Surface Book Owners Thread

tangoseal

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I don't see an Nvidia control panel on my SB. Where would I find that option?

This is a wonderful read... I am going to post it in a separate thread...

from.... 11 Secrets you didn't know about the Surface Book

Here is your answer... which is the number 1 on this list above...

On the Surface Book with discrete graphics, it automatically selects whether to run applications and games on the GPU or the integrated graphics (IGP). But what if you want to override the system and run a certain app on the power-hungry GPU, say, instead of the power-sipping IGP? Go into the Surface Book’s control panel, select Hardware and Sound, then click Nvidia Control Panel. (If you’ve installed GeForce Experience you can skip this and just right-click on the desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel). Once there, click Manage 3D settings > Program Settings. You should see a drop-down list of program to select. Just select your app and then set it from auto to either “High-performance Nvidia processor” or “Integrated graphics.”

side note** It is probably but a matter of time before reference nvidia drivers come out for this product. I am sure performance will vastly improve. Remember as early adopters to such a product we are bound for hurdles. Microsoft has traditionally offered fantastic support for a gamut of their products. Lets hope it stays the same with this book and pro.
 
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heatlesssun

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Still having some issues with conversion. Got my first blue screen doing today after installing the firmware from yesterday. I think if you detach and reattach to quickly it flakes out. I've not had a problem simply removing the screen. This is really the. only issue that's causing me any concern and it's most certainly driver related.

I'm finding I really like this thing more than I'd expected as a pure tablet. The size, weight and feel are great. One problem, there's not enough bezel of all things. My thumbs and palms are always hitting the screen if I'm not careful
 

StryderxX

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Day two with the Surface Book and the battery life continues to disappoint. I forced the integrated graphics option in the Nvidia control panel but I see no improvement in battery life. I've been using the SB since 6am. It's now 10:48am and the battery is under 20%. Not sure whats cause the rapid battery drain.
 

sonicboom

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Well, that screen res isn't helping that's for sure. I did consider getting this thing, but the fact some said it would heat up while idling made me hold off.
 

heatlesssun

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Day two with the Surface Book and the battery life continues to disappoint. I forced the integrated graphics option in the Nvidia control panel but I see no improvement in battery life. I've been using the SB since 6am. It's now 10:48am and the battery is under 20%. Not sure whats cause the rapid battery drain.

Have you been looking at CPU utilization? During a run down test yesterday doing various tasks that would be normal for me I got about nine hours. I got six the other day doing setup work which was installing gigs of Steam games and installing Office of an external mechanical hard drive which is very battery intensive.
 

StryderxX

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Have you been looking at CPU utilization? During a run down test yesterday doing various tasks that would be normal for me I got about nine hours. I got six the other day doing setup work which was installing gigs of Steam games and installing Office of an external mechanical hard drive which is very battery intensive.

I'm not doing anything super intensive. Just opening a VPN session to my office and listening to podcast. I did watch some shows off twit.tv though. Note that I'm actively using the SB the entire time. I'm not letting the screen shutdown or letting the laptop go idle for an extended period of time but it's not like I'm editing 4K video or really stressing it much at all. I think powering that screen at 50% brightness is whats killing the battery for me.
 

Henri108

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I'm not doing anything super intensive. Just opening a VPN session to my office and listening to podcast. I did watch some shows off twit.tv though. Note that I'm actively using the SB the entire time. I'm not letting the screen shutdown or letting the laptop go idle for an extended period of time but it's not like I'm editing 4K video or really stressing it much at all. I think powering that screen at 50% brightness is whats killing the battery for me.

Can you post a screenshot of your CPU utilisation during those tasks? You are the first person that doesn't say battery life is great.
 

-Dragon-

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Also maybe do the video at 50% brightness test that it's supposedly based on. Some piece of shit background program hogging a core the whole time might not spin up the fan, and might not make the system feel any slower, but it will devour your battery (I'm looking at you OneDrive for Business)
 

StryderxX

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Also maybe do the video at 50% brightness test that it's supposedly based on. Some piece of shit background program hogging a core the whole time might not spin up the fan, and might not make the system feel any slower, but it will devour your battery (I'm looking at you OneDrive for Business)

I do use OneDrive and Office365. I also can't figure out how to get my SB to go into sleep mode. If I just close the lid the screen will go off but I still lose battery life. Not sure whats going on there.
 

heatlesssun

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I do use OneDrive and Office365. I also can't figure out how to get my SB to go into sleep mode. If I just close the lid the screen will go off but I still lose battery life. Not sure whats going on there.

