Microsoft unveiled it's all new Surface Pro 3 device at today's New York City press event and is touted to be the next laptop replacement but is it ready for some real gaming applications? Panos Panay, the Surface chief designer says it's designed to remove the conflict of buying a laptop or a tablet. The new Surface Pro 3 will pack some big hardware in it's up end devices with up to an Intel Core i7 Processor, an Intel Iris Pro graphics processor with 3MB L3 Cache, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and boasting a 12" display at price of $1,949, however entry levels are available at a starting price of $799.
- Core i3, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage - $799
- Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage - $999
- Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage - $1,299
- Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage - $1,549
- Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage - $1,949
The processor is certainly in line with what we would expect from an adequate gaming system however the RAM and Hard-drive space may still be an issue at least for AAA titles like Battlefield 4 or Titanfall but it's certainly still achievable. The real question is whether the Intel Iris Pro is up to the challenge. The Iris Pro 5200 has been said to be a viable solution for gaming, so much so that it's even used in the specs of a few upcoming Steam Machines and in some third party benchmark results, it's shown it's performance to be around the mid range comparable to a GeForce GT 750M or Radeon HD 8850M. There are even some performance demos of the Iris Pro 5200 running Battlefield 4 on high settings that have left many stunned, amazed and generally in disbelief.
On previous videos of gaming on the Surface Pro, we've seen people setting the graphics settings as low as possible on AA titles such as Saint's Row IV or Assassin's Creed 3. It was generally set at 720P and caused a vertically squished display however at low settings the frame rates were reasonable but some minor lag, however the Iris Pro is expected to resolve many of these previous issues. It is expected to be able to run these previous titles more smoothly and slightly higher graphics settings.
What we do see however is great potential for it to play some of the more popular less graphic intensive games such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Diablo and even the highly anticipated Heroes of the Storm. With that kind of portability it would certainly be nice to know you can play some of your favorite MOBA and Steam titles on the go anywhere. Again it's still all speculation and we'll just have to wait and see for ourselves however we are certainly excited and if the specs all live up to what we hope it can be the $800 Surface Pro 3 could be a great solution for those looking to play MOBA and strategy games off of an ultra portable device.