1. magic4got10's Avatar
    Hi! I'm an italian medicine student and I fell in love with this Surface Pro 3. The fact of taking notes so fastly and the "coolness" of the keyboard make it so beautiful to me.
    I decided to look for some offers, even because my laptop is old nowdays (it's a Samsung R610 with Windows Vista, Intel Centrino 2 and 4 GB RAM, but I never complained about my computer!), and I found this one:
    - Surface Pro 3 i5 4 GB RAM 749 (from 999 - 25% off)
    - Surface Pro 3 i5 8 GB RAM 1069 (from 1319 - 19% off)

    The big problem is: wich one is the best for me?

    I think I tried a SP3 with Intel i3 in a store, but I didn't have a good experience. Even starting OneNote was not that fast!

    So I started to think about an i5 or i7. The last one maybe is too much for me, but the i5 is sold in two different versions: 4 and 8 GB RAM.

    Many of you will say that a 4 GB RAM is not good for a new laptop, but maybe it's enough for me?

    This is what I do with my PC:
    - Surfing on internet and watching videos. My PC does it well, but is not that "fluid". HD videos lag often and even surfing on this forum is not as fast as I wish. Will SP3 give me a better experience even with only 4 GB RAM?
    - Studying. I use almost only Word, but with a Surface I think I'll use a lot OneNote, Excel (if I'll learn to use it), PowerPoint and maybe more. I know that a 4 GB RAM can do these things, but can it do it very fastly? I don't want to wait like 10 seconds to open Word or OneNote.
    - Fun. Well, that's the point, I think. I'm not a good videogamer. I think that the most "powerful" game I play is The Sims 3 (but I play The Sims 2 more often ). I like games like Football Manager and...Nintendo emulators... . I don't use programs of editing like PhotoShop. Sometimes I like to create some stupid videos, but only 2-3 per year (and I still didn't find a good program like iMovie for Windows). In the end I'm a musician and I like to record my songs. I think that this would be the "heaviest" thing I would do with my PC and maybe 4 GB RAM wouldn't be enough for it.

    That's what I think I'll do with a Surface. It probably will replace almost totally my laptop and I want just 2 things from it: fluidity (I don't want to wait infinite loadings and I don't want to see lags) and longevity (I don't think I'm going to replace it in less than 4/5 years).

    According to you, wich one should I buy? 8 GB RAM are surely better, but do they worth more than 300 ? The offer on the i5 with 4 GB RAM is ever more convenient because it's 25% off ( vs 19% of the i5 with 8 GB RAM).
    I must choose fastly because offer expires in less than a week! So, hurry up!

    PS: 1 is a bit more than 1 $ .... like 1,3...
    12-11-2014 09:14 AM
  2. DJCBS's Avatar
    Honestly I think the i5 4GB is the best choice.

    Well, the SP3 (or any Surface) isn't a tablet designed for gaming as it lacks a proper graphics card. So I wouldn't play Sims 2 or 3 in it. Nintendo Emulators or Windows Store games will be more than fine.

    As for recording music, it will depend on the program you use. I use Mixcraft and I never had any issue with it on the i5 4GB SP3. As long as you don't intend to use a musical equivalent of Photoshop, you're good to go with the i5 4GB. I don't think the extra 4GB are worth the extra 300€.

    I use almost only Word, but with a Surface I think I'll use a lot OneNote
    You probably won't. lol I thought the same but I've ended up having to go back to word as I write too fast and the pen technology is still not developed enough to replace pen and paper. As I write faster on Word than I did on OneNote with the Surface pen, I ended back on Word.

    Word opens really fast on the SP3 but just like any other PC, the more things you have running, the more it takes for programs to open.


