11-19-2016 07:02 PM
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  1. tboy2000's Avatar
    So I was hoping to buy the M3 fanless version as will only be using the tablet for basic stuff (web, video, word, apps etc). On Youtube, Technobuffalo's review of the Pro 4 says don't buy the M3 version but to buy the i5 and up. Why? Is it that bad? I heard the M3 is equivalent or better than the last generation i5 processor. I also hear that the i5 fan kicks in often.

    So what I am asking is, is the M3 version fast enough and good enough for basic usage?

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by tboy2000; 12-02-2015 at 08:34 PM.
    12-02-2015 03:56 PM
  2. theefman's Avatar
    If they don't give a well explained reason I wouldn't listen to them. The M3 should give you better performance than the old i3 SP3 but less than the i5 SP4, cant say if its truly equal to the 4th gen i5. Think of it as a more powerful Surface 3 with a real SSD so for email, web, videos, Office, apps it should be more than fine.
    ven07, rhapdog and xandros9 like this.
    12-02-2015 04:00 PM
  3. zkyevolved's Avatar
    So I was hoping to buy the M3 fabless version as will only be using the tablet for basic stuff (web, video, word, apps etc). On Youtube, Technobuffalo's review of the Pro 4 says don't buy the M3 version but to buy the i5 and up. Why? Is it that bad? I heard the M3 is equivalent or better than the last generation i5 processor. I also hear that the i5 fan kicks in often.

    So what I am asking is, is the M3 version fast enough and good enough for basic usage?

    Any thoughts?
    Don't listen to them. I unsubscribed A LONG time ago from them... They've lost touch with reality a while ago... I checked out a video a while back, maybe the SP4, and Jon came in on that half segway thing... God... what?! Don't worry, the M3 is a GREAT device. I have the i5, but I'm still debating returning it for the M3. It's fanless and lighter. If you're not a hardcore user, it's the i3 equivalent. I have an i3 as a server at home with windows 10 and it's no slouch! It handles all my plex, ftp, bittorrent sync connections, and runs Plex Home Theater for me and my family! The difference is that the i3 is older, and the M3 is more powerful =D
    ven07 and rhapdog like this.
    12-02-2015 04:02 PM
  4. boltman2013's Avatar
    M3 is best computer I ever used. including my i53570k and i38GBVaio
    ven07 and rhapdog like this.
    12-02-2015 04:45 PM
  5. CrownedMartyr's Avatar
    If you really plan on only using it for basic tasks than the M3 will definitely fit the bill and you'll save yourself a couple hundred bucks too.

    From a purely technical standpoint, the M3 is in every way inferior to the i5. It's the same architecture but limited due to the much lower TDP. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean you'll get better battery life except for instances where you are really pushing the CPU for extended periods of time. I'm assuming this is what TechnoBuffalo was using as the basis for their recommendation.

    I have the i5 model and I wouldn't worry too much about the fan. If you push it hard then yes, you will hear it, but I've been using it as my primary work machine and I almost never notice the fan. It's much quieter than most laptops I've used.
    ven07, rhapdog and tboy2000 like this.
    12-02-2015 05:44 PM
  6. onlysublime's Avatar
    The M3 is not the equivalent of the previous generation i5. That's M3 proponents trying to sell its benefits. The M3 has a better GPU but that's only one metric and many of the benchmarks showing good M3 performance are highly synthetic and unrealistic. You have to realize why the Core M series exists. It's for people that need good performance from a lightweight small form factor CPU/GPU. For people that want those features but need higher performance than what the Atom series can provide.

    If you're talking basic needs, the M3 is enough. For basic, the Core M series is very good. If you're talking more than basic, you really should consider the Core series. It would've made more sense for Microsoft to offer the M5 or M7 rather than the M3.

