Surface Pro 3 - The problems thread

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by MSGaldenzi, Jun 20, 2014.

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  1. cbutters

    cbutters Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You are right it is strange that it never goes above 600 in minecraft, I just tried a simple gpu render test the HTML5 fishbowl in IE 11 and it peaked temporarily at 950mhz.
    I will be doing more testing tonight once I get home.

    On the plus side of things, using XTU, I did a CPU stress test at 100% cpu usage for 15 minutes and the processor never dropped below 2.2ghz. My i5 would go down to 1.2ghz on this exact same test.

    EDIT: Turns out, I was using my SP3 in my work office where the ambient temperature / air circulation is much better than where I did my previous testing... Once I got the device back at home, it exhibited the same behavior as the i5 model (i.e. throttling down to 1.0ghz) I apologize for the confusion I may have caused.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
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  2. briandwilliams68

    briandwilliams68 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Cameron, you had my hopes up for a moment there that maybe I had a piece of faulty hardware! I'm still pushing to bring more exposure to this issue in order to get a response from Microsoft. I just want acknowledgment of the issue and that a fix is coming shortly.
     
  3. cbutters

    cbutters Scribbler - Standard Member

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    My re-examined i7 throttling results:
    Surface Pro 3 Throttling Demystified - Core i7 Model - Gaming Performance - YouTube

    In the video I examine the following: A) The i7 Throttles just as heavily as the i5 version, throttling down to as low as 800mhz CPU and 200mhz GPU, but the i7 does perform slightly better than the i5 even when throttling due to the better graphics processor. The i7 is still worth it over the i5, but the real question is an i7 worth it when it throttles down to 800mhz CPU and 200mhz GPU under extended loads.
    B) The CPU temperature is not what is causing the device to throttle. It is some other onboard temperature sensor. This is verified by watching the device throttling, but then turning on a fan beside the device, the device instantly comes to life, clock speeds double and the framerates jump from ~45 FPS to 100 FPS. The CPU temperatures actually increase despite a fan blowing on the device because it can now operate at a faster frequency and voltage spec.
    The bottom line is that if you want to run extended loads on this device, you need a very cold room and/or an auxillary source of air flow on the device to boost performance.
    In the video I show the SP3 completely throttled, then I switch on a box fan and you see performance double.... then I turn off the box fan and performance drops again. This is why everyone has been reporting different results about the performance of their surface pro 3s. Ambient temperature / airflow plays an incredibly large factor for the performance of this device, just like others have postulated in this thread.
     
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  4. Allarih

    Allarih Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks a lot. It looks like there is not much can be done with any firmware update. And need of external cooling for any serious work is just ridiculous. Plus system already works on the edge of it's thermal capabilities, so, after several month of use - when fan will collect dust - device will be throttled constantly.

    I think I'll just go for sp2 - I could by a slightly used 8/256 version for ~$800, keyboard included.

    I guess with SP3 we have something close to fanless CoreM performance. Just with i5 and reinvented fan.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  5. Osiris

    Osiris Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great video cbutters, it does seem like a bleak prospect of being resolving by any firmware update. II still think for most every day use and even photoshop etc to a point its not a deal breaker but I concede its hard to ignore the fact that you have some good hardware there in the i5 or i7 case and due to limits its pretty much being under utilised..
     
  6. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    I'm a little bewildered you guys find cbutters findings so depressing. I see it as a good sign.

    A. This means that a simple and effective workaround solution for gaming is to use a laptop cooling pad with fan. Usually throttling is not solved so easily by the user.
    B. This external sensor (assuming cbutters is correct in the proposition) most likely has firmware attached to it, with values and thresholds that MS could still adjust if needed. Why is this any less likely to be adjusted than if it were actually the CPU being too hot causing the problem?
    C. The CPU is proven to be capable of running hotter and faster if this external temp is manipulated! That amazing news. Your already ahead of 90% of all the other throttling problems out there. This may not be entirely a limit of the small form factor after all.

    Gosh if I could increase my T902 frame rates so dramatically with a simple fan pointed at it, I would be so lucky!
     
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  7. Allarih

    Allarih Scribbler - Standard Member

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    stoneseeker, even a laptop cooling pad is not c complete solution

    A. Even with external cooling GPU is still clocked at 600Mhz, which is less then it should be.
    B. If, let's say, the chip protects touchscreen from overheating there is simply no thermal heatroom for major adjustments. And small tweaks will not change much.
    C. I think it is. Looks like it is not possible to keep whatever MS is trying to protect reasonably cool without an external cooler.

    My doubts are not coming solely from gaming perspective. I'm a product designer and I need my laptop for sketching, 3d modeling, 3d rendering, and occasional video editing. Currently I use vaio duo, which is doing OK. But I have a cheapest i5/4/128 version and I'd like to switch it for something more powerful OR more portable.

    Surface pro 3 is seems to be great for sketching, despite the fact that it has N-Ttig pen (assuming it not any worse than Sony pen). Combination of size, weight and screen ratio is awesome. I'd like to sketch on he go sometimes, and vaio duo is too big for that, while SP3 should do great.

    The problem is - it seems that I'll have to use cooling pad for 3d modeling and 3d rendering all the time. Which means I'll be tied to my (noisy) workplace when I'll need to open CAD of AE.

    My unicorn devices would be either something like Razer blade (quad core i7 and Nvidia GPU) with vaio flip convertible screen and Wacom, OR an 11 to 12 inch 16x10 or 3x2 penabled tablet with all the performance of modern ultrabook. It looks like SP2 is still closer than it's successor to my unicorn dream device. It lack only about an 1cm of vertical screen space, which will be tolerable for me, I think.

    P.S. Why there is not a single one powerful convertible on the market I wonder? Artist would fight for it. Even vaio flip 15 is using the ULV cpu, which is beyond ridiculous. They could've easily place quad core i7 with iris graphics in laptop that big.
     
  8. Malamasala

    Malamasala Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I think it is because everyone who has tried to go for power, has gotten 3-4 hours of battery and they sold poorly because consumers like "entire day" devices that do not need to be plugged in to be used. You won't get your dream machine until they've made better batteries.

    Meanwhile my dream machine seem to never be made, even though all it involves is additional buttons. For some reason all companies want slick and smooth tablets, instead of versatile and configurable tablets with touch buttons. It tells you something when people can create third party sticker NFC buttons and sell them to owners of touch devices. Hopefully it gets expanded from Android to Windows (mainly just need a program running to read the NFC data), so I can buy those.

    DIMPLE.IO - Your custom Android NFC buttons!
     
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  9. be77solo

    be77solo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Nice video Cbutters, thanks for taking the time to put that together!

    I agree, very disappointing and the same results I'm seeing as well. Microsoft dropped the ball in promising better performance and simply went for our wallets by offering an i7.

    Unfortunately, a basic laptop cooler isn't going to provide that amount of additional cooling ha
     
  10. playsted

    playsted Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've reached a stable 950Mhz-1Ghz for the GPU under load on mine using a fan. Been busy at work lately so haven't had a chance to really explore it much further but the potential is there.
     
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