1. xXCockHunterXx's Avatar
    Hello guys,

    Im about to buy a surface pro and im just very unsure how much RAM I will actually need. Im an engineering student and I need to be able to run software like: Visual Studio, Matlab and AutoCAD on a daily basis. Im just curious if 4GB of RAM are actually sufficient for these applications to be running smooth? When I checked out the system requirements of Matlab it says they recommend 8GB of ram. So how much do I need? If 4GB turn out to be sufficient Im obviously gonna get the cheaper one since I dont have money to throw away.
    Andrew G1 likes this.
    05-26-2018 11:35 AM
  2. terezagevor's Avatar
    I have an old HP laptop from HP pavilion series. It has build in 2GB RAM and I have added another 4 GB RAM. Visual studio, Photoshop, Adobe after effects works good. But it takes time for the first time to run the app. I have bought another Dell Laptop of Inspiron series. Configuration is Core i5-7300HQ 8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. These apps work great in this laptop. I think you should go with 8GB ram with latest configuration.
    05-26-2018 11:49 AM
  3. xXCockHunterXx's Avatar
    Ok, I would appreciate the opinion of someone that actually owns a surface pro with 4GB RAM and is running similar applications.
    Andrew G1 likes this.
    05-26-2018 12:07 PM
  4. gernerttl's Avatar
    Ok, I would appreciate the opinion of someone that actually owns a surface pro with 4GB RAM and is running similar applications.
    I had the Surface Pro 3, i5 128GB SSD 4GB RAM. I had no problems with Photoshop or Lightroom. I've even ran VMware VMs on it with minimal lag.

    The new generation of i5 and i7 chips on the 2017 version are even better.

    I have since replaced it with the I7 256GB SSD 8GB RAM 2017 version.

    The 4GB RAM version will work, but if it is within your budget, I would recommend the 8GB version. Microsoft has 8GB options for both the i5 and i7.

    Also, Microsoft has a student discount. I got my I7 256GB SSD 8GB RAM for $1, 439 that was before taxes and not getting the type cover or pen.

    https://forums.windowscentral.com/e?...token=-h5Ppno3

    https://forums.windowscentral.com/e?...token=DvYswCRf
    libra89 and Andrew G1 like this.
    05-26-2018 02:07 PM
  5. xandros9's Avatar
    I strongly recommend the 8 GB model. It will likely be enough for all of those individually but then add in a couple Word documents, some webpages, etc. it will add up fast.

    And if virtual machines enter the mix, oooh boy definitely get 8.

    If going above 4 GB proves too cost-prohibitive, I would look at something other than the Surface line as they are generally form-factor first, value/horsepower second.
    05-27-2018 04:59 PM
  6. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    Given some of the programs you listed are probably RAM heavy, I would go for the 8 GB line.

    I do have some counter questions:
    1. How big are your design files going to be? That can have a large impact on which device you choose.
    2. I know some CAD programs require a fair amount of VRAM in the GPU. Is the one in the Surface going to be sufficient for your needs?
    3. Do you really need a tablet like design? If you need portability, would a laptop be a better choice?
    xandros9 and Andrew G1 like this.
    05-28-2018 10:54 AM
  7. BanditoTR's Avatar
    Hello guys,