    My only concern is the longevity part...not because of the hardware, but because of the Surface by itself. I'm not sure if Microsoft didn't do an annoying thing many OEMs do called "planned obsolescence" which basically renders your device useless after a certain period of time (in Europe they do 2 years because of our mandatory 2 year warranties on all hardware) to force you to buy a new one.
    magic4got10 likes this.
    12-11-2014 10:17 AM
  3. RichardBurt's Avatar
    Well, the SP3 (or any Surface) isn't a tablet designed for gaming as it lacks a proper graphics card.
    Intel isn't a "proper graphics card"? I can more than happily game on my tablet without any problems.

    OP - The more RAM you have the smoother apps and games will run.

    Get the best that you can afford now, if not you may regret it in the future.
    12-11-2014 10:34 AM
  4. magic4got10's Avatar
    Your answer is very complete. Thanks a lot for spending time in it!

    But I have to ask you something:
    1. Is OneNote that slow in writing? What's the main use for it then?
    2. I don't know Mixcraft, but I'd like to use some more professional programs like Cubase or Nuendo. I'm not going to record the whole songs on the Surface, but I'd like to be able to edit or add something on my own with it. Is it too much for a 4 GB Surface? (my guitarrist has an audio card and is going to buy an iMac, so we'll probably do the most with it)
    3. The obsolescence is a problem, I know. But can theorically a normal PC with this hardware last for 4-5 years? (hey, I'm making last Windows Vista on my PC since 2008 )
    Last edited by Rocco Panzera; 12-11-2014 at 12:01 PM.
    12-11-2014 11:46 AM
  5. svaethier's Avatar
    About the obsolescence part, i'd say as long as you take good care of the tablet it should last well beyond two years, maybe 4-6 years at the most but if you know someone who can repair any problems on the tablet you get by then and does the repairs cheap then it can even last more than that :)
    12-11-2014 12:43 PM
  6. DJCBS's Avatar
    Intel isn't a "proper graphics card"
    No. It has a graphics card (obviously) but the SP3 lacks a dedicated proper gaming graphics card. Something in the Radeon range or similar. That's why I said he could play games but he shouldn't think of the SP3 as a gaming tablet as if it was a laptop or a PC with a proper dedicated graphics card.

    But I have to ask you something:
    1. Is OneNote that slow in writing? What's the main use for it then?
    2. I don't know Mixcraft, but I'd like to use some more professional programs like Cubase or Nuendo. I'm not going to record the whole songs on the Surface, but I'd like to be able to edit or add something on my own with it. Is it too much for a 4 GB Surface? (my guitarrist has an audio card and is going to buy an iMac, so we'll probably do the most with it)
    3. The obsolescence is a problem, I know. But can theorically a normal PC with this hardware last for 4-5 years? (hey, I'm making last Windows Vista on my PC since 2008 )
    1 - It's more of a question of your type of calligraphy. I use a very elaborate cursive handwrite and I'm fast as it. The precision of the pen isn't that good for my calligraphy as the sensitiveness of the screen would have to be a lot greater to be able to catch by handwrite properly.
    You can definitely take notes with OneNote and if you have a more "rudimentary" calligraphy (as most people do) you won't have any problems.

    2 - Oh you'll be fine with that. Mixcraft is a somewhat advanced music software and it runs well. You'll be more than fine editing tracks or adding tracks. Even mixing tracks and recording songs you'll be able to do it. Just not advanced music production.

    3 - Oh yeah definitely. I still have a home PC that I bought in 2009. At the time, the i5 4GB was one of the best you could get. I still massively use that PC. I bumped the RAM to 12GB but that's because I use a lot of editing programs and I wanted the added RAM.
    But you should be fine with an i5 4GB Surface specially given the use you give to it.
    But kudos. You're a brave man if you still have Windows Vista and didn't fell compelled to get rid of that immediately lol (Vista lasted one day on my PC back then. I immediately reverted back to XP and only moved then to Windows 7).


