Thinking of returning my i5 for an i7

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Geek.Verve, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. Geek.Verve

    Geek.Verve Member

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    Hello, everyone first post. I bought the i5 8/256GB SP3 a couple days ago. Loving it so far, but haven't had the time to really give it a work out. Oddly enough I find that I prefer typing on the type cover in the flat position, rather than raised (a little too much of a springboard feel for my tastes) - great design, though the track pad could use some work.

    I will be doing primarily programming and productivity work with it (Visual Studio, MS Office, light graphics stuff in Paint.Net, a server VM or two, etc.), but it would be nice to fire up the occasional game to kill some time. I understand both the i5 and i7 CPU's are going to throttle under load. I'm ok with that. What I'm wondering is whether or not there is a compelling reason to go with the i7 over the i5. Is there a significant performance difference (I consider < 10% to be relatively insignificant)? How about heat? The i5 gets fairly warm under load, so is it safe to assume the i7 would be noticeably hotter?

    What little I've found on the subject at this point would indicate that the performance difference between the two is negligible with the current throttling behavior. After all the latest updates, is this still the consensus?

    Oh, and one more question. If I do decide to return the i5 for an i7, what would be the best way to wipe the drive and/or revert the machine to a state suitable for return?

    Thanks.
     
  2. MiloTheGreat

    MiloTheGreat New Member

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    As i understand it, the i7 has a higher spec graphics chipset, so the increase is not only the processor power.

    Obviously, it depends on what your doing, and how your doing it, and how often. Some say the i7 uses less power as it doesn't need to work as hard. I honestly think this is hokum, if you have a i7, you'll use it like an i7 and ask it to run hard applications like HyperV and games.


    A good way to clean a machine:-

    search "recovery", and there is an option to revert to factory, and secure wipe all data. (it takes a few hours).


    Good luck
     
  3. Telstar1948

    Telstar1948 Active Member

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    It always seems to be, "...how much is enough?" If we have an i3 we may wonder if we shouldn't get the i5, and so forth. I have an i5/8/256 and love it. If I had plenty of disposable income, would I have gotten the i7? Probably, just because, and having something more powerful "just in case." It's the way our minds work unfortunately. However, like MiloTheGreat said, whether you need it or not would depend on whether your i5 can handle what you throw at it. If you're still in your return period on the i5 throw everything you can at it that you would use in an ordinary workday and see what it does. If you can tell that having a little faster processor and stronger GPU would make a real difference to you, and you have the money, go for it.
     
  4. Geek.Verve

    Geek.Verve Member

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    Does the i7 reduce battery life by a noticeable amount? I've heard it both ways - greater processing power runs the battery down faster, but because it can do more per cycle, it uses less power. (??)
     
  5. Aegeas

    Aegeas Active Member

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    I have had both the i5 and i7 and there is no difference in battery life unless you are playing games, and then you should be plugged in anyways. The upgrade might be worth it to you as a dev. Heat was the same for me between procs.
     
  6. Geek.Verve

    Geek.Verve Member

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    Exactly the sort of feedback I was hoping to hear. I will very likely be returning the i5 for the i7, then.

    Thanks!
     
  7. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Despite all the anecdotal accounts this should not be surprising. Intel poured more technology into the i7 with the same thermal load as the i5 producing a better performing part at a higher price point. Notwithstanding individual use case differences any other outcome would mean Intel's engineering failed and I don't believe that to be the case.
     
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  8. InspectHerGadget

    InspectHerGadget Active Member

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    I compared a i5 4200 sP2 with the i7 SP3. It was irrationally fast. The response time loading web pages was easily twice the speed and a norton scan was more than twice as fast. MYOB accounting ran similarly at several times the speed.

    Impressive.
     

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