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i5 with 4 gig ram


New Member
Do any of you have only 4 gig or ram and if so, are you satisfied with it and how do you use your Surface.

I've picked up a Galaxy Book LTE which only comes with 4 gig and while it's fine now, wondering if it's a good purchase long term.



Super Moderator
Staff member
I always buy 4gb ram surfaces. I've never found a need for more. My use is general day to day computing, a few office applications open, drawboard pdf, chrome with 10 to 20 tabs, SPSS, maybe some gaming here and there. Never had an issue with performance.


Well-Known Member
Same here I'm on 4Gb and manage to run taxing software such as Ableton & Lightroom without an issue.

Only found running multiple HD videos to cause any slow down, or large editing of video files.


New Member
Thanks, I think I was stressing out yesterday. I used it all day like I will in the future and it was just fine. We'll see what the next 2 weeks looks like.


Super Moderator
Staff member
With each of my computers I have 8Gbs of RAM or more. My personal opinion is - better to have and not need, then to....

Found this on the internet and thought it might be useful to some as a general guideline when considering RAM.

More than 8GB of RAM serves no purpose other than to add heat to your computer unless you have a specific use like editing video.

1GB - multitasking is sluggish
2GB - multitasking is far more responsive
3GB - generally sufficient
4GB - little benefit over 3GB, but recommended for gamers
8GB - no advantage during games but opening/closing games may be faster in some scenarios


Active Member
I've had a 4GB Surface 3 for quite a while now. To me it has been sufficient most of the times.

How happy are you with the Galaxy Book? I am thinking of switching to that one, but for the 10.6" there is no LTE version available. The complete devices range is not even available in Europe. And is the LTE stable? Even when switching networks?


Active Member
Bill, where did you get the GB... I've been looking at places like Best Buy and Amazon and they all say it won't be released until later this month? They also list one with more memory. I wouldn't mind trying one out before my return period ends for the SP4... but I am really liking this thing so would be hard pressed to make the change. The only thing I can see that is a negative is battery life with the older processor. Today is one of the first days I'm working out of the office so will see how the battery lasts. How much time are you getting on the SB away from the desk?


New Member

The only GB for sale until April 21st is the Verizon version with LTE. Yes, after the 21st you should be able to get the 8/256g Wifi only version.

I get all day with plenty of battery left away from the desk. I haven't and don't intend to use it as a desktop so I don't really know how many hours I can sit in front of it with MS office programs running.

I think it really comes down to whether or not you want a tablet or a portable desktop computer. Not to take away from the Samsung but it can't compete with the Surface pro 4's top end specs and IMO the SP4 cant compete with the tablet feel of the GB.

I'll admit I was having a bit of buyer's remorse (even though I have till the 28th to return it) based solely on the fact that I only have 4g of ram but the way I use this it is more than enough.

If you watch Netflix and Amazon a lot, the GB's HDR display is a sight to see, it is amazingly and surprisingly better than non-HDR. Speakers are very good for movies IMO as well.

Depending on where you live you might be able to find one at your local Verizon store where you could play with one...then if you like it and don't want the LTE you could get the 8/256 one at BB or Amazon when they come out.

But if you like to load up your computer with tons of running processes then I think a loaded SP4 is a better fit.


Active Member
I kind of want the best of both worlds. I do want this to be my work laptop replacement; which is basically running things like:
- Outlook
- MS Office
- Webex meetings
- A dozen or so browser sessions
- VPN running

I don't think these things really tax a system that much.

For non-work, I want to run things such as:
- Lightroom
- Mail
- A dozen or so browser sessions
- Document scanning and conversion to PDF
- News, movies, music, etc. in tablet mode.

I used to have a MacBook Air that had only 4GB of memory and it handled all this brilliantly; including running virtual machines running Windows on top of all this. So I don't think 4GB is a problem when you have an SSD, because if it fills up it will page into SSD which is nearly as fast as RAM. If you had spinning disks, a different situation.

For me, I need more than 128GB of SSD. My Mac Mini has a 1TB main SSD and 500GB 2nd drive!

I'll try to see if I can find a GB at a Verizon store.


New Member
I have the 4gb core i5 and an old core i3 desktop that I am retiring as it's 7 years old. I just bought a Surface dock and have setup my SP4 to be my primary desktop but I am still on the fence whether I can use it as my primary desktop or not or if I should build a new box. I play to do some light software development but mostly run business apps - excel, word and browse.

I have my Surface dock driving 2 external monitors with the 3rd screen being the surface. I also have a USB3 external drive connected to the dock.
The other day I had 3 chrome tabs open, one of the tabs playing a youtube, a small file in Excel open and STS/Eclipse development environment open with a small project. CPU usage was fluctuating between 40-90%, memory was at 80-90% which I don't really know why as when I totaled up all the programs in Task manager it added up to only 1GB, what happened to the other 3GB?

I did experience a stutter or two but mostly the system was still very much usable.


Active Member
With most 4 gb systems you will always have 1 gb or less of ram available as system resources take quite a bit and remember that ram is supposed to be used. It is much more efficient today then back in the early 90s when ram was at a premium. But yes 8 gb is better and so on and so forth but basically just depending on what you are doing as to if it is truly needed or not.

I have 8 gb in my Surface Book and I need to bump it up to 16 gb like I need another hole in my head! Seriously I could spend several hundred dollars going up to 16 and maybe never even see a difference except when I look at the results in Control Panel - System!


Active Member
Since your disk is SSD, even if it's paging it's not going to slow much like if you had a spinning disk. I ran a MacBook Air with 4GB for several years and I really loaded that thing up including running a virtual machine with windows, on top of tin of native apps and it never skipped a beat.

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