Surface Pro 2 Vs 3 - Power User

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by xn1337, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. xn1337

    xn1337 New Member

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    I Currently have an ASUS EP121 that over the last 2 years has been in for warranty for just about everything.

    The digitiser has failed in a band across the screen and its now in for assessment and replacement via Harvey Norman.

    The above was as follows:

    ASUS EP121 i5 4Gb 64Gb

    It had an issue with throttling frequently and slowing down at 60degC to 460Mhz until the internal temperature dropped to 45degC It had a Gen 1 Intel Dual-Core i5 470um 1.3ghz stock - 1.8ghz turbo (and 2 very loud fans that i got used to)

    I am looking at the following options:
    • Surface Pro 2 i5 4Gb 128Gb $1025
    • Surface Pro 2 i5 8Gb 128Gb $1367
    • Surface Pro 3 i5 4Gb 128Gb $1208
    • Surface Pro 3 i5 8Gb 256Gb $1548
    Hard drive space is no issue I used the Full sized SD slot for extra storage (so ill have to buy a new card) After my previous experience with a device that pretty much was throttled 100% of the time (Google chrome with 1 tab or Microsoft solitaire would result in throttle after about 30 seconds) I am hesitant to go a surface pro 3, is it really that bad or does it only throttle when people try to use it like a razor blade?

    My main goal is to replace my Desktop finally with my surface pro 2 or 3, the EP121 Was meant to do this but spent 5 out of 24 months at Asus getting stuff done and after a Bios update from Asus to make the tablet more compatible with windows 8, it completely changed the throttle level to unusable, **** my device ran at 45 to 50 degC idle at the desktop, and to throttle it at 65degC till the temp had dropped to 45degC was almost impossible.

    It will have the following tasks to perform:

    • Heavy internet use (Google Chrome Lover)
    • Office Related tasks
    • Web development with SublimeText and Local Xampp Server
    • Unity 4.5.* for 2D/Basic 3D mobile game development
    • Photoshop for website design
    • Spotify music streaming in the background
    • Drive 2 x HD(not 4k) LCD
    I have a lot of games on steam, but I have all 3 consoles so I find my self installing steam, taking up space, and then not using it till I need the space and deleting it. I might end up putting some old school games (no not far cry or crysis i mean masters of origin 3 and starcraft ) on it for when im bored while not home and minecraft to waste some time. I was always under the understanding that Intel Graphics meant don’t bother.

    I’m looking at getting a dock setup for home and a type cover for when im out. I am reading allot of people that have the pro 3 and they say the throttling is not that bad, but I used to say that about my EP121 because I had forked out the $1200 for it and accessories, I will admit it was normally only noticeable during HD Video playback and the fact that the task manager made it easy to show that it was throttled.

    I live in Queensland Australia, so average temps are gonna be higher which is what I put the EP121's throttling down to, if I used it in air-con at work the device would throttle less for shorter periods.

    Is there any performance gain between Surface Pro 2 i5 4Gb 128Gb $1025 and Surface Pro 3 i5 4Gb 128Gb $1208 ? The extra money could buy me a type cover or dock, the other way i looked was Surface Pro 2 i5 8Gb 128Gb $1367.

    So how bad is this throttling, and am i better off with a Surface Pro 2 i5 8Gb 128Gb due to the throttling and miss out on the screen RES and stand upgrade? Thanks
     
  2. palmor

    palmor New Member

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  3. xn1337

    xn1337 New Member

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    Thanks palmor, that review was more blunt than any other i have read in saying "The bottom line is that if you’re planning on squeezing in any sort of gaming at all, you’d be far better off with a SP2 than a SP3."
    for game development in unity 4 im thinking the SP2 is the better option.

    if i get the Surface Pro 2 i5 8Gb 128Gb 4300u it looks like it will perform the same as a Surface Pro 3 i5 8Gb 128Gb 4300u just without the Wireless AC, New Stand and larger screen.
     
  4. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I gotta say, you've documented your usage scenario and needs just about better than anyone else I've seen! :D. Hat's off to you for that.

    I completely get what you're saying about the throttling, etc. For most users (myself included), their SP3's will never be used in a way that would push the limits.

