1. filfat's Avatar
    Hello, I need help to decide if I should wait to buy the Surface Pro 3 (if they release one) or build a development rig now for about the same price as the Surface Pro 3 would have costed?

    Lets start with pros n' cons for the surface.
    Pros:
    Portable.
    Light.
    Fancy.
    Etc etc etc,

    Cons:
    Worse Hardware then a normal PC.
    Etc etc


    Thanks :)
    JPHellemons likes this.
    03-23-2014 03:05 PM
  2. James8561's Avatar
    well it really depends on your need.
    do you prefer to sit at a desk and write software on a powerful, comfy desktop or would you like to always be on the move and write portably on a type cover?
    filfat and xandros9 like this.
    03-23-2014 03:44 PM
  3. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    Well rigs are really different from Surfaces, as a Surface is a tablet/laptop. I own a SP2 and love it. But if you want a powerful machine to do lots of intensive stuff on it, I suggest building a desktop. The SP3 will probably just get the new Intel processor, better battery life, slightly better display, and another new feature.
    filfat likes this.
    03-23-2014 03:56 PM
  4. filfat's Avatar
    Yes, sitting comfortable at a desk is a biggie in being productive, however that makes me limited to develop when I'm not home or at the office for instance, I guess its possible to setup a remote desktop and use that with my Surface 2 which will be slower then native but is the best from 2 worlds I guess.
    03-23-2014 05:20 PM
  5. michail71's Avatar
    I went to get a Surface Pro 2 and left with an Acer R7 hybrid. I upgraded it to 16GB and a SSD.

    I guess it's not as cool as a Surface but I really love the device.

    I hardly use my desktop anymore.
    03-23-2014 05:27 PM
  6. michail71's Avatar
    Oh, I routinely develop through RDP on several home systems. It's not usually an issue performance wise. I can tell you that Visual Studio is NOT touch friendly in the least bit.
    filfat likes this.
    03-23-2014 05:29 PM
  7. MBytes's Avatar
    Oh, I routinely develop through RDP on several home systems. It's not usually an issue performance wise. I can tell you that Visual Studio is NOT touch friendly in the least bit.
    Somewhat. I can manage (using Visual Studio 2013 Pro)
    I use the map mode scroll bar (Tools>Options>Use Map Mode>Show Preview). This way I can scroll. You can zoom as you would expect like in IE.
    I use 100% DPI on my Surface Pro 2. I mean yea, you want a keyboard to code, for sure.

    Type Cover 2 keyboard and mouse, I can program all day on it. And actually I am. Still prefer a desktop, but I can see, and interact fine with the system, and have plenty of performance for compiling.
    Large projects at my work place does compile fairly fast, but it's mostly because we spend time handling all warnings, and we measure compilation time and see how to make it faster.
    03-24-2014 12:10 PM
  8. michail71's Avatar
    I did learn a few keyboard shortcuts to help with things that are usually handled by hovers in Visual Studio. Where it gets the hardest is debugging.

    Eventually, I gave in and just went for a mouse when coding. :)

    I love map mode, even when using a mouse. I feel myopic without it.
    MBytes likes this.
    03-24-2014 10:03 PM
  9. MBytes's Avatar
    Same here.
    I don't know why. But I love coding on it. I think it's because the screen high PPI, making text smoother and easier to read especially if you zoom-in in the code.
    Makes me want to buy the Dell 24inch IPS true 8-bit panel, 4K monitor. (Dell UP2414Q)

    My problem now, is when I switch to my desktop, I keep hitting Fn+ F10/F11 on my keyboard, and it executes my multimedia controls. LOL!
    And I am always like: "Oh right... "
    My keyboard is the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard (http://chanraymond.net/blog/wp-conte...0098custom.jpg)
    03-24-2014 10:19 PM
  10. Nimdock's Avatar
    I only have had my surface for a few days but I will give you my take on it.

