Thanks to the latest leaked benchmarks, we have a better idea what to expect from Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop 4 hardware, but we might have to wait a long time to see the new machines.
The details from the Geekbench 5 database, via Windows Latest:
“Benchmark for a device codenamed “OEMWY” suggests that Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 or Surface Laptop 4 (Business edition) could use Intel’s 11th-generation Tiger Lake CPU (i7-1185G7).
“Surface Laptop 4 with AMD Renoir Another benchmark is for a Surface product with the codename “OEMGR OEMGR Product Name DV”. The Geekbench entry states that the Surface Laptop is using outdated AMD Ryzen 7 3780U chip, but its “AMD Renoir” connection can be sussed out by the codename highlighted in the benchmark.”
It’s always worth noting that benchmarking numbers do not tell the whole story (but when you consider how far ahead Apple’s M1 benchmarks are, the broad direction is still a solid indicator to the rough pecking order).
What benchmarks do show is that the next Microsoft Surface devices are approaching the point where the team would be comfortable showing them off to the public. Clearly labelled benchmarking tests tend to happen near the end of the development period.
In terms of the actual hardware, I’d expect the Surface Pro 8 chipset to be bumped up to Intel’s Tiger Lake 11-generation Core processors, which comes with the added bonus of Intel’s Xe GPU which will help shape the Surface Pro as a machine suitable for media creation while on the move.
What is unlikely to be reshaped is the physical design. The curved lines and thinner construction of the Surface Pro X are possible because of the lower thermal requirements of the ARM processor; the Pro 8’s Intel chip will need more cooling, air vents, and a fan, to deliver the top line performance expected.So expect the boxy design to be retained.
The same design issues will likely shape the Surface Laptop 4. Even though its looking at an AMD chip rather than Intel, it’s still an x86-64 processor which still needs a lot of thermal capacity.
Given the economic conditions in the world, many are expecting Microsoft to delay the actual launch of the new Surface machines until the second half of 2021.