Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i7 performance can throttle by almost 30 percent over time
As we've mentioned before in the past, the performance of a processor can vary greatly between two different laptops even if both are equipped with the same CPU. It's easy to forget that larger laptops are generally faster than thinner laptops despite having similar internal specifications.
Our latest example is between the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 15 and 12.3-inch Surface Pro 7 tablet each equipped with an Intel 10th gen Core i7-1065G7 CPU. We can observe CPU performance changes over time on each system when running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop as shown in the chart below. Performance starts out relatively the same between the two systems at the beginning of the run (770 points vs. 780 points) only to degrade faster and steeper over time on the Surface Pro 7 tablet. The tablet eventually stabilizes at a nearly 30 percent performance dip from its original score. After accounting for the throttling on both devices, users can expect a 22 percent deficit in processor performance on the tablet relative to the Surface Laptop 3.
CPU throttling is not uncommon on tablets, but it's particularly noticeable on the Surface Pro series since Microsoft insists on equipping its flagship models with the same Intel U series processors as found on larger Ultrabooks. While this looks good on paper, the steeper throttling can be off-putting to performance users. We discovered similar results on the last generation Surface Pro 6 and even Surface Pro 5 and the latest Surface Pro 7 appears to be no different.