    About the obsolescence part, i'd say as long as you take good care of the tablet it should last well beyond two years, maybe 4-6 years at the most but if you know someone who can repair any problems on the tablet you get by then and does the repairs cheap then it can even last more than that :)
    If Microsoft did "planned obsolescence", that won't take him far. Specially 'cause the Surface is a nightmare to open and fix without Microsoft's intervention.
    magic4got10 likes this.
    12-11-2014 07:34 PM
  7. CliveSinclair's Avatar
    Always, al;ways, always buy the most powerful (CPU) and the most RAM you can afford. If your only (at the moment) a light user, the more powerful CPU/GPU will work less hard and the battery will last longer. The latest i5/i7 hardware seems to have less throttling issues - maybe they have changed fan or CPU paste?

    Remember, you can't upgrade the SP3. I went for i7, 256gb.
    12-12-2014 02:29 AM
  8. magic4got10's Avatar
    No. It has a graphics card (obviously) but the SP3 lacks a dedicated proper gaming graphics card. Something in the Radeon range or similar. That's why I said he could play games but he shouldn't think of the SP3 as a gaming tablet as if it was a laptop or a PC with a proper dedicated graphics card.



    1 - It's more of a question of your type of calligraphy. I use a very elaborate cursive handwrite and I'm fast as it. The precision of the pen isn't that good for my calligraphy as the sensitiveness of the screen would have to be a lot greater to be able to catch by handwrite properly.
    You can definitely take notes with OneNote and if you have a more "rudimentary" calligraphy (as most people do) you won't have any problems.

    2 - Oh you'll be fine with that. Mixcraft is a somewhat advanced music software and it runs well. You'll be more than fine editing tracks or adding tracks. Even mixing tracks and recording songs you'll be able to do it. Just not advanced music production.

    3 - Oh yeah definitely. I still have a home PC that I bought in 2009. At the time, the i5 4GB was one of the best you could get. I still massively use that PC. I bumped the RAM to 12GB but that's because I use a lot of editing programs and I wanted the added RAM.
    But you should be fine with an i5 4GB Surface specially given the use you give to it.
    But kudos. You're a brave man if you still have Windows Vista and didn't fell compelled to get rid of that immediately lol (Vista lasted one day on my PC back then. I immediately reverted back to XP and only moved then to Windows 7).




    If Microsoft did "planned obsolescence", that won't take him far. Specially 'cause the Surface is a nightmare to open and fix without Microsoft's intervention.
    Thanks again to you (thanks for telling me about Mixcraft too...I'll try it!) and to everybody for the answers.
    I know that it would be easy to go for the most powerful one, but guys I don't think that 8 GB RAM worth 300€ more! I know that I would have a bigger SD too, but I use a lot of clouds and I don't install too many programs.

    If you ensure me that i5 with 4 GB RAM doesn't lag (at least in normal situations) and doesn't let me wait eternal seconds for loading simple programs or apps, that's ok for me!
    12-12-2014 05:57 AM
  9. steve cooper's Avatar
    Get the i5
    12-12-2014 11:46 PM
  10. DJCBS's Avatar
    Always, al;ways, always buy the most powerful (CPU) and the most RAM you can afford. If your only (at the moment) a light user, the more powerful CPU/GPU will work less hard and the battery will last longer. The latest i5/i7 hardware seems to have less throttling issues - maybe they have changed fan or CPU paste?

    Remember, you can't upgrade the SP3. I went for i7, 256gb.
    I never had any problems with my i5 SP3 and I got it in Redmond, directly from Microsoft's offices, shortly after launch (before it even hit European shelves). The throttling issues were probably confined to a specific batch of products.

    I don't agree with wasting over 1200€ on an i7 SP3, specially given what he needs it for. If he wants to spend that much money, he'd be better served with a proper PC and he would still have money left for an entertainment tablet. Because he can't upgrade components on the SP3, the most economically sensible thing is to buy the best one for the cheapest price. That's the i5/4GB.
    12-13-2014 05:32 PM
  11. magic4got10's Avatar
    In the end I bought i5 with 4 GB and I'm very happy for it!
    Inviato da Tapatalk per Windows 8.1 su Surface Pro 3.
    06-13-2015 06:53 AM

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