06-30-2017 08:36 AM
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  1. Shrave's Avatar
    I'm looking to purchase the new Surface Pro. I've been debating between the i5 and the i7 models. Assuming a user performs the same tasks on both models, would the battery life be the same or would the i7 drain the battery faster as it is more powerful? Would bigger SSD sizes also drain batter faster? Again, I assume the user is performing the same tasks on both models.
    06-06-2017 07:45 AM
  2. xandros9's Avatar
    I can certainly say for sure that a larger SSD would make a negligible difference at the most.
    Shrave likes this.
    06-06-2017 08:22 AM
  3. JohnnyRedLight's Avatar
    The i7 also has Iris graphics. Not just for “gaming” but for smoother graphics all around. The battery life between an i7 and an i5 would be negligible unless you are possible doing something (rendering) that fully utilizes all cores and threads of the i7, but even then it shouldn’t be hugely more battery consumption. The size of your SSD will not affect the battery life.

    If you have the budget and plan to keep this for several years, I would definitely recommend the i7.
    Shrave and xandros9 like this.
    06-06-2017 08:34 AM
  4. Shrave's Avatar
    Thanks for the responses. I'm assuming the same is true for 8 GB vs 16 GB ram. More wouldn't make a difference in battery life, correct? It's all about what you are doing on it.
    06-06-2017 09:28 AM
  5. rdubmu's Avatar
    The i7 version has a fan. I assume this uses more energy
    06-06-2017 10:05 AM
  6. xandros9's Avatar
    Thanks for the responses. I'm assuming the same is true for 8 GB vs 16 GB ram. More wouldn't make a difference in battery life, correct? It's all about what you are doing on it.
    Correct!
    06-06-2017 10:25 AM
  7. Shrave's Avatar
    The i7 version has a fan. I assume this uses more energy
    Hmm, this makes sense. Anyone else want to comment on this? If the fan kicks in, I'm assuming it uses more power, reducing battery faster. Is this significant.
    06-06-2017 04:17 PM
  8. JohnnyRedLight's Avatar
    Hmm, this makes sense. Anyone else want to comment on this? If the fan kicks in, I'm assuming it uses more power, reducing battery faster. Is this significant.
    The Fan itself doesn't use much but it does indicate that your CPU is using more power and needs to be cooled down. So technically yes, when the fan comes on you are using more juice.
    Shrave likes this.
    06-06-2017 10:33 PM
  9. onlysublime's Avatar
    of course if the fan kicks in, it's going to use more battery. moving parts always uses more energy.

    but if you're comparing the exact same tasks, you're going to get the same battery life. however, because the i7 has more horsepower, the tasks that could use more power will definitely use more power and in the process use more battery.

    it's like a car engine that can turn off cylinders. if you have a 4 cylinder economy car and a V6 that can turn off cylinders... at 30 mph, the V6 may only be running 4 cylinders and both will get the same mileage. but floor the gas and the 4 cylinder car may top off at 110 mph while the V6 can go up to 130 mph and use more gas in the process.
    Shrave, Chintan Gohel and StaticFX like this.
    06-07-2017 12:24 AM
  10. excalibur1814's Avatar
    I'm waiting for the reviews as they'll certainly provide the information you require. Anything other than that is speculation.
    06-08-2017 06:51 AM
  11. ajcletus500's Avatar
    I really would want to see the difference an i5 fanless and an i7 with a fan on the surface pro would make. Also power throttling is something of a concern
    Wevenhuis likes this.
    06-08-2017 08:17 AM
  12. onlysublime's Avatar
    yeah, I wonder about throttling on a fanless design. I'm betting Microsoft is counting on the fact that people won't be using their new i5 Surface Pro to render video in Handbrake or anything that has sustained loads on the CPU/GPU. you have to be able to push the heat out. if you're only using bursts of high load in CPU/GPU jobs (and frankly, this is most computing jobs including Photoshop, programming editors, etc.), then fanless should be fine. But run the CPU/GPU at 100% for more than 5 continuous minutes, I wonder how fanless holds up.
    Wevenhuis likes this.
    06-08-2017 02:33 PM
  13. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    The I5 and I7 are both a dual core with hyperthreading, performance and power draw will be almost identical. The I7 has more power graphics that will draw more power if doing something graphics intense, so it would depend on the workload.

    Either way both are 15W processors and the difference won't be very big.
    06-08-2017 06:22 PM
  14. astondg's Avatar
    Correct!
    Actually from what I've read more RAM can mean more power draw, even if it's not actively 'in-use'.

    E.g. if a machine has 2x1GB RAM sticks it will use more power than 1x2GB stick. But with the Surface I think the RAM modules are soldered onto the motherboard? So I don't know exactly how that effects things but if there are more modules then there should be more power draw. If it's still the same number of modules, but denser modules, then maybe there won't be any extra (or negligible extra) power draw.
    06-08-2017 07:57 PM
  15. LIEBER's Avatar
    One tester (don't recall who) claimed 20% poorer battery life with i7 for the 2017 Surface Pro...
    06-16-2017 10:21 AM
  16. DJCBS's Avatar
    It really depends on what you do with it, yes. The i7 will in theory be faster and more efficient. But you won't really notice it unless you try to do something that REALLY pushes the hardware.

    But think of it this way: if there's ANY chance you ever consider needing the power of the i7, go for it. For one very simple reason: if you use a core i5 to try and do the task of a core i7, it will do it...but it will require a lot more power and resources...which means you'll end up consuming more battery than you would if you had a stronger chipset. Same for RAM.

