SP3 or SP2? That is the question... (Need advice from current owners)

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by aer0, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. aer0

    aer0 New Member

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    To be fair, it's multiple questions/inquiries for SP3 owners pertaining to both SP3 ;)

    1) Will the SP3 or SP2 for that matter run the following specd program?
    Intel Core 2 Duo e6400 (2.2GHZ+ Dual Core)
    2GB+ Memory
    Nvidia 8600+ or AMD HD3600+ (Preferrably 256MB+)
    Basically wondering if it'll run some of the games I play and HD video editing on the go. (LOTRO, Warframe, TF2, Premiere, etc.)

    2) Has the battery life been improved over SP2?
    For gaming I would be plugged in so that isn't a problem.
    However, my day usually consists of using stat programs, using office programs (word, ppt, excel, etc.), streaming HD video (sending and receiving) and web browsing.
    In all the above cases, I am connected to a cloud service for constant backup.

    3) How loud is the SP3 now?
    From what I've read, the fan seems to be running even more so than the SP2.
    I remember from the MS store that SP2's fan was quite audible when running something resource intensive (games, HD video edit, etc.)

    4) Anyone try running programs off the microSD on SP3 or SP2 for that matter?
    I have a 64GB UHS-I microSD, which will go in the SP3 or SP2.
    I'm wondering if it is not advisable to use a microSD to run games or video editing programs.
    It seems to be the only way to overcome the storage problems I will face for gaming and HD video editing.

    Seeing as my budget is only around $1500 max, I'm wondering if it would be more prudent to just buy the SP2 at discounted prices,
    IF it the SP3 is no better off at running the games and programs I want in comparison to the SP2.


    Thank you for your time in reading and responding to my newbie inquiries. :)
     
  2. ipaq_101

    ipaq_101 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You shouldn't be buying these machines to run games, no matter what they tell you, it's not meant for gaming.
     
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  3. aer0

    aer0 New Member

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    Won't be my main purpose, but would want that possibility to game an hour or so during my downtime, as it is supposedly a "laptop replacement"
     
  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    My son plays games on his SP3, such as Roblox, Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic, and a few other Steam based games without issue....
     
  5. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    Gaming won't be an issue if you don't push the limits.
     
  6. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    I have not tried any of them but my educated gauss is Yes, they will run.

    I would say about the same. Yan can get up to 7 to 8 hours in the PRO3

    Very. No complains.

    You can run them. If the program does not Write too much the performance is not impacted that much. At least that's my experience.
     
  7. ipaq_101

    ipaq_101 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You can play most games that don't require or suggest a dedicated graphics card. It's a laptop replacement, but its not suppose to replace high-end ultrabooks and or alienware laptops.

    I bet it can play even newer more intensive games, but this thing turns the fan on high when you play simple games, not sure I would want to heat this thing up for a long period of time.

    Anyway, MS promised a lot of things with the SP3 and I think they have fallen short in a few areas and I do think they will solve most of the issues, but I doubt the heat issues will go away with any updates.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  8. aer0

    aer0 New Member

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    Thanks for all the prompt replies and insight.

    So from what I've read, am I right to presume a SP2 would fit my needs,
    unless SP3 i7 models get better performance down the line via optimizations?
     
  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I owned both and I find the SP3 is head and shoulders better than the SP2, for me the SP2 was just to bulky and heavy and sat on my desk 90% of the time, the SP3 replaced my Surface 2 (my favorite go to machine) and my Surface Pro 2.....
     
  10. mtalinm

    mtalinm Active Member

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    I bought an SP3 but took it back after a week. It is MUCH louder (fan comes on much more often, even while doing Office w/o any external monitors whereas SP2 fan only ever comes on when I'm pushing it hard and using external monitors). And from what I could tell, battery life was worse or in any case nowhere close to the claimed 9 hours (more like 5-6) whereas I get 7-8 with the SP2.

    That said, I loooooooooooooooove the form factor of the SP3 and may be tempted at some point. Maybe firmware updates will address the above issues, in which case it could turn out great.
     
  11. null4end

    null4end Member

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    It is strange the differences in fan behavior. I don't game on my SP3, but the only two times I have even noticed the fan is when I am applying updates or watching a movie and even then it is pretty quiet. Other than that, it is totally silent.

    I just wrapped up a 1 hour Lync video conference where I was talking, presenting a ppt plus video. My SP3 is barely even warm and I can't hear the fan with my ear next to it.

    My previous laptop/tablet (Lenovo Helix) would have the fan running hard in that scenario.
     
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  12. aer0

    aer0 New Member

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    Argh, why couldn't they release the i7s WITH the i5s

    From what I've read until now, the best case scenario is that the SP3 i5s will be on par or worse than the SP2 (i5).
    And due to the limiting form factor, even the i7s are most likely to be minimal in terms of performance boost. :(

    On a secondary note, regarding the memory and HD4400/5000.
    Anyone know how much memory is allocated to the HD4400/5000 on the SP3?
    I would presume the 4G versions (64/128GB) would have less allocated to the Graphics
    than the 8G versions (256/512GB).

    I will be taking a trip to the nearest microsoft store to check out the SP3.
    Run some video editing software in addition to some games to see how it handles it.
    If I'm satisfied, there is a high likelihood I'll buy either the i5/4G/128 or i5/8G/256
    If I'm dissatisfied, I'll most likely wait it out for another month and see if i7s bring enough
    of an improvement or not.
     

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