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Should I upgrade to SP4

Joe Torres

Member
I have the SP3 i7 128gb with 8gb of RAM, it's great works as needed, I even got the SP4 keyboard to make it that much better....
But the fan kicks on several times and gets warm quite a bit.

I use my SP3 it only for the following;
It's my daily driver
Use it for work i.e. spreadsheets, Word, Citrix, Skype chat
Chrome for browsing
Use it to download/upload videos
Stream videos
very light gaming mainly for my daughter when needed

I see that Bestbuy has the SP4 i5 128gb with 4gb of RAM

Microsoft - Surface Pro 4 - 12.3" - 128GB - Intel Core i5 - Silver

So is it worth it to have latest Gen or not really?
 
hello there,

I myself got the i5 8Gb 256SSD SP4.
I can't really make a comparison to your sp3 because this is my first ever surface!
But I can tell you this;
My fan kicks on several occasions as well. These include:
- Skype chat
- Using Google Maps in the official Google MS app
- when using it while charging (not always though depends on the usage

I have to admit though that when the fan kicks on those occasions it usually does not stay on until I end the task. most of the times as far as I contemplate the engineering from the light forum reading I 've done the fan kicks on due to turbo boost which comes on without needing to (hence people recommending lowering the max CPU speed to disable the turbo boost). But because of the turbo boost, when it goes back to the needed CPU power the SP4 goes back to cooler and the fan stops.
So I wouldn't blame the device for getting warm as much as the turbo boost thing coming on without having to and warming up the CPU at most times.

P.S. I don't do gaming, or photo/video editing. I only use my device for browsing, office apps, pdf editing and multimedia (music-movies) and the occasional use of MS store apps like Flipboard and Google.
 
OP
Joe Torres

Joe Torres

Member
hello there,

I myself got the i5 8Gb 256SSD SP4.
I can't really make a comparison to your sp3 because this is my first ever surface!
But I can tell you this;
My fan kicks on several occasions as well. These include:
- Skype chat
- Using Google Maps in the official Google MS app
- when using it while charging (not always though depends on the usage

I have to admit though that when the fan kicks on those occasions it usually does not stay on until I end the task. most of the times as far as I contemplate the engineering from the light forum reading I 've done the fan kicks on due to turbo boost which comes on without needing to (hence people recommending lowering the max CPU speed to disable the turbo boost). But because of the turbo boost, when it goes back to the needed CPU power the SP4 goes back to cooler and the fan stops.
So I wouldn't blame the device for getting warm as much as the turbo boost thing coming on without having to and warming up the CPU at most times.

P.S. I don't do gaming, or photo/video editing. I only use my device for browsing, office apps, pdf editing and multimedia (music-movies) and the occasional use of MS store apps like Flipboard and Google.
Thanks for your input and giving me some info.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I went from a SP3 i5/8/256 to a SP4 i5/8/256 and it was noticeably faster (as the SoC is two generation newer). I then upgraded my SP4 to i7/16/256 and WOW!!! This thing is great, I have some Excel Pivot Tables that have millions of records and this thing blows through them,

All i5 and i7 SoCs will use the fan as they are using the U Variant not the Core M (formally the Y Variant).
 

Dblkk

Member
It's a bit better, but you've already got the pro 3, and best things that come with the pro 3/4 generation. You might as well wait for the pro 5. Then get that or pick up a pro 4 for cheaper.
 

InspectHerGadget

Active Member
I had the i7/256G SP3 and I upgraded to the i5 base model with 4G RAM and 128G storage. I don't regret it one bit.

I traded down as the Surface was a second computer for business use. I have the same software on my desktop which is much more powerful so I use the desktop for things like photo and video editing and where I need more screen real estate. I decided I never really needed the storage and the extra RAM was of only marginal benefit.

I didn't like the pen on the SP3. I am left handed and the palm rejection was never reliable enough for me to use it regularly for taking down notes during servicing calls. The pen on the SP4 is much more reliable and I like the ability to change tips. I'm using a 'B' tip now, which is soft. The pen is now good enough for daily use. It was good enough for daily use on my SP2 as well. They screwed up on the SP3 for palm rejection, at least for us left handers.

The performance is similar to the i7 SP3 and I couldn't say whether one is faster in normal use.

The screen is a bit better on the SP4, it is noticeable but the screen on the SP3 is still very good.

It does run cooler and the fan rarely runs, a point in favour of the SP4.

The keyboard is much better but then I was already using the SP4 type cover on my SP3.

I like the Windows Hello login more than I thought I would. It is a bit like the fast wireless charging on my Note 5, you could write it off as a gimmick until you use it all the time and like it!

I would upgrade if you can afford it, my opinion.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
I gave my SP3 to my partner when I bought the SP4, and for the type of usage scenario you state (unless you are working with monumentally large and complicated excel files) if it wasn't for the aesthetics differences, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I've not found the new cpu to be of any noticeable benefit in routine tasks.
 

ipaq_101

Super Moderator
Staff member
I broke the mini display port on my SP3 and went to te microsoft store and got a brand new SP4 in exhange, the MS Complete warranty is worth it. Also I have noticed that the SP4 is just more polished, my SP3 had so many issues, probably something a fresh install could/would have fixed, but overall impressed with the SP4.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
I gave my SP3 to my partner when I bought the SP4, and for the type of usage scenario you state (unless you are working with monumentally large and complicated excel files) if it wasn't for the aesthetics differences, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I've not found the new cpu to be of any noticeable benefit in routine tasks.
Similar situation. My SP4 feels a bit faster than the SP3 - not a whole lot but noticeable. Of course the SP4 is the i5/8GB/256GB unit while the SP3 was the i5/ 4GB/ 128GB.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Similar situation. My SP4 feels a bit faster than the SP3 - not a whole lot but noticeable. Of course the SP4 is the i5/8GB/256GB unit while the SP3 was the i5/ 4GB/ 128GB.
Yeah that 256 ssd will be faster than the 128 ;) kidding.

Hypothetical Benchmark score SP3 33, SP4 33 & 1/3. A Politician would say that's 1/3 faster. ;)
 
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