11-19-2015 12:55 AM
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  1. MCube74's Avatar
    Hi!

    I currently have the Surface Pro 2 i5 4300U with 256gb hard disk and 8gb ram. I am pretty okay with using the Surface Pro 2 but only one thing. Need a bigger screen and a lighter tablet.

    So I am considering the Surface Pro 4.

    I am confused between the i5 model with 256gb hard disk and 8gb ram or the i7 model with the 256gb hard disk and 8gb ram.

    My question is if it is worth spending more for the i7 model? I read that the i7 model has the iris display card which is better than the one in the i5 model.

    Is it really worth it or will the battery drain faster with the i7 model?
    11-17-2015 06:54 AM
  2. xandros9's Avatar
    If you need the horsepower, sure, but if you're just a normal user and the Pro 2 meets your needs just fine then I'd go i5 and save that cash.
    11-17-2015 06:57 AM
  3. WildKarrde's Avatar
    I'm coming from an SP2 w/ Power Cover, and the SP4 is definitely way lighter, but much worse battery life too. The screen is noticably bigger, I actually wish it were still a 10 inch, since 12" is getting uncomfortable in size for some of the places I find myself using my tablet. So I'd say it'll work great for you!

    The performance difference between the i5 and i7 is minimal, at best, and in my opinion, and I feel it's not worth the extra money.

    The IRIS graphics, on the other hand, is a significant upgrade. About 36%, according to the comparison below. Only you can decide if that extra 36% is worth it to you. Personally, I wanted the i7, but I ended up getting the i5 8GB, as I can use my gaming desktop when I need to get some serious graphics processing done. If the SP4 were my only machine, I would have waited for the i7.

    Iris Graphics 540 Mobile compare HD Graphics 520 Mobile GPU
    Last edited by WildKarrde; 11-17-2015 at 07:24 AM.
    MCube74 and ADifferentWorld like this.
    11-17-2015 07:04 AM
  4. MCube74's Avatar
    I normally use my Surface for Ms Office, emails and surfing the net. I do some photo editing and video editing (not professional work).

    May be I should ask how much faster is the Surface Pro 4 i5 compared to the Surface Pro 2 i5 which I have now?
    11-17-2015 07:08 AM
  5. MCube74's Avatar
    I'm coming from an SP2 w/ Power Cover, and the SP4 is definitely way lighter, but much worse battery life too. The screen is noticably bigger, I actually wish it were still a 10 inch, since 12" is getting uncomfortable in size for some of the places I find myself using my tablet. So I'd say it'll work great for you!

    The performance difference between the i5 and i7 is minimal, at best, and in my opinion, and I feel it's not worth the extra money.

    The IRIS graphics, on the other hand, is a significant upgrade. About 36%, according to the comparison below. Only you can decide if that extra 36% is worth it to you. Personally, I wanted the i7, but I ended up getting the i5 8GB, as I can use my gaming gdesktop when I need to get some serious graphics processing done. If the SP4 were my only machine, I would have waited for the i7.

    Iris Graphics 540 Mobile compare HD Graphics 520 Mobile GPU
    I also have the Surface Pro 2 with Power Cover.

    How much faster is the i5 from the Surface Pro 2 compared to the i5 in the Surface Pro 4? Is it worth the upgrade or will it be better I get the i7 model?

    The i7 also has one with 16gb ram. Will the extra ram help?
    11-17-2015 07:16 AM
  6. boltman2013's Avatar
    Get a Surface Book
    11-17-2015 07:38 AM
  7. WildKarrde's Avatar
    I noticed a huge difference moving from the SP2 to the SP4, but I was using a 4GB SP2 as well, and often hit the RAM wall when researching with many, many Google Chrome tabs open, multitasking and some gaming.

    As for processor power, I have mine throttled to 50% for battery efficiency, and I find the performance to be similar to the SP2. When I open it up to 100%, it's silky smooth compared to the SP2, a very nice experience with no holdups or freezes. It just works, all the time.

    For what you do, the i5 will be ample. I use mine for CAD work, gaming, massive amounds of Excel, and some emulation, and it runs everything like a champ at 100%, and not terribly bad at 50%

    I think 16GB is overkill for a tablet. I had 32GB in my desktop when I had my old AMD processor, when I upgraded to a Skylake processor, I just got 16GB, since I never got close to using all the RAM in my desktop. I rarely ever used more than 8GB, and never used more than 12GB.

