Sold on a Surface..picking up my Surface Pro 3 tomorrow!

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Bh7812, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Bh7812

    Bh7812 New Member

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    Hi everyone!!

    I'm new to the Surface forum! I'm really surprised there aren't more places to talk about the Surface online, since it's getting a lot of buzz and praise. Earlier this year, I started to hear a lot more about Surface Pro 2 and my feeling was to wait until they got very cheap..I hadn't really read up on them at that point so I assumed it was more towards the lower end of tablets and laptops. So I dismissed Surface for a while. Right now I have an iPad 1, iPad mini, MacBook, two low end windows laptops..3 if you count the one I busted foolishly with a glass of milk :(. I also have all the major gaming systems and portables so yeah I am a tech head :p. A few months back I thought it'd be a good idea to look into a gaming laptop, since not everything is released for consoles plus there's some somewhat older PC games I'd like to play. My two low end laptops are as low end as you can get..Windows XP on one and Windows 7 on the newer one. Both work well for surfing web plus music and videos stored on the HD but they're nowhere near enough for games. My thinking has turned to its time to get a decent gaming laptop so I started looking at them. Out of the gate, I noticed the higher end really good laptops are VERY expensive and they were out of my budget. By a lot. Then I looked at some middle end ones..at that point what you can run gets more and more limited. At that point I was pretty frustrated and not terribly happy with the prices I was seeing. Then the new Surface Pro 3 caught my eye! This time I really read up on it and holy crap did I get an eye opener! It's the best of the laptop and tablet worlds...much more powerful than my 2010 MacBook, has Windows 8 which would be hard to upgrade any of my pcs to. As I read I found out it can play most any PC game you throw at it very reliably! I wanted something extra portable, like my iPad where I can just plug in and go..not dig out laptop case, laptop, power brick etc. the Surface more than meets that requirement! So I'm now sold on one and picking it up from a Best Buy tomorrow afternoon..well this afternoon now haha.

    The decision on which model to buy was agonizing. 128 GB is cheapest but that only has 4 GB of RAM. That's better than the MacBook but I wanted something faster. The 256 GB has 8 GB of RAM and that's kinda around where I was feeling it'd need to be in order to run a lot of games comfortably. I went back and forth on those two for literally 20 minutes just staring at them going back and forth. I ultimately decided on the i5 256 GB 8 GB one. It's a bit more than I'm comfortable paying but I figure this will last a while and hopefully be very reliable. I have an Xbox 360 Wireless pad so I'm all set!

    I'm sitting here looking at the i7s right now.,I know I shouldn't be haha so I have a question. What would the difference between an i5 and i7 be for games? Enough to where I might just want to swallow hard and buy the i7 256? Or will i5 be enough for most games I would want to play? Please tell me i5 will be sufficient!! If I'm told i7 is better I know damn well I'll walk out with that!

    Also, is there a noticeable difference in loading things with a SSD HD vs a regular? I've never actually seen a SSD run so I'm wondering.

    Anyway, looking forward to later today and hoping I'm not talked into an i7 haha!
     
  2. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What games do you want to play?

    I'm not entirely sure what yuove read that makes you think the sp3 plays most all games comfortably. Most I've seen shows that it struggles with even medium level games to being an unenjoyable frame rate. As all reviews and owners have said, this is not a gaming machine like the sp2 could be argued is, due to its very aggressive throttling. I'm hard pushed to think of any games that yolud actually be able to enjoyably play on the sp3 that would need 8gb instead if 4gb.
     
  3. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not a gamer but part of the problem with the surface from what I've read is the high screen resolution this means it struggles to play games at the native resolution resulting in low frame rates and responsiveness. Things improve if you reduce the graphics quality though. Surface isn't really built for gaming as such but perhaps compared to what you already have it's still an improvement in performance however for the price of surface you could probably get a better more dedicated gaming laptop albeit a big one, but then it wouldn't be a tablet ;-).
     
  4. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Administrator Staff Member

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    Congrats. Enjoy your new toy...
     
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not a gamer either but I've been running some benchmarks I can see that heavy graphics such as gaming does cause throttling. At one point the score dropped to nearly half the original score, that said it still smokes the top score of an iPad Air or similar tablet device. its all relative I guess... if your planning on using this as a premium home gaming rig you're looking at the wrong solution but so is every other tablet and ultrabook.
     
