SP3 i5 or i7 for Graphic Design Student/Artist?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Zog1971, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Zog1971

    Zog1971 Active Member

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    Well, I finally bit the bullet and joined a forum. I've found that I am constantly coming back to these groups for info so thought it was time to join. Thanks to you all for the wisdom and help you provide. :)

    As the subject suggests, I have been pouring through these threads trying to discern if I should purchase the 8gb RAM i5 or i7 version of the SP3. I'm still a little confused and frustrated so thought I would start my own thread for some specific answers.

    A bit about me and my computing needs: I am a graphic design student looking for a machine to last for the next 2 years of college. I currently own the original Surface Pro and have been thrilled for the most part with this machine. It has restored my faith in Microsoft and turned this Apple fanboy back into a MS fan. I only had to do some very light work in Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign this year and the SP was able to handle my needs in those fine. However, moving forward, I will be doing much more advanced work in these programs as well as After Effects. Also, I will be getting more heavily involved in photography and will also likely take some video editing courses. I'm not a big gamer but would maybe like to put on an emulator and play some old school Mario. :) Other than those things I use it to watch Netflix and all of my other school work. Don't often have too many things going at once--maybe one or 2 Adobe programs and several webpages. Again, this will be my only system--desktop and laptop/tablet.

    So, basically, I am just trying to weigh out if it is worth the extra money for the i7. As I am getting this with student loans, I can afford to get the i7, but want to make the smart choice. Do the throttling issues reported with the i5 interfere with my needs, or is that really just an issue for gaming? Will I see real world benefit from the i7 as I get more advanced in the Adobe programs? I'm starting to see all the tests and benchmark info on the i7 but, frankly, have no idea how that translates into real world use. Also, trying to find out if there are any major differences in heat and battery life.

    I'm fully sold on the SP3 as my school solution for the next few years, but would REALLY appreciate any insights into which would be the wiser choice and why. Thanks in advance for your time! :)
     
  2. bkydcmpr

    bkydcmpr Member

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    I would suggest you to buy i5, no big difference for what you mentioned here. I posted a video compression test in the other thread comparing i7 to sp1. i7 is not much better than sp1 on that task, I wouldn't think it'll do better than sp3 i5, and definitely it's worse than sp2 i5.
     
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  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well if there's graphics involved the HD 5000 in the I7 might be helpful but we probably need some reviews to come in to be sure. I assume you don't need to make a decision immediately... it will still be there in a month or even two although reviews should be available soon.

    In the meantime it might be useful to run a couple of test cases on what you think you might do with software you have for a point of reference.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
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  4. JoeNathan78

    JoeNathan78 New Member

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    I couldn't of asked a better question myself. You perfectly captured what my needs and concerns are for the sp3, along with why I also joined the forum.

    Thanks for asking!

    Looking forward to the replies.
     
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  5. Zog1971

    Zog1971 Active Member

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    Great info. Thanks!
     
  6. Zog1971

    Zog1971 Active Member

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    Thanks for your help. That's a great suggestion, but being a student, I'm honestly still a little unsure of exactly what I'm going to be needing it for so it's kind of hard to test. I do plan on keeping my SP1 for a bit so can compare those two in some scenarios once I get my new SP3.
     
  7. Zog1971

    Zog1971 Active Member

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    Glad I can maybe help someone else in the same confused state. :) Hoping to get some good info on real world differences--the tests and benchmarks don't do a lot for me except possibly note a percentage of difference. I just want the snappiest machine for my buck. :)
     
  8. xcentrk

    xcentrk New Member

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    Definitely following this thread. Also basically describes my needs exactly (pretty much same exact usage planned) and I am struggling with the same question.
     
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  9. megatronium

    megatronium Active Member

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    A video compression test has little to do with the correct answer. You would want the i7. Why? Hyper threading and the HD5000 and yes, CC2014 takes full advantage of both. CC2014 uses openCL for editing and rendering. The i7 is better for that. Some don't seem to understand or just like to stir the pot with regards to the i7 and digital art. I'mrendering a corporate video on my sp3 i7 in premiere as we speak. You know what was awesome? Touching up a photo i needed to edit for it in Photoshop 2014 by leaning the sp3 allll the way back and using the stylus to retouch an image with pixel accuracy. But yeah if you want to run Hearthstone or LoL instead of doing work, it doesn't matter.
     
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  10. Zog1971

    Zog1971 Active Member

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    Thanks a bunch for this. This is really the direction that I am leaning in but trying to keep an open mind. I am so pleasantly surprised by how the SP1 met all of my needs (even with old gen i5), but know that I am really just starting to get into all of the Adobe programs in depth. Yes, I am indeed using CC2014 so this is great to know, too.
     
  11. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent post, thanks, I decided to go for i7 for photo editing for the better graphics card, though I will mostly use Lightroom (nor sure if that will use it) I do have creative cloud and the CC PS version which I'd love to try on the surface for it's pen input. Can't wait to get my i7. I'm not letting the nay-sayers dissuade me at present, the proof of the pudding as they say is in the eating, and people eat different things in different ways.
     
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  12. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking forward to more input from users of these technologies.

    Note: PCMark 8 has an openCL option on its Free benchmarks and the paid version includes the ability to benchmark using Adobe CC apps. Good golly I might learn something, and I love technology.

    This diminutive or hefty slab (tablet) depending on your perspective has more power, storage, and capabilities than a room sized computer from days of old and more power than what some crazy people went to the moon with, how'd they do that! Where do you want to go?
     
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