    But the general chunkiness and weight of the first 2 models, especially after owning an SP3, has put me off those models completely.
     
  5. xn1337

    xn1337 New Member

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    thanks, i was aiming for straight to the point and detailed :D
    i have customers that will say "I need an awesome sop of the range gaming pc"
    and ill be like "Cool, what games"
    and they are like "ohh, farmville/minecraft you know facebook stuff"

    im trying to put it out there that i am going to use it like a desktop, that when i get up to go, i slide it out of the dock and take my PC with me, (Minus some displays and storage :( )

    Coming from an ASUS EP121 the surface pro 2 is like an ipad mini in both weight and size comparison.

    when you say "most users" what do you use it for if you dont mind?
     
  6. daveyp

    daveyp Member

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    8GB seems the best for you. I wouldn't want a 4GB machine as my main computer, not to say it isn't possible. Heck, I'm finding that 16GB is too small for my desktop needs but I'm kind of a slob with my tabs and leaving things open for days; my i3 SP3 was purchased strictly for work. Even if 4GB is enough now, will it be in a year or two? Better have it and not need it then, well, you know.
     
  7. xn1337

    xn1337 New Member

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    Thanks, but are you recomending the SP2 or SP3? the main issue im trying to avoid is throttling.
     
  8. daveyp

    daveyp Member

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    I can't not recommend the Sp3. The device is just so slim and aesthetic and the screen is so nice to write on (mainly due to form factor). As of now the sSP2 seems to be the better performer due to throttling, but both do throttle, just less so on the SP2. I'd expect there will be updates for the i5/i7 SP3 models to improve upon these issues, but who knows really. If you want to be on the safe side and are okay with the 16:9 screen the Pro 2 is still a very solid machine.
     
  9. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If your going to run Chrome just get a desktop computer :)

    have you seen the video of the guy cooling the SP3 with a box fan? he takes it out of throttling with it... so I expect it wont be long before there is a cooling case for the SP3 from 3rd parties.

    Anyway I'm on the fence about your true workload level and how much your hot environment will come into play.

    Sp2 will be the safer bet in terms of heat dissipation. If there are similar return policies there, get an SP3 and see how it responds to your heaviest work. Then you'll know for sure... if its balking exchange it for the SP2. I'm guessing its the cooler season there so keep that in mind as well unless you only have one season.

    Looking forward is murky but the spec sheet on Broadwell U series is the same 15w TDP as Haswell U. Unless they switch to Broadwell Y series (3-5w TDP) completely were looking at the same scenario with SP4 albeit with 40% better throttled performance :) They'll see maybe a 15% performance bump switching to Broadwell Y vs Haswell U. I mention that because you may *possibly* be stuck with SP2 thermally without relief for a while.
     
  10. xn1337

    xn1337 New Member

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    Thanks, GreyFox7,
    my true workload is im a geek. bit hard to describe, i wish it was summer so i could trial the device properly although for winter it a max of 22 out side, i would proberbly end up playing games even after convincing myself i dont need to.

    when you say "*possibly* be stuck with SP2 thermally" you mean as a better device out of the two for my situation? or is it just as bad :(
    since i never got to fully utilise the EP121 due to its thermal issues ( i sware it used to throttle just from booting up a fresh install, it was proberbly just stuffed)
    i was wary of getting a SP3, but the geek in me keeps yelling but its the latest and greatest.

    if i had a choice i would wait till next year but they will require i deal with it now.
    the surface pro 3 hasnt been released here yet, and i would have to wait till the 28th to find out if its right or not.
     
  11. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    In your case the best thing is to buy it in a store with a good return policy. Try it and if it works keep it if not return it.
     
  12. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

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    I'm very happy with the SP2 as a performance machine, it does gaming/photoshop and all manner of things very well (on the 4200). From what I've read on various sites (Anadtech have a good review with some numbers/comparison charts where the SP2 consistently appeared to be as good or better than the SP3, and they also mentioned that the i7 version will have the HD5000 graphics rather than the 4400, which may be another consideration) the throttling can be quite annoying for extended gaming/performance.

    Oh and Minecraft needs a pretty high spec once you up the graphics settings, I can't play it on too high settings on my SP2, and even on lower settings the thing gets scorching hot :p
     

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