    I tried to talk myself out of keeping the SP4... but it's definitely grown on me over the past week. :)
    11-17-2015 07:38 AM
  8. MCube74's Avatar
    I noticed a huge difference moving from the SP2 to the SP4, but I was using a 4GB SP2 as well, and often hit the RAM wall when researching with many, many Google Chrome tabs open, and some gaming.

    As for processor power, I have mine throttled to 50% for battery efficiency, and I find the performance to be similar to the SP2. When I open it up to 100%, it's silky smooth compared to the SP2, a very nice experience with no holdups or freezes. It just works, all the time.

    For what you do, the i5 will be ample. I use mine for CAD work, gaming, massive amounds of Excel, and some emulation, and it runs everything like a champ at 100%, and not terribly bad at 50%
    So you believe it is not worth getting the i7 model even for iris display?

    How is the pen compared to the one with the Surface Pro 2?

    Sorry to ask you so many questions. I feel you had a similar upgrade so your judgement will help me make my decision.

    My wife is pushing me to get the iPad Pro since I can get the same work done with it. What do you think? I have a 4 year old daughter who likes to use my iPad mini 2. Do you think iPad Pro will be better for me at home or will Surface Pro 4 still be better?
    11-17-2015 07:45 AM
  9. WildKarrde's Avatar
    I'm not saying it isn't worth it to anyone... just that it wasn't worth it to me. I used that $300 to upgrade the AMD 8150 in my desktop to a Skylake i5 6500. I got better returns that way. If I were done with college and had a real job, I would have preferred having the i7, but $300 matters a lot to me at this point in my life.

    If you don't do at least some mid-level gaming though, I don't think you'll need the IRIS graphics. The HD 520 that comes with the Skylake i5 is already almost a 40% upgrade from the HD 4400 that comes with the Haswell i5. I haven't really had much time to test the SP4's gaming ability compared to the SP2, but I have loaded up GTA Online, and the SP4 is just baaaarely able to keep up, which is really pretty surprising. Death matches and other closed world activities works great, but I need to do some tweaking to get the game working in the open world. I can play Fallout 4 on my SP4, which is pretty awesome, and Project CARS runs much better on the SP4 than it did on the SP2. All Blizzard games run pretty much seamlessly. Elite: Dangerous runs fantastic on the SP4, and my favorite game to play in tablet mode, Automation, runs fantastic even at 50% CPU.

    Based on my performance with the i5 in GTA Online, I think the IRIS graphics would probably be just enough to bump up performance enough to run nearly any modern game on minimum settings.

    The stylus on the SP4 is way, way better than the stock stylus on the SP2. I upgraded my SP2 stylus to the 3-button Lifebook stylus, and liked it a lot better than the stock one, but the SP4 stylus is still way nicer. I do miss the 3rd button a lot in CAD work though. The tip is night and day, completely different. The SP4 tip drags across the screen similar to how a pencil drags across paper. Artists far prefer this to the plastic tip on the SP2 styluses. I tended to prefer the SP2 stylus tip, because it was more effortless when taking 4-6 hours worth of notes in a day. The SP4 tip tends to fatigue you more after long use... but for accuracy, it is worlds better, I wouldn't want to go back now. I hear reports that the tip is more fragile, and while I can see why it would be, I've dropped it and smacked it against things a couple times and not had an issue.

    But I haven't had any of the issues people complain about on their SP4, other than sub-par battery life. Running the processor at 50%, I can barely get 8-9 hours worth of life out of it. Using Microsofts automatic power management, I was getting about 4.5 hours. I also don't use Microsoft Hello (yet) and it apparently kills the battery even faster when in sleep mode. Sleep mode is another feature I never use though. The SP4 starts up so fast, I just power it down when I'm not using it. So while I haven't had any serious problems with my SP4, I also don't use the features that tend to cause the most problems.

    I like the idea of the iPad, but I've never owned one. In my opinion, they are great toys, with some production uses. I think they are far too expensive based on their usefulness though, so I've never been able to justify the price. I might have gotten an iPad Mini had Windows 8 not come out around the same time, as the price was more in line with what I thought the iPad was worth. I say all that to provide you with the background to understand my opinion of iPad's as a whole. I think they're cool, but I don't think they're nearly as cool as Apple wants to charge for them.

    That said, I think the iPad Pro is rather absurd. With a stylus and keyboard, the base model will cost you over $1000! That model comes with only 32GB of hard drive space, which is not expandable, and you won't get half the useability of the Surface Pro 4 m3 at the same price, and the m3 would have roughly the same performance your SP2 has, minus 4GB RAM. The SP4 m3 also comes with a 128GB hard drive, which is expandable to 256GB with a $60 microSD card. I run all my Steam games off my microSD card on my SP4, so you aren't limited in how you can use that memory. So yeah, the only reason I see for you to get an iPad Pro is if that's the only way to keep your wife happy. As far as production ability goes, it's inferior to the SP4 in every way.

