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Should I get i3 , i5 or i7


Active Member
This looks like it's more versatile since it has adjustability.


I wonder how loud it actually is?


Well-Known Member
I am just in awe of how strong this i3 is. From browsing to Photoshop to Flash Professional it just blazes. Might be a little slower opening a database in Access but once open performs just fine. The only thing I've found so far that really bogs it down is Adobe Bridge. Tends to lock up and get laggy.

I am using Throttlestop so my i3 is maxxed to 1.5 ghz at all times, but still, it's plenty quick for probably 90% of users. Of course the SSD size may be problematic for some. But after offloading the recovery partition, disabling hibernate and clearing out the Windows/Software Distribution/Download folder, I still have 23gb unused space even with full Office, Photoshop 2014, Flash Professional, Sharepoint Designer and Chrome installed. I also have about 5 gb worth of pure data stored.

I am using my sdcard for storing all photos, videos and downloads.

Unless I was doing some serious gaming, video editing or 3D rendering, the i3 should be fine.


in my mind cpu is probably the last thing you should worry about. The real throttling for me is not cpu but memory. I think MS should have put 8GB in all SP3's (perhaps not cheapest i3) with installed smaller SSDs'. You can expand disk size in lots of ways but not memory :(
Before buying if you have a pc/laptop with windows 8 on it, load the things you want to use the SP3 for and then check what memory is in use.
My thinking is - if u have 4GB you wish u had 8GB, if you have an i7 you wish you saved money and got an i5.

So if you can afford and justify it which I know is practically double the cost of the base i3 version and that's the one with and i5 8GB 256GB.


Well-Known Member

But how would that work? It would only blow the air to the back of the Surface, which has no vents, right? In effect, it would be blowing air at a metal sheet (the back, that is). Regardless, I guess if it works, then brilliant. Have you tried it out?


Active Member
I5/256GB. If you're keeping the machine for 4+ years, it's the best compromise of performance, price and future proofing. That's coming from an I7 owner if that makes any difference.


ok ive done tests.
using powerdvd ultra watching dvd, mpeg movie file and blu-ray disk. on my 2nd gen i3 pc.
max 8% cpu. max mem 1.7GB
same again for 2 metro ie simultaneous YouTube vids
same again for web and Netflix.
All highest settings.
No slowdowns, pauses or hiccups.
cpu around 1.5Ghz.
No dedicated GFX card all CPU built in GFX.

Thought the above would be useful to know.


Has anybody with an i3 used the Drawboard PDF program?

I understand, in addition to annotating PDFs, you can organize PDFs with it. Say you have like 30 or 40 PDFs loaded into Drawboard and are annotating one of them. Would the i3 be sufficient for that? Or is large PDF annotation something an i3 might choke on?