    The main reason for avoiding the M3 with the SP4 is you only have 4 GB of RAM. That is a killer. The only way for you to know if M3 will be good enough is for you to try it.
    xandros9, ven07 and a5cent like this.
    12-03-2015 01:45 AM
  7. ioaniro's Avatar
    For the usage you describe the M3 is the best thing you could buy. You will not notice the 4gb of RAM and the M3 is not slow at all. The only thing in your scenario that could max out the memory is if you use word to write text with collaborators and you want to keep the track changes as extensive as possible. But in the new office that slows down the i5/8gb ram too so is more of a Microsoft Office memory management problem.
    12-03-2015 02:49 AM
  8. tboy2000's Avatar
    As a comparison I own a Dell Venue 8 Pro which has a quad core Atom processor and 2 gigs of ram. I find (believe it or not) I can run Photoshop on it adequately. I can also stream xbox one games fine. So is the M3 cpu better than my Dell CPU? 2 gigs has not been an issue on my Dell so surely 4 gigs is fine. I never run lots of applications at once. Maybe two at the time that's it. I would love to hear from M3 owners and their real world experiences. I like that M3 is lighter and fanless but maybe I should get i5. Oh the decisions the decisions ☺
    Last edited by tboy2000; 12-03-2015 at 10:30 AM.
    Naushaba Khatoon likes this.
    12-03-2015 07:05 AM
  9. ryland Johnson's Avatar
    .....
    Last edited by ryland Johnson; 01-02-2016 at 11:47 AM.
    realwarder and tboy2000 like this.
    12-03-2015 08:13 AM
  10. slysy's Avatar
    The M3 is a solid device if you don't need more than 4Gb RAM
    12-03-2015 09:35 AM
  11. boltman2013's Avatar
    GB not gB..and yes its solid at $500 minimum less
    12-03-2015 11:06 AM
  12. raoul3650's Avatar
    M3 is an excellent machine with less heat and serve our daily general purposes usage.
    If you want to get the i5, go for the 8GB RAM, otherwise it's fine to go with M3 and save the USD100 for the Type Cover.

    I'm an M3 user for 3 days old :)
    tboy2000 likes this.
    12-03-2015 08:05 PM
  13. Eric J F's Avatar
    I just got one about 6 hours ago and am very happy with it. I'm using it for basic tasks as you describe and it seems plenty fast.

    I haven't had any of the many problems discussed by others in this forum, but I did have a couple bad pool header bsods.

    I really like the fanlessness, and I'm getting what seems to be pretty good battery life. I have Windows Hello and Cortana off since I don't use them.
    12-03-2015 11:56 PM
  14. onlysublime's Avatar
    If you feel that Photoshop on the Atom was good, then the M3 will fit you quite well.
    xandros9 likes this.
    12-04-2015 12:45 AM
  15. slysy's Avatar
    I would carefully consider how much RAM you want though. I thought 4Gb would be OK for my usage but found it to be quite limiting in reality. 11 tabs open in Edge was enough to grind the machine to a halt with nothing else open. Also the SSD is double the speed on the i5/256Gb model.

    If you are happy to limit things like the number of tabs you have open etc I am sure it will be fine.
    12-04-2015 03:49 AM
  16. boltman2013's Avatar
    I would carefully consider how much RAM you want though. I thought 4Gb would be OK for my usage but found it to be quite limiting in reality. 11 tabs open in Edge was enough to grind the machine to a halt with nothing else open. Also the SSD is double the speed on the i5/256Gb model.

    If you are happy to limit things like the number of tabs you have open etc I am sure it will be fine.
    Its GB and like I said I have NO problems with more than 11 tabs open might be user error
    12-04-2015 08:29 AM
  17. slysy's Avatar
    Its GB and like I said I have NO problems with more than 11 tabs open might be user error
    Have a look here Microsoft Edge vs Internet Explorer vs Chrome - Which is fastest? | Expert Reviews

    Edge was tested as using 758Mb for 5 tabs which is about 150Mb a tab
    So 11 tabs could be about 1650Mb
    Win10 x64 uses about 2Gb
    I was running an antivirus at about 250Mb

    You can see with this sort of usage in the Edge browser, you are going to get uncomfortably close to 4Gb based on that figures in that test
    12-04-2015 09:27 AM
  18. boltman2013's Avatar
    Have a look here Microsoft Edge vs Internet Explorer vs Chrome - Which is fastest? | Expert Reviews

    Edge was tested as using 758Mb for 5 tabs which is about 150Mb a tab
    So 11 tabs could be about 1650Mb
    Win10 x64 uses about 2Gb
    I was running an antivirus at about 250Mb

    You can see with this sort of usage in the Edge browser, you are going to get uncomfortably close to 4Gb based on that figures in that test
    GB not Gb

    Byte for Storage Big B
    Bit for bandwidth small b

    4 GB = 4 Gigabytes (STORAGE)
    1000 Mbps or one million Kbps (ps= per second) (BANDWIDTH)
    EMitchell likes this.
    12-04-2015 09:44 AM
  19. rory753's Avatar
    My wife had the same question and was using an sp3 I7. She wanted the new sp4 because of the improved pen and screen, so she preordered another sp4 i7. in the meantime, she traded her sp3 for an m3 sp4 to try out the fanless version and see what it's performance was like.The question she had was, mainly due to the fan, should she go i7 or m3? She uses lightroom and photoshop, along with the other task. once she finally got her spr i7, she found that there wasn't a significant enough improvement for what she does to justify the additional expense or noise of the fan.

