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SP3 as main developer pc


New Member

As my current work laptop is starting to get a bit tired, I'm thinking about going for the SP3 to replace it.
Currently have a SP1 and I'm very pleased with it, perfect for taking notes in meetings and annotating design proposals from designers and so on, but what I'm hoping with the SP3 is that I don't need to bring several devices around, when I go to a meeting I can just grab it out of the docking and have the tablet experience. When I sit at the desk have a "desktop" experience with the docking and external monitors.

Will most like be going for the i7 256gb + docking, so I was wondering if anyone can share some experiences running development setups on the SP3. Since I'm a consultant I work on different types of project, so I would want to run Visual Studio, Intellij and similar tools, maybe have several instances of them open at once, MSSQL Server (probably the most heavy I would run locally) or other database instances, and of course browser(s), documents open etc.
Does the throttling become a factor with this kind of setup or is it most likely not an issue because the tools are not very GPU heavy, might be some CPU heavy builds etc, but they seldom too long.

Any feedback would be appreciated!


Well-Known Member
Welcome aboard.
Even the i5 version will be enough for what You want. The performance of MSSQL will depend on the amount of records but still not a problem. Just avoid multitasking too much.
I am doing a lot with MSSQL and other things you want to use. I have i5, 8 GB RAM of SP3 and i am happy with it. I hadn't any problems with MSSQL either. I even have sold my asus zenbook with a core i7 and two ssds in raid 0. SP3 does even the same good job. Really happy with SP3 and hope you will be too.


Well-Known Member
I am doing a lot with MSSQL and other things you want to use. I have i5, 8 GB RAM of SP3 and i am happy with it. I hadn't any problems with MSSQL either. I even have sold my asus zenbook with a core i7 and two ssds in raid 0. SP3 does even the same good job. Really happy with SP3 and hope you will be too.
To me, it's the best Tablet PC I have ever owned.


Active Member
If you like SP1, you will also like SP3.

The throttling is a non-issue for you, because even throttled, the SP3 still outperforms the SP1 slightly.

You only need to worry about throttling and performance coming from an SP2, because SP2 has about twice the gaming performance of an SP3.


New Member
I've got a desktop for gaming so that won't be an issue, will use the SP3 for work and media consumption at home.


New Member
You probably shouldn't have any problems with the SP3 for development work for non 3D intensive Games. I also am looking at the SP3 for S/W development work.

my 2 cents


New Member
Here are my observations using the SP3 (i5, 256gb, 8gb RAM) as a development machine:

- I travel for a work a lot so the lighter weight really does make a difference. My shoulders doesn't ache anymore on LOOOOONG layovers.
- It's powerful enough to handle Visual Studio 2012/2013, SQL Management Studio (with local databases), Outlook 2013, and IE (with several tabs open) concurrently without any issues.
- The 12" screen is a MAJOR improvement over the SP1. That 10.6" screen was just TOO small to stare at for 8 hours per day. I don't have to squint or lean in closer anymore.
- The 3:2 aspect ratio also mean more lines of code are visible

- Due to scaling, developing Windows application can be tricky. You can line up all your controls nice and pretty on your machine, but once you see it on a machine with 100% scaling, everything is out of alignment.
- This is also true to a certain extent on the Web.
- The keyboard cover is great for web surfing but horrible for long coding sessions. I would recommend getting a Bluetooth keyboard.

Because I deal mainly with Windows application, the scaling issue is pretty big for me. I'm not sure if it's a deal breaker yet though. More time with the SP3 is needed.


Works well for me. I do ASP.NET MVC (with SQL Server) development, Xamarin.Android development, Windows 8.1 store app development (XAML), and it doesn't miss a beat. Have two external monitors, and the SP3 display going all the time. The fan runs more than my SP2 did, but other than that - very snappy. I have the 8GB model, but my SP2 with 4GB handled all of those tasks really well also. I often need Photoshop open at the same time as multiple instances of DevStudio and so on. Never a problem.


New Member
I mostly work on Angular development at the moment, so it will be mostly web applications, have done a lot of windows apps in the past and being a consultant means I will for sure see something like that coming up as well.

Already use a bluetooth keyboard with my current setup which is a regular 15" laptop and external monitors. Can really recommend this:


Not the cheapest and you have to get used to using FN + Arrow keys for Home, End, Pg up and Pg down, but once that is sorted, it is a brilliant keyboard in my opinion.


New Member
At this very moment I have the following apps running:
  • IntelliJ IDEA
  • Firefox
  • Outlook 2013
  • Directory Opus
  • UltraEdit Studio
  • AIMP
  • Facebook
  • Tweetdeck
  • OneNote
  • PaintShop Pro
  • Remote Desktop
  • Hyper-V running a Windows 7 VM with SQL Server 2014 running on it
  • Lync Messenger
  • TOAD
  • Corona Simulator
You may wonder why I have that all running and the short answer is because my work day requires I jump around between 10 different things at once and it's just easier to leave it all open all the time.

This is all running on a SP3 i5 8Gb 256Gb version connected to two external monitors (mDP hub).

To put it simply: it runs PERFECTLY. Not a hiccup to be seen. I'm compiling code all the time in IntelliJ... running greps and other command line tools via cygwin in a window... I'm constantly flipping over the the VM and running queries against fairly sizable databases (couple gigs), hitting my remote dev server through RDP. I use UltraEdit for large text processing macro tasks. Through it all, I'm sitting here with CPU usage hovering right around 15% while I'm idle and about 3Gb free memory. I should note: this thing is my PRIMARY PC at this point. I replaced both my desktop tower AND my laptop and I haven't regretted it one bit.

In other words: the i5 will do you just fine as a dev machine based on the fact that it does for me. The i7 would only be better (though, as a lot of people have noted, the difference IS NOT drastic... you may well want to do what I did: save the price difference and save it for the dock).
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