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Affinity Photo on Surface Book

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I've just bought Affinity Photo yesterday (mainly to jump off the Adobe subscription bandwagon).


I'm considering to buy a new "laptop" - in quotes, because the Surface Book tingles my fancy by far the most. I'm peeking for the smalles model, the i5 with 128GB SSD (96GB free as I've seen in a electro market yesterday) with no dedicated GPU, but comes with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520. The display has a resolution of 3000x2000.


I wonder if two things would work:

- does Affinity Photo it scale nicely? I've heard about problems with Windows software who did not scale good.

- does Affinity Photo use a dedicated GPU that much, that it would make no sense to buy such a device?


I would wonder about the latter one as a lot of Apple MacBooks also come with integrated GPUs (even though, they do use the faster IRIS graphics).


Maybe someone here uses a Surface Book with this configuration with Affinity Photo and could give me a hint.


Many thanks in advance!




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Hey dieta,


I don't have a ton of experience with the Surface but your question reminded me of a thread I read a few months ago:

I'd possibly hold out until a few more people with experience have replied. I imagine the 520 has a bit more juice but I'd personally be leaning towards a dedicated card.

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Hi Chris,


thank you for your reply. That does not sound very promising to be honest. The dedicated card would result in the more expensive model, with the dGPU and 256GB SSD.


To be honest, currently I've also checked the new MacBook Pros and while it was a safe bet in the past, I now have my doubts with the new 2016 models (especially with the new keyboard and the missing ESC-key (heavy vim user)).


What would be a better choice with a great screen like the Surface one for photo editing (PC laptop)? I don't really need a tablet, but the diplays looks fantastic.


Maybe some give me hint or recommendation :)




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Hey Dennis,


I've just looked into it a bit more and noticed the only spec options for the Surface Pro 4 are more ram and an i7. I can't see anywhere you can change the graphics card. We have lots of users using this machine for Designer and Photo and the one we have in the office gets used a lot. The i7 comes with the 540 but it is probably not worth the additional cost. I came across this thread also.

I won't go into my opinion on the MacBook  :P

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I'm curious to hear your opinion about the new MacBooks ;) Seriously!

I would like to see some side by side comparisons of how Affinity runs on a few Surface Book configurations vs. a few MacBook Pro ones, but that could be tricky because there are so many different possible configurations & Apple only offers the really high performance options on the larger (& very expensive!) 15" models.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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I'd get instead a regular laptop pc (Dell, Asus, etc), 17 inches (if like my case, it is for drawing,  illustrating or graphic design. I love my 18.5 screen laptop)  with a very nice dedicated card, as I believe both Affinity's apps use it a lot.  Put there enough ram and ideally a SSD for the OS, but also a HD for storage and working files (and in case the ssd eventually gets wrecked). For drawing, you are totally fine, and fits in many usual laptop bags, an Intuos Art medium size (~200$). And you are set !.  I'd prefer that over a 13 inches, blurry fonts + ui (too large native resolution for 13 inches, imo) and jitery drawing lines on the entire SF line. (not an issue for exclusively photo editing, but IMO, a  larger, and preferably high quality screen (supporting fully sRGB, and a good portion of the Adobe RGB spectrum, would be desirable))


And in any case, if money is not an issue (between 2k and 3k depending on configuration, not sure)  I'd just get a Wacom Studio 16, the latest thing from wacom graphic tablet laptops. Very powerful, and having the very new generation of drawing devices, their newest advances are in these, as in the new Cintiq pro line. Still both not bigger available than 16, but they're expensive enough already, and if you were looking at a SF, I guess 16 inches are fine for you.

AD, AP and APub. V1.x and V2.x Windows 10 and Windows 11.  
Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM,  RTX 3060 12GB, Wacom Intuos XL, Wacom L. 
Eizo ColorEdge CS 2420 monitor. Windows 10.
HP Omen 16-b1010ns 12700H, 32GB DDR5 (corsair), nVidia RTX 3060 6GB + Huion Kamvas 22 drawing screen, Windows 11.


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