How is a Surface Pro for gaming

My ancient Acer netbook died, I’ve lost my iPad (which I didn’t like) and after having 3 different types of Kindles break between 14 and 18 months after I bought them I’ve given up on Amazon hardware.

I’m torn between getting a tablet and honest to god laptop. I am interested in the Surface Pro 3 or 4, but I have two concerns. Battery life since I pretty much always have 6 hour plus flights to the mainland and gaming. I play mostly strategy games, and RPG like Fallout 4. I don’t really expect to play Fallout 4 on a on tablet, but maybe some of the older Paradox games, Sid Meirs Starship, Off World Trading company.

Anybody want to share their experiences and recommendations on i5 core vs i7?

The i7 surface4 has a dramatically faster GPU than the i5, so this is one case where it’s worthwhile paying a bit extra for the i7. The GPU in the m3 and i5 models has 24 execution units, while the i7 has 48 and 64MB of EDRAM. It’s fast enough to play older games, and games that aren’t particularly GPU-limited, at lower-resolutions.

You’ll get 7-8 hours browsing around and obviously much less playing games. But most airplanes do have power sockets at every seat these days-- they’re hidden, so look up the location before you fly.

If you really want to game, get a laptop with a discrete GPU. Laptops with 960Ms are widely available, and that will handle recent games in 1080p at medium quality and 30fps. And of course next-gen GPUs are coming out next month, and AMD’s offerings look particularly tasty on mobile. Rather than (essentially) a GTX950 in that 960M, you’ll be able to get (essentially) a GTX970. Huge, huge difference-- that GTX970-level performance will smoke 1080p, max quality, 60fps.

Surface Pro 3 i5 here.

I love the Surface for gaming but I’m not certainly not stressing it much. Paradox games up through CK2, Civ IV, Warlock, Massive Chalice, Eador Genesis, Sword of the Stars, Wargame ALB and Red Dragon, FM (although I haven’t bought the last couple of years), other sports management like Eastside Hockey Manager and FOF, Shadowrun, isometric games such as BG2EE, PoE, and Underrail, Blackguards and Battle Brothers. I find the pen input fits very well with turn based games which, luckily enough, tend not to stress the cpu or gpu.

Word is that MS finally got all the launch bugs out of the SP4 and Surface Book (new round of drivers came out last week).

I’d check r/Surface. Lots of discussion there.

I really do love my SP3 as a magazine reader and digital notepad. I have the i3/4 GB version, so it’s not the greatest for games.

I did manage to snag the SP4 Type Cover with Fingerprint Reader for $90, and it’s totally worth it. It’s leaps and bounds better than the SP3 Type Cover, and the touchpad is better than most PC touchpads. Windows Hello is also great with the Fingerprint Reader; I can’t wait for the big July update when you’ll be able to use Windows Hello for website passwords.

I have an i7 surface pro 3 that has been good to me for over a year, but I’m ready to sell it and get a real laptop again. While it is a very interesting device, it isn’t the most stable thing to use on your lap. When you are on a desk it is great though. As for gaming, I’m able to get 60 fps on low settings for dota 2 to give you an idea. definitely not a gaming computer by any stretch but you can play older and less demanding games on it for sure.

There are a bunch of videos people put on YouTube of playing games on their Surface Pro 4 (Core i5)

Simpler games seem to work really well. The Witcher 3 on the other hand, does not :-)

Keep in mind though that any relatively intensive games will kill the battery life of almost any laptop. So if a SP4 gets 8-10 hours watching movies and web browsing, you still may only get 2-4 hours playing depending on the game.

Yep, and the i7 should be literally twice as fast at gaming as the i5. It’s not a gaming computer, but you can play LoL, diablo3 and WoW on it.

One other benefit I personally love about gaming on a Surface device is that since all the guts are in the screen, it doesn’t burn my lap when it heats up. Which any laptop will absolutely do if you play anything relatively demanding.

Depending on budget, you could go for the Surface Book, which can be had with an Nvidia GPU…

Now that I’ve owned a Surface Book with a GPU for around 6 months, I wouldn’t recommend the upgrade. Sure it’s a lot faster than the i7’s integrated graphics, but it’s not faster enough for $200 more, in a device that’s already significantly more expensive than the Surface Pro 4.

I’d wait for SB 2.0 if you want GPU. New Nvidia chip. Process shrink from 28nm to 16nm.

Thanks guys for the input. I was going to settle for Surface Pro 3, but it sounds like I’ll have a much wider selection of games and some other nice feature if I upgrade to SB 4. Nice to know that pen is good input device for games, I struggle with my fat fingers for most games.

What’s the gossip on the date on that?

Next-gen GPUs are June, next-gen surface book nobody really knows but is also rumored for June.

Following up on the pen. It is often a good input device but there still some games that completely do not work with it. Recently I’ve had problems with Serpent in the Staglands, Thea the Awakening, and at least one other game from a smaller company that would not correctly recognize pen traps as mouse clicks.