-C cable from the power brick to the base to shot-gun the power intake would be the answer, but I'm assuming the SB2 won't accept power from multiple sources at the same time.
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