    While you're looking at these, I would highly recommend looking at HP's Spectre x2. it's available with a more m processor choices(m3, m5, and m7), less expensive, and with an LTE radio for Verizon. the problem is that it's got a smaller screen, and it simply isn't a surface. I've become slightly leary of this after owning devices where they cut support for updating drivers, although I have no reason to suspect HP doing this.
    12-04-2015 11:32 AM
  20. WildKarrde's Avatar
    GB not Gb

    Byte for Storage Big B
    Bit for bandwidth small b

    4 GB = 4 Gigabytes (STORAGE)
    1000 Mbps or one million Kbps (ps= per second) (BANDWIDTH)
    Dude, you're arguing semantics. It doesn't really matter, I'm sure everyone here understands what he means.

    As for the OP, the M3 isn't a bad machine, so long as your usage will not max it out. I needed 8GB, which is why I upgraded from my SP2. I hit the memory limit often with that... but the device never became unuseable because of the 4GB limit.
    onlysublime likes this.
    12-04-2015 12:10 PM
  21. tboy2000's Avatar
    My wife had the same question and was using an sp3 I7. She wanted the new sp4 because of the improved pen and screen, so she preordered another sp4 i7. in the meantime, she traded her sp3 for an m3 sp4 to try out the fanless version and see what it's performance was like.The question she had was, mainly due to the fan, should she go i7 or m3? She uses lightroom and photoshop, along with the other task. once she finally got her spr i7, she found that there wasn't a significant enough improvement for what she does to justify the additional expense or noise of the fan.

    While you're looking at these, I would highly recommend looking at HP's Spectre x2. it's available with a more m processor choices(m3, m5, and m7), less expensive, and with an LTE radio for Verizon. the problem is that it's got a smaller screen, and it simply isn't a surface. I've become slightly leary of this after owning devices where they cut support for updating drivers, although I have no reason to suspect HP doing this.
    Sorry just to clarify are you saying your wife prefers the M3 and it's good enough for her Photoshop and lightroom usage?
    12-04-2015 02:04 PM
  22. rory753's Avatar
    yes, but also recognize, she does have a i7-16gb desktop to fall back on. if you shop around, you can get both a thin client i7 desktop and an m3 sp4 for less money then 1 sp4 i7. but I will say that I've seen her using the docked m3 more times then her desktop.
    12-05-2015 09:39 PM
  23. dirtyvu's Avatar
    A desktop doesn't really help much with PhotoShop unless you get a Wacom tablet to go with it. PhotoShop is terrible with a mouse. That's probably the reason she uses a Surface. I also have a beast of a desktop but it's primarily for video encoding, video editing, gaming, and long document editing. Lightroom makes far more sense with a desktop than Photoshop. However unless you calibrate monitors properly, it's much better to do your workflow on one color profile and monitor to ensure consistency. I edit with adobe camera raw and definitely need all the speed I can get (since I'm often editing hundreds of pictures).
    12-05-2015 10:49 PM
  24. Eric J F's Avatar
    I just woke my m3 after 13 hours of sleep and the battery lost 15% over that period. Before you get too excited, I have to add that it was with Windows Hello, Cortana, and Bluetooth all turned off.

    At least now there is a rough baseline sleep loss of about 1% per hour. If someone wants to be ambitious, they could incrementally enable each feature to see the impact.
    12-06-2015 01:04 AM
  25. zkyevolved's Avatar
    I just woke my m3 after 13 hours of sleep and the battery lost 15% over that period. Before you get too excited, I have to add that it was with Windows Hello, Cortana, and Bluetooth all turned off.

    At least now there is a rough baseline sleep loss of about 1% per hour. If someone wants to be ambitious, they could incrementally enable each feature to see the impact.
    In reality, it slept for 2 hours and then hibernated (which is turning it off for all intents purposes). So, realistically speaking, you lost 15% in 2 hours... After those 2 hours your computer hibernated and turned off, therefore not losing anymore :-\ It's a current bug.... The MS team says we'll be getting a fix for this in the following months.
    GatsbyGlen likes this.
    12-06-2015 01:13 AM
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