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surface pro 3 i5 or i7


New Member
Hi everybody i'm gonna buy a surface pro 3, but i don't know which one between i5 or i7 i should buy. I'm gonna use it for office onenote, lightroom and photoshop. Obviously some movie and browsing. So i don't know if the extra bucks for the i7 is worth the effort. hope you can help me. ciao
Hi i am also waiting on buying a surface 3 i am going to be using mine for watchin moves while at work , browsing the web and using office for timesheets for work etc

i also asked people on this forum what they would reccomend and nearly all said i5 will be the one to get


Active Member
I have the i5/8/256, and it rocks! I do the gamut of normal personal and office use: surf, email, note taking, photo handling, Office 365, multiple monitors, scanner, printer etc. It runs great with no real issues. I think this guy will handle most anything I need. I use mine as my workstation with the dock and as a mobile device with or without keyboard when I leave my desk.


New Member
so the i5 is probably fine with photoshop and lightroom as well. just because the i7 costs 225 euro more than the i5, so i guess i can save a bit of money.


New Member
I am also trying to decide between an i5 or i7 and have basically the same use-profile as the OP does (Office, OneNote, and Lightroom but not much Photoshop). I do most of my photo editing work in Lightroom so I'd be especially interested to hear which processor you buy and how it handles the load for Lightroom. I'm guessing the i5/8/256 will have enough power but there's nothing better than learning from the experience of an actual user. Thanks.


Active Member
I got the i5/4/128 a little over a week ago, moved up from a Surface 2. I picked that model because, quite frankly, it was what I could afford. I could have opted for the i3 model and saved $200 but I felt the SSD was too small and was afraid I would regret the decision. I was an early adopter with SSDs in my desktop builds so I know that with prudence 128GB is satisfactory, and unless you're a heavy multitasker 4GB of RAM will do the job (unless you plan on doing video editing).
I had a chance to work the SP3 hard last week, and I'm extremely happy with the configuration I bought. It handled all my work and play activities with aplomb, so even with my limited experience I can recommend it.
On the other hand, if you have a big budget......


New Member
First of all i didn't test the devices but i did a research the last few days.
For the comparison I've chosen the i5 256 GB SSD 8GB Ram version vs i7 256GB 8GB Ram version.
According to CPUBoss the performance increase is approx 11.5% for the Passmark Benchmark (Multicore) and for Geekbench the performance increase is about 24.2%.
Furthermore the i5 version "only" has the Intel HD 4400 onboard graphic chip in contrast the i7 version has the Intel HD 5000. According to AnandTech the performance increase is about 9.7% for the 3DMark06 Benchmark and about 21.3% for the 3DMark11 Benchmark.
So in my opinion the performance increase isn't high enough for a 250 bucks extra charge.
I prefer the i5 version which should be more than enough for the most activities.

I am not a native english speaker so please excuse some mistakes.


New Member
Thanks for the info. Any Lightroom users out there who can share how their SP3 configuration handles the LR load?


Active Member
The i7 SP3 would complete a norton scan in 52 seconds versus 2 minutes for my i5 8G SP2. It will load web pages in less than half the time.

One forum member had an SP3 i7 and i5 and said updates would complete 40% faster.

I think that the performance advantage of the i7 is considerable.


Active Member
For future proofing I always get as much ram as I can afford / want to spend. I ultimately went with the 8gb version.

Buy what your budget dictates all the while getting as much ram as that budget allows..

My .02


I have placed an order for a i7/256GB with 8GB ram as i need a powerful portable machine when i'm out shooting in the field, yes i am a photographer who runs Lightroom, Photoshop, DxO Optics Pro, Capture One Pro and many other applications. Plus i'm also a 3D artist on my sparetime so it has to double up as a mobile sketchpad with Zbrush and other similar applications.

My argument to get the i7 was that it's better to have some headroom than to not have it, meaning more cpu power helps more than initial pain it causes my wallet when i'm investing in it.

/ Magnus


Active Member
I had the i7 and the i5 side by side and showed comparisons in other threads. In the end I returned the i7 even thought I believe in future proofing as much as possible. I just didn't like the fact the SP3 was laptop loud when I performed basic tasks. While there was a performance difference, a bit more noticeable when I encode my HD and 2.7k video, my general day to day browsing and document review tasks were almost as snappy on both machines. I wanted the i7 to win.