Core I5 or Core I7 SP3?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Tmozer, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Tmozer

    Tmozer Member

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    I do not game. I do do a lot of image editing (Lightroom and Photoshop) and video editing. Will I notice a difference between a Core I5 or a Core I7 both with 8 gigs of ram and 256 gig storage? If the I7 will make any difference and not run significantly hotter, I will pay the extra bucks. But if there is no reason for me to do so, than I'll spend the money on the docking cradle........
     
  2. mtalinm

    mtalinm Active Member

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    buy the dock. I returned an i5 for an i7 and can't tell much difference in speed. it is considerably hotter though, and the battery doesn't last as long.

    (now of course you'll ask why I didn't return the i7 for an i5...long story)
     
  3. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Due to the thermal constraints, i doubt there will be that much of a noticeable difference. Your best bet is to buy one, see how you like it, return it within the return window, buy the other model, and see what you prefer. Its a fair price premium between the two, so best to find out for yourself whether it is worth it. No two users are alike, so best we can do is offer a vague opinion.

    No doubt youre already aware, but if you plan on doing all this with the type cover, be aware that it lacks many keys that many apps rely on. I run a number of programmes that require me to use a full size Bluetooth keyboard because the type cover just doesn't have the keys they heavily rely on, such as 'insert'
     
  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I use mMy SP3 i7 /512 for geophysics number crunching, and I also render videos (Adobe Primiere and After Effects). Runs coolly and quietly. Every time I compute a big task (playing tunes or podcasts or Internet radio for the duration) I become more pleased with this computing companion. Was well worth the premium.
     
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Faster, no difference, hotter, not hotter you'll get every answer. oh, you already did. OMV YMMV. Given your previous remarks, follow your heart. :)
     
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  6. MikeB

    MikeB New Member

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    I've got the i7 model, and the only app I uses that stresses the CPU is Lightroom. It works fine with Lightroom, but I can't say that it's running any faster than an i5 might.

    However, based on this other thread, it seems like a small USB-powered external fan will keep the CPU much cooler, meaning it won't throttle down, meaning the i7 should deliver better performance than the i5.
    http://www.surfaceforums.net/thread...ce-no-throttle-using-additional-usb-fan.13843
     
  7. bvone21

    bvone21 Member

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    Hah...that's certainly the truth.

    Note: When I say quiet, I mean "you can't hear the fan", either it's off or so low it's unnoticable. When the fan is on full blast, you can certainly hear it, but it is much quieter than most other ultrabook fans. When I say "heat", I mean that you can touch the back right hand side...and the case is hot. Mine actually does get pretty hot to touch. Like uncomfortably hot if being hand held. Not an issue if you're using the stand on a tabletop/desk...

    So my experience:

    I have the i7/256gb. I have no noise/heat using Lightroom (5) unless I'm importing, rendering previews, or exporting a bunch of files. No noise/heat during general use and editing (24mp RAW).

    I certainly have noise/heat when encoding any video. Even when leveraging quicksync (i.e. via Handbrake). So I would say that I'm very cautious if someone else says that rendering video runs cool and quiet. I'm sure it runs fine...but probably not cool and probably not quietly.

    I only get 5-6 hours of battery life even when not touching Lightroom and no video watching. Stock settings.

    I kind of wish I could have come to the realization in my return windows to exchange for the i5, as I suspect there isn't enough performance difference to notice. If you do a lot of video editing then the i7 may still be worth it...but I don't do much of that.

    Bottom Line: It will run hotter, but it will have better performance. You can't really have your cake and eat it too. How much depends on what tasks your performing and for how long. I suspect you'd get better FPS when rendering or encoding video with the i7...but the performance comes at a cost (heat/battery life).
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  8. tarrant64

    tarrant64 Member

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    Just got the i7/512 (wanted the storage). On the fence returning it for the i5 - the i7 does run hot a lot. Not sure it's that much faster than an i5 at all (due to heat throttling). I have been using it a ton past few days trying to get a gauge on why it runs hot and a lot of it does come down to stuff I'm using. I've made some changes and it's getting better day by day, but I've had to make some tweaks here and there. Some examples:

    Windows Indexing - on day 1 it had a lot to get through (pulled 50-60gb down from onedrive) - this was working a lot in the background for a couple days.

    Windows Defender - on day 2 watched this pretty closely - bunch of frequently accessed (and known safe) directories it was scanning a lot - made some changes and added exceptions - all good.

    Battery drain has been pretty bad (at one point this morning 47% in 1 hour). This is something I was running, meaning caused by me - leaning on multiple Chrome tabs open. I've switched to IE for now to see if it improves. I've read in the past while researching an upgrade to the Pro 3 (had a Pro 2) that Chrome caused problems with battery usage.

    The pro 3 does end up throttling down the i7 CPU but I've found that the logic/software driving it isn't as smart as it should be. Fan kicks on late...should come on lighter and earlier to sustain a moderate temperature. Not let it get up too high and then drive it all the way back down with a lot of noise.

    Overall I'm satisfied, I did go with the dock too. It works great...it's perfect and even has a magnet on the left of it that holds your pen in place. I wish the i5 had the 512gb option - would downgrade I think for sure. Went with the i7 mostly for storage and money wasn't an issue.
     
  9. macmee

    macmee Active Member

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    Got the i7 model and now wish I got the i3 model. Great device, I've had zero benefits of the i7, it runs hot and shuts off.
     
  10. vxm

    vxm Active Member

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    I was also deciding between i5 and i7, I went for i7 and I'm happy with the choice- I don't experience throttling while using PS and Lightroom, tablet only got hot once while doing some 2m by 1m 300dpi raster based logo with many layers, groups and effects but it still was ok to hold it. Apart from that Painter, Blender, PS run pretty smoothly. That said, I use tablet alot with cooling stand for serious work and gaming to ensure nothing overheats
     
  11. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you share what you use for cooling just for reference.
     
  12. vxm

    vxm Active Member

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    GreyFox7: sure, it's modecom laptop stand . I'm constrained to bed recently due to surgery, so I found this while exploring posibilities of working from home/bed. This did the trick. Cooling is bit noisy but it's very efficient too as fans installed in it are quite big. Can play/work couple hours straight without overheating, SP3's fan switches on and off but hardly see any issues with performance.
     

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