    So far I usually have done my programming work in a laptop (m11x r2) so I am somewhat already used to a small form factor. Granted if I am working at home or the office I usually have an external monitor going.

    Here's my take on the surface so far (this is not necessary a complete list since I've used the surface for such a little time span):

    Pros:
    - I love the portability. Just yesterday I was able to work with no power for about six hours and I still had battery left. This is amazing.
    - When working with no external monitor I thought the space might be too limited but it has actually worked OK. I really like the screen a lot, everything looks super sharp. Granted I don't do split screen as often as when I do have an external monitor but it is perfectly workable.
    - I like typing on the type cover.
    - Having the two levels of inclination has been extremely useful.

    Cons:
    - Because you have to set high dpi settings (I guess technically you don't have to, but if not, everything on the surface will look too small, or at least it does for me), when using an external monitor (24" in my case, 1920x1080) everything looks just too big. I think Microsoft really needs to work on this kind of scenario. At the very east they should make it so that it is not necessary to log off when changing dpi.
    - This probably won't affect a lot of people and it is minor but the type keyboard has no insert key. Since most of my programming work is done directly on a server through ssh I use putty/kitty and the paste command happens to be <shift+insert>.
    - I wasn't sure if to list this as a con or just as a general observation but it is definitely worth it to spend a bit on getting a Bluetooth mouse if you are used to having one. I don't find the track pad in the type cover to be that nice, it does its job and it's OK for when you don't have (or want to have) anything else. But if you are used to a mouse it will be rough not having one (so it really just depends on what you are used to do).

    Because most of what I have been doing so far has been server side I have not really been able to stress the surface performance wise. This week I will have to work on a few large projects we have setup in Eclipse and then I will find out what this thing is made of, hehe.
    Last edited by Nimdock; 03-25-2014 at 07:38 AM.
    filfat likes this.
    03-25-2014 06:49 AM
  11. filfat's Avatar
    That is one of the greatest replies I have ever seen ��
    Thanks �� here, have a cookie ��

    Edit, Windows 8 smiles seems to be a no-go here :/
    Nimdock likes this.
    03-25-2014 03:36 PM
  12. michail71's Avatar
    Same here.
    I don't know why. But I love coding on it. I think it's because the screen high PPI, making text smoother and easier to read especially if you zoom-in in the code.
    Makes me want to buy the Dell 24inch IPS true 8-bit panel, 4K monitor. (Dell UP2414Q)

    My problem now, is when I switch to my desktop, I keep hitting Fn+ F10/F11 on my keyboard, and it executes my multimedia controls. LOL!
    And I am always like: "Oh right... "
    My keyboard is the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard (http://chanraymond.net/blog/wp-conte...0098custom.jpg)
    Yes, I love developing on high PPI screen. It makes the smaller screens feel just as easy to use and the big screens. A 24" 4K must be nice.
    filfat likes this.
    03-25-2014 09:08 PM
  13. fifthGear's Avatar
    I'm a professional computer scientist actively developing software daily as my profession. What often makes me laugh is how developers think they need screaming machines to perform software development. The fact is that compilers aren't terribly CPU intensive -- I should know, one of the kinds of software I write are compilers. Unless you are working on a huge application, or an application that itself is CPU intensive such as a game with lots of video processing, a mid range device is usually more than adequate. One of my development platforms is a Surface Pro 2. I have Python, WingIDE, Visual Studio 2012, MS SQL Server 2012, IIS and a slew of other development tools installed on my SP2 which all run without hiccoughs. My only suggestion is get the Doc. Hooking up to a 21" monitor, normal keyboard and mouse is def a nice-to-have.

    Necessary? Nope! Too many people, developers included, confuse the phrase "need to have" with "nice to have". It wasn't that long ago I was developing on terminal screens 80 x 40 characters and VI as my editor. Yes it was a pain. But you get used to it -- even learn to love it. Everything else is luxury (translation, "nice to have").

