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Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 will drain battery while plugged in when gaming

Over the last week, some issues have been spotted with Microsoft’s new Surface Book 2 laptop. Not only have tests shown throttling issues, but it looks like the charger supplied with the laptop can’t keep the battery full during gaming sessions.

The Surface Book 2 ships with a GTX 1060 graphics card, making it a decent little machine for gaming, as well as productivity. However, as tests have shown, this laptop is not necessarily fit for long gaming sessions at full power. Speaking with The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that “in some prolonged gaming scenarios”, with the Power Mode slider set to ‘best performance’, the Surface Book 2’s battery “may discharged while connected to the power supply”.

The amount of battery drain that occurs depends on the game, screen resolution and maximum load placed on the GPU. If you play games in modes other than ‘best performance’, then performance drops quite a bit as the GPU will be throttled. This essentially means that despite the inclusion of a GTX 1060, the Surface Book 2 isn’t necessarily a great machine for work and play, assuming you like to keep up with modern Triple A titles.

The power supply that comes with the laptop is designed to supply 95 watts of power to the device. The GTX 1060 can draw between 70 and 80 watts under full load, meanwhile the processor draws 25 watts in high-power mode. Put simply, the charger simply can’t provide enough power to the laptop to run it in max performance mode. Using one of Windows 10’s power efficient modes will cut down performance, so you won’t be getting the best out of your GTX 1060.

KitGuru Says: The Surface Book 2 isn’t marketed as a gaming machine, but the inclusion of a GTX 1060 means it should be very capable. Unfortunately, the power supply simply isn’t up to snuff in that regard. Destiny 2 will drain the laptop’s battery by 10 percent an hour, even when plugged into a wall, so don’t expect to get much intensive gaming done with this machine.

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