There will be some drain while in sleep, should be around 2% an hour and after two hours the device will hibernate by default, that's what I'm seeing.
 

Ronco

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This is a wonderful read... I am going to post it in a separate thread...

from.... 11 Secrets you didn't know about the Surface Book

Here is your answer... which is the number 1 on this list above...

On the Surface Book with discrete graphics, it automatically selects whether to run applications and games on the GPU or the integrated graphics (IGP). But what if you want to override the system and run a certain app on the power-hungry GPU, say, instead of the power-sipping IGP? Go into the Surface Book’s control panel, select Hardware and Sound, then click Nvidia Control Panel. (If you’ve installed GeForce Experience you can skip this and just right-click on the desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel). Once there, click Manage 3D settings > Program Settings. You should see a drop-down list of program to select. Just select your app and then set it from auto to either “High-performance Nvidia processor” or “Integrated graphics.”

side note** It is probably but a matter of time before reference nvidia drivers come out for this product. I am sure performance will vastly improve. Remember as early adopters to such a product we are bound for hurdles. Microsoft has traditionally offered fantastic support for a gamut of their products. Lets hope it stays the same with this book and pro.

So yeah, about that early adopter thing...

... based on early issue reports and other stuff so far when would the herd say is a good time to buy one if I wanted it trouble-free? It seems to me that Microsoft (and others including Apple) often have teething issues which are ironed out after a while.

It's not available to order in my country yet but at the same time I'm in no hurry - it's not like my Surface Pro's are going to spontaneously combust tomorrow.

Should I set my 'order SBook' diary entry to January? February?
 

Blackstone

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The docking and undocking of the tablet from the base is CLUNKY and not ergonomic. It is just plain difficult for me to do. The angle needs to be just right and it requires some force. You can't just lift it off it is a clumsy process. It makes me not want to do the conversion. More trouble than it is worth.

It is a nice machine but very frankly I fail to see the advantage over the Yoga if you don't need the GPU. Unfortunately I needed a laptop NOW and this is it. It runs warm too. The tablet runs warm, the base runs warm.

In bed when you do undock you've got a tablet but you've also got a freakin keyboard on your lap. The screen is also reflective like a mirror I mean I can see my face in it while I work. I am not sure anything about this product really makes sense to me, except it is oh so shiny and apple looking.

Even the charger is ill conceived. First, it is magnetic so it sticks to the side so you don't have to plug it in. But guess what, the cord is SHORT, the brick is heavy, and the charger is on the right side of the tablet. So I am on the left side of the bed and guess what, the slightest movement and the charger pops right off the machine. So we have an oh so cool magnetic charger, but it is really just a pain in the ass at the end of the day because it doesn't stay put. The cord is so short that the brick is dangling in the air, but the plug can't support even the slightest amount of force. Form over function.

The pen is way cool, but I don't need it. If you need the GPU and the pen maybe there is something to this but I don't think it lives up to the hype. It is definitely not worth the price over the Yoga. I might actually return this thing.
 

Blackstone

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I do use OneDrive and Office365. I also can't figure out how to get my SB to go into sleep mode. If I just close the lid the screen will go off but I still lose battery life. Not sure whats going on there.

Same and same. I use OneDrive and Office 365. Maybe turn wifi off when the computer is in sleep mode? I did that yesterday but have not had time to test it today.
 

heatlesssun

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The docking and undocking of the tablet from the base is CLUNKY and not ergonomic. It is just plain difficult for me to do. The angle needs to be just right and it requires some force. You can't just lift it off it is a clumsy process. It makes me not want to do the conversion. More trouble than it is worth.

It is a nice machine but very frankly I fail to see the advantage over the Yoga if you don't need the GPU. Unfortunately I needed a laptop NOW and this is it. It runs warm too. The tablet runs warm, the base runs warm.

I agree that it's a bit clunky but it's not bad once you get used to it. I find that it's easier to hold with one hand at the top and let the magnets guide it in. For me if I hold it at the bottom with two hands it prevents the magnets from aligning and this requires more accurate placement. Maybe I'm making it up so if you haven't tried it that way and understand what I'm saying please give it a shot.

However the tablet release system is pretty sweet. There I've found it's much easier to "tear" it apart, that is to pull it off from one side and lift, like pulling a sheet of paper from a pad.

