m3 or i5 128Gb and 4 Gb of RAM

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by GMcC, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. GMcC

    GMcC New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My Device:
    SPro4
    I can't decide between the m3 entry model or the i5 with 4Gb of RAM and 128Gb SSD. I can't afford the 8Gb/256Gb version of the i5. Reviews seem to compare the m3 with the 256Gb i5.

    I use MS Office (including complicated Excel files), Word, web browser, Outlook and Sage simultaneously. Should I opt for the i5 for £100 more or will the m3 suit my needs?
     
  2. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6,334
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It might be useful to compare with the machine you're running on now.
    Of course the m3 is fanless if silent operation is a consideration.
    Depending on what you run now either might be more powerful than your current system.
    Are you currently experiencing any performance issues or is this "upgrade" simply for portability?
     
  3. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Messages:
    2,693
    Likes Received:
    422
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Personally i would just buy the M3, use it for a week, if it works for you, keep it, if not, return it and order the i5.
     
  4. markmakaveli

    markmakaveli New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My Device:
    None
    There's many threads all over the internet on this type of question... I've spent the last week reading every single one.

    From what I've learned, it seems that you would be fine with the Core.
    I was initially advised to steer clear of the Core model but on further reading, it seems to be a good option as it can handle all what you have mentioned.

    Obviously you'll always be better going bigger if you can afford, but from the things I've read you would be fine.
     
  5. GMcC

    GMcC New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My Device:
    SPro4
    Thanks for the replies. I'm actually moving away from an older Macbook Pro because of the limitations of Excel for Mac and other software incompatibility issues, so I'm not able to evaluate how Windows handles my requirements at the moment.

    Fan noise wouldn't bother me in the i5, but it seems a shame to spend an extra £100 if the only spec difference is the processor (which I might not even need.) I never thought about simply returning an m3 after trying it out - good point. I would however prefer to make the right choice first time.
     
  6. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6,334
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ok, but I can judge the difference if you can tell me which older MBP you have. :)
     
  7. GMcC

    GMcC New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My Device:
    SPro4
    Mid 2012, 2.5GHz i5 with 4Gb of RAM, 500Gb hard drive.
     
  8. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6,334
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113
    As I figured either CPU choice would be an upgrade although some specific functions of the m3 would be a shade slower others would be faster with an overall better CPU rating on Passmark. The SSD Disk and 3D Graphics performance will blow it away.

    The i5 model would surpass the MBP in every respect and should feel like a good speed upgrade where you may not notice as much with the m3 depending on the task (intensive excel or heavy Sage usage). Any Graphics work or Disk operations will be smokin in either case.

    Bottom line, Id recommend the i5 for you but either will perform well and do the job so if your preference is to save $100 go for it without concern.

    A note on the fan. Some people hear the fan and are bothered by it while others like myself almost never notice it.
     
  9. GMcC

    GMcC New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My Device:
    SPro4
    Thanks for that. I really want to make the right choice because I would like to keep this for around the same length of time I've had my MBP.
     
  10. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6,334
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113
    That would be another reason to take the i5 for that extra bit of performance.
     
  11. edteamslr

    edteamslr New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    My Device:
    SPro4
    I have both the SP4 i5 8GB and the SP4 M3. Testing back to back:
    Comments relating to the M3:
    Chrome - open loads of tabs, no issues.
    Sony Movie Maker Premium - i5 is 60% faster to encode.
    Hitman Absolution Game - 5-10fps different but actually doesn't really hamper the older games. The difference between the two was High on the i5 and Medium on the M3. The results of that is very little impact on enjoyment :)
    Office - load all apps via O365 including Skype for business: perfectly responsive and performant.
    Pen experience - no difference between i5 and M3
    Fan - none in the M3 (lovely) but the i5 doesn't use the fan much but when it does it is really distracting.
    Also memory: with 3.9GB used on the M3 it is still perfectly usable. Amazing chip really when you think about it!

    Overall - keeping the M3
     
  12. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6,334
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I think the fan annoyance is related to a persons individual sensitivity to certain frequencies. I have a sensitivity to low frequencies, like motor hum, (I hear it everywhere, real or imagined :D ) and higher frequencies like the fan don't bother me.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

difference between m3 and i5

,
difference between m3 chip and i5
,
gaming on an m3 with 4gb ram
,
microsoft - surface pro 4 i5 vs m3
,
microsoft surface pro 4 m3 or i5
,
surface 3 atom seems faster than pro 4 m3
,
surface i5 4gb vs m3 4gb
,
surface pro 4 i5 128gb forum
,
surface pro 4 m3 i5
,

surface pro 4 m3 or i5