SP2 8gigs/256SSD vs SP3 4gigs/128SSD tricky one?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by Kahdeksan, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. Kahdeksan

    Kahdeksan New Member

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    Since I think that Surface 4 will have the Core-M series and therefore I´m not interested in buying it I believe this is still a good time to buy an existing model. Thing is I can´t decide which one to buy, at first I only considered the SP3 but I plan to use it also as a desktop replacement by plugging it to a display and using bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and I can get a used SP2 with the 4300U, 8GB and 256GB SSD much cheaper so the question is:

    would you choose the newer-lower-speced SP3 for 899€+keyboard or the older-beefier SP2 with keyboard for around 800€?

    Both would have the same purpose, tablet mode for movies, browsing etc, laptop when I´m away from home and desktop to do serious work.
    Hope you can help me I have to make a decision by monday!
     
  2. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well if the form factor is not an issue then go with the better specs.
    Here's a test to determine what you want.
    Flip a coin, if you're disappointed in the result you'll immediately want to do two out of three which reveals what you truly feel. Then you just have to weigh which way your heart is leaning vs logic.
     
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  3. Kahdeksan

    Kahdeksan New Member

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    Haha but when money comes into the equation my heart has no saying at all.
    I'm concerned about the throttling in SP3 especially, I don't know if it's still an issue today. Doesn't seem to affect SP2, at least so badly.
    But in the other hand I'm worried SP2 might feel too clunky and heavy to actually use it as a tablet, and then I'd be wasting my money because I could just get a cheap laptop with same specs and a tablet for the same price.

     
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So it would help if you can better define your use cases.
    Movies... SP3 has a bigger screen.
    Browsing, SP3 has a bigger screen, and isn't as clunky
    What does your laptop use cases look like?
    Desktop use cases?

    Depending on what you do throttling may not have any impact, it's somewhat overblown.
     
  5. Kahdeksan

    Kahdeksan New Member

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    Thanks for quick replying!
    First of all both my laptop and desktop are 6 years old now so basicly anything would be a huge improvement, but whatever I buy I expect it to last at least the same. I won't be gaming, in laptop mode I browse (4-5 tabs), stream video to chromecast or watch youtube a lot and in desktop mode I would need Office suite and sometimes Labview, Matlab or CATIA. When in desktop I would have a 1080p or 2K display plugged in.
    I'm sure it can handle the laptop mode, not so sure about the desktop.
     
  6. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You should be good. Chrome to chromecast might use more resources than other options though.
    I don't know labview, matlab or catia but looking at others comments elsewhere on the net, folks are running them just fine. I encourage you to Google search 'matlab surface pro 3' etc. and see for yourself.
     
  7. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    For me the screen aspect ratio on the SP3 makes it the clear winner even if I had to skimp on other specs. I had the SP1 and I never felt comfortable with it as either a tablet or a laptop. It was too narrow to use it in my preferred vertical orientation as a tablet, and too little height when used as a laptop. I know that plenty of others don't find this an issue, but the change to 3:2 is the one thing that convinced me to give the Surface another try.
     
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  8. Kahdeksan

    Kahdeksan New Member

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    I assume this has been discussed tons of times but..does the 4300U in the SP3 make a difference over the 4200 in the SP2? I know it´s just 300Mhz but maybe in some tasks you do notice..I'm asking because I can get a new SP2 i5/8GB/256SSD for 700€ and the SP3 with those specs goes up to 1200€...
     
  9. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Its negligible.
     
  10. compnovo

    compnovo Active Member

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    I own the SP3 you're considering, and was an early adopter with the RT. Obviously power comparisons would be meaningless but I can speak to the difference in the form factor, and the SP3 wins hands down with its bigger screen and change to the 3:2 aspect ratio. Not only that, the SP3 is only slightly thicker than the RT. I was put off by the clunky appearance of the original SP but to me the SP3 is absolutely svelte (of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder). Also, since I use mine as a portable exclusively, the larger keyboard is a nice plus.
     
  11. theveterans

    theveterans Member

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    It's 0.3 GHz faster which can certainly make a difference in encoding music and videos.
     
  12. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Benchmarks of 4200 vs 4300 put most differences at around 10% however some graphics operations are up to 30% better on the 4300. One must keep in mind that these results are across various systems and not specifically the SP2/3. My observation of the SP3 on intensive tasks showed you get about 90% of the capability of the 4300 with the rest lost to throttling and graphics throttling seems to be the worst.
    On Average that's (+10%) + (-10%) = Zero%, YMMV.

    SP2 doesn't have Wireless ac so your max connect rate will typically be 300mbps vs 866mbps on SP3. Again max throughput will be something less than max connect speed, YMMV but it will not be greater.
     
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