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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i7 performance can throttle by almost 30 percent over time

Surface Pro 7 throttles 22 percent slower than the Surface Laptop 3 equipped with the exact same Core i7 CPU (Image source: Microsoft)
Surface Pro 7 throttles 22 percent slower than the Surface Laptop 3 equipped with the exact same Core i7 CPU (Image source: Microsoft)
Don't be fooled into believing that the Core i7-1065G7 CPU in the latest Surface Pro 7 tablet can perform roughly the same as the Core i7-1065G7 in a "proper" Ultrabook. The tablet version of the processor can be around 22 percent slower than the similarly equipped 15-inch Surface Laptop 3.

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.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7 Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Core i7-1065G7: Ø717 (684.67-772.41)
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Core i7-1065G7: Ø592 (555.54-783.03)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i7 performance can throttle by almost 30 percent over time
Allen Ngo, 2020-02-22 (Update: 2020-02-22)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.