If you had held out on buying a Surface Pro 2 after it had launched in October, you might find some cheer in knowing that Microsoft has gone ahead and quietly updated the processor inside the tablet.
The latest retail units of the Surface Pro 2 have seen an upgrade of its processor from the Intel “Haswell” Core i5-4200U to a better Core i5-4300U with certain improvements.
The most obvious and significant difference between the newer dual-core CPU and the one it replaced is a better clock speed. It has increased from 1.6 GHz to 1.9 GHz, with an equally comparable bump in the Turbo clock speed from 2.6 GHz to 2.9 GHz. Even the Intel HD Graphics 4400 chip got a minor increase in the maximum dynamic frequency from 1.0 GHz to 1.1 GHz. Apart from these updates, both the processors have an identical 3 MB cache, 25.6 GB/s memory bandwidth and 15 watts TDP.
Techspot notes that there are a few other extra CPU features as part of the upgrade such as vPro, VT-d, TSX-NI and Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology that claims to provide improved software security.
We do not know for sure the reason behind the processor upgrade in the newer models of the Surface Pro 2. Even Microsoft declined to share any specific details when contacted by The Verge. A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that
Microsoft routinely makes small changes to internal components over the lifetime of a product, based on numerous factors including supply chain partnerships, availability, and value for our customers. With any change to hardware or software, we work to ensure that the product experience remains excellent.
This was first noticed when during the recent firmware update issue, a Surface Pro 2 owner found that the unit that he got replaced from Microsoft had an upgraded processor.
The refreshed Surface Pro 2 model with the upgraded processor is slowly entering the retail channels and all future stock will ship with the upgraded Intel Core i5-4300U processor.
If you are planning to buy a Surface Pro 2 model anytime soon, keep an eye out for the latest model to enjoy the performance improvements it brings.