Throttling on SP3: What can we do if Microsoft does not?

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by lonaysta, Jun 26, 2014.

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  1. lonaysta

    lonaysta Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I know this might be the third thread on issues related to throttling/undervolting/connected standby/hyper-V....a series of terms related to the performance and battery life of our beloved or be dstrauss'd surface pro 3.
    Here I wanna discuss this topic: How can we maximize the performance of Surface Pro 3/reduce the impact of throttling on CPU/GPU before Microsoft answers to this question(or will they ever?)?
    The scenario is when using surface pro 3 plugged to AC power (or docked), as users do not need to worry about battery life. With this scenario we can avoid the conflict between performance and battery life and focus on the first one. However, we do need to face the issue of potential high temperature of the device (and ways to reduce the risk of damaging the device by high temperature).

    So, folks, any ideas?

    What I've tried so far is to disable Connected Standby and change the detailed power profile. However, when I did this for "High Performance“ profile and chose to maximize performance for all available options, I still got throttling when I played several flash videos in Chrome (I found this very demanding for the CPU), though it might took longer than in default mode. So, not working.
     
  2. rwerksman

    rwerksman Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Another thing to be aware of is the battery implications of going to high performance, all the time, in an effort to cure the throttling. In my testing (granted, it's only been 24 hours or so) you're looking at nearly double the battery rundown in CS over the balanced plan. I saw approximately 850mw per hour as compared to 425ish in balanced.

    So, TL;DR - Be aware that anything you may change will probably have battery life implications
     
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  3. Malamasala

    Malamasala Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Isn't half the reason for throttling the heat? I guess if you are not touching it and the processor can handle the heat, there would be no problems adjusting the throttle.
     
  4. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    For now the best you can do is find the sweet spot where you get the GPU performing at a good level of power but not high enough that it gets it hot enough to trigger the throttle.
    This can be achieved by first determining the temp at which the SP3 triggers throttling, and then finding a voltage or speed that you cap at that can maintain decent performance under that cap. Use throttle stop to try this. Also the new throttle Stop has a feature that let you select the balance between onboard GPU and CPU with intel CPU's. For something like gaming, try alotting more voltage to the GPU and less to the CPU, while setting the overall speed cap to somewhere under the turbo speed.

    With a lot of tweaking you may find a setting that coasts along at a more stable rate without getting so hot that the thermal protection that is triggering the throttling kicks in.
     
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  5. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    The Surface Pro 3 has a specific chip on the Motherboard, where the battery connects to the device that controls battery and thermals, it has its own Firmware and is configured below the OS. It is tweaked right now by MS for maximum battery life and thermal throttling for stability. All of the OS tricks will get you some little gains but you will not be able to defeat the Firmware on that chip.

    Also, I believe there are some machines that either have faulty fans or lack enough thermal paste, so far I've streamed a 4K Video at full resolution, done video editing, Video Conferencing at HD all without a single hiccup as well as my normal large Pivot Tables...
     
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  6. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Maybe no performance hiccups, but did you actually check if the system throttled? If you think some systems have separate issues, it would be nice if people ran the same benchmark suites and timed how long it took to hit throttling.
     
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    On any mobile device I expect throttling, so if it did throttle but still did the task I needed it to do without impacting me then it did what it was designed to do. Benchmarks in my humble opinion are the modern equivalent of the Car Buffs tuning their cars to 0-60 in under 4 seconds which did absolutely nothing for their everyday driving...
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
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  8. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Do you know if the chip in the i7 version is tweaked differently? Also, since MS has been pretty silent on this issue (compared with others like N-Trig), does this mean MS is still undecided on how to deal with it?
     
  9. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    I am as much an MS fanboi as the next guy, but people wanting to play games with a decent sustained frame rate are not some kind of outlandish group of niche users. So if you truly think that there are a couple of bad devices out there, you would have to agree that it would be wise to set up a well-defined test to check for that, for example using a well-known benchmark suite and recording the time it takes to reach throttling. I don't think ignoring this issue is going to do MS any favors.
     
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  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    All I know on the throttling issue is what Gabe from Penny Arcade got from MS on the issue, that they were confident they could fix it....

    Penny Arcade - Surface Pro 3 update

    All of the Surface Devices thus far have been tuned in favor of battery and have been updated through out their life-cycle, how much they can turn up the performance before the laws of physics come in to play is yet to be determined. I know with the original RT they upped the performance and then it started having issues with over-heating, so they tuned it back a bit.
     
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