I just want to get a Surface Pro 4 for university, but I can actually not decide if it is worth to pay 300$ more for a i7? I would probably use it for programming, photo/video editing and running a virtual box on it. Of course not at the same time
Thanks for you help!
The Core i5 has a higher base clock speed, but lower max Turbo Boost speed. The Core i7 has a lower base clock speed, but higher max Turbo Boost speed. The Core i7 also has 1MB more internal cache which can be helpful in CPU intensive tasks and it also has a more power integrated graphics core, the Intel Iris 540. There are no benchmarks for that graphics core, but Notebookcheck.net estimates it should be a more powerful than a nVidia 920m. In the link below they rank the Intel Iris 540 as a "Class 2" GPU that is somewhat close to the performance of the nVidia 930m (see middle column).
The Core i5 CPU has an Intel HD 520 graphics core. Based on some benchmarks Notebookcheck.net ranks it as a "Class 3" GPU that has similar performance to the nVidia 820m. That makes it less powerful than the Intel Iris 540.
Overall, the processor performance between the i5-6300u and i7-6550u is not much, but the graphics performance of the Intel Iris 540 would be beneficial for driving a second monitor and any effects in Photoshop that can take advantage of the graphics core. Is it huge? Probably not, but it is there.
I guess a good point to take care is the autonomy. As both models use the same battery, and both have the same TDP (15W), the i5 has a TDP-down consum of only 7,5W while i7 is 9,5W. And I guess that's the mode used by Microsoft to anounce it's 9 hours of life. If MS used the i5 to run the test is because they know it's the more efficient?