The pen is way cool, but I don't need it. If you need the GPU and the pen maybe there is something to this but I don't think it lives up to the hype. It is definitely not worth the price over the Yoga. I might actually return this thing.

If one isn't going to use a pen then a Surface device may not be the right device. I use them a lot for that's why a Yoga isn't for me. The main issue I think overall with this conversion design is the tablet battery life. It's amazing how light and airy the tablet section feels and that's actually been something noted by a number of reviews that I've seen. But the battery life is way short which I guess is part of the reason why it feels so light. If they could just get that up to 6 or 7 hours that would be huge I think.

Overall loving this thing. My biggest issue is that the GPU drivers are wonky and that's been reported several places. Indeed the issue with Hyper V and screen flickering is something I noted here Monday and it's become a well known issue which Microsoft is supposedly trying to fix.

But other than that everything else has been within my hopes though as a laptop if does feel a bit heavy. Which is pretty sad as it only weighs 3.5 lbs.
 

Blackstone

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I agree that it's a bit clunky but it's not bad once you get used to it. I find that it's easier to hold with one hand at the top and let the magnets guide it in. For me if I hold it at the bottom with two hands it prevents the magnets from aligning and this requires more accurate placement. Maybe I'm making it up so if you haven't tried it that way and understand what I'm saying please give it a shot.

However the tablet release system is pretty sweet. There I've found it's much easier to "tear" it apart, that is to pull it off from one side and lift, like pulling a sheet of paper from a pad.



If one isn't going to use a pen then a Surface device may not be the right device. I use them a lot for that's why a Yoga isn't for me. The main issue I think overall with this conversion design is the tablet battery life. It's amazing how light and airy the tablet section feels and that's actually been something noted by a number of reviews that I've seen. But the battery life is way short which I guess is part of the reason why it feels so light. If they could just get that up to 6 or 7 hours that would be huge I think.

Overall loving this thing. My biggest issue is that the GPU drivers are wonky and that's been reported several places. Indeed the issue with Hyper V and screen flickering is something I noted here Monday and it's become a well known issue which Microsoft is supposedly trying to fix.

But other than that everything else has been within my hopes though as a laptop if does feel a bit heavy. Which is pretty sad as it only weighs 3.5 lbs.

A few good points here. First, my wife has discovered the wonderful pen. So now she likes the gadget. She did give me back the Wii U though! Second, I do think I am getting used to the conversion process now. It seems to be getting easier. Your one handed technique and letting the magnets do the work seems to be the way to go.

Battery life is reporting as 13 hours today for some reason. I am not sure why initially it was only reporting 5-6 hours. Perhaps it needed a few charge cycles?

Setting the iGPU as the preferred GPU seems to keep the unit cooler.

The tablet is very nice to use. I wish I had more content to consume. I think it is better than an iPad but not quite as durable or portable.

I think my work schedule has not allowed me sufficient time with the device to really evaluate. If I could master the conversion process so that is a little more seemless and less awkward this is a promising productivity device.

This is really something one has to get used to! It is nice being able to actually type on the forums again! I have been using iphone and ipad and have not been able to contribute because of the lack of keyboard. Very nice to be back indeed!
 

tangoseal

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Got my Book today... I5 w/ GPU and 8GB RAM 256ssd

I love this thing. The screen is absolutely amazing!

Also the GPU is actually quite stout for being a hybrid. I was able to play wow on Medium graphics at a mid resolution and lock in 60FPS steady using fxaa low.

If I dropped to good or even fair my FPS was past the 90s.

Question though ...
Does your power brick get very warm when then unit is recharging both batteries? My initial charge made it pretty hot.
Did your book come with interchangeable pen tips? I can't seem to locate min and the default is too thick for my writing style in one note. (Edit** Nevermind it seems to be sold separately for like $10.00). I will go and pickup a set tomorrow.
 

heatlesssun

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Question though ...
Does your power brick get very warm when then unit is recharging both batteries? My initial charge made it pretty hot.
Did your book come with interchangeable pen tips? I can't seem to locate min and the default is too thick for my writing style in one note. (Edit** Nevermind it seems to be sold separately for like $10.00). I will go and pickup a set tomorrow.

Congrats! The brick will get kind of hot if the particularly what charging and running something demanding, pretty normal for a power brick though. Was hoping for the tips with the Book as well but no such luck. I plan to pick them up this weekend.
 

heatlesssun

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Kind of disappointed with how the product is launched with issues.

