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Anyone with hands-on comparison of the 8gb i5 and i7?


Active Member
So, now that the i7's have been released and people have had time to play and compare them, can anyone give me a good comparison of how the 8gb versions of the i5 and i7 perform? Surely one of you out there have spent time with both units??? I am coming from a Surface Pro 1, which I loved, but the SP3 is an upgrade on all levels. I opted for the i7, 256gb and am MOSTLY in love with the SP3. MOSTLY.

I only have a few issues. One, the unit does get very warm during CPU intensive things and the fan will kick into Turbo. Yes, even at Turbo the fan is quiet. It appears to be very efficient as within minutes of the intensive process ending, the unit will cool and the fan goes off. I have not ever had the unit power off or give the thermometer error message others have received. But have read that this has affected some people and that is a concern. I have noticed the fan come on and the unit heat up while sitting idle--it has something to do with some background processes that run and peak the cpu. It's curious, and a bit annoying, but I can handle it. I have read that the i5 also has had heat issues but thinking it is not quite as much. So, Question 1: What are the differences in heating/cooling performance between the i5 and i7?

I'm still in the process of testing my battery, and it's a big improvement over the SP1 which makes me happy, but have experienced unusual drains and getting more like 5-6 hours battery. Although, one time, got more like 8 hours doing sames things with same settings. Anyway, I can live with it as is, but my Question 2: What is a realistic idea of battery life between the i5 and i7?

Lastly, and I've asked this before, Question 3: What are the differences in performance of moderate tasks between the i5 and i7? I am a graphic design student so will be using this for all of my school work which entails a lot of work in the Adobe programs.

Like I said, I am MOSTLY in love with my 256, i7 SP3. And, I'm pretty much ready to put any doubts aside and just love all of the SP3. But, if someone who has had these in hand can tell me that the i5 doesn't have the heating issues, gets better battery life, can handle all the processing tasks that I need, AND is $250 cheaper--the i7 just may go back.


New Member
I tried both side by side for about a week and a half. The performance difference for me was not worth the added cost. The i5 did run cooler. Using XTU, I found that usually the i5 would idle 2-4 degrees cooler than the i7. I also found that after a stress test, the i5 would cool down quicker than the i7.


New Member
1. hmm that's a good question, not sure if the only thing different is the processor, or did they add something else to help with cooling.
2.i5 I get 5-6 hours using it intensively minus gaming and brightnes at 40 percent. i7 I heard it chops off about an hour or so.
3.Since you say you are a graphic design student, the i5 should not be a problem, unless you're going to have lots of ( I mean lots ) of windows open. I use lets say adobe muse and photoshop together all while using the internet with lots of tabs open, and I don't experience lag or anything.
I can't answer all your questions, but I can say this: I tried a CPU intensive app I wrote on an i5 at the MS store and then tried the same thing on my i7 when it arrived. The i7 is was only marginally faster. In retrospect, it probably wasn't worth the extra money. The only reason I will probably stay with the i7 is because its supposed to have better graphics ability and I want to drive several monitors at decent resolution and not overburden the CPU with graphics work...

I had an i5 and i7, both 256GB for a few days. I ran a couple of benchmarks on them and the i7 beat the i5 but not by a ton. I didn't notice any heat/fan/battery differences, but I didn't really TRY to, i.e. I just used the devices and nothing stood out. I don't usually actively try to look for issues.

In the end, I decided that if I had to pay $249 plus tax extra for the i7 over the i5 I would definitely have kept the i5. As it was, I paid about $125 extra total and thus decided to keep the i7 for the combination of more powerful cpu, better graphics, and potentially better future resale value.

I still think the i5 256GB is the sweet spot, and like I said wouldn't have paid the MSRP difference. Like I said, I haven't noticed any heat/battery/fan differences, but I am mainly using this as a laptop replacement, and have an iPad Air as my tablet, so this thing is rarely being held by me for long periods of time.


Active Member
thank you everyone for these comments. i have filed for a return/exhange for a new i7 but am beginning to think i5. The GPU is the main sticking point for me. I don't care how fast the i7 is, it is useless if it overheats during my tasks. Let's see what happens with this new unit should it actually arrive. Wooo MS Foreign Support