SPECULATIVE: Performance gap (chasm) between Surface 3 and Low end Surface Pro 4

Discussion in 'Surface 3 (Atom)' started by GreyFox7, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Assumptions:

    Core-M will replace Core i3 as the low end CPU in SP4.​

    Core-M 5y10 (lowest Core-M) provides about 25+% better performance than Core i3 4020y.
    Skylake Core-M will improve on that by an unknown amount, possibly significantly.​

    Atom x7-Z8700 gives about 75% of the performance of Core i3 4020y and speculatively about 50% of the performance of the low end Core-M 5y10 variant and even less vs Skylake Core-M.​

    There should be an additional (future, late Q3 2015) Surface 3 model in between the current top model Surface 3 and the low end Pro SP4 model. In fact with the Pro being the larger 12” and 14” devices (assuming rumors are true) it would be ideal to have a Surface 3 model with similar CPU performance as the low end Surface Pro. i.e. At least Core-M 5y10 with higher performance 128GB SSD, 4 GB Ram, same 10.8” 1920x1280 screen. Although the Pro may have a higher model Core-M CPU like 5y71. The non-Pro should be fanless. I wont speculate on the Pro.

    Note: These should all be the equivalent Skylake versions of the Core-M.

    The top Surface 3 going into the holiday season would then be more than competitive with the yet to be announced iPad Air “3” performance.

    With the Pro line having Skylake Core-M, i5, and i7 models it would be a very strong line up. Kinda like the "Murderers' Row" of the tablet/hybrid world.
     
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  2. Korruptor

    Korruptor New Member

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    Surface Pro 4 With Intel Skylake Processor and Launch Summer

    Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Will Use Intel Skylake Processor and Launch with Windows 10 this SummerMicrosoft is really busy and it is going to be an important year for them.

    They will definitely launch Windows 10 this summer as planned, which will also be the time to bring out Surface Pro 4. A vast majority of consumers are looking forward to the device because it is the best tablet-laptop hybrid product out there.

    The industry believes that Surface is a dead product that couldn’t create the hype like an Apple iPad or a Nexus from Google. However, it is not meant for mainstream audiences, who simply consume content, but rather help those who had to carry heavy laptops around. Combining productivity and entertainment is what Microsoft achieved here.

    Summer Launch is Highly Possible

    The company is tight lipped about a release date so far, but the rumor mills continue to churn out interesting stuff every other day. The latest one is that Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has been scheduled for a summer launch. Based on their earlier launch dates, this may not be a possibility. However, there is more to this rumor than what meets the eye!

    Windows 10 is a huge launch for the company that will introduce a lot of amazing features. One of them is the Spartan browser which will replace the internet explorer brand, which comes bundled with Cortana, reading view and most importantly, a support for on-screen hand drawn notes.

    They definitely need a good device that would allow them to showcase these features on launch and there is nothing better than a new Surface to showcase it.

    Intel Skylake Processor

    Another interesting claim is that Microsoft Surface Pro 4 will run on Intel Skylake processor. Intel wouldn’t bring it to the general public before 2016; but users who choose to buy the new Pro will be able to enjoy its speed exclusively. The processor is much more powerful than its predecessors, smaller in size and will definitely be a value addition to the device.

    Microsoft is also confirmed to be axing the RT version of tablets, which makes the future brighter for Surface and Surface Pro devices. When all of them start running full versions of Windows 10 operating system, combined with its detachable keyboard, it could easily be the next generation of convertible laptops that the users are looking forward to. However, the device will not feature the USB-C ports, as rumored earlier, as it is too soon for such integrations.

    http://www.pusatnews.com/en/surface-pro-4-intel-skylake-processor-launch-summer-1030119
     
  3. netuser

    netuser Member

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    I would only want a base model Surface Pro 4 if it is thinner and lighter than a Surface Pro 3 and also has much increased battery life. If the are reusing the same case with the same weight as a Surface Pro 3 and simply doing a spec-bump on the processor, I would rather have a Surface 3 at the low end.

    If more performance is needed to do things than a Surface 3 can't effectively handle, then an i5 Surface Pro 3 make sense.
     
  4. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nothing I can point you to ATM, but I'm pretty sure SP4 is expected to be a "tock" update.
     
  5. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    The fastest Core M CPU integrated graphics is slower than the the Core i5 4200U which is the 4400, despite the Intel put the Core M a higher number on it's GPU model.

    I hope they wont' switch as already the Surface Pro 3 is slower than the Surface Pro 2 due to throttling. Skylake power efficiency should solve the throttling problem and make is faster than the Pro 2 assuming they continue to use the U series CPU.

    What I expect from the SP4:
    -> Skylake U series CPU
    -> 8 or 10MP web cams with auto-focus
    -> General improvement on the device, such as perhaps slight improvement on the kickstand system, but nothing officially advertise.
    That is all.

    At absolute best: The Windows button are on 2 or on 4 sides of the screen that, based on the device orientation and if the keyboard is snapped on angle or not, it illuminates the correct Windows button (disappears to black when it is covered/disabled). The power efficiency of the CPU would allow this luxury all by continuing to provide longer battery life (I mean it is just an LED to turn on).

    That is about it.

