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Surface Pro 4 - which config for my use?


New Member
I'm planning to get Surface Pro 4. The problem is - I'm not sure which version should I pick.
Right now I'm used to two computers:
At work: Dell Vostro laptop (i7-3612QM, 16GB RAM, 256SSD)
At home: Desktop PC ( i7 950, 12GB RAM, GTX770, 256SSD + 2TB HDDs).

I work as an Android developer. I posted this setup to show you, to what kind of performance I'm used to.

Why I need a Surface. Mostly simple stuff - web browsing, office etc. There is a high chance that I'll do some developement in Android Studio. But mostly I need a mobile device that is always with me for my most typical scenario: got an e-mail that shit just hit the fan, download project from git repository, test for crashes, browse stackoverflow for solutions, fix it, build it, commit, push, write back that everything works now.

I'm thinking about the cheapest, yet sensible Surface - i5, 8GB RAM, 256SSD. I'm not sure how it compares in terms of CPU to my actual setups.

However, I'd like to play some games. Nothing fancy, for new AAA titles I have my desktop gaming rig. I mean stuff like old cRPGs (Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale), Diablo 3, stuff like that. Or MAYBE these new ones, like Divinity Original Sin or Pillars of Eternity. 720p, medium-high settings, with reasonable framerate 50-60FPS.

So - I should pick i7 with Iris, right? And if I pick that, I should probably get the 16gig model, because RAM is shared between CPU and GPU, right? And because games can be a bit heavy I should get at least a 512GB SSD (my basic tools, files, projects, cache itp. takes 150-200GB).

My main question is:
It there that much of a difference between medium Surface (i5/8gb/256) and top one (i7/16gb/512) to pay additional $900? Yes, at my work I'll probably feel the difference in terms of build times and maybe the amount of Android Studio instances, but I don't really thing I'll do that of a hardcore coding. But what about gaming - will there be a noticeable performance boost?

I'm really looking forward to sitting on my couch, with Surface on my lap and playing something with great story. Especially after 8 hours at my desk i just can't look at my desktop PC. But if i7... rig will be "meh", I'll drop the whole idea of Surface gaming and go with the i5.


New Member
I can't comment on the gaming aspect, specifically. But I think your instincts are right about the SP4 /i5 / 8gb for your work scenario. Assuming that the i7 / 16gb machine would improve game performance, the question becomes is that worth $900 extra?

I would order both, and then return one of them within 30 days. This may be an evaluation (both the performance and economics) only you can make for yourself. If cash is tight, then get the i5, and see how it does. You can still return it inside the 30 day window and get the more powerful computer.