First impressions & problems with the SP3

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by IlbeRevolution, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. IlbeRevolution

    IlbeRevolution New Member

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    So, I've spent about 8 hrs on my SP3 and there are couple of small noticeable problems and differences when compared to the SP2.

    I thought I'd share my findings and tips with the rest of you, and maybe someone can point out a solution to some of the problems that I have.

    1) Update to firmware 140619 as soon as you get the device- machine seems to run much quieter and no more problems when waking up from sleep while running desktop programs. (it also feels like the charging goes faster, but I might just be wrong).

    2) The pen has couple of glitches- sometimes you have to press really hard to register an input. Sometimes, the pointer disappears for a moment. (The machine comes with an outdated N-trig driver with tons of problems on wintab related desktop programs. Pressure sensitivity does not work on major programs such as Photoshop CS5, SAI, Corel). N-trig did release a new firmware to address some of these issues a couple of days ago, but their website is down(http://www.n-trig.com/Content.aspx?Page=wintab), and I'm hoping the eventual driver update fixes some of these glitches. On a sidenote, the edge tracking seems much better than the SP2.

    3) The pen holder has an extremely tight fit, and if you're not careful you can rip the attachment right off the keyboard (you can always just super-glue it back on).

    4) Streaming videos off sites that use flash on desktop mode takes huge performance hit (youtube, twitch, etc). Trying to playback fullHD content off flash ramps up the fan to the point where the fan noise interferes with the audio. Seems to be fine in Metro.


    5) The windows button on the right is annoying- unless you're a lefty, you keep accidentally pressing the capacitive button.

    6) Thin body with less exhaust vents and a tiny "silent" fan means the device gets really really hot. I was running CoreTemp for about an hour during HDstreaming, CPU temperature was around mid 50'C, highest being 69'C. and this wasn't even a torture test. The device gets much hotter than the SP2 and while the fan doesn't turn on until higher temperatures than the SP2, once it gets going, it's got a really annoying pitch to it.
    streaming fHD.png

    7) Kickstand has a little flex to it, and at 150' you're better off retracting the stand specially when trying to use the pen.

    8) Surprisingly, there's not that much free memory left on 4GB model when compared to the SP2. Granted, I'm still only using about 55% of the max mem available so this shouldn't really be a problem.

    9) Sliding from bottom when the keyboard's magnet slit is attached is hard, and pressing the icons on start taskbar in desktop use is a little challenging.

    [Final Thoughts]

    Of course, at this point I'm being really picky with these complaints. SP3 is still a rock solid device that's uver fast(interestingly slower than the SP2) and most importantly is a device that gets the job done. The keyboard seems to be an improvement over the last generation, especially the touchpad. I'm not too sure about ditching wacom for n-trig, but I'll save my opinions on pen-input for now. Screen is amazing but seems to have a little bit of bleeding towards the edges and I honestly can't find the merit in MS's famous "3:2 aspect ratio". I do find it easier on my eyes on portrait mode, but this device is too big and heavy for a tablet-like use anyways. I just hope microsoft addresses some of the issues.
     
  2. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    Btw, when I was setting up the SP3, the pen did not seem to pair even after 3 tries. Any idea how to get to pair? Edit: Never mind. It's easy enough going through PC Settings etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  3. MadCruzer

    MadCruzer New Member

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    I'm sitting in Starbucks typing this and the SP is sliding all over the table. Would help if they had some sort of ribberization (I don't think that's really a word..) on the bottom of the Kickstand..IMF I put the typecover flat, it helps, but I prefer it angled...The angled typecover is great and the touch pad is definitely an improvement over the TypeCover 2.

    I've not had any trouble with the Pen but only tried it with OneNote so far.

    The heat is definitely noticeable on the back panel.
     
  4. wvevie

    wvevie Member

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    Beating my brain against the wall trying to get the bluetooth items to stay connected. Can't get the pen to stay connected at all
    .
     
  5. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I haven't tested any other Bluetooth Devices, but there is a thread on the Pen already on the MS Support Forum here....

    Pen on Surface 3 won't stay connected - Microsoft Community
     
  6. IlbeRevolution

    IlbeRevolution New Member

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    If you ripped off the non-conductive battery label, make sure the coin cell batteries are still in contact in the back compartment.
    You can also mannually pair the pen to the device by holding the back button down.
    If you hold down the purple button at the end of the pen and the light is flashing, then check if your bluetooth settings are turned on @ PC and Devices.
    It would help if you had other bluetooth devices. Try connecting to SP3 with other bluetooth devices.
     
