My System versus the Surface: Which more powerful?

My Specs:

Intel Pentium [email protected] 2.13, 2.13
RAM: 4
System type: 64-bit

Video card: Intel HD Graphics

(dvd player. A concern 'cause of many old games I have on disk)

I know my system pretty much sucks. I use it mostly for mail and a few old games I've downloaded from various sites, or as mention, my own.

Just try to get a handle if the Surface is more powerful to play some older games, just now 'real old', like I have now.


I'm assuming you mean the Surface running Windows 8 and not Windows RT.

It is more powerful than your computer, definitely in terms of graphics output as it has an Intel HD4000 graphics chip which I'm sure is more powerful than the intergrated chip you're running. The i5 cpu it has should also be quite a bit more powerful, and a quad core to boot.

Keep in mind that it's pushing images out to a 10" screen and not a larger monitor like your PC is designed for.

To get it, though, you're spending $900, while you could feasibly get a laptop that's as powerful (at least) and with a larger screen for less money.

I could be wrong, I'm not really super up on Surface information.

Making stuff run cool and quiet for a long battery life is much more difficult, and much more expensive, so portable devices cost a lot more than an equivalently powerful desktop PC. Further, most laptops are not very durable, where desktops will usually last for years and years.

We should be able to get you set up with a screaming monster of a PC for like $750 or $800, re-using your existing monitor, or you could add a big new one for probably no more than $250. A machine like that will kick sand in the face of probably any portable machine at any cost.... and the closest portable approximation to that much power (not all that close) will probably cost more than $2K.

The Surface is so locked down that I'm unclear if you can even run anything you haven't paid Microsoft tax on. You definitely, definitely cannot run Linux on one.

Sorry guys, forgot to mention it is a laptop.

Nonetheless, thanks for the information.

Happy New Year!

Looks like the Surface Pro with Win8 might be more the deal.

Again, Surface machines are completely locked. You can only run Windows 8 on them, period, and anything you use that uses Metro mode requires that you buy it from Microsoft. You can get a deal that's much more in your favor if you stick with a Win7 machine of some kind.

Donan wrote:

Looks like the Surface Pro with Win8 might be more the deal.

Yeah, I would look for impressions on the Surface Pro when it comes out. Everything I've read points to it being able to run regular desktop software just fine.

For the price, it would be worth a look into mid-range laptops. You can get a larger screen, a bit more processor and harddrive. Plus, you'll get the dvd drive for your older games. The advantage of the Surface Pro is the smaller, tablet convertable form-factor.

If you do a Surface -

  • They're great, I really like my WinRT.
  • Get a MiniDisplay Port to HDMI cable ($7 on monoprice), hook it into your TV. Get a USB or Bluetooth mouse for it.
  • The app ecosystem as a table is currently small compared to Apple or Android, but steadily increasing. If you're going Pro, then you can run anything on it, so no worries.
  • You can rip your DVD's to ISO on another system, should be able to load them via daemontools or similar on the Surface. I believe Win8 has some better support for ISO's natively, but haven't looked into it.
  • Get the TouchPad cover. It's easier than the TypePad.


  • Cheaper for a bit better hardware, but bigger.
  • DVD drive built in, ready to go for old games.