Surface Pro 4 i7 versus Surface Pro 3 i7, Performace

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by Lazer, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Lazer

    Lazer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've searched a bunch here and elsewhere, and I cannot seem to locate a solid comparison between these two specifically. I hope you'll forgive me if I somehow missed it.

    I've been running an i7 SP3, 256gb for quite some time now - and I really love this machine. However, I am now feeling some lag when doing serious multi tasking and heavy work. I am super tempted to grab an SP4 i7 but I really need some feedback on whether or not I am going to notice a performance boost worthy of the upgrade.

    This machine gets a lot of use. All the usual suspects: email, video, MSoffice, surfing, etc. As well, I do a lot of heavy Photoshop editing and Illustrator work - Sketchbook Pro too. I do some light audio recording, and run stuff like QuickBooks, iTunes, and various other things.

    I am hoping to hear from a heavy user, especially w/ Adobe stuff, who has experience with both i7 Surfaces. I know I can increase the memory to 16gb on the SP4, but I am mostly curious about the raw processor power difference, as I know MS often throttles it's processors. I don't want to downgrade or plateau.

    Is it worth the upgrade in regards to processor performance?
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...Is it worth the upgrade in regards to processor performance?..>>

    ...I own and use both an i7 SP3 and an i7 SP4. If I recall correctly, the processing power of SkyLake represents a 5% to 10% improvement over Haswell; it's not very dramatic. However, the improved cooling scheme designed into the SP4 allows its SkyLake processor to operate with a lot less noticeable throttling than the SP3. From my perspective, that's the most noticeable difference between the two... The SP3 throttles sooner and more noticeably. If you are a "heavy user," I would say that the cost to move up to the i7 SP4 is probably worth considering.

    HOWEVER, perhaps you should also consider the VAIO Z Canvas. Although it is based on Haswell, its quad core i7-H770HQ processor is nearly twice as fast as the SP3 and also faster than the SP4...

    Here is a comparison of the SP3, SP4 and Z Canvas all running the same benchmark:

    [​IMG]
    If I recall, blue is the processor utilization, green is temperature and red is the clock. The graphs are aligned to start at the same time and the SP4 is the reference time. Note how much longer the SP3 runs. But also note that the Z Canvas completes faster than either the SP3 or the SP4 and its clock rate didn't increase at all. Also note the temperature behavior...
     
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  3. SF6

    SF6 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Or you get the i5 SP4 which is still significantly faster than your i7 SP3 due to throtteling under heavy load.
     
  4. Allarih

    Allarih Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I replaced my vaio duo 13 (one of the fastest haswell laptop) with SP4 i7 and it turned out that SP4 is significantly faster, to my surprise, especially in GPU demanding tasks like 3d modeling. Scenes that used to look like stop motion on Vaio rotate fluently on SP4. 2d graphics that utilize GPU (like mischief ot Adobe CS) are much, much smoother too.
     
  5. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I should hope GPU performance on the i7 SP4 would be superior since that's the only model that has the Iris Graphics over the standard HD found in the lower end SP4 and all SP3 models.

    Lazer - by chance is the performance issues more recent or more frequent then they used to be? Sometimes a clean re-install of windows can elevate some performance issues.
     
  6. Allarih

    Allarih Scribbler - Standard Member

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    My point was - it is far better in real world cases that I expected. Going from slideshow to smooth rotation is far more impressive than even 30% performance gain.
     
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