    Wishful thinking:
    Nvidia or AMD GPU option model. No I am not talking about a gaming mobile Nvidia or AMD GPU. But I am talking about their super efficient GPU solutions. Both have them. AMD puts it in their APU (GPU+CPU models combines), and Nvidia having a more power efficient one in their Tegra K1 and X1 (estimated to be only 5W the GPU in itself). Both are a bit faster than Intel integrated graphics best solution. Skylake is estimated and expected to consume 10W, currently the CPU in the Surface Pro 2 and 3 are 15W. At 5W you don't need any cooling solution. See MacBook powered by the Core M and the many Atom based tablets.

    If the GPU consumes more than 5W, than Nvidia support switching between graphics solutions. So on battery it would use the Intel integrated graphics, and plugged in, when pushed, use the Nvidia GPU. So, battery life will not be affected. In fact, with the above model, many laptops with Nvidia graphics solution, already uses.

    Why Nvidia or AMD GPU?
    -> The Intel integrated graphics card drivers are very buggy. If you pay close attention you can see the bugs.

    -> Nvidia or AMD GPU would provide PROPER, and actual FULL support for: DirectX, OpenGL, OpenCL, DirectCompute, and in the case of Nvidia: PhysX and CUDA support. What does it mean? Anything you run, whether be photo editing software, video editing software or games, they wont' crash due to unsupported OpenGL or DirectX call, a common problem affecting people using Intel integrated graphics owners. In addition, you'll get proper CONSISTENT performance. Sadly, Intel integrated graphics uses a software list of supported / developed for driver model, making the Intel solution run well on software and games part of the list, but if the program in question is not part of the list, it will run under poor performance or simply crash at startup. For example: We can play Civilization V on our amazing Surface Pro. But did you try the old Zune desktop application? That one has a GPU accelerated interface. Despite playing a heavy game, it has trouble with Zune desktop software. And it is not the software being poorly coded as this issue is NOT a problem in older Intel integrated graphics with older drivers (funny no?), nor with Nvidia or AMD graphics cards. And believe me that software was never touched by Microsoft for years. That is just an example. Civ 6 for example, a game with similar graphics as Civ 5 crash at startup. People who were using PhotoShop, had to disable some option to get it to work for Intel integrated graphics until Adobe did a special workaround specific to Intel to have it working when applying filter, else it crashed. Now you have poor performance from what I was told.

    Let's have a solid experience, let's have Nvidia or AMD low-end power efficient GPU. Something that Microsoft can get via building a partnership with either company.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  6. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting BUT I don't want to turn this into another SP4 thread.

    There is too big of a gap between the Surface 3 and the bottom SP3 and that it's likely to widen with SP4. Additionally size matters and 10.8 is a good size but it needs more performance range. I'm not convinced a Broadwell Core-M behaves well enough for a full fanless implementation and likely needs to run in SDP mode at 3W. Skylake Core-M should be better but it's still possible it will not be "free range" in a fanless design so you wont get max performance out of it.

    We are still suffering at Intel's hand because their best Atom SoC tops out where it does and their best Core-M SoC is like stuffing a size 12 foot in size 10 shoe. Yes Intel graphics is still weak and while they have been focusing on fixing the GPU, the CPU is mostly marking time. Going forward Intel cannot leave the CPU or GPU static both need to improve on future Atom and Core-M implementations while simultaneously getting better at power management as well.

    Currently the only option for adding performance at the top of the Surface 3 10.8 class is to give it a configuration with a Core-M SoC and likely run it at 80%.
     
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  7. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm NOT saying there's anything wrong with the Surface 3 Atom's performance, in fact it appears to be quit good in it's class. I'm saying there's an unserved market segment that needs to be filled.

    The market segment for a 10.8 fanless device with higher performance than any Atom can deliver. There currently is Not anything in that space as no Atom based device can reach it and ARM based devices are approaching it, possibly there, with the likes of Tegra X1 but they are starting to bump into the Power constraints as well.

    The Core-M can fill this gap now in low power mode. In the future this will probably be taken over by Atom growing up but that's at least a year or two off unless Intel has a 1.8 - 2x greater performance Cherry Trail SoC waiting in the wings. These 5-10% improvements we have seen of late are too agonizingly slow in coming.

    It might be a good time to revisit the "chart" that explains it all.
    for any given chassis temperature and tablet size and thickness, there was an ideal SoC power to aim for:

    [​IMG]

    Size, Thickness, Watts, Temperature and you can add Performance to that also. At 8mm we walk the green line and with 10.8 size we can hit maybe 4W +/- a tenth or two. We are pushing the limits of the chip technology of the day ... although in a couple years or five we will look back on this as just another milestone in computing technology.
     
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  8. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    True but the low end i3-4020y uses the Intel HD Graphics 4200 which the 5300 in Core-M does beat.
    http://www.surfaceforums.net/threads/intel-graphics-ranking-to-game-or-not-to-game.14800/

    Ordinal ranking for HD Graphics in Surfaces (1 = best, lower number = better performance)

    CherryTrail = 411
    4200 = 340
    5300 = 323
    4400 = 294
    5000 = 264
     
  9. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    I don't care about benchmarks. Intel drivers does trick to fool the score in a higher value in their drivers. I want real game performance comparison.
     
  10. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's fair in a manner of speaking but also depends on how the game was written. game to game there can be a wide variance due to the implementation and quality of coding. You have to compare the exact game you want to play at the exact settings which only you can do. Benchmarks are the way to compare hardware to hardware but they don't translate 100% to any specific application.
     

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