    /soapbox. ;-)
    filfat likes this.
    03-29-2014 09:23 PM
  14. michail71's Avatar
    I'll take all the power and speed I can get. Compiling in 1 minute vs 5 is worth it. Though compiling times are often IO related in which SSDs are helping.

    If it takes 5 minutes to compile and I need to do that 10 or more times in a day it really adds up.
    Last edited by michail71; 03-31-2014 at 01:23 PM.
    filfat likes this.
    03-30-2014 09:35 PM
  15. rocketboy's Avatar
    Answer is kind of obvious to me. If you are needing to do work now then SP3 is not an option.

    You could build a desktop for development at less than the cost of a SP3. The limiting factor for my dev environments has always been RAM. I find 4GB only adequate and 8GB ideal. Partially because I do user interface work so frequently will have something like photoshop running as well as DBs, web server, Visual Studio, 2-3 browsers (cross browser testing). An 8GB SP2 isn't cheap (assuming SP3 prices along the same lines).

    I own a SP2 and have a desktop. I love the SP2 for portable design work, but have yet to spend significant time trying to code on the thing in the 6 months or so I've owned it. I just find I need way more screen real estate on a dev project than even a SP + Ext Monitor provides. Plus the screen resolution scaling issue already mentioned above. It would do in a pinch, but I'd hate to make that my daily dev environment.
    filfat likes this.
    04-01-2014 12:09 PM
  16. Nimdock's Avatar
    So I built that large Eclipse program... And it was fast! I know fast can mean anything but compared to my m11xr2 the Surface built it faster.
    filfat likes this.
    04-03-2014 02:34 PM
  17. filfat's Avatar
    I'm a professional computer scientist actively developing software daily as my profession. What often makes me laugh is how developers think they need screaming machines to perform software development. The fact is that compilers aren't terribly CPU intensive -- I should know, one of the kinds of software I write are compilers. Unless you are working on a huge application, or an application that itself is CPU intensive such as a game with lots of video processing, a mid range device is usually more than adequate. One of my development platforms is a Surface Pro 2. I have Python, WingIDE, Visual Studio 2012, MS SQL Server 2012, IIS and a slew of other development tools installed on my SP2 which all run without hiccoughs. My only suggestion is get the Doc. Hooking up to a 21" monitor, normal keyboard and mouse is def a nice-to-have.

    Necessary? Nope! Too many people, developers included, confuse the phrase "need to have" with "nice to have". It wasn't that long ago I was developing on terminal screens 80 x 40 characters and VI as my editor. Yes it was a pain. But you get used to it -- even learn to love it. Everything else is luxury (translation, "nice to have").

    /soapbox. ;-)
    True, I run VS as it is just fine on my Deb Laptop with i3 and 4gb ram, however I need to test in multiple web browsers, plus multiple Phones at the same time, why? My nature of the app ;)
    04-04-2014 02:02 AM
  18. filfat's Avatar
    Answer is kind of obvious to me. If you are needing to do work now then SP3 is not an option.

    You could build a desktop for development at less than the cost of a SP3. The limiting factor for my dev environments has always been RAM. I find 4GB only adequate and 8GB ideal. Partially because I do user interface work so frequently will have something like photoshop running as well as DBs, web server, Visual Studio, 2-3 browsers (cross browser testing). An 8GB SP2 isn't cheap (assuming SP3 prices along the same lines).

    I own a SP2 and have a desktop. I love the SP2 for portable design work, but have yet to spend significant time trying to code on the thing in the 6 months or so I've owned it. I just find I need way more screen real estate on a dev project than even a SP + Ext Monitor provides. Plus the screen resolution scaling issue already mentioned above. It would do in a pinch, but I'd hate to make that my daily dev environment.
    Alright, I think I will go with a Development PC then, even though a Surface Pro 3 would have been kinda cool XD
    Btw, if you ask me when there comes to debugging 8GB RAM NIR 16GB RAM is not enough, I would go with either 32, 48, 64 or 128 Gb ram, but that is ofc compromiseable.
    04-04-2014 02:05 AM
  19. thatotherdude24's Avatar
    I only have had my surface for a few days but I will give you my take on it.

