Performance of Surface RT compared to a Windows 8 Core i5 tablet

RWalrond has posted a series of videos comparing the performance the developer Samsung Core i5 Windows 8 tablet vs the Windows RT Microsoft Surface tablet with an NVidia chipset.

While the presenter does repeatedly say the performance of the Surface tablet is close to that of the Core i5 tablet, I think it is clear than the Intel chip is outperforming the ARM chip, so if you prefer performance over battery life a Windows 8 tablet is the clear choice over an ARM tablet.

See two more videos below.

Boot Up test.


  • RWalrond

    Performance once you got into the Apps, I thought was pretty close. But I think (I hope) I made it clear that the Core I5 was going to win in every case accept, weight, quietness and battery life.
    Truth is, I’m enjoying the Surface RT much more than I thought. Going to try using it as my desktop companion device at work to take with me to meetings during the day. Then take it home at night and use it as a consumption device.

    • Gavin Tom

      that is exactly how I use mine, it is great when you use it this way. Plus with word I can do all my legal paperwork on the go, or even with meeting with a client. Billable hours just went up!

    • Mitch Hancock

      It’s pretty obvious to me that the Samsung has better frame rates in games, which is pretty sad seeing as it has an HD3000 on a 2nd gen Core i5 (and is a year old) as opposed to the Nvidia GPU.
      It is impressive that Microsoft has created an OS that scales so brilliantly is the takeaway, though. In truth, Windows 8 could clearly run on a phone right now.

  • pdexter

    Great comparison. Though i would really appreciate if somebody made this same comparison between the new atom and core tablet.

  • Eric Hon

    great video, yea not surprising at the speedier differences, but I remember when I was initially skeptical about ARM chips being competitive with x86, but now I’m definitely more convinced that it’s probably inevitable. However, it will be interesting to see Intel’s Haswell chip come to a Surface Pro next year and see what the battery life can be achieved.

  • John Hough

    I’m still soooo on the fence between RT/Pro. The impatient part of me wants the RT tablet now. I don’t know how much i’ll use it compared to my work laptop and home desktop so I kinda think I won’t need the ability to put my own programs on it. All I really need for work is office, RDP, and eventually a SSH/Telnet client which i’m sure will come. I won’t need to join it to a domain so that’s not an issue either.

    But then I know there’s going to come a time when I’m going to wish had an app for RT. Going to be tough to wait.

    • The__Truth__Hurts

      If I could get an RT Surface with an 1080p 11.6 inch display, Quad Core (or Penta Core) A15 CPU, 2GB memory, 128GB storage hardware wise.

      Software wise? FULL OFFICE 365 Support! (exel, powerpoint, outlook, OneNote, etc…)

      RT it will be.

      The only reason I’m on the fence is RT would be “better” for me (I won’t need to run any old programs), but the RT doesn’t come out with outlook and a few other Windows software and 64GB of storage is sort of cutting it close. (And the Tegra 3 CPU is kind of getting long in the tooth, especially with the Quad Core S4 out)

      • TechAndOnlyTech

        I am wondering when they are gong to have Cisco Anyconnect on RT?

      • John Hough

        At least you can add usb or microsd to get more storage. I’m not as concerned with that, I just don’t want to regret not being able to put my own programs on there. All depends on the app support Microsoft gets

  • redtidal

    Thanks for the videos.

    One thing I noticed in other demos is how slow Skype loads. Could you test that?

  • The__Truth__Hurts

    How would have been the performance of the Surface RT if it was packing the Quad Core S4 chip (instead of the Tegra 3 chip)

  • MistaWet

    I have a Windows 8 desktop at home. I have a Lumia in my pocket and the Surface RT in my bag. I really can’t justify having a Core i5 as a transitional mobile device. If I didn’t have my desktop at home I would be looking at a Pro Windows 8 device but at this point I really can’t justify the luxury?

    I guess the short question is, when I’m away from my house, why and where would I actually need the power of an Intel i5 processor?

    • The__Truth__Hurts

      I’m looking at the Surface Pro for several reasons
      1) Stylus and Keyboard bundle (if it does come with that)
      2) 128GB storage capacity
      3) Office 365 Capability (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access) (The new office 365)

      If I could pick up a 128GB Surface RT with a Stylus and Typecover keyboard as a bundle (no more than $850) and have Office 365 capability?

      I would already have one.

      Right now, I’m waiting to see what the Surface Pro is price wise and what it bundles with.

      If I can pick up a Pro 128GB with Stylus and Typecover for under $1000….? I might have to get one.

      RT has plenty of power but no 128GB option, Office 365 capability and stylus/keyboard bundle.

    • Mitch Hancock

      If you only ever use a browser and MS Office on the desktop, you don’t need Intel. I, however, like the idea that I can have docks at home and at the office and turn my tablet into a desktop. I think it’s worth mentioning that the only browser you can use on RT (at least right now) is IE.

    • wow

      you will transform your Lumia 900 into a 920? That’s awesome! How will you do that?

  • Ahmed M Alrasheed

    wow… RT is really slow

    • Ahmed M Alrasheed

      even the i5 metro launch speed is miserable….

  • Alain

    Actually the pen works. You will need a capacitive stylus. I got a jot pro and it works just fine.

  • koenshaku

    This is a last gen I5 processor not much of a comparison here..