    TLDR:
    For home use, nothing beats a desktop. You could build a beast of a machine for the $1200 you would pay for the 8GB i5 SP4, and have money left over to get a 1080p 40" flat screen to hook it up to. The SP4 shines for mobility, digital art creation, and productivity on the go. With the iPad Pro, you're paying for a really nice, ultra expensive 12" screen. That, in short, is the summation of my opinion on the matter. ;) Hope it helps, and lemme know if you have any other questions.
    Last edited by WildKarrde; 11-17-2015 at 10:13 AM.
    MCube74 likes this.
    11-17-2015 09:58 AM
  10. boltman2013's Avatar
    So you believe it is not worth getting the i7 model even for iris display?

    How is the pen compared to the one with the Surface Pro 2?

    Sorry to ask you so many questions. I feel you had a similar upgrade so your judgement will help me make my decision.

    My wife is pushing me to get the iPad Pro since I can get the same work done with it. What do you think? I have a 4 year old daughter who likes to use my iPad mini 2. Do you think iPad Pro will be better for me at home or will Surface Pro 4 still be better?
    iPad pro is a toy don't listen to your wife on this, no one except for fanbois would choose an ipad pro over a Surface is she a fanboi?
    11-17-2015 10:07 AM
  11. MCube74's Avatar
    I'm not saying it isn't worth it to anyone... just that it wasn't worth it to me. I used that $300 to upgrade the AMD 8150 in my desktop to a Skylake i5 6500. I got better returns that way. If I were done with college and had a real job, I would have preferred having the i7, but $300 matters a lot to me at this point in my life.

    If you don't do at least some mid-level gaming though, I don't think you'll need the IRIS graphics. The HD 520 that comes with the Skylake i5 is already almost a 40% upgrade from the HD 4400 that comes with the Haswell i5. I haven't really had much time to test the SP4's gaming ability compared to the SP2, but I have loaded up GTA Online, and the SP4 is just baaaarely able to keep up, which is really pretty surprising. Death matches and other closed world activities works great, but I need to do some tweaking to get the game working in the open world. I can play Fallout 4 on my SP4, which is pretty awesome, and Project CARS runs much better on the SP4 than it did on the SP2. All Blizzard games run pretty much seamlessly. Elite: Dangerous runs fantastic on the SP4, and my favorite game to play in tablet mode, Automation, runs fantastic even at 50% CPU.

    Based on my performance with the i5 in GTA Online, I think the IRIS graphics would probably be just enough to bump up performance enough to run nearly any modern game on minimum settings.

    The stylus on the SP4 is way, way better than the stock stylus on the SP2. I upgraded my SP2 stylus to the 3-button Lifebook stylus, and liked it a lot better than the stock one, but the SP4 stylus is still way nicer. I do miss the 3rd button a lot in CAD work though. The tip is night and day, completely different. The SP4 tip drags across the screen similar to how a pencil drags across paper. Artists far prefer this to the plastic tip on the SP2 styluses. I tended to prefer the SP2 stylus tip, because it was more effortless when taking 4-6 hours worth of notes in a day. The SP4 tip tends to fatigue you more after long use... but for accuracy, it is worlds better, I wouldn't want to go back now. I hear reports that the tip is more fragile, and while I can see why it would be, I've dropped it and smacked it against things a couple times and not had an issue.

    But I haven't had any of the issues people complain about on their SP4, other than sub-par battery life. Running the processor at 50%, I can barely get 8-9 hours worth of life out of it. Using Microsofts automatic power management, I was getting about 4.5 hours. I also don't use Microsoft Hello (yet) and it apparently kills the battery even faster when in sleep mode. Sleep mode is another feature I never use though. The SP4 starts up so fast, I just power it down when I'm not using it. So while I haven't had any serious problems with my SP4, I also don't use the features that tend to cause the most problems.

    I like the idea of the iPad, but I've never owned one. In my opinion, they are great toys, with some production uses. I think they are far too expensive based on their usefulness though, so I've never been able to justify the price. I might have gotten an iPad Mini had Windows 8 not come out around the same time, as the price was more in line with what I thought the iPad was worth. I say all that to provide you with the background to understand my opinion of iPad's as a whole. I think they're cool, but I don't think they're nearly as cool as Apple wants to charge for them.

