Sneak preview of music and audio production performance testing the Surface Pro 2017

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I’m currently in the middle of testing audio and music production performance on the Surface Pro 2017. It takes a long time to do so I wanted to update you on where I am and give you a sneak preview of the sort of results I’m getting. Full report coming soon!

4 thoughts on “Sneak preview of music and audio production performance testing the Surface Pro 2017

  1. Just wanted to chime in and let you know how much I appreciate your efforts here. Outstanding research. I’ve gone from SP3 to SP4 (i7, 1TB, 16GB, tricked out) and I’m trying to decide whether to upgrade or not.
    A couple of questions … for maximum portability, I’ve been using the ‘internal’ audio and ASIO4ALL. Also, I’ve put everything on the SSD. Obviously, doing this for maximum portability but I hit performance glitches from time to time.
    If one of your videos (that I’ve watched and forgotten) outlines the ‘best way’ to set the SP4 up for optimum road warrior performance (dedicated audio interface?, placing VST instruments on external drive?, ‘settings’ tweaks?, etc.), I’d love to hear your opinion.
    Finally, if there is some way to contribute $ to your research (if that’s appropriate), I’d certainly be willing to donate.
    Thanks …

    1. Hi Michael,
      I don’t see any problems with running everything on the internal drive. It should give you better performance than an external USB drive. ASIO4ALL can work well if you need it to – I always go with a USB audio interface myself. I have a video on tweaking – nothing specific about being portable because we want all the power all the time. Running on battery might have negative consequences. I hope to set up a Patreon page at some point.


  2. Hello Robin,

    You do a terrific job with your videos. I realize that you base everything that you say on actual testing so my first question may not be “in your wheelhouse” but here goes:

    First question: I am thinking of buying a Dell XPS 13 with the new i7-8550U processor when it starts selling in a few weeks. On Cubase and Dell forums, I am having trouble finding anyone who is admitting to using Cubase 9 Pro (or any earlier version) on the XPS 13. Do you know anyone who is using Cubase on an existing Dell XPS 13 successfully? What kind of things should I look out for to make sure that it will run Cubase as well or better than a Surface Pro? Does getting someone to run latencymon help significantly?

    Second question: I use Cubase to edit classical piano music (currently on an iMac bootcamped to Windows 10). Either a single VST track with Ivory II Italian Grand or a mix of that piano track with a music minus one audio track. I don’t record in Cubase; I simply import a MIDI file from my digital piano.I may branch out into some chamber music with a VST violin track (Garritan orchestra 5 is what I have now). I may need some reverb, but I am not running dozens of plug-ins. Will an audio interface improve my set-up in any way, and if so, how (especially if I switch to a laptop)?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Lawrence,
      Here’s the thing – it’s impossible to know if any given laptop is going to work well for music without trying it. On the whole everything should be fine within the limits of the system. But bad drivers and power saving technology can cause trouble. All you can do is try. Running Latencymon is a good start but it’s not the whole story. There are a lot of frustrated laptop owners out there.

      An audio interface will give you two things – proper, hard wearing and high quality physical inputs and outputs – and lower latency with better performance. If that’s helpful to you then get one, if not then don’t.

      Hope that helps!

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