  7. Seneleron

    Seneleron Active Member

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    My SP2 peaked [and throttled] @ 82c. My new SP3 has yet to break 74c. TJunction is 100c. By that definition, it runs cool as heck, ESPECIALLY considering the form factor.

    Oh sh**, that label wasn't supposed to come off? Is that why windows keeps saying my pen isn't synced, even though it seems to work just fine?
     
  8. IlbeRevolution

    IlbeRevolution New Member

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    I have yet to run a torture test on my SP3, but it hit 69'C while streaming HD video on the web. I've never had my SP2 go above ~60'C when streaming HD videos. I wouldn't be surprised if the throttle temperatures on SP3 are above 90'C. I'll have to run torture tests on SP3 to see which of the two devices gets hotter, but from my first day experience, SP3 seems to have worse ventilation compared to the SP2. Granted, the SP3 has better fans, but I really do not like the pitch that it makes.

    It's suppose to come off. Some people just brute force pulled it off. I loosened the spring with a screw and removed it carefully. The point is, as long as the non-conductive label isn't interfereing with the lithium coin cell batteries, it should be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  9. DanL

    DanL Member

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    For some reason my SP3 is not recognizing my MS Arc mouse surface edition. Changed batteries in the mouse. When I click bluetooth in settings it starts a scan to see whats available but the mouse doesn't show up. This mouse paired and worked fine with my SP2.
     
  10. Seneleron

    Seneleron Active Member

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    I would actually be VERY surprised, and the reason is that, presumably, the i7 variant will be running with the exact same cooling solution. Hyperthreaded processors DO run a little bit warmer, so that wouldn't leave ANY room for additional heat dissipation [except for early throttling, which would negate the performance increase of putting an i7 in the thing in the first place

    To be fair, my SP3 is installing a game right now, and it's hovering in the 66-68c range. My guess is that the fan profiles have been "Apple-fied" [made ridiculously low to keep the thing quiet until it hits a certain threshold].

    I'll have to play with it tomorrow, I'm still waiting for everything to finish updating.
     
  11. eltos_lightfoot

    eltos_lightfoot Active Member

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    Wow, so far I have had a very different experience. Here's hoping it stays that way...
     
  12. IlbeRevolution

    IlbeRevolution New Member

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    Note the i5 and the i7 ULVs have pretty much the same CPU resource allocation, with pretty much the exact same structure unlike the desktop models(including hyperthreading) with the only difference being the intel's binning process. In fact, the i7 runs at lower base clock speed than the i5 model, only pulling ahead in turbo boost to meet the same TDP and DMI2 (i7 does have higher L3cache, but it's intel smart cache and I suspect it runs much more efficiently, so it will have negligible difference). At the very best, the heat disepation difference between the two due to purely CPU aspects should be within +/-10% (you can checkout Anandtech review on Haswell ULVs: AnandTech | The 2013 MacBook Air: Core i5-4250U vs. Core i7-4650U).
    Now that being said, most of the difference really comes from the integrated graphics. I believe the i7 comes with the iHD5000, which is a much stronger gpu. But then again, this is only the case under heavy load. But yes, the i7 will run hotter due to this.

    I've been running different benchmarks on my SP3, and it actually simply fails on some of the stress tests purely due to insufficient cooling. In one of the maxed out OCCT runs, it reached 90'C+ before failing. Granted, I could only run the test at 1920x1080 on SP2 due to the hardware limitations (which is i guess cheating) but none the less, it still passes the run without failing.

    That being said, the Surface Pro 3 seems to have better passive cooling, and a quieter fan. That means the fan doesn't have to kick in until it reaches much higher threshhold. But once it starts ramping up, it's got that annoying splitting sound. (I think it's got to do with MS's new fan design in which they opted for a single radiator fan over their tranditional 2x rotary fans in SP1&2 but it's only a hypothesis at this point).

    In terms of cooling, both devices are pretty much on par imo, but you have remember it's the same chip running much more demanding hardware in a much more compact design.
    Anyways, these synthetic benchmarks have no implications on real-life scenerio, so I'll be running some gaming benchmarks (which I doubt there will be any noticeable difference unless ran at native resolutions) and will upload the results soon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014

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