It's a pretty complex device, much more so than most any conventional laptop or even hybrid so snags are going to happen. I think the way this works is that company's do kind of depend on enthusiasts and early adopters to beta test because these groups are more understanding of the issues that arise with new tech. As long as the device is reasonably stable and performs with general executions of performance, battery life and build quality thing like wonk drivers can be fixed. But if the device is complete junk then even early adopters are going to say hell to the no.

The Surface Book is far from complete junk but the GPU drivers definitely need a bit of work which they have been getting with the first updates on release day. Not a perfect machine but I've really happy with it so far except for the GPU issues related to Hyper-V and conversion.
 

mtrupi

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As long as the device is reasonably stable and performs with general executions of performance, battery life and build quality thing like wonk drivers can be fixed.

The Surface Book is far from complete junk.

These type of things go through extensive internal and external Beta testing. There are some unexpected user scenarios whenever something this different is produced. Being completely unbiased, the comments show a much higher level of approval than I would have expected. I don't own one and probably won't. I'm just happy to see all the tech companies understand the stodgy old company profile means a slow painful death.
 

StryderxX

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tangoseal

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I just changed that setting. Now my book is resting and I am purposly going to wake it in one hour to see how much battery drained occured and I have my infrared thermometer to measure it. I will take some pics.

last night I put it to sleep and back in the case I bought for a Macbook Pro 13.3 that fits it barely and it was scorching hot after being in threre for a few hours.

Lets see what will happen tonight.

Ill post pic

Here is at 11PM - I will take another at 12AM (1 hour should be more than sufficient to heat this machine up in the case if there is still a problem after the disable wifi work around ...didn't check battery level.

preview.jpg


Ok 1.5 hours Later in Sleep mode... opened tablet real fast to check battery level. 86/96% for the two batteries. In another hour or so after I get done gaming on my main computer I will check the battery level again to see if there is any drain in sleep that is odd.

preview.jpg
 
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Andrmgic

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So I was kind of an idiot.. my 'book was working just fine.. then I saw someone say that installing this -

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49497

improved their battery life.. so I did that.

Since then, I've been getting "Latch failed to open" errors in windows when I try to detach the screen. I rolled back using system restore but it didn't help.

The mechanism isn't actually failing to open, from what I can tell.. I've been able to pull off the clipboard every time if I do it when the light turns green on the keyboard button. However, if I wait for windows to tell me it is ready to be detached, it mostly says "Latch failed to open"

If I close the hinge almost entirely, and then open it to the full extent, windows will actually say "ready to detach" when I press the button and I can remove the screen normally.

I have to think this is a firmware or software issue and installing that pack from Microsoft was the start of it for me. Maybe by the time windows checks to see if the latch is disengaged (before displaying the "Ready to Detach" message), the latch is already locked again, so it assumes it didn't open in the first place.

I'm currently doing a reset on the surface book to see if that brings things back to normal. If it really is just software, it's mildly annoying.. but if it turns out to be a hardware thing, this thing is going to go back to best buy and I'll go back to using my MacBook.
 

-Dragon-

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I'm starting to think you should just wait for the firmware from windows update and not force download stuff that's not there. That seems like beta firmware perhaps to fix specific issues people are facing in support to try to get them working right away but not quite ready for prime time...
 

Andrmgic

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I'm starting to think you should just wait for the firmware from windows update and not force download stuff that's not there. That seems like beta firmware perhaps to fix specific issues people are facing in support to try to get them working right away but not quite ready for prime time...

Apparently that package is meant for deploying a system image to a surface book via WDS or SCCM.

It seems likely that installing that driver pack messed something up.

I had gotten a firmware update from windows update when I first started the machine (the day I bought it) that enabled windows hello, etc. The driver pack above seemed to break hello, as the camera couldn't see me anymore.
 

-Dragon-

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It's also dated the 30th, the previous one was dated the 23rd I believe, so it does seem to be newer just not on update yet, at least not for me. Like I said, I think I'll wait for now unless I'm having specific issues
 

heatlesssun

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Apparently that package is meant for deploying a system image to a surface book via WDS or SCCM.

It seems likely that installing that driver pack messed something up.

I had gotten a firmware update from windows update when I first started the machine (the day I bought it) that enabled windows hello, etc. The driver pack above seemed to break hello, as the camera couldn't see me anymore.

Have you manually installed this: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49497&WT.mc_id=rss_alldownloads_all

I did, it doesn't seem to be the same package as the one on Windows Update, at least not on Monday. The download in this link became available last Sunday. It seemed to fix most of the blue screen issues I was having when converting from laptop to drawing mode.