    It's like you trying to pull a cart. If you're fat you'll have a harder time pushing it (core m3), if you have the normal average healthy human body you'll be able to pull it even if it requires a bit of effort (core i5), if you go to the gym and are a fit guy, you'll pull the cart way easier than any of the others (core i7).
    06-16-2017 10:30 AM
  17. lars2206's Avatar
    I read somewhere that the new i5 was just as fast if not faster then the i7 in the Surface Pro 4.
    06-16-2017 10:59 AM
  18. onlysublime's Avatar
    I read somewhere that the new i5 was just as fast if not faster then the i7 in the Surface Pro 4.
    I owned an i5 SP4 but later switched to the SP4 with i7 / 8 GB / 256 GB. The i7 has all the frequencies of the i5 but can scale even higher. Plus, the i7 comes with Iris graphics which is over twice the execution units of the regular Intel graphics. So for the CPU part, the Kaby Lake i5 is better than the Skylake i7 CPU. But the GPU is often more important so the i7 wins out.

    sp4-versus-pro.jpg
    lars2206 likes this.
    06-16-2017 01:15 PM
  19. infinihertz's Avatar
    The new i5 probably is comparable to the old i7, if that's what you care about. But the new i7 is faster still (I think the CPU is something like 15% faster than the new i5) and the GPU is way faster - roughly double the speed. If you will game or do graphics rendering or something and don't want to do that on a different, dedicated machine I think the i7 is very much worth it. But if you'll have more casual usage the i5 (or m3) is fine. As DJCBS said, if you'll be pushing the Surface hard, the i7 may actually get better battery life. If you won't push it, it'll be worse with the i7, but I don't know how much. I'm confident it's less than an hour, but whether it's almost an hour or 15min I can't say.
    06-16-2017 01:23 PM
  20. Wevenhuis's Avatar
    I'm looking to purchase the new Surface Pro. I've been debating between the i5 and the i7 models. Assuming a user performs the same tasks on both models, would the battery life be the same or would the i7 drain the battery faster as it is more powerful? Would bigger SSD sizes also drain batter faster? Again, I assume the user is performing the same tasks on both models.
    I have the exact same question. I posted a couple of questions in the comments for Matt and Daniel based on this article. Still have no response. Pending.
    https://www.windowscentral.com/new-s...2-1-date-video

    For battery saving tips, I found this video by Linus insightful.


    Current online stories and forum posts on the intel I chipsets seem to suggest that for general purpose use the core i5 is the best bang for your buck in terms of balance cost and performance. i7 seems to be overkill. But if you need it you need it.
    I've already read many stories and posts on the silent fan. I think in the beginning many fans will be ideally "silent" when new and fresh. It is my experience though that over time the fans become noisier. Not sure why but mechanical parts fatigue and dust over time due come to mind, no matter how tiny the vent slots are.

    I agree with others that fans will consume some power. I don't know how much. But the fanless i5 design does make me curious and does provide food for thought about the impact of mechanical ventilation on battery perfomance on windows mobile tablet-pc devices. After all, why would they consider bringing this design to market?\

    For me choosing between the M3, i5 or i7, I think the i5 is the most interesting propsitiion for general all-round use.

    I agree that batterylife will likely not be very different between the three models. But I do think best batterylife will likely be M3-i5-i7 in terms of best battery life in one form or another.

    From one or two early reviews I read that the i7 was getting a realistic noraml use all day batterylife 11-12 hours. So it's likely the i5 and M3 could potentially hit that 13,5 hour mark. Possibly more with Linus' tips.
    Last edited by xandros9; 06-19-2017 at 01:27 PM.
    06-16-2017 01:49 PM
  21. Shrave's Avatar
    Thanks for the link to the Linus tips, super helpful!
    06-16-2017 03:13 PM
  22. ajcletus500's Avatar
    Undervolting is something to look at if you are a pro user. with that I mean if you know what you are doing.
    for one it keeps you cpu cooler and two it will let you cpu stay at higher frequencies for a longer time. It goes without saying that it indirectly it improves battery life
    06-16-2017 03:34 PM
  23. realparadyne's Avatar
    People seem to get very focussed on the CPU/GPU as the main thing affecting battery life. For really intensive tasks it might be but a more typical usage pattern is editing a document or reading a web page. In those cases the cpu is pretty much idle for most seconds in every minute and only consuming milliwatts of power (except for those damn flash ads, thankfully all the browsers are getting that more under control now).

    So where is the power going? Number 1 will be the screen backlight. A huge extremely bright light source that is on the whole time. Then the LCD panel on top blocks most of it so you don't realise just how bright it is. IGZO screens let more light through thus giving you either a brighter image or using less power for the backlight. The SP4 has I believe an IGZO screen and the Surface Pro may have improvements there too, even if it is the same size and resolution.

    Then there are all the other components, the RAM that needs power and constant refreshing, the WiFi and Bluetooth radios, the SSD with its own processor and memory which is constantly doing work in the background, the touch and pen sensing panel which is also on all the time etc. etc.

    So don't get too hung up on the CPU, the battery life is a combination of many things.
    Shrave likes this.
    06-19-2017 05:15 AM
  24. Shrave's Avatar
    So would you say a larger SSD and 16gb of ram would hurt battery life a bit?
    06-19-2017 05:58 PM
  25. Sparro's Avatar
    Microsoft's claims of 13.5 hours of battery life are based on the i5. This should answer your question. If the i7 had the same battery life Microsoft would have stated that.
    06-19-2017 10:45 PM
29 12

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