Potential New User: Surface Pro 2 8GB/256 or Surface Pro 3 4GB/128 ?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by Johnny365, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Johnny365

    Johnny365 Member

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    If you can only get only or the other, which would you get? They are roughly the same price (or will be with some gift cards) so I was wondering what is better for gaming (low settings of course) and productivity?

    Surface Pro 2 8GB/256GB SSD (i5)
    OR
    Surface Pro 3 4GB/128GB SSD (i5)

    I don't do any heavy programs, so no photoshop, lightroom, movie editing, etc. I would like to play games, web browsing, movies. I just don't want the Surface Pro 3's 4GB to be a potential limiting factor in the long-term. I plan on keeping whichever for quite a while. My last laptop I've had for over 5 years (besides the battery only holding 15min charge) and still works great. With that said, I do plan on using this as my main machine. Yes, I could buy a laptop for the price I would potentially be paying, but I want something portable and capable.

    Stylus technology is not important. I know most games won't be able to play on the Surface Pro 3's higher resolution anyway, but then again it would be nice to have a bigger screen to view things easier. I thought about the Surface 3, but it's lower end specs don't seem viable for a longer-term use case.

    Which would you guys choose and why?
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome, @Johnny365

    I have a Surface Pro 3 i7/512 GB.

    I've advised lots of friends on this topic, and most choose a Surface Pro 3, usually a 128 or 256. But in just about every instance, someone who detailed needs like yours (just some games, no heavy programs), finds that the Surface Pro 3 is such a versatile portable device, that they end up regretting not having more power and more room.
     
  3. Johnny365

    Johnny365 Member

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    Which means what exactly?
     
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  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Johnny, You might want to buy more computer than you need right now. Your needs grow. What about an SP3 i5 256 GB / 8 ?
     
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  5. Johnny365

    Johnny365 Member

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    For the surface pro 3? Too expensive for my budget. That's why I mentioned the possibility of the surface pro 2 with that amount of memory and space. Would anyone in this day and age go for the SP2?
     
  6. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, the Surface Pro 2 is certainly an option. A fine machine. I had one myself. You could save by choosing a SP2, and have some money to get one with a little extra space.
     
  7. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I personally don't see 4gb as being an issue long term. Unless you are using memory demanding applications, then there is not really anything out there that actually requires more than 4gb. Certainly not for gaming given the surfaces gpu capabilities. I've had no issues with 4gb whatsoever and now i'm on win 10 i don't forsee it being a problem for a number of years to come.

    What games do you wish to play out of curiosity?

    Personally i'd get a pro3 for the screen size/ratio, and for the general form factor.
     
  8. Johnny365

    Johnny365 Member

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    No games in particular I guess I was using it as an excuse to max the system out for i5 configurations and for my budget .
     
  9. jrioux

    jrioux Active Member

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    I recently bought a refurbished SP3 with 128GB and keyboard from Microsoft for $850. I'm very happy with my purchase. http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Sur...297&sr=1-1&keywords=refurbished+surface+pro+3
     
  10. Alucardi

    Alucardi New Member

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    I would go for the pro 2 cause of the extra storage and well faster cpu/gpu and no worry that the cpu will throttle if it ever gets under heavy load like the pro 3.
    The difference between pro 2 and 3 are stylus screen size/resolution and the stand. Although i would say the trackpad is better on the pro 3 also the way it tilts up the keyboard.
    But i would still get the pro 2 cause the more horsepower in my eyes.
     
  11. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    Main positives of going SP2:
    - Better game performance due to no/limited thermal throttling
    - No black bars with games and movies due to 16:9 screen ratio
    - I would argue that the pen is better (no battery, higher detection height, better pressure sensing, magnetically sticks to the side of the SP2)
    - Screen is more solid and does not bend as easily while writing/drawing
    - It's footprint/surface area is smaller

    Main positives of going SP3:
    - It's significantly lighter and thinner
    - More screen real estate, especially vertically for productivity use
    - Screen looks sharper due to higher resolution
    - Easier to use as a tablet due to 3:2 aspect ratio
    - Pen feels better to write/draw with since tip gets closer to the actual displayed image
    - Pen has an extra button which you can use for an extra function

    If you're serious about games on the go, I'd go SP2. If not so serious, SP3. If considering SSD space, I recommend 256 GB to fit all of your photos, videos, and music along with a couple of large games. 128 GB is too small in my opinion. You can somewhat mitigate 128 GB SSD by getting a large microSD card. 4 GB of RAM is good enough for almost any use unless you multitask a ton.
     
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  12. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I must say 16:9 was the dumbest thing anyone ever did to a computer!

    The real reason for it was the cost of manufacturing panels, that size fit better into the manufacturing process being used. It's the equivalent of putting two pegs sticking out 3 inches on each side of a tablet because it made the manufacturing process easier.
     

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