SPro3 i5 Core 4GB RAM vs 8GB Ram

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by MFox007, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. MFox007

    MFox007 New Member

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    Hello,

    I will soon be purchasing a Surface Pro 3 for work/personal use. This will replace my iPad with Zagg ProFolio Bluetooth Keyboard. I'm not so concerned with the internal hard drive space, as I plan to utilize an external hard drive for documents and photos. My question to everyone is: Is the $300 price increase to go from the SP3 i5 Core/128GB/4GB RAM to the SP3 i5 Core/256GB/8GB RAM worth it? I'm all about operating speed for unit itself (not referring to internet or WiFi speed), and would prefer the 8GB of RAM. Ideally, if an i5 Core/128GB/8GB RAM was available, I'd be all over it. I have no issue spending the money, if something is worth it. I do have a tendency to run multiple programs at the same time, and I am a dual screen type of person for multitasking. Any feedback would be great. Thanks in advance!!!

    -Mike
     
  2. theveterans

    theveterans Member

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    There's an i7/8Gb/128 running for the same price as the i5/8/256

    8 GB is a must if you need 20+ tabs, multiple pdfs (hundreds of pages of book pdf), some Adobe CC programs. Since RAM is soldered, I would certainly get the 8GB RAM upgrade. If you don't need the extra internal storage due to your external storage solutions, the i7/8GB/128GB will fit the bill nicely
     
  3. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum @MFox007 . As a point of reference I'm a registered Microsoft System Builder and I support several hundred systems in the field. As has been the case for many years the industry pundits have generally said that memory upgrades are the least expensive performance upgrade you can do for a desktop. Obviously you can't do that with a Surface. It has been 3 years since I built the last system that had less than 8GB. It gives you room to grow.
     
  4. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Most definately depends what programs you wish to run.

    for reference though, i went with the 4gb model as i had no need for the extra storage and wasn't going to pay £300 for some ram. I typically run a music player, couple of isntances of onenote, couple of word docs, maybe powerpoint, drawboard and a couple of other bits and pieces at the same time spread across the Surface and an external display. Never had a problem, never had a single reason to want for 8gb of ram.

    But as said, it entirely depends on what kind of programs you run that would warrant whether 8gb is needed.
     
  5. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My humble opinion is yes, if you have the money to spare, spend it. If nothing else, in a few years when you may be ready to offload it, a higher number of RAM will be even more expected as our software continues to demand more of it, and selling the thing, I would thing, would be easier.
     
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  6. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And i respect that opinion. But mine has always been if you don't need the extra specifications why spend the money. As I say, this is relative to your usage cases. I bought the 4gb and am perfectly happy with it and given the surface pro 3's limitations in what it can do, i can't foresee a time during my owning it where i will be using apps that require me to have 8gb (everyone told me i should definately buy the 8gb because windows 10, look how that turned out :)). I wouldn't spend extra on a smart tv just because it would fetch a higher resale price than the model i actually needed.
     
  7. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm completely ok with that as well. But when you say 4 GB... by the time the OS uses up its fill, you really are saying 2 to 2.5 GB. That's the only reason I usually say spring for the extra RAM, because "4" is a misleading number.
     
  8. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    The bigger issue 4 vs 8 is that many people don't realize the performance they may have been losing if they only had 4GB. Windows tends to use more swap file with 4GB than with 8GB. I have given a performance boost to many a laptop with an upgrade to 8. (that was before the cost of SSDs came out of the stratosphere).

    It's also about planning ahead. (foresight). When making a decision about a computer purchase most people consider what they are doing, not what they may be doing. Look at what you were using your computer for 3-4 years ago compared with today. It may be the difference between getting 2 years of satisfactory performance or 3 years. (only using those figures as an example). But the fact remains that the RAM is still going to be faster than your SSD.
     
  9. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    As I say, I have no issue with your reasoning. But there is certainly 2 schools of thought.

    FYI, last machine I upgraded, due to failure, from a stock q6600, 4gb of ram, and hard drives, which was many years old, and ended up with a far faster CPU, 8gb, and a fast ssd. Other than game load times and read write performance, I see no noticeable difference (by my eye, not statistics). 4gb is just fine for my surface. As I say, it all depends on usage.
     
  10. Cyb3rDud3

    Cyb3rDud3 Member

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    If you have a tendency to run multiple programs at the same time as you do, I'd say go for it. To keep the responsiveness up you want to avoid paging out of memory (swap file), 8GB of RAM will help with that. In addition when running virtual machines it is a huge help as during such moments I could give up 4GB for that use....It really isn't much more money, and well worth it...
     
  11. lhauser

    lhauser Active Member

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    I love my i5/4GB/128GB. I was spending someone else's money, so I had to be conservative. I consider myself a sophisticated Windows user, but I have never been one to strain my machines too much -- multiple Chrome tabs, Word, maybe a photo and music app. I've never strained the machine with 4GB. If I'd had the money myself, I would have gone for more memory, but though I may be missing some performance, I have zero complaints.
     
  12. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I would be right there with you on the usage, except my problem is that in the course of researching something, I'll leave several/many tabs open in a browser window for a few days. Then I'll open another window and have a few tabs open there as well for something else.

    Not everyday mind you, but enough that I wanted the extra RAM for it.

    But yeah if I was on someone else's dime, I'd be ok with 4.
     

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