i5 4gb v 8gb

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by jasimpson89, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. jasimpson89

    jasimpson89 New Member

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    Hi everybody, apologies for what seems to be the most asked question around here however all the posts which I have read don't seem to answer my question.

    Basically my main intension is to use the SP3 for onenote and take handwritten notes, I will most likely install cygwin, have quite a fee (around 20) chrome tabs open, run latex and run a VNC client. For this I imagine the 4gb version will probably be OK??? But some confirmation would be nice.

    I use a macbook as my daily driver so this is a first windows machine I have bought in a while so I thought it would be nice to play some decent games on the SP3 so I wondered what the benefit of the 8gb might be with this. So far I have seen a few videos of this and it seems to better loading times rather than frame rate.

    So my questions are: 1. Is it feasible that 8gb version will be able to play games a lot better than 4gb version? or should i just man up and install windows on macbook pro and play games on that. 2. Does use the of a lot of chrome tabs mean that I will need the 8gb version? 3. Does the RAM have any reflections on how good the pen input is?

    Thank you all in advance for your help.

    James
     
  2. ptrkhh

    ptrkhh Active Member

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    1. In short, no. No games require or benefit from anything more than 4GB RAM now (unless you multitask with other programs). That said, games requirements will increase in the future, so in general 8GB would be more future proof. However, the weak GPU would likely be the bottleneck way before the RAM, hence the added RAM wouldn't help you anyway. If your MBP has dGPU (NVIDIA or Radeon), most likely 14"+ model, your MBP will play games FAR better than the SP3.
    (for gaming, the i3 model performs as fast as any other HD4200 machines. The i5 is not faster than the i3 due to throttling, so you can expect HD4200 performance. The i7 is still faster due to the added EU (Execution Units) even though it is throttled)

    2. For Chrome, yes, since it is really really RAM hungry. I would recommend to steer away from Chrome though, as it is not optimized for Windows in term of RAM and power consumption. If you use IE, for example, especially the metro 'app' version, you can have 50 tabs open and hardly use 2 GB RAM.

    3. No, not at all.
     
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  3. kevinlevrone

    kevinlevrone Active Member

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    The games that run on the SP3 graphics hardware shouldn't require more than 4GB of RAM.

    Also, Chrome is memory and CPU hungry, but it's not (even remotely) THAT hungry. Remember that it must also run on mediocre to low-end hardware with many Chromium apps, etc.

    For your usage, I think 4GB is plenty. But it's just my opinion. More powerful hardware means more future-proof, of course.
     
  4. kayzee

    kayzee Well-Known Member

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    Is the sign of the fans coming on always an indication of processing power being used? For instance yesterday I was running 8 tabs in Chrome, mIRC, Ableton, Windows Media Player and Skype & Twitter (Modern UI apps) at the same time without a peak out of my fans. However one YouTube video in HD (full screen) will make them go insane. Gaming... sometimes, I was playing Just Cause 2 recently and they were on most of the time, but not full whack.

    Original Surface Pro with 4Gb RAM btw...
     
  5. jasimpson89

    jasimpson89 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. The only thing I was thinking of in terms of games is that I have seen watchdogs running, possibly titanfall (not sure if playbable) and just wondered if the 8gb model made any difference with that. And I guessed the pen input is just as good no matter the RAM however just wanted to check because that is what the main purpose of the tablet is for me.

    @kayzee I think the reason for the HD video is due to using decoding chip which is needed plus flash.
     
  6. ptrkhh

    ptrkhh Active Member

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    In short yes, excessive processes requires the CPU to work at higher speed, hence more power required. The more the power it gets, the hotter it gets. When the CPU has reached a specified temperature, the fan will kick in since the CPU (theoretically) couldn't dissipate the heat by itself anymore. (take note that this is a very simplified explanation of how the CPU and fan work)

    I think so too. theres something that's not GPU-accelerated in Chrome compared to other browsers
     
  7. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have seen no game that the sp3 can run at any decent level that would require 8gb of ram. I've seen the likes of titanfall, they play like a dog. Going from 4-8gb will not change that.

    If you want to play proper games, then you are looking at the wrong machine.
     
  8. Ragingaardvark

    Ragingaardvark Member

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    Agreed re. the games. If you use Chrome, Outlook or VMs then the extra RAM will make a difference. (Incidentally, Windows Mail - if left running indefinitely - can also chomp a _whole_ lot of RAM too)
     
  9. jasimpson89

    jasimpson89 New Member

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    @hughlle thank you, again I guessed this was the case but just wanted to check

    @Ragingaardvark does outlook really use that much memory? I was only planning really on using it for mail,tasks and calendar (plus oneonote integration), is there something else more heavy you can do with it? I personally dislike VMs I don't know why I just do, I'd rather dual boot or use cygwin for programming.
     
  10. Ragingaardvark

    Ragingaardvark Member

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    Just fired it up to check. Task Manager reports - 120M for Outlook, 160M for Windows Mail (It's been open for about fifteen mins) and 190M for Chrome (Three tabs open including this one). Overall memory usage is at 48% - and I have the 8Gig version.

    You may well find that things just swap instead on a lower amount of RAM, but that's only going to slow things down a bit and warm up the CPU.
     
  11. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, its not always easy to tell because it will use the available ram and over time swap unused/unneeded (least recently used) segments out. Resource Monitor will also show an area called Standby which may be marked as swapped/decommitted but is lingering in case its needed again and it may also contain cached files to avoid reading from disk however it can be used immediately for another purpose.
     

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