    So far I usually have done my programming work in a laptop (m11x r2) so I am somewhat already used to a small form factor. Granted if I am working at home or the office I usually have an external monitor going.

    Here's my take on the surface so far (this is not necessary a complete list since I've used the surface for such a little time span):

    Pros:
    - I love the portability. Just yesterday I was able to work with no power for about six hours and I still had battery left. This is amazing.
    - When working with no external monitor I thought the space might be too limited but it has actually worked OK. I really like the screen a lot, everything looks super sharp. Granted I don't do split screen as often as when I do have an external monitor but it is perfectly workable.
    - I like typing on the type cover.
    - Having the two levels of inclination has been extremely useful.

    Cons:
    - Because you have to set high dpi settings (I guess technically you don't have to, but if not, everything on the surface will look too small, or at least it does for me), when using an external monitor (24" in my case, 1920x1080) everything looks just too big. I think Microsoft really needs to work on this kind of scenario. At the very east they should make it so that it is not necessary to log off when changing dpi.
    - This probably won't affect a lot of people and it is minor but the type keyboard has no insert key. Since most of my programming work is done directly on a server through ssh I use putty/kitty and the paste command happens to be <shift+insert>.
    - I wasn't sure if to list this as a con or just as a general observation but it is definitely worth it to spend a bit on getting a Bluetooth mouse if you are used to having one. I don't find the track pad in the type cover to be that nice, it does its job and it's OK for when you don't have (or want to have) anything else. But if you are used to a mouse it will be rough not having one (so it really just depends on what you are used to do).

    Because most of what I have been doing so far has been server side I have not really been able to stress the surface performance wise. This week I will have to work on a few large projects we have setup in Eclipse and then I will find out what this thing is made of, hehe.


    The DPI scaling was my biggest complaint with my Surface Pro 2. Running 2 23" monitors everything on them was massive. Then when changing the scaling the surface was unusable small. I had to switch settings every time I docked or undocked.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    04-04-2014 02:15 AM
  20. Nimdock's Avatar
    The DPI scaling was my biggest complaint with my Surface Pro 2. Running 2 23" monitors everything on them was massive. Then when changing the scaling the surface was unusable small. I had to switch settings every time I docked or undocked.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes, that's pretty much what I am doing. Changing dpi settings each time I plug in my external monitor and then changing back when I unplug it. I wish this could be some automated progress or that each monitor could have independent dpi settings. Having to log out each time certainly adds to the annoyance.
    04-04-2014 10:59 AM
  21. JPHellemons's Avatar
    I have read a lot about the dpi issue. But isn't that a huge improvement in windows 8.1? the surface pro 3 can support 4k (ultra hd) screen. which seems great to me.
    but to get back on topic. I have a similar situation. I am a software developer using visual studio 2013 (update 3 rc), sql server 2014 (client tools only (because of the load)) iis, photoshop (though I liked photoshop the most when its closed) etc. and my notebook at work is older than a dinosaur (5 yrs) so I'd like to apply for a new device. I do not need a portable device so this would be great too:
    MEDIONshop Nederland | MEDION AKOYA PC P5322 G
    for 1100 euro
    the surface 3 pro with 8gb and 256gb ssd is over 1300 euro and would require a typecover and dockingstation so would be together over 1600 euro.
    in a perfect world, I wanted to have both. One for on the road and one for when I am behind a desk. But I have to choose which device I suggest to my boss. The surface 3 pro definitely has a huge coolness factor. but also pricetag. the desktop dev machine has great power (and great responsibility, lol) and is less expensive. What do you developers who used the SP3 already advice in this situation?

    ps. I definitely need the hyper-v option which is not available at my current ancient notebook. http://winsupersite.com/mobile-devic...nected-standby
    Last edited by JPHellemons; 07-10-2014 at 07:40 AM.
    07-10-2014 07:25 AM

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