Surface 3: Benchmarking the younger brother

The Surface 3 is now out in the wild and seeing that I have my hands on one, it's time to test the performance of the machine.

To compare the device, I am using two other Surfaces, the Pro 3 with a Core i5 and the Surface 2. Because I am using the Surface 2, all the benchmarking apps either need to come from the Windows Store or be web based.

The Pro 3 is running Windows 10 build 10049, both the Surface 2/3 are running the latest version of Windows 8/RT and for the browser based tests, IE was used and on the Pro 3, it was not using the new rendering engine.

For all charts in this post, Surface Pro 3 is in blue, Surface 3 is in orange and Surface 2 is in yellow.

Up first is 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited: This test is designed for chip-to-chip comparisons of chipsets, CPUs and GPUs using fixed time step tests where the higher the score is, the better the performance

To no surprise, the Pro 3 performed exceptionally better than the Surface 3 but the Surface 2 and 3 scores were closer together than I originally anticipated. The gap between the Pro 3 and the Surface 3 clearly shows that the younger sibling is by no means a powerhouse when it comes to the GPU.

If you needed any more confirmation that GPU performance of the Surface 3 is not designed for gaming, take a look at the chart above from 3D Mark.

Using another app in the Windows Store called PC Benchmark, we can see more granular stats of each device and how they compare.

From the two charts above, you can see that the Pro 3 tops both devices in terms of performance but Surface 3 was much closer in the multi-thread test. And again, it's not a surprise to see how much faster the newer Surface 3 is over the older Surface 2 but this chart really helps to hammer home how much faster the new Surface 3 is over its predecessor.

The above test shows the Read speed test of the RAM and the Pro 3 is showing a huge performance jump over that of the Surface 3 but then again, the Surface 3 shows large gains over the Surface 2.

It goes to show that the Pro 3 is still quite a bit faster than that of the Surface 3 but that the Surface 3 shows considerable improvement over the Surface 2. These results were inline with our expectation, we didn't expect the Atom chip to come close to the i5.

SunSpider showed that once again the Pro 3 is the king of the pack but the Surface 3 did not fair all that bad either; in the above test, lower is better. And finally below, we have the Google Octane score.

Hopefully these tests will give you a better look at the performance of the Surface 3 from a numbers perspective. And as the charts show, the Pro 3 still has a big advantage in terms of performance over the Surface 3 - but that's what you should expect as it is the more expensive option.

We will keep playing around with the Surface 3 and reviewing performance data as well as trying more intensive apps like Photoshop to see how its Atom chip performs.

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