Microsoft Surface Studio Teardown

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Sick of all the iPhone and iPad teardowns? Well, you are in luck because the folks at iFixit have one of those fancy Microsoft Surface Studios on the test bench today. I don't want to ruin the surprise so I'll just say these four words that should never be mentioned in a sentence together; CPU, GPU, RAM and solder. :(
 

Term-X

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Honestly, with as thin as these things are, I am not surprised. I'm not sure if it's out of necessity but these things are definitely not made to be modified by the user.
 

JosiahBradley

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So a laptop with a crazy screen attached. Why don't they just sell a surface monitor and let me connect real hardware to it?
 

DedEmbryonicCe11

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I'm not sure if the writer is simply unfamiliar with "AIO"/"All-in-One" but this certainly isn't a desktop.

That SATA II 5400rpm drive is laughable given the price of this machine.:whistle:
 

Biznatch

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They seriously wasted space putting a mechanical drive in that? Wow... that is a MUCH worse decision than soldering on components in a tablet....
 

Gweenz

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I'm not sure if the writer is simply unfamiliar with "AIO"/"All-in-One" but this certainly isn't a desktop.

That SATA II 5400rpm drive is laughable given the price of this machine.:whistle:

What the....why would this even be offered with a spinner drive? A shameful display.
 

nilepez

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This is par for the course for these highly integrated devices. It's not for me, but if you're buying one of these (or an comparable iMac), upgrades will be limited (though I thought iMacs allowed you to upgrade ram).
 

AceGoober

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For the amount of money they are charging for the system I would have expected Microsoft would have used a m.2 512GB for the O/S and a 1 to 2 TB SSD for storage. What is in there now is pathetic.
 

Trimlock

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I agree they should have a bigger m.2 drive but I'm totally fine with the cheap spinner for bulk data. Would be cool if it was in a caddy for removal purposes to either upgrade or travel with.
 

pavementeater

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The studio will ship with any of the following Hybrid HD options
Rapid hybrid drive options: 64GB SSD with 1TB HDD, 128GB SSD with 1TB HDD, 128GB SSD with 2TB HDD.

It seems they are trying to make the studio sit perfectly between the Pro 4 and the Book... It's MS finally giving the choice \ option for those who like the idea of a surface laptop or tablet but don't want a mobile unit.. giving those people the surface functionality as a stand lone work / home solution that stays on the desk with a nice big screen to work with.
 

Cmdrmonkey

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This trend of soldering and gluing in components needs to end. Companies are realizing that PCs have gotten so powerful that people are now hanging onto them for many years, just changing out components as they fail. So they are building them like cheap throwaways to get people upgrading every 2 or 3 years again.
 
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alxlwson

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It has one...


...and the aforementioned HDD.

I'm honestly surprised that the SSD isn't soldered to the board.

Still, should really have a larger SSD for that price.

So it doesn't even have enough room for the windows 10 install with all updates and office?
 

heatlesssun

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This trend of soldering and gluing in components needs to end. Companies are realizing that PCs have gotten so powerful that people are now hanging onto them for many years, just changing out components as they fail. So they are building them like cheap throwaways to get people upgrading every 2 or 3 years again.

Aesthetics do play a big role in devices like this. As has been mentioned previously here, a Surface Studio monitor would be a great option for those who want their own compute components without the draw backs of the AIO design. I think a Surface Studio monitor might be something that Microsoft would be interested in further expanding the Surface line at premium prices, I'm sure such a monitor wouldn't be cheap.
 

jardows

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This trend of soldering and gluing in components needs to end. Companies are realizing that PCs have gotten so powerful that people are now hanging onto them for many years, just changing out components as they fail. So they are building them like cheap throwaways to get people upgrading every 2 or 3 years again.

End it all. We need to go back to the days where nothing is soldered onto the motherboard. Ethernet, Audio, USB controllers, Hard drive controllers, all should be add-on cards, just like it was in the old AT/XT days. Absolutely, do not have any video components soldered to the motherboard either.
 

nilepez

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Aesthetics do play a big role in devices like this. As has been mentioned previously here, a Surface Studio monitor would be a great option for those who want their own compute components without the draw backs of the AIO design. I think a Surface Studio monitor might be something that Microsoft would be interested in further expanding the Surface line at premium prices, I'm sure such a monitor wouldn't be cheap.
I agree on aesthetics, but there's really no reason they can't have a replaceable drive, ram and CPU. People upgrading aside, this almost certainly leads to more e-waste, which makes it bad for the consumers and the environment and probably doesn't noticably affect aesthetics.
 

MavericK

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Looks like a laptop board, so the solder is not too surprising. CPU and GPU I am not too worried about, but soldered RAM seems fairly inexcusable. SATA II drive is laughably bad.
 

TType85

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Looks like a laptop board, so the solder is not too surprising. CPU and GPU I am not too worried about, but soldered RAM seems fairly inexcusable. SATA II drive is laughably bad.

Is the SATA II drive really that bad? SATA III on mechanical drives makes very little difference. You are not pushing 280MB/s off a 2.5" 5400 RPM drive.
 

Trimlock

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Is the SATA II drive really that bad? SATA III on mechanical drives makes very little difference. You are not pushing 280MB/s off a 2.5" 5400 RPM drive.

Its not bad at all. My only beef is that its not easily accessible for portable means, upgrade or repair.
 