    That said, I think the iPad Pro is rather absurd. With a stylus and keyboard, the base model will cost you over $1000! That model comes with only 32GB of hard drive space, which is not expandable, and you won't get half the useability of the Surface Pro 4 m3 at the same price, and the m3 would have roughly the same performance your SP2 has, minus 4GB RAM. The SP4 m3 also comes with a 128GB hard drive, which is expandable to 256GB with a $60 microSD card. I run all my Steam games off my microSD card on my SP4, so you aren't limited in how you can use that memory. So yeah, the only reason I see for you to get an iPad Pro is if that's the only way to keep your wife happy. As far as production ability goes, it's inferior to the SP4 in every way.

    TLDR:
    For home use, nothing beats a desktop. You could build a beast of a machine for the $1200 you would pay for the 8GB i5 SP4, and have money left over to get a 1080p 40" flat screen to hook it up to. The SP4 shines for mobility, digital art creation, and productivity on the go. With the iPad Pro, you're paying for a really nice, ultra expensive 12" screen. That, in short, is the summation of my opinion on the matter. ;) Hope it helps, and lemme know if you have any other questions.
    Let me thank you for taking time to explain everything so clearly. You have been great help.

    I am now leaning towards getting the Surface Pro 4 i5 256gb 8gb ram.

    I am in Hong Kong and the Surface Pro 4 i5 model will release this week. The i7 model will release on 20th Dec 2015.
    WildKarrde likes this.
    11-17-2015 10:41 AM
  12. MCube74's Avatar
    iPad pro is a toy don't listen to your wife on this, no one except for fanbois would choose an ipad pro over a Surface is she a fanboi?
    Lol. No she hardly knows about tech stuff. I showed her both devices and she finds iPad Pro easier to use for herself and for my daughter.
    11-17-2015 10:44 AM
  13. boltman2013's Avatar
    Lol. No she hardly knows about tech stuff. I showed her both devices and she finds iPad Pro easier to use for herself and for my daughter.
    Probably is easier , as her and your daughter are Apple use cases, for you not so much...surface all the way

    The world is divided in two....

    Those that CAN program a remote AND like to tinker if needed. (Windows ideal use cases)

    AND

    Those that cannot. (Apple use cases if bad enough)
    11-17-2015 11:40 AM
  14. WildKarrde's Avatar
    There's nothing wrong with liking Apple devices, lots of people like them because of their ease of use, and they do use a very simple, intuitive OS with fantastic mobile app support. They also have some of the best customer support out there, and their devices are all very well built. They're just really overpriced for the actual usability you get from them, when compared to a comparably priced Windows hybrid. If I wanted a mobile gaming platform, I'd probably get an iPad mini, and I'd probably use it a lot more than I have my PS Vita.
    11-17-2015 11:50 AM
  15. onlysublime's Avatar
    For your use cases, the i5/8GB/256GB will be a good machine.

    In terms of battery life, it's a Windows 10 issue. My SP2 with Windows 10 has far worse battery life than with Windows 8.1. It really has a hard time going to sleep properly. I've taken my SP2/Win10 machine out of my bag, exhausted of battery and running hot even though the machine wasn't used and had a fresh charge on the battery. Luckily, I put Windows 10 on my i5/8GB/256GB machine. My i5/8GB/512GB machine stays Windows 8.1 until the kinks are gone.

    And there's no way an iPad Pro should cost over $1K. only diehard Apple fans would pay so much for such a limited machine.
    11-18-2015 01:15 AM
  16. MCube74's Avatar
    I am leaning towards the Surface Pro 4 i5 with 256 gb hard disk and 8 gb ram.

    I will not be playing hard core games but I may play the games from the Windows Store and may be if I do find a good game like Halo or GTA.

    I am hoping the machine will be able to handle it all.

    I was only thinking of the i7 model for the iris display. Not sure if I should pay extra for it.
    11-18-2015 01:49 AM
  17. snakebitten's Avatar
    MCube74, I'm late to the thread and I WAS going to give a thorough response because I am also a SP2\I5 user who has recently added an SP4\I5 to my arsenal.
    Having said that, after reading the responses from WildKarrde, I can only say you have been armed with all the information you could possibly need. :)
    I will avoid being am echo.

    (But I gotta say I was a little taken back by the sheer size of the SP4 after being intimately used to the smaller Surface for so long. However, in just a couple of weeks the SP4 has shrunk! (Same thing happened when I chose the Lumia 1520. I thought it was too big. But it's the perfect)
    MCube74 likes this.
    11-18-2015 11:41 AM
  18. MCube74's Avatar
    Thanks to all you guys for helping me make my decision.

