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Users reporting Microsoft Surface Pro 3 overheating issues

by Mark Tyson on 26 August 2014, 14:30

Tags: Surface

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If you are interested and primed to purchase one of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 range of portable computers (which will be made available outside the US and Canada very soon) perhaps you should take some more time to consider and watch from the sidelines. The range appears to be currently suffering from heat issues following a firmware/software update from Microsoft a few days ago. Many users, but it seems biased towards the higher end i7 models, are reporting fan noise and heat problems with their Surface Pro 3 models. Microsoft is yet to comment on any fix these issues which, unfortunately, sound pretty impactful on users.

When Microsoft first revealed the Surface Pro 3 it was proud of the slimness of the product. Panos Panay, Corporate VP of Surface Computing at Microsoft, crowed that the tablet range was "the thinnest Core [processor] product ever created". Earlier this month Paul Thurrott talked about the new range of i3 and i7 Surfaces on offer and even so early on after the product launch in North America had gathered a consensus that "these machines do indeed run very hot, particularly in the area near the upper right of the screen". This heat problem seems to have got worse after certain updates a few days back leading to a rush of complaints. Even seemingly light tasks are causing overheating and batteries are getting depleted at very fast rates.

As you might expect – as the issue appears to have come to a head following recent Microsoft updates – it seems like software is the cause of the excessive heat and fan noise. Users seem to have pinpointed the processes which are the particular problem right now. Killing the intermittent 'Windows Installer Module' and 'Windows Installer Module Worker' processes seems to keep the system running much cooler and quieter. It seems like a fix of sorts – when you hear what seems to be an unwarranted boost in fan speeds, check your process manager for these tasks…

As a software issue it should be sorted out by Microsoft in a subsequent update but the overheating and fan noise issues have left a good number of Surface Pro 3 purchasers with a bad experience. Also perhaps this Core i7-4650U chip really shouldn't be squeezed into such a small/thin chassis which is meant to be handled as a tablet sometimes.

HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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Back in the old days we didn't need a service and associated processes just to install software, i guess there is something to be said about keeping things simple.
Ah the joys of compromising size.

I think they pushed the Surface 3 Pro to be so small (thin) and light weight, that they've potentially cut too many corners. One fan, vs the previous models two for instance.
Getting mine tomorrow, fingers crossed that I don't come across these issues. XD
Getting mine tomorrow, fingers crossed that I don't come across these issues. XD
Where did you get yours from? I'm off to singapore, but I might buy a UK cover beforehand….
I'm still waiting to see a phone which prioritises battery life and thermals over thin-ness. I'm perfectly happy with the size of the ArmourDillo case on my Nexus 4, which I only really feel the need to use because of the glass back, and because it actually seems more comfortable to hold.

If I had something with a removable battery I'd be tempted to try something like this, but that volume could be utilised more efficiently by the phone manufacturer.