Processor Differences in Surface Pro 2 Units?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by Sir Face, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. Sir Face

    Sir Face New Member

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    What's the big deal and big differences between the 4200U and 4300U processors? My SP2 has the 4200U and so far so good. Are the 4200U's somehow inferior or defective? Seems like everybody wants only the 4300U's Is that just because they're the latest greatest or what?
     
  2. fsphill

    fsphill New Member

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    I can't speak to programs that might work better with a very, very slightly faster processor, but I had an original SP2 512 gb, which has been replaced by a SP2 with the newer processor and I do not notice any difference at all between the two with respect to ordinary programs (Office, etc,), video playback, graphics, or anything else I do. The chip architecture is identical. I suspect that for most users the only difference is being able to say your processor is a 4300U instead of a 4200U, which isn't likely to impress most normally functioning adults.
     
  3. kevinlevrone

    kevinlevrone Active Member

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    The 4300U is 16-18% faster than 4200u and has support for faster operation of virtual machines which is very important for software developers (like me). The graphics is also 10% faster (1100MHz instead of 1000MHz clock).
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  4. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

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    But how does that translate to actual everyday differences? You mentioned the 16-18% faster processor, do you have a real life situation where you notice this? From my perspective, having Word open in 2.2 seconds rather than 2.5 is not something I would ever notice.

    Don't get me wrong if I wouldn't complain if I had a 4300, but percentages on their own are meaningless. I'd prefer to know actual, factual, tangible differences.
     
  5. kevinlevrone

    kevinlevrone Active Member

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    Of course the difference only appears in processor-intensive tasks, like when you transcode a video between formats, or when you create a large compressed archive. Someone on this forum noticed around 25% reduction in compilation times between 4200U and 4300U. I didn't have the chance to use the 4200U and 4300U side by side.

    If you only surf the web or use only Office-style applications, the difference is not apparent at all. I'm not sure games would benefit either (probably 2-3% more performance).
     
  6. javispedro

    javispedro Member

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    No, that's not true. It does not have any support for faster virtual machines that any software developer could use. You're probably talking about VT-d, but that's intended for passthrough of PCI devices. Which the Surface Pro does not have, so it's entirely useless.

    It does have a new feature that may be interesting to developers, which are the new transactional memory instructions. However, as of now it's only usable from GNU/Linux. It is also completely useless to non-developers because no programs will use them for at least >5 years (since most developers have not even started trying to wrap their heads around them).


    My opinion: you're not going to notice any difference. You'll receive slightly different benchmark results when running with power cord connected. But when you remove power, both processors will be slowed down to the same speed :)

    Also, 4300U may use slightly more battery life than 4200U. Probably indistinguishable too, though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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