Upgrading My SP2 to SP4 i7… or i5? - How's Battery Consumption?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by WildKarrde, Oct 29, 2015.

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Should I Get The i5 or i7 for Maximum Battery Life?

  1. i5

    42.9%
  2. i7

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Should be about equal.

    57.1%
  1. WildKarrde

    WildKarrde New Member

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    I love my Surface Pro 2! I'm going to provide some background here, but TLDR is at the bottom of the post. I've had my SP2 for over a year now, and while it's not exactly my primary computer, I find myself using it far more than I do my more powerful desktop. This is largely due to me being away from home for practically days at a time.


    When the Surface Pro 3 came out, I considered upgrading, but didn't because of the following issues, in order:

    1. Cooling was terrible, and I'm a power used (Graphic design, such as Photoshop, Autocad, Solidworks and Catia, as well as occasional gaming) So constant CPU throttling was unacceptable for my situation.

    2. No power cover. I have two for my SP2, as I regularly spend long stints (up to an entire 14 hour period) away from an easily accessible power outlet. My understanding is that the SP3 and SP4 can both be charged by high quality USB battery packs though, so that's an acceptable alternative to me so long as it works.

    3. The SP3 is bigger. I've come to believe that the size increase is likely acceptable... but I still prefer the smaller screen, for increased portability.


    The increased cooling, and ability to use a portable USB charger, as well as next gen CPU and integrated GPU have convinced me that despite the amazingness of my SP2, it's time to upgrade.


    In all honesty, my SP2 is plenty powerful enough for me, but I'm often hitting the limits of my 4GB RAM limit, so if I'm gonna upgrade, 8GB is mandatory. This automatically excludes the i3 model, which would be almost perfectly on par with my current i5, but with much better battery life. Oh well.


    So this, of course leads me to the i5, which is likely powerful enough for all my needs, but since I definitely won't be upgrading to the SP5 when it's released, I need to consider the future as well. For $300 more, the i7, and more specifically, the Iris 540 integrated graphics seems to be a very smart purchase. With almost a 40% better performance rating, it would make most of my mobile 3D modelling projects silky smooth, and give me that much more gaming power when I'm ready to relax. But since I can't yet get the i7 model on Amazon, and the i5 is available for purchase right now, it has given me time to think.


    How much more power will the i7 use, compared to the i5? Computing power is very important to me, but since this is primarily a mobile platform, battery life is everything. If the i7 gets an hour or more less life off of a charge than the i5 would, then I'd probably rather have the i5. I know Intel says they are designed to consume the same amount of power, but we all know real world results can differ greatly from what the manufacturer says. Are there any tests comparing the battery life of the SP4 equipped with the i5 vs the i7? Does anybody have any real world experience with this? Thanks for any help you can provide!


    TLDR: I'm leaning towards getting an i7 SP4, but not sure if I want it if it consumes a noticably higher amount of power than the i5 variant. The i3 is not an option as it doesn't come with 8GB RAM.
     
  2. MrGelato

    MrGelato New Member

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    sp4 i5. i get about five hours battery life with mild use. (web browsing, videos, viewing documents and taking notes)
     
  3. callihan_44

    callihan_44 Member

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    I think the best bang for the buck is the I-5, if I need more power than that I'm just going to use my gaming laptop... the sp3 I-5 had the throttling issue which essentially turned it into a slightly more powerful I-3..I have yet to hear my fan come on in my I-5 sp4...as far as my battery life goes I haven't determined how long it will go as I just got it, but I will say I am not a "sleep mode" user, my tablet is either on or off... the ssd is lightning fast so the boot time is extremely fast so I never have the sleep issues as I never use it.
     
  4. WildKarrde

    WildKarrde New Member

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    Really? Only 5 hours? I get about 9-10 hours out of my SP2 on battery saver mode. Do you keep your screen pretty bright?

    Same here, if I'm not using my SP2 I either turn it off or put it in hibernation, never sleep mode.
     
  5. DocACE911

    DocACE911 Member

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    About 4 - 5 hours on CORE M Sp4. Seems worse than my i7 SP3 (but that is Win 8)
     
  6. MrGelato

    MrGelato New Member

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    yeah >< idk why my battery isn't getting much life. I run 50% brightness and power saver mode and it estimates me at 4 hours remaining at 100%. Gotta research a bit to see why my battery isn't lasting as much as others.


    ---update---
    Reset my sp4 and battery is much better. I must have installed something that drained the battery. (google chrome, docs, sheets, etc)
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
  7. WildKarrde

    WildKarrde New Member

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    I guess I'm just going to have to hold off on my purchase until more people have had more of a chance to test these things out. The SP4 is certainly more of a want, than a need, but I don't want one if it's gonna kill my battery life. :(
     
  8. MrGelato

    MrGelato New Member

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    Honestly it was an impulse buy for me. Ive always wanted a surface and best buy had a trade in offer for one.

    Surface Trade In

    If you're interested.
     
  9. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    Are you serious? If yes, then it is quite bad!!!

    Edit: Sorry! I just saw the update you made about removing Chrome etc.
     
  10. WildKarrde

    WildKarrde New Member

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    Haha, I wonder if that program would take my brand new $50 Amazon Fire tablet in on trade? If so, that would be pretty sweet.
     
  11. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Just as a heads up, pay absolutely no attention to the time remaining figure under battery. Their algorithms are completely fubared. If you run you system hard to 2 minutes Windows decides that this is how the machine will be used til it is empty and so just tells you 3 hours left. 5 minutes later it'll tell you 10 hours. It really is meaningless.
     
  12. WildKarrde

    WildKarrde New Member

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    I find the time remaining figure to be useful... you just have to understand how to translate it, as you have described in your post. It's not gospel truth, just an estimate based on how you are using the computer at the time of the reading. Paying heed to the battery meter can help you adjust your usage to help keep your Surface running into the next outlet stop.
     

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