    I finally ordered the Surface Pro 4 i5/256gb/8gb ram. I also ordered the dark blue Keyboard cover and got the extra pins for the pen. On top of that I also ordered the Office 365 Home Edition which allows me to install Office on 5 desktop computers and Tablets.

    Going to receive them all tomorrow. Hoping to have some fun setting up the new Surface Pro 4 this weekend.

    Now I am looking for a nice carrying pouch for the Surface Pro 4. Any suggestions?
    11-18-2015 11:48 AM
  19. snakebitten's Avatar
    Brenthaven Surface bags are available at Microsoft Stores to actually touch and feel before buying. Lifetime warranty. Really well done.
    I have the BrentHaven Colline Vertical. Bought it in "The SP Bundle" (keyboard, bag, Office 365, 2 year accidental damage)
    I'm an old redneck carrying a man-purse now. But I'm comfortable with it. lol
    11-18-2015 11:57 AM
  20. MCube74's Avatar
    I am in Hong Kong and we don't have a Microsoft Store here.

    We do have 2 years additional warranty but sadly it doesn't cover accidental damage.

    Now since we don't have a Microsoft Store I am not sure how I can get hold of a decent pouch for my carrying purpose.

    Does the Surface Pro 3 pouch for the Surface Pro 4?

    http://www.microsoftstore.com.hk/cat...%20Accessories
    11-18-2015 12:02 PM
  21. rocketboy's Avatar
    FWIW, I did about an hour of tests with the SP4 pen at a MS Store to compare with the SP2 pen. There's definitely more friction involved in the SP4 pen and I have some concerns about wear. I've definitely seen worn down SP3 nibs. Fast strokes with the SP4 pen definitely required more labour, but that might just be my long term use of Wacom based pens.

    The SP4 pen also did not work well (i.e. crazy random pointer jumping) with Corel Painter 2016, but did fine with Fresh Paint and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (app version; couldn't install desktop version at the store). The Painter test was surprising as I'm sure people have used that program on SP3. All this to say don't be surprised if something worked pen-wise on SP2 and doesn't on SP4. It's not a 1:1 tech substitution.

    I had enough concerns about the SP4 pen and assorted HW issues I experienced while at the store that I didn't upgrade immediately (especially using a SP2 trade-in to do so), but I plan to revisit the SP4 after a bit of time as I do think it'll eventually be a very nice replacement.
    11-18-2015 12:02 PM
  22. snakebitten's Avatar
    MCube, Amazon shows a bundle with the Brenthaven Colline Vertical and the Microsoft Arc Mouse (On the US Amazon)
    I have the mouse too. Wicked cool.

    But I would have NEVER bought that bag from a website picture. In fact, when I first picked it up at the store I was looking for a nice Folio cover like I use for the SP2. But it ooozed with quality build, which I felt the SP4 shares. And I didn't want to bury that SP kickstand in a Folio because it is a huge improvment over the SP2.
    11-18-2015 12:08 PM
  23. MCube74's Avatar
    The biggest concern I had about my old Surface Pro 2 was the weight. With the Power Cover if was getting very uncomfortable to carry everywhere. It was just too heavy.

    The Surface Pro 4 is way lighter and hope that I have a good experience with it.
    11-18-2015 12:09 PM
  24. MCube74's Avatar
    MCube, Amazon shows a bundle with the Brenthaven Colline Vertical and the Microsoft Arc Mouse (On the US Amazon)
    I have the mouse too. Wicked cool.

    But I would have NEVER bought that bag from a website picture. In fact, when I first picked it up at the store I was looking for a nice Folio cover like I use for the SP2. But it ooozed with quality build, which I felt the SP4 shares. And I didn't want to bury that SP kickstand in a Folio because it is a huge improvment over the SP2.
    OK let me check out Amazon.

    Do you think any of the cases from this link looks good?

    http://www.microsoftstore.com.hk/cat...%20Accessories
    11-18-2015 12:12 PM
  25. snakebitten's Avatar
    OK let me check out Amazon.

    Do you think any of the cases from this link looks good?

    Microsoft Online Store
    Like I said, I'm old school. While I often buy online, it is usually products I have already touched and seen with my own hands and eyes. So I'm not the right fella to give an opinion otherwise. I probably shouldn't even expect you to feel the same way about the bag I did buy. After all, this stuff is all personal preference stuff. :)

    But I wish you luck.
    11-18-2015 12:16 PM
28 12

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