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  6. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Point of reference. my buddy the gamer has a PC with two high end graphics cards in it (probably cost as much as the rest of the system) and the whole thing is water cooled. Seriously what are you thinking when you expect something as small as a tablet to operate the same as a gaming PC. Its water cooled because the fan noise from ONE of those air cooled cards will drive you out of the room. perspective... keep it in perspective.

    Hmm, maybe there's a market for an SP3 Game-Dock with custom cooling so you can ... nah :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
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  7. Bh7812

    Bh7812 New Member

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    Hmmmm..still haven't gone to Best Buy yet to pick up my Surface. So going by these replies I'm seeing a gaming laptop would be better? One is saying a Surface Pro 2 might work? I'm trying to figure out what would be best. Here's what I want to play, regardless of if it's on a Surface or laptop...

    Final Fantasy 3, 8 and possibly 14 on PC
    Alan Wake
    Something that can run the new Divinity, Baldur's Gate games, Skyrim..basically any of the Western RPGs I might want to play.
    Witcher 1 and 2-I really want to play these before everything else honestly.
    Legend Of Heroes: Trails in the Sky series..I've played Trails in the Sky 1 on PSP but if the series ends up going PC only like I'm feeling it might I want to be covered.
    I also bought the You Don't Know Jack games on Humble Bundle a while back. Jack 1 works well on my low end very old desktop even. I'm reading though they may not work with Windows 8.
    Would also like to do some emulation..I know the ins and outs of it but not stupid enough to go in depth with that on a forum :p I'm strictly wanting to know what machine would be good for running most of the major old systems. I'm kinda leaning towards SNES, PS1 and Saturn but I understand Saturn is incredibly difficult to emulate well on the best pcs even so if I can't do Saturn it's ok :)

    That's kinda what I have in mind gaming wise on the PC right now. Was really hoping Surface could handle most of it. I'm confused now..do I get a gaming laptop? Surface Pro 2? Pro 3 i7? I'm just trying to figure this out before I go down to the store..I have a 15 day return period so I'm just wanting to walk out with something that will mostly do what I'm wanting. Thanks for the kind replies guys!
     
  8. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What are the min and max or average requirements for these games?
     
  9. Bh7812

    Bh7812 New Member

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    I'll give you what the recommended requirements say to make this faster to read for ya!

    Final fantasy 8: Intel core 2, 4 GB ram, 4 GB hard disk Space, nvidia gfirce 9600 or ati radeon HD 3870.

    Final fantasy 3: pentium 4 or Athlon xp, 2 GB ram, 800 MB HD space.

    Final Fantasy 14: Intel i5, 4 GB ram, nvidia 660 or Radeon 7950, 20 GB HD space.

    Alan wake: quad core 2 intel or 3.2 ghz amd, 4 GB ram, gfirce 275 or Radeon 4870, 8 GB HD space.

    Divinity: Intel i5, 4 GB ram, nvidia 550 or ati 6859, 10 GB HD space

    Skyrim: quad core intel, 4 GB ran, direct x 9 compatible nvidia or amd, 6 GB HD space.

    Witcher 1: Intel pentium 4 or amd Athlon 64, 2 GB ram, nvidia 7800 or Radeon x 1950, 8.5 GB HD space.

    Witcher 2: Intel core 2 duo or and Athlon 64 x2 5000, 2 GB ram, nvidia gforce 8800 or ati Radeon HD 3850, 8 GB free HD space for main game and 8 GB HD space for bonus content.

    Trails in the sky: 1.8 ghz processor, 256 MB ram, direct x 9 compatible, 2 GB HD space.

    Can surface run any of it? If so which one should I get? If not what gaming laptop would be a good fit for these?
     
  10. grumpy

    grumpy Active Member

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    If gaming is your goal, then I think that you will probably be happier with the SP2.
    I suggest googling the name of the game along with "surface pro" to see if others have been successful running the specific game on a Surface Pro. Personally, I have found the SP2 to be a reasonably capable gaming machine for the form factor. Also, if you have a primary gaming machine, you could try Steam's in-home streaming for gaming anywhere around your home (without being limited by the Surface hardware). You also might want to looking into Gestureworks Gameplay to add touch controls to most games.

    Here are a couple youtube videos to get you started

     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  11. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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  12. megatronium

    megatronium Active Member

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    My Device:
    SPro3
    A surface 3 can run all the games you listed well outside of FF14. There is video on youtube of Surface Pro 3 playing that one choppy. My Samsung RF510 can play the games he listed comfortably and the Pro 3 is comparable GFX wise and blows it's first gen i7 away...
     

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