The Surface Pro has been available for quite a while now and the device has seen its fair share of issues along the way. One new issue that is making its rounds on the official Microsoft support forum is the issue of overheating. Microsoft appears to be limiting the heat threshold to 80C, which brings the system to a crawl.
“The issue isn’t every tablet overheating and needing replaced. Microsoft has thermally limited the CPU/GPU to 80C based on all my testing,” one user argues on Microsoft’s official Answers website. “When the CPU/GPU hit 80C it’s a hard wall that causes voltage to drop to 7W on the CPU and 2.4W on the GPU resulting in less than 10W!!! This Ivy Bridge is rated at 17W! Microsoft we have a little more thermal headroom to be had (105C is the threshold). Acer did the same thing on the W700 and is getting some pretty heavy backlash, Samsung on the ATIV 700T has not (can sustain 17W minimal rating),” the user adds. Apparently, once the Surface Pro hits 80C, the voltage drops and the system comes to a crawl. While it is understandable that the device may have a limit of 80C to prevent the device from damaging or even prevent the consumer from burning their hands, consumers seem to want the ability (flexibility?) to choose what the heat threshold should be. The other issue that comes up is how quickly the device heats up. After only a few minutes of playing certain recently released game titles, the Surface Pro appears to heat up within minutes, resulting in the device reaching the heat threshold of 80C.
“At 80 degrees, CPU downclocks and makes games unplayable. I am okay with my surface pro getting a little bit hot during gaming. What I am not okay with is being unable to play due to FPS issues,” another Surface Pro owner states. “I am running Tomb Raider at 1280×720 at Normal settings and it starts to chug everytime temp hits around 80. Dota 2 also has FPS issues but not as bad as Tomb Raider,” yet another Surface Pro owner states.
Microsoft has yet to offer its official statement on this issue. So before you head back to replace your Surface Pro, perhaps a future update may let you adjust the heat threshold. Or perhaps the Surface Pro was never meant to play power-intensive games?