    Im about to buy a surface pro and im just very unsure how much RAM I will actually need. Im an engineering student and I need to be able to run software like: Visual Studio, Matlab and AutoCAD on a daily basis. Im just curious if 4GB of RAM are actually sufficient for these applications to be running smooth? When I checked out the system requirements of Matlab it says they recommend 8GB of ram. So how much do I need? If 4GB turn out to be sufficient Im obviously gonna get the cheaper one since I dont have money to throw away.
    Forget Surface Pro. Buy a laptop that has an i5 with at least 2 GHz with 8 gb of ram and install Linux on it to be able to run Autocad and Matlab with a free license. Whatever people say it is a great version and runs great on Linux. For everything else Windows is good enough. Invest in one with an Nvidia card as autocad is graphic intensive. Don't erase windows btw, just install it as a double boot OS.
    Player Piano likes this.
    06-07-2018 10:39 AM
  8. BanditoTR's Avatar
    I have an old HP laptop from HP pavilion series. It has build in 2GB RAM and I have added another 4 GB RAM. Visual studio, Photoshop, Adobe after effects works good. But it takes time for the first time to run the app. I have bought another Dell Laptop of Inspiron series. Configuration is Core i5-7300HQ 8GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050. These apps work great in this laptop. I think you should go with 8GB ram with latest configuration.
    This would be the minimum you will need imo.
    06-07-2018 10:39 AM
  9. ryanlrobinson's Avatar
    4 is the minimum that keeps Windows 10 a pleasant experience. I'm generally inclined to think most people should get 6 or 8. Even if you're not using heavy-duty software, you can use up 4GB of RAM in a hurry just by having a bunch of Chrome tabs open. If MatLab recommends 8, do at least 8 if not more.
    Andrew G1 likes this.
    06-07-2018 11:05 AM
  10. Culex316's Avatar
    Without a doubt go for 8GB of RAM..especially if you're going to be using AutoCAD and stuff like that.
    Jcmg62 and xandros9 like this.
    06-07-2018 11:08 AM
  11. IdleMind's Avatar
    Definitely get 8GB RAM. 4GB is ok but the PC will soon get sluggish as you use it and the memory gets used up. If I were to compare this to a car, it's the difference between having a 4 cyl, and same model 6 cyl. They'll both do what you want, but one of them will do it so much better. :-)
    06-07-2018 11:13 AM
  12. Jcmg62's Avatar
    Hello guys,

    Im about to buy a surface pro and im just very unsure how much RAM I will actually need. Im an engineering student and I need to be able to run software like: Visual Studio, Matlab and AutoCAD on a daily basis. Im just curious if 4GB of RAM are actually sufficient for these applications to be running smooth? When I checked out the system requirements of Matlab it says they recommend 8GB of ram. So how much do I need? If 4GB turn out to be sufficient Im obviously gonna get the cheaper one since I dont have money to throw away.

    My 3 year old surface pro 4 is a i5 core with 4GB ram.

    My 2 month old surface book 2 is the upgraded i5 with 8GB ram.

    I use both of them extensively, all day long for database management, email, office, web browsing, Spotify and some youtube nonsense over lunch. I honestly cannot tell the difference in performance.

    If there's a supposed to be a significant difference in performance for regular PC work between a 2015 i5 with 4GB and a 2018 i5 with 8GB, someone smarter than me will need to point it out, cause I can't see it.

    Not that I'm unhappy in any way with either device. They're both freakin awesome
    06-07-2018 11:24 AM
  13. SyncSolo's Avatar
    For just general light use and web browsing I noticed a difference having 16GB. I wouldn't want any less in 2018!
    06-07-2018 12:18 PM
  14. sholokov's Avatar
    Hello guys,

    Im about to buy a surface pro and im just very unsure how much RAM I will actually need. Im an engineering student and I need to be able to run software like: Visual Studio, Matlab and AutoCAD on a daily basis. Im just curious if 4GB of RAM are actually sufficient for these applications to be running smooth? When I checked out the system requirements of Matlab it says they recommend 8GB of ram. So how much do I need? If 4GB turn out to be sufficient Im obviously gonna get the cheaper one since I dont have money to throw away.
    I am a mechanical engineer and own a SP3 i5 with 4GB RAM using production version of Windows 10. I have no issues running AutoCAD, NX, Inventor and I-deas on it. I have noticed that when I use Insider preview versions (Slow or Fast ring), Surface starts to lag and heats up too. But if you run production version Windows and keep up with updates, all CAD software I mentioned will work just fine. In addition, Asphalt 8, which I play on it, will run fine only on production version of Windows 10. It also lags on Insider previews.
    Last edited by sholokov; 06-07-2018 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Fixed typo
    06-07-2018 02:29 PM
  15. Martin Plamondon's Avatar
    4GB should be enough for most people. The catch is that usually most cheap laptops, those that comes with 4GB also usually have a hard drive instead of a solid state drive, which in my opinion is the single most important factor for speed these days.
    06-07-2018 03:43 PM
  16. lbp775's Avatar
    With the programs you listed, I'd recommend 8GB. I've had an original Surface Pro, a Surface 3 and a Surface Pro 4 all with 4GB of ram and don't have any issues with any of them. I generally do web browsing on Edge and Firefox, connect to work through Citrix, Office and some Photoshop.
    06-07-2018 04:26 PM
  17. Cruzer1's Avatar
    From my experiences and what I use it for (web browsing, excel/word online, youtube) with my SP i5/8gb (2017), 8gb should be the minimum for a somewhat acceptable windows experience. I could be wrong to blame RAM for this though. I love windows gestures, and problem is whenever I have a 3+ tabs open in Edge, as well as Mail, Calendar open, the 3 finger swipe to open the app switcher (i.e. alt+tab) gets noticeably less responsive and sometimes requires me to continuously swipe left right until it eventually pops up, but then usually goes into task manager mode which is even more annoying. It's odd as just hitting alt+tab keys works flawlessly tho i'm not used to using that shortcut and prefer just swipes. This probably sounds like a minor gripe but for me it ruin my workflow, and with the smoothness smartphones have nowadays, you'd expect a bigger machine to at least perform as well. I'm only assuming that touchpad support takes abit more resources.
    My girlfriend has a SP4 m3/4gb model and she's fine with that, though she doesn't use the trackpad gestures as much.
    06-07-2018 05:48 PM
  18. Ordinary Geek's Avatar
    Are you SERIOUS with that username? "CockHunter"? This isn't a porn site! How can you expect to be taken seriously with a username like that? Regarding the RAM question, in my opinion, no PC purchased today should ship with less than 8 GB RAM. Yes, you can GET AWAY with 4 GB, but to future-proof the machine, and to ensure that it can handle most tasks you throw at it, now and in the future, it should really have at least 8. Personally, I don't buy machines with less than 16 GB.
    06-09-2018 05:00 PM
  19. sd4f's Avatar
    Depending on what engineering you do, then the software packages vary in their requirements.

