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Is Surface Go good for Windows Mixed Reality?

Surface Go
Surface Go (Image credit: Windows Central)

Is Surface Go good for Windows Mixed Reality?

Best answer: If you're looking for a Surface PC to run Windows Mixed Reality, steer clear of the Surface Go. Something like the Surface Book 2 can deliver a far better VR experience.Powerful modular PC: Surface Book 2 (opens in new tab) (From $1,149 at Microsoft)Portable Surface: Surface Go (opens in new tab) (From $399 at Microsoft)Stellar WMR: Samsung HMD Odyssey+ (opens in new tab) ($499 at Microsoft)

Does Surface Go meet Windows Mixed Reality minimum specs?

There's a lot to like about Windows Mixed Reality (WMR). It's a cheaper alternative to the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, has a higher resolution than both of those devices, integrates with SteamVR, and is baked right into your Windows 10 device. To be able to use it on the go with a Surface Go is extremely appealing.

There are two different tiers of WMR — Ultra and Standard — that entail different system requirements to hit 90 frames-per-second (FPS) and 60 FPS respectively.

Without a dedicated graphics card (GPU), which the Surface Go does not have, at least a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor (CPU) is required to hit WMR Standard specs. The Go uses an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU, which does not compare.

In order to hit Ultra specs, a lesser CPU is required though it's only because a dedicated GPU is absolutely required. The bottom line here is that the Surface Go does not meet the minimum specifications required for either Ultra or Standard tiers of WMR.

Is Surface Go good for general gaming?

The Surface Go's integrated Intel HD Graphics 615 can offer up some decent performance when it comes to playing games. It won't come anywhere near powering popular AAA titles or popular esports titles, but it can certainly provide some entertainment during downtime.

There are hundreds of quality casual games available on the Microsoft Store, and you should even be able to have a good go at Minecraft for Windows 10.

What about other Surface devices?

We've tested out other Surface devices with WMR to see how well they run, and your best bet — at least when it comes to running WMR on Surface — is the 15-inch Surface Book 2 (opens in new tab). The 13.5-inch model does hit the minimum specs, though the larger version's NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU has enough power to hit the WMR Ultra tier and 90 FPS.

As for the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, both make the cut for the WMR Standard tier, maxing out at 60 FPS. The only issue you'll have to deal with is getting the proper adapter to make up for a lack of ports.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.