"The Surface Book 2 Power Mode Slider is provided as a means to give the user control over the range of performance and battery life". Microsoft reportedly bundles a 102W charger with the model that features the Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card.
Over the last week, some issues have been spotted with Microsoft's new Surface Book 2 laptop. It also notes that the machine is intended for designers, developers and engineers, with the subtext that it's not exactly marketed as a gaming rig. Microsoft's solution is to throttle the hardware down to "better performance" or "best battery" settings, neither of which are great for most games you'll need a GPU for.
The amount of drain varies between games, screen resolution, and maximum load on the GPU. Microsoft has confirmed the issue and explained why this occurs.
I've found the throttling makes the device unusable for gaming after less than 10 minutes in those battery efficient modes, dropping the experience from 60fps to 30fps in some titles.
Tom Warren of The Verge noticed the flaw first at the time of reviewing the Surface Book 2 earlier this month.
Nevertheless, Microsoft says that despite the power draining even while charging, the Surface Book 2 will never drain completely.
The power supply that comes with the laptop is created to supply 95 watts of power to the device. In other modes such as "better performance" and "better battery", the operating system limits the power of the processor and the graphics chip to ensure increased autonomy, which results in the laptop being charged even when playing video games.
The Verge theorizes that this happens because the 95 watt power brick can't supply enough charge to the Surface Book 2 when both CPU and GPU are running at max speeds, eating up to 35 watts and 80 watts, respectively.
Consequently, the charger delivers less power than the device needs to work at peak performance, during heavy gaming sessions or other tasks that weigh heavily on the GPU. Obviously, video games require the "best performance" position, which in some cases may lead to higher consumption than the charger can offer. The max performance setting will drain power even when plugged into the wall, and I've found it's at least 10 percent an hour or more depending on the game and load.