MavericK

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Is the SATA II drive really that bad? SATA III on mechanical drives makes very little difference. You are not pushing 280MB/s off a 2.5" 5400 RPM drive.

Perhaps not, but I wouldn't expect to see one in a current machine. Seems like they are trying to dump warehouse stock or something on a premium high-end machine.
 

EchoWars

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$3000 for an i5, 8GB ram, 64GB SSD + 1TB slow spinny, and a GTX965M.

$4200 for an i7, 16GB ram, 128GB SSD + 2TB slow spinny, but does have a GTX980M.

I like the design, but damn...that price. And someone really needs to put at least a little thought into serviceability.
 

nilepez

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$3000 for an i5, 8GB ram, 64GB SSD + 1TB slow spinny, and a GTX965M.

$4200 for an i7, 16GB ram, 128GB SSD + 2TB slow spinny, but does have a GTX980M.

I like the design, but damn...that price. And someone really needs to put at least a little thought into serviceability.
It comes with 32GB, not that that somehow makes it worth 4 grand.
 

Biznatch

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$3000 for an i5, 8GB ram, 64GB SSD + 1TB slow spinny, and a GTX965M.

$4200 for an i7, 16GB ram, 128GB SSD + 2TB slow spinny, but does have a GTX980M.

I like the design, but damn...that price. And someone really needs to put at least a little thought into serviceability.


For essentially a disposable device... Just like the surfaces, anything goes wrong hardware wise, the device is useless.... Word of advice, don't buy any of these ultra portables without the extended warranty. We stopped buying surfaces since they start having issues a year or so down the line (keyboards no longer connect, screen stops working, device just stops booting etc.), and they are just sitting in the closet to be disposed since warranty ran out....
 

EchoWars

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For essentially a disposable device... Just like the surfaces, anything goes wrong hardware wise, the device is useless.... Word of advice, don't buy any of these ultra portables without the extended warranty. We stopped buying surfaces since they start having issues a year or so down the line (keyboards no longer connect, screen stops working, device just stops booting etc.), and they are just sitting in the closet to be disposed since warranty ran out....

That sucks.
A lot of guys here fix chit for a living, and we probably have a much greater appreciation that, someday, this stuff is gonna break. When it does, it's nice to know that someone with a bit of skill (at least some experience in tearing apart laptops) can get in there and take care of things. But soldered ram, GPU, and CPU simply doesn't bode well for any of that.
It comes with 32GB, not that that somehow makes it worth 4 grand.
32G? Impressive. Probably all soldered in too. Yikes!
 

Biznatch

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That sucks.
A lot of guys here fix chit for a living, and we probably have a much greater appreciation that, someday, this stuff is gonna break. When it does, it's nice to know that someone with a bit of skill (at least some experience in tearing apart laptops) can get in there and take care of things. But soldered ram, GPU, and CPU simply doesn't bode well for any of that.
32G? Impressive. Probably all soldered in too. Yikes!


The solder isn't even the worst part, then screen is glued on... So you have a high chance of breaking the screen just trying to open the device. Then there is no way you will ever seal it properly again like it was from the factory. I agree, this new age of non-repairable cheap plastic disposable garbage is awful for everyone but the corporations....
 

heatlesssun

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The solder isn't even the worst part, then screen is glued on... So you have a high chance of breaking the screen just trying to open the device. Then there is no way you will ever seal it properly again like it was from the factory. I agree, this new age of non-repairable cheap plastic disposable garbage is awful for everyone but the corporations....

There's plenty of cheap plastic PCs out there with lots of screws that are pretty good at reparability. Reparability doesn't seem to have the same marketability as aesthetics these days. Mainstream reviewers certainly don't put a lot of emphasis on how easy it is to swap out components. Thin, light, aesthetically pleasing, etc. simply is a bigger driver overall than end user serviceability.
 

DedEmbryonicCe11

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Is the SATA II drive really that bad? SATA III on mechanical drives makes very little difference. You are not pushing 280MB/s off a 2.5" 5400 RPM drive.
But why is it only a 5400 RPM drive though in this day and age?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236496

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W04A06940

They couldn't afford the extra ~$9 (or whatever lesser amount Microsoft would actually pay for a bulk order) for 7200rpm versus 5400rpm in a $3000+ product?
 

TType85

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But why is it only a 5400 RPM drive though in this day and age?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236496

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W04A06940

They couldn't afford the extra ~$9 (or whatever lesser amount Microsoft would actually pay for a bulk order) for 7200rpm versus 5400rpm in a $3000+ product?

I agree they should have put a 7200rpm drive in but will the target audience of this device even notice the difference between the 5400rpm vs 7200rpm? There is already a SSD for the OS and programs (well, a few programs on the 64GB).
 

nilepez

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But why is it only a 5400 RPM drive though in this day and age?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236496

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W04A06940

They couldn't afford the extra ~$9 (or whatever lesser amount Microsoft would actually pay for a bulk order) for 7200rpm versus 5400rpm in a $3000+ product?
Power? Heat? Honestly, I can't remember the last time I bought a 7200 RPM drive. It's probably been almost 10 years (whenever 500 or 640GB drives were mainstream). For data, I mostly use slow drives (5400, I assume, but they never seem to say with green drives).
 

jevans64

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I'll wait for the Gen 2 with the embedded 1080M. They'll probably add a 256GB m.2 option. A 16GB memory, i7, and 256GB/1TB option would be nice as well. Heck. Just give us a customizer.
 
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