I got the new Surface 3 with 4 GB memory this week and even if I did not get it play games I had to test how it performs. So, I installed The Lord of the Rings Online on external hard drive and gave it a short spin. Loading times were long, but the game started. In the open I got between 36 fps in Bree-land and 18 fps in West Rohan with Very Low setting.
So far so good and went on to try some real action. I was able to complete Thievery and Mischief skirmish in solo mode and while the skirmish was playable the low frame rate made it was not that enjoyable with 10 – 20 fps and Type Cover’s trackpad.
Next I plugged in external mouse and keyboard. This was where the problems started. The single USB-port on Surface struggled to deliver enough power for the three devices. The game was still running and I tried to do some questing in Aldburg. Here the game started crashing constantly and I had to quit.
In conclusion, the Surface 3 with 4 GB memory can run LotRO, but with uncomfortably low frame rates and the heavier regions like Rohan can be unstable. I did not research further whether the instability was caused by the game or too many connected devices. The game took almost all of the memory, so the 2 GB model will probably be unable to start the game.
[Edit: 28.12.2015] I made a follow up post.
[THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™ interactive video game © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.]
I wonder if a separate USB hub with its own power source would help.
It would definitely help with multiple peripherals. I am sceptic about the crashes, because also the Mac client has problems with Rohan. But, more testing is needed to find the extent of issues.
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Had to do further research on what a ‘surface 3’ was but found: ‘Surface 3 is the fullest realization of Microsoft’s original Surface dream: a portable tablet that can do double-duty as a laptop’
Aha… so basically playing LOTRO on a tablet… interesting…
My wife’s old desktop comp is really struggling with LOTRO since I arrived in Rohan so either an upgrade at some point in the future or, my dream, a gaming laptop will be needed…
When is my next bonus?
Yes, the Surface is a fancy piece of hardware. I especially like that it runs full Windows despite being super portable. And, it does not burn my lap like my previous laptop.
I think that the beefier Pro models would be able to run LotRO pretty well, but they come with a hefty price tag too.
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