Microsoft has updated the recently released Surface Pro 2 tablet. This time it isn’t a software update, but an important hardware bump. The 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4200U processor is replaced by the i5-4300U with a higher clock speed and some added business-class features.
The new dual-core CPU has a default core clock speed of 1.9GHz and up to 2.9GHz in TurboBoost mode, up from 1.6 and 2.6GHz respectively. According to data from the PassMark processor benchmark database, this change results in a nice performance increase from 3,351 to 3,917 points. For comparison’s sake, the corresponding lower-end i3-4010U chip racks up 2,456 points, whereas the higher-end i7-4500U yields 4,009, only a tad better than new Surface 2 Pro CPU.
Also, the maximal clock sped of the Intel HD 4400 integrated graphics on the i5-4300U is 1.1GHz instead of 1GHz on the 4200U, so games should run a bit faster on the higher-clocked part.
Besides performance, the i5-4300U brings some manageability and security improvements which are important in business environments. The most remarkable are Intel’s vPro, Small Business Advantage, and Trusted Execution technologies.
Here’s a breakdown of these features:
Intel vPro Technology is a set of security and manageability capabilities built into the processor aimed at addressing four critical areas of IT security: 1) Threat management, including protection from rootkits, viruses, and malware 2) Identity and web site access point protection 3) Confidential personal and business data protection 4) Remote and local monitoring, remediation, and repair of PCs and workstations.
Intel Small Business Advantage provides small businesses with out-the-box features to enhance the security and productivity of their small business with software monitor, data backup and restore, USB port blocker, health center and wireless display.
Intel Trusted Execution Technology for safer computing is a versatile set of hardware extensions to Intel processors and chipsets that enhance the digital office platform with security capabilities such as measured launch and protected execution. It enables an environment where applications can run within their own space, protected from all other software on the system.
You can find all other differences between the i5-4200U and i5-4300U in this comparison table. The chips have the same price of $281 on Intel’s end, so equal pricing of both Surface 2 Pro versions isn’t a surprise. The tablet starts at $899.00 for a model with 64GB of internal storage and no keyboard cover included.
Source: The Verge