    Autocad, in itself isn't particularly demanding. If you're a civil engineer, then revit is something that will come along, and depending on the complexity, it will want more RAM. If you're doing mechanical, then CAD is not very demanding at all, however if you engage in simulation at all, then it can eat up RAM, and usually is very demanding on CPU, complex FEA or CFD really want good processor power.

    With that said, I'd aim for 8gb today. 4gb is the minimum if you just do web browsing, and office based tasks. If you want to run a few things at once, particular if your browser is loaded up with a few things, and you do the engineering things, 4gb may start to get used up and then the computer slows down as it pages. 8gb will sort that out, you shouldn't have problems.

    Lastly, you may want to consider something else. While the surface is a great and really portable device, you really want a larger screen. Especially with CAD, you'll be getting rather annoyed with the lack of screen real estate. I'd suggest something 14 inch, it's the best point of compromise between screen size and portability.
    06-09-2018 06:42 PM
  20. blazewon22's Avatar
    I personally recommend getting 8GB of RAM for any modern device. As so many apps move to web based RAM per tab adds up rather quickly. I would consider getting a $399 iPad to take notes in class, and a Asus or HP refurb laptop with 8GB versus a Surface Pro with on 4GB of RAM.
    06-09-2018 08:55 PM
  21. judah modeste's Avatar
    You need more ram. The more the better the processing power is there and you may manage with four gigs on the surface pro but save yourself the headache and get a better laptop or better yet a desktop with that amount of money.
    06-18-2018 12:29 PM
  22. CrippsCorner's Avatar
    I've never found 4Gb to be a problem for me occasionally running Lightroom & Virtual DJ. Yesterday I did have 46 tabs open though, which used up 3.75Gb! I don't generally have more than 10 open though so it was a rare case.
    06-26-2018 07:04 AM
  23. Andrew G1's Avatar
    I run things like Matlab (a huge resource hog for statistical software) and R but also do some hobby photography and graphic design. I have a Surface Pro (2017) i5/4GB/128 and I would have gotten the 8GB if I had known how bogged down things can get with only 4GB. If I were you I'd get the 8GB model.

    Originally posted by xXCockHunterXx
    Hello guys,

    Im about to buy a surface pro and im just very unsure how much RAM I will actually need. Im an engineering student and I need to be able to run software like: Visual Studio, Matlab and AutoCAD on a daily basis. Im just curious if 4GB of RAM are actually sufficient for these applications to be running smooth? When I checked out the system requirements of Matlab it says they recommend 8GB of ram. So how much do I need? If 4GB turn out to be sufficient Im obviously gonna get the cheaper one since I dont have money to throw away.
    07-31-2018 11:21 AM

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