Worth Purchasing Discounted Pro 2 Now?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by chanukya, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. chanukya

    chanukya New Member

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    Would appreciate some expert advice. My apologies as I'm sure this question has been asked before. I purchased the 8/256GB Surface Pro2 last week at the reduced price with the keyboard/service plan bundle as an impulse buy. I will be using this for 2 main purposes:

    1) Gaming - Civ5, the upcoming Civ-Beyond earth, Kerbal Space Program, etc. Mostly strategy titles. I'm not obsessed with 1080p resolution, would be happy with a 1600x900 resolution but with no slowdowns. I got the 8GB as I figured it would be useful in the end game of Civ5. I have an alienware at home, this is a mobile gaming platform for me.

    2) Note taking - I take a lot of online courses and use the Samsung Note 10.1 2014 right now, but I store my notes in OneNote anyway, so I figured the surface would work as well.

    I am happy with the 10.1 form factor as I feel I can use it as a tablet in the office without looking like I have a personal PC. However, I would like to know if I should keep it given that it's a year old and I intend to use it for at least a couple of years.

    I've been reading about the throttling issue that folks are seeing on the Surface Pro 3. Would it be worth it to return the Pro2 and pick up a Pro 3 or even a Venue 11 Pro i5 given my intended use? I understand that the Pro 2 throttles less due to better ventilation..

    Many Thanks..
     
  2. grumpy

    grumpy Active Member

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    If you are happy with the SP2 form factor, then there really is no reason to get the SP3. I don't really see the SP3 as replacing the SP2 but rather an alternative form factor. The CPU/GPU are the same, but due to inadequate cooling in the SP3, it will perform worse than the SP2 at CPU intensive tasks (especially games). The other main difference is the pen technologies. Both technologies seem to have their pros and cons. The Venue seems to use the lower power 4300Y, so it might have lower performance, but less heat could mean less throttling.

    The SP2 will be no more outdated in a year or two than the SP3.
     
  3. vjh425

    vjh425 New Member

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    I recently purchased the Surface Pro 2 and I don't regret the purchase. It is great for me as a student. I can use the keyboard or I can use the stylus to take notes. I also play games on the Pro 2 (playing Skyrim at the moment) and I haven't had any trouble playing the games I have and I haven't had any hang ups or slow downs. The only problem I've had is playing older games that aren't compatible with Windows 8.1 which is a problem on all of the newer systems anyway.
     
  4. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    The only time I'd say it wouldn't be worth buying the SP2 is when the SP4 comes out, presumably with Intel's new Broadwell chip. As is, I'd say that it's the best Windows tablet available if you want a full laptop replacement.
     
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  5. hertsjoatmon

    hertsjoatmon Member

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    Consensus seems to be that the SP2 throttles less than the SP3, but under normal use th SP3 has the slightly better performance. Whether another machine would be better for you is a very subjective thing but One note with the SP2 is fantastic. When using it as tablet id recomend using a case with a strap on the back as the machine can start to feel a little heavy after prolonged one handed use.
    As for games. I'm a new user but have been running various tests to gauge performance. Under gaming load it seems to be runnin ok though, I posted some details on a gaming thread yesterday. I really notice the throttling under stress tests but thats the machine running at its extreme. Undervolting is seeming to help reduce the temp a few degrees but I've still got to play more with the settings before I have my Sp2 running at its best efficiency. Just make sure your not gaming with a case on the back of the machine so that the heat has plenty of surface area open to escape from.
    I run games at 1366 x 768, not sure if that will be enough for some of your strategy games depending how much you want to see on screen at once, but at 148ppi its still plenty sharp enough for me while also having the benfit of having only half the pixles to process vs the native resolution. This means I can push some of the quality settings up and get a better over all gaming experience. I'm making my way through all the old total war, warhammer 40k and company of heroes games.
    In terms of value of money, with the discounts that are cropping up I'd be hard pressed to recomend a SP3 of equivalent spec to a SP2 given the price difference unless the form factor is a deal breaker.
     
  6. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Was just on the UK MS website so thoguht i'd quickly share this, but SP2 now comes with a free typecover keyboard.
     
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  7. mtalinm

    mtalinm Active Member

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    yes, absolutely. go look at the SP3 forum and all of the problems people are having with overheating, battery life, fan noise, wifi range, etc. it's a mess. I returned one after less than two weeks because it was so buggy.

    my guess is that the SP4 will be solid like the SP2 is. SP1 was kind of a disaster with battery life but the Haswell chip fixed it. Broadwell will fix SP3's woes, if Satya doesn't kill the product first.
     
  8. jrhillma

    jrhillma Member

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    My son and wife have both started (repeatedly) asking why I haven't upgraded to an SP3. I think they are both secretly hoping to inherit my SP2. Given their interest, I went and looked at the SP3 at Best Buy. It is slightly bigger (screen real estate) and slightly thinner, but having kept up on the SP3 forum here, I can't justify the expense.

    Out of curiosity, I looked on eBay for SP2 8/512s (I have the 8/256 currently). A new one, with standard warranty and free shipping, can be had for about $1200-1300. I think that's a far better value than the SP3. If I were to 'upgrade', I'm pretty sure that's the way I'd go instead of SP3.
     
  9. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    I wanted to highlight this news since that's effectively a huge $120 discount since I can't imagine having the SP2 without the keyboard.
     

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