Has anyone used Rhino on the new Microsoft Surface Pro?

I’m thinking of purchasing the new Surface Pro with Intel i7 and 8GB of ram. McNeel advised me that the onboard Intel graphics card may not perform as well as a good NVIDIA card. My files tend to get large- about 1- 2 GB each, making panning and rotating very sluggish even with my current NVIDIA.

Has anyone had experience using the Surface Pro with Rhino?


I’ve been trying to buy a Surface Pro 4 (the best model available) for about a month now, but either shops near me don’t sell the most expensive version or online shops don’t accept my cards. I’m not quite at the end of my rope yet, high hopes for next week :confused:

I can’t tell you yet whether it works fine, but I’ll put up a quick note when I do get one…

Hi Mike, I recently got one as a test unit from work. We want to see if they work well for light mobility work, not quite intended to replace a powerful workstation, but rather supplement it for somethin easier to take on trips or bring to meetings, etc.

I’m been very impressed with it in overal performance. Spaceclaim runs great with it, but that’s a Direct-X driven video engine, not OpenGL. I only did very light work in Rhino in a couple of heavy models (but small files) and viewport response was very good. I only noticed a weird blocky artifact on screen with object snap drawing new curves. I’ll try to document it. If there’s anything specific I should test please let me know.

The unit I got is the highest spec one, I7 processors and 16GB of ram. Maybe 8GB of ram might be an issue with large files? Especially if you run other programs at the same time?


David and Gustavo,

Thanks for the quick feedback. I’m hoping to to make it my only machine- I don’t mind taking a small hit on speed, but seems like the 16GB is worthwhile. Thanks in advance for sharing your experience with Surface Pro. I’ll do the same.

Hi Mike,
I’ve been using a SP3 i5, 8GB as an ‘always with me’ unit for ~ 1 year. Despite the fact that it died on me last month (MS replaced it), I’ve been quite impressed with it for most things, including Rhino.

It’s handled ~150MB models surprisingly well, particularly in wireframe. It’s nice to discuss models with clients, where everyone can spin/zoom with the touch screen.

I can imagine a more powerful SP4 will only be better.

I use Rhino on a SP3 pro i7 and a SP4 i7 16gb both works fine. 16gb internal memory is advisable

weekend update: my aging Precision completely died a couple days ago. I’m mid project deadline and didn’t feel like going to the office and work there on my desktop. So I decided to continue the project cold turkey on the Surface Pro. It’s working really really well. with big files with lots of geometry. I’m so impressed at both this laptop and how awesome rhino is with lightweight hardware.

Hi Mike
I use a Surface Pro 4 i7 for Rhino 5
I use the dock to access a large monitor, mouse and Space Navigator 3D mouse.
The Microsoft Pen does not work with Rhino as well as I hoped and in order to get the interface on the laptop to not be so compressed you have to increase the display res, which doesn’t leave much modelling area.

I was afraid to get a surface because I heard it had some problems, I got this instead HP 15.6" ZBook Studio x360 G5 Multi-Touch 2-in-1 Mobile Workstation and works great with large models