Microsoft quietly updates the Surface Pro 2 with slightly improved CPU

Surface Pro 2

Did you buy a Surface Pro 2 or plan to buy one? If you’re planning on buying one you might want to wait a bit until current retail stock is replenished with the Surface Pro 2.5. That’s right, Microsoft has silently refreshed the CPU inside the Surface Pro 2 that launched two months ago with an ever so slightly improved one.

When the Surface Pro 2 went on sale in October its processor was the Intel Core i5-4200U. That processor had a clock speed of 1.6 GHz. Newer Surface Pro 2’s are now shipping with the Intel Core i5-4300U, which is basically the same processor except it has a slightly higher clock speed at 1.9 GHz. The newer 4300U processor also contains Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology, which is hardware-based technology for enhanced security.

The findings come from the Microsoft support forums where a user noticed the bump after trading in his original Surface Pro 2 for a newer one after issues caused by a firmware update. A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge that the company does make routinely small changes to internal components over the product’s lifetime. Why the change? That’s unclear at this stage and Microsoft isn’t telling.  

You shouldn’t feel slighted if you already have a Surface Pro 2. Any performance boosts won’t be noticeable in real world use and you’ll only see differences if you’re running benchmark tests. Users in the Microsoft forums are reported similar battery life between the two processors so far.

Source: Microsoft Answers

Thanks for the tip neonspark!



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juanitoriv says:

Running changes happen.

300MHz is not an slight update

Fndlumia says:

It is as you can overclock current i5 to this speed no problem.

Simple clock speed increases are almost never noticable.  Even though It's a (nearly) 20% clock update at it lowest speed, it's only 11% at it's highest, and it's not like the computer will feel 11% faster - all the other internal components (video, hard drive, memory) are the same.  It's always been a bit like cars for me - 400HP is cooler than 360HP, but my "butt-dyno" will never see it, plus I don't just drive my car in straight lines, or sit around all day running benchmarks on my computers.

mister2d says:

I remember the old days too when 300MHz was a huge increase.

sasukeluffy says:

I remember the old days when 300mhz was the clock speed of the good processors..

mister2d says:



Except my first computer had a button for 8Hz or 20Hz. I know some may outdate me though. :)

The Turbo button!

blackprince says:

Oh the Turbo button

Oh the feelings when we used to press the turbo button.

spcdog says:

I assume you meant MHz and not Hz... Unless your computer was made from rocks and twigs or something. :)

mister2d says:

Heh. Meant 8/12 MHz.

Robert Grant says:

That's... what? 666Hz?

MarineDawg says:

My first computer was the Timex Sinclair 1000....I think it was made from rocks and twigs.


db4williams says:

True that! It used cassette tapes for data if I recall correctly.

bkydcmpr says:

That button was designed for compatibility issue not speed. Some older software (like games) didn't check the timing at all and update blindly because they assumed all computers were supposed to run constantly at the speed of an IBM PC-XT, faster computers made these games run like crazy.

mister2d says:

You are correct sir. There were many dos games that were unplayable. Had to *slow* the computer down. Unheard of these days. haha

qwe123878 says:

That's probably one reason why they don't specify the CPU model in their ads, just say it is a i5 chip

ralexand56 says:

Probably not to come off too nerdy.

That's BS. This is what I get for buying one launch day...

Markp74 says:

You wouldn't even notice a difference

It still bothers me. And in 2 years time, it would help.

adrian1338 says:

in two years time they will both suck

Nataku4ca says:

Intel probably had a hand in this, eg. we sell u cheaper for new model

Yeah, as they said it with $ sign in their eyes.

MikeSo says:

If this bothers you, you have an awesome life.

Kellzea says:

You have a choice, either you buy one early and understand that in the future things change, or you wait until an arbitrarily defined day and buy it then in the hope time stops and the universe becomes static as to not "invalidate your purchase".

spcdog says:

It's a tempting thought... Will a static universe where time has stopped affect how much enjoyment I get from my devices? :)

Daylife says:

Its technology, what do you expect? Plus the performance increase is so small.

RodimusMajor says:

Interesting-- in that case, I'm glad that I probably won't be able to get mine till later this year, haha.

GP07 says:

I bet the update to the CPU has to do with a supply chain issue. They've been in short supply from early on so I'm thinking ms can't get enough of them and had to make the change.

Devmer11 says:

Just like the Xbox 360 changing From flash memory HDMI port newer motherboards

Fndlumia says:

Time to change mine for a new one as firmware update wrecked my battery....

Lumia 8x says:

To me that clock speed will be noticeable when running non metro applications.

Was give one to play around with - liked the device... Thanks for the heads up! Not that this is a major upgrade, but i would like to get the latest revision, especially if they've fiddled with other things as well ;)

The Surface 2 is sold out in The Netherlands and Germany. MS Surface is hot.

Rob Geerts says:

It is sold out but I doubt if it is really that hot! My guess is the shops didn't have many in stock... Too bad because I want to buy a Windows-tablet. I'll better wait for the Lumia 2520.