So far all the problems I'm having as almost certainly GPU related, like the flickering issue when Hyper-V in enabled. And I still will get a blue screen when releasing the tablet section if the device isn't on first. Again, it's a GPU crash notice.

There are a lot of updates coming in November. Threshold 2 looks to help with battery. I have the latest insider build on my Surface Pro 4 and it seems to quite a bit better on the battery side especially when Edge. The fan seems to spin up quite a bit less. And there will no doubt be new firmware and drivers coming soon.

For something this new and complex it's actually worked a bit better than I expected but the GPU issues need fixed ASAP. Not seeing the same battery issues as others while the device is running but sleep isn't as efficient as it should be.
 

Andrmgic

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I did install the MSI in that, yes.

I did not notice any problems w/ detaching until I did that.

It's very strange to me, because the mechanism is clearly working.. as I can always remove the tablet if I go by the light on the keyboard.

Windows only shows "ready to detach" if I close the "lid" of the surface book, and then re-open it. If I do that before pressing the button, I get "ready to detach" otherwise, it's "latch failed to open"

The mechanism is still working, though.. I can hear it (not the audio it plays to make the click sound, but the actual working of the mechanism)
 

tangoseal

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I only updated firmware that was auto-updated. No problems with detaching etc.... just works fine and dandy!
 

Andrmgic

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I only updated firmware that was auto-updated. No problems with detaching etc.... just works fine and dandy!

mine seems to be working ok again now too.

not sure if maybe I was holding it wrong (the button) or something else, but it is consistently detaching again.
 

heatlesssun

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mine seems to be working ok again now too.

not sure if maybe I was holding it wrong (the button) or something else, but it is consistently detaching again.

The screen detaching mechanism hasn't been an issue for me, it's the GPU drivers that have been the problem. The screen detaching mechanism is sci-fi, brilliant engineering. The GPU drivers not so much.
 
D

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One does have to wonder exactly what the hell is going on with the GPU drivers and by that I'm going to assume you're referring to the Nvidia GPU of the SB that you happened to buy, heatless, correct? Seems like Microsoft would be or would have been all over Nvidia to ensure they had proper driver support before the release and sales began but maybe that's not the case here. As the saying goes:

"It's the drivers, it's always the god damned drivers..."

Surely someone at Microsoft has to be all over Nvidia about this by now because it's becoming a much publicized issue and obviously that's going to hurt potential sales when people researching the SB find out about it.
 

-Dragon-

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It's not the nVidia drivers that have problems, it's Intel's. When they crash a little popup comes up and states as much. I'm still running the ones that came with it, haven't done the manual update yet to latest win 10 drivers so not sure if that helps or hurts. I pretty much get a quick flash and 2 popups stating the intel drivers have crashed every time I flip the clipboard from front to back, doesn't seem to happen from back to front.
 

tangoseal

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It's not the nVidia drivers that have problems, it's Intel's. When they crash a little popup comes up and states as much. I'm still running the ones that came with it, haven't done the manual update yet to latest win 10 drivers so not sure if that helps or hurts. I pretty much get a quick flash and 2 popups stating the intel drivers have crashed every time I flip the clipboard from front to back, doesn't seem to happen from back to front.

Install official intel drivers I did and it works awesome. No probs here. Have to use the device manager to manually install them from there using the update driver function.

I went to INtel.com and searched for the official Intel HD 520 Drivers because I have the I5 book. Now everything is much smoother and I can actually game a little bit on these drivers without any problems.

nVidia is surely going to release an update and probably significantly improve overall GPU performance and stability. This is such a new product and remember we are in the first wave of the first adopters and are bound to have be the ones with the most fortitude of patience over say.... someone who buys this 6 months from now down the road.
 
D

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It's not the nVidia drivers that have problems, it's Intel's

Ah, ok then, my mistake. I was somewhat guessing about the specific GPU, figured most owners with the discrete one would refer to it as the dGPU, should have realized it ahead of time.

I'm guessing again that Intel is working on the issue and an updated driver set may appear soon, hopefully.
 

heatlesssun

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Install official intel drivers I did and it works awesome. No probs here. Have to use the device manager to manually install them from there using the update driver function.

How did you get them to install? I get an error saying that they haven't been validated for this system.

Edit: Thanks tangoseal! Did a manual install of the Intel drivers and they seem to be behaving a bit better.
 
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