Marco Gomes1 says:

It's sold out even in Microsoft online store, or at least it was a few days ago.

Dadstar0410 says:

Best Buys near where I live say that the Surfaces are the hottest devices in their store right now.

I've checked on the 256 GB for weeks, and it hasn't been in stock yet. Why can they not provide some type of expected return date or pre-order or something?

noirsoft says:

My local ms store gets shipments roughly weekly. I was able to call back every few days and eventually snag a 256.

Mike Dutra says:

I checked daily at the online MS store. Once I had one in my cart but by the time I tries to pay for it it was out of stock. Finally got one on 12/28 and it shipped on 12/30. Have to keep going back ad checking at least daily. But on the bright side you may get the updated model when you do.

Also, someone claimed that their 4300u version what clock limited down to 2.6Ghz anyway. Not sure if that is true but I wouldn't put it past them.

Deaconclgi says:

I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows Tablet, don't regret it at all and I haven't used my iPad 4 or Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 since.

The Venue 8 Pro was purchased for $249 and it is a powerful tablet for the price. The quad-core atom processor and new Intel HD graphics are WAY more powerful than I ever imagined.


Iain_S says:

It is selling very well as shown in web traffic stats released earlier today,

mutant 9 says:

When is the Mini coming out?

Shadai says:

I can't even order one of the 256gb versions with the new or the old processor. Best buy website had them for literally 30 minutes today. This shortage is ridiculous.

Marco Gomes1 says:

Cool, but too expensive for what it is.

Markp74 says:

I guess that depends on what you think it is.

I'm starting to believe. These things really are flying off the shelves!

freshfelicio says:

Am I the only one with a launch-day SP2 who isnt mad about this?!

Great deal says:

Not bothered either, am getting the SP3 whenever that comes out and give this to the other half.  Am not overly happy about the SP2 anyhow due to the niggling glitches.  I just hope that the dock will fit the sp3, sp4 and sp5!

bahamut443 says:

I just bought a 256GB/8GB Surface Pro 2 about a week and a half ago. Had to wait almost two months for my Best Buy to get one for me. Now I'll have to check my specs.

rocketboy says:

Well look at this...my SP2 just fell off the kitchen table and shattered on the kitchen floor...time to invoke the MS Complete Coverage. It was my toddler's fault really.... :P

Ouch. Toddler plus broken glass...not a good combination. Hope (s)he's OK.

What? Why does MS treat its most loyal customers this way? Are they really that stupid?

dalascby says:

They probably did this because most bloggers out there have been calling the ASUS T300LA a better buy than the Surface Pro 2, so MS upped the specs a bit on the SP2.  I have the T300LA, it's a sleek, all aluminum construction machine with a core i5 Haswell...and the keyboard comes with it (bluetooth...doesn't have to be docked).  It's also 13.3 inches which makes it a better laptop replacement (it's a tablet as well). Typing on the keyboard is very comfortable and not cramped at all.

txDrum says:

This is purely because of yields. Its easier to ship beginning haswell at 4200U speeds because the process isn't that mature. As yields improve, its easier to make higher clocked parts at the same voltage levels = doesn't impact battery. Hence the new part.

snakechia says:

You buy now, you feel better because the earlier 1 get 1.6GHz, then I get it 3mths later, I feel even better, coz I properly get a 2.1GHz.... then everyone keep waiting..... thing can't sell .... Lol

birgs says:

Can i install any development engine in surface pro like visual studio? It can run emulator.?

boarder2 says:

Yes, and yes.

Tyla Shi says:

Big deal! First world problems, it's like they shoved gold in the newer units and now we want to smash our heads against the wall thinking how stupid we were for buying the ones without extra goodies. The newer units have a "different" module inside. It's not necessarily an upgrade. It's like how mobile devices defer in different countries. Just think of it like that and it'll calm your anxiety a tad bit.

thpsrulr says:

Woo hoo! Finally broke down and got the SP2.

Ordered it on Xmas Eve from MS Online store since all the local BB's were out of stock and wouldn't let me place the order online.

Looks like I lucked out and got the newer processor (just checked) and don't know what the lesser one felt like to operate, but the latest one is nice.

I do wish they included an ethernet and micro HDMI connections directly on the device though for the price.  Then it would be a perfect home/business device for sure!

I hate how crapple forces you to buy a $40 adapter for everything that you "used" to be able to do built in. Even now with their imacs you need a $40 disc reader because it is no longer built in either. :S Hopefully MS listens and puts these two items on their SP3. That would be awesome and might even consider upgrading from the SP2 before the SP4 or 5!

jordansam says:

Either way I absolutely love my surface 2! 300 isn't that marginal. what are you guys getting for battery life? I am at about 4 but that's all settings on too

bitnisse says:

I don't know about battery life yet as i'm still to drain it completely. Bought the 128GB version on the 3rd of Feb from a local retailer here in Finland. Actually ended up with the i5-4200U but i absolutely love it. It is so cool to be able to play World of Tanks on your tablet besides from all the casual surfing and writing on the go.