Overclocking the Surface Pro?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Hacking & Development' started by Arizona Willie, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Arizona Willie

    Arizona Willie Active Member

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    Is it possible to overclock the Surface Pro?
    Anyone tried it?
  2. ArnoldC

    ArnoldC New Member

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    Why would you? It is already in a form factor where heat management is critical.
  3. bosamar

    bosamar New Member

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    If there's a way, they will do it. Money is no obstacle. :D
  4. ArnoldC

    ArnoldC New Member

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    It's ok to overclock if one will also address the heat management. Otherwise, it's a recipe for destruction.
  5. Arizona Willie

    Arizona Willie Active Member

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    I was just curious 'cause I know many people like to push their gear as far as it will go. My desktop is a home built unit with an I-7 processor running at 4.24 ghz and dropping to an I-5 at only 1.7 ghz will seem slllloooooooowwwww. Good enough, sure. Most heavy use gets reserved for the desktop but ... if overclocking a bit ( not full bore all out smoke testing ) is possible then it would be something to consider.
  6. J515OP

    J515OP Moderator

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    Honestly, if you feel a tiny bit of overclocking is going to make a difference and make the Pro fast enough for you to consider, it probably isn't the right device for you. Can you overclock Intel Core i5 chips? There is nothing special about the Pro chip so you are free to do with it as you please but you will have to keep in mind its intended specifications and purposes and the risks you will take in changing that. From what you are stating this does not seem to be the device you are looking for. It will be slow compared to your desktop but it isn't a desktop or even desktop replacement so I'm not sure why you'd make that point. If you are ready for something small light and portable at the cost of all out performance then the Surface might be worth considering.
  7. Arizona Willie

    Arizona Willie Active Member

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    Well, it won't be near as slow as my Xoom :)

    I was just curious. I'm aware of the heat problem. I didn't know how well the 2 fans on the Pro worked. Most laptops are hot to have laying on your lap.

    My desktop is water cooled to keep it from melting down :)
    I know it would take better cooling than just a couple of fans in order to push the processor very far.

    But, knowing how geeks are, I figured somebody was probably trying it ;)
  8. J515OP

    J515OP Moderator

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    I totally agree and somebody will try it. I hope they are ready for the potential consequences ;) I don't think you will get far as an average tweaker though. There is already a thread talking about heavy gaming peaking the temps which in turn steps down the chips lowering performance. So the Surface is doing a good job of self regulating. Over clocking will do one of two things 1) heat up your Surface to the point it throttles back more quickly. Better if you need power in short bursts I suppose otherwise a wash. 2) If you override the settings so you stay overclocked you will burn up your Surface.

    Then there are the extremist that will find a way to water cool or whatever craziness they can come up with. As a technical achievement good for them but for practicality it won't matter. Even if they develop some kind of radical in case cooling that doesn't effect portability you still have to face the fact this is a middle of the road i5 with limited RAM, not a high end i7 so it is all sort of moot in the grand scheme other than to say you did it :D
  9. hawkhell

    hawkhell New Member

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    The pro runs windows 8 and has an i5 processor. Google "overclock i5 windows 8" people overclock everything and these processors have been out way long enough for that.

    Btw if you do this please post your results. I would like to know how far these things can be pushed before the heat destroys it.
  10. Arizona Willie

    Arizona Willie Active Member

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    I doubt I will ever do it :)

    I was just curious to see if anyone had done it.

    However, if someone that was knowledgeable said they had bumped it to 2.4 ghz and had been running like that for 3 months ... THEN i might try it. Might. Maybe.

  11. zze86

    zze86 New Member

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    Why would you want to, it's unstable enough the way it is! :LOL:
  12. CMD

    CMD New Member

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    I haven't overclocked the processor, but I have downloaded Intel XTU and it alows you to play with the turbo boost time limit and turbo boost voltage settings. The default settings is 17v for long term boost, and 24v for short term. The CPU, however is rated at 28v short term and 44v long term. So I bumped mine up to 24v and 34v respectively. I also changed the turbo boost time from default 40 seconds to several minutes. My processor basically constantly runs at 2.4 GHZ when not idle, and no, I don't get overheating or massive throttling since the firmware update.

    Edit: you can also download ThrottleStop 5.0 (its freeware) and check the box to set the CPU to turbo mode. You can play with other settings there too
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
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  13. prscarp

    prscarp New Member

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    You can also play around with throttlestop to try and force it to run at 2.4ghz or whatever the turbo boost clock is. Although I can already see it hitting the max temp real quick and forcing itself to throttle down.
  14. mitchellvii

    mitchellvii New Member

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    Lack of speed is not the SP's issue, heat is.
  15. zokstar

    zokstar New Member

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    If anything we should try and figure out if we can undervolt it!!!
  16. machistmo

    machistmo New Member

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    When the original Surface Pro hits eBay for 300, I will let you know.
  17. demandarin

    demandarin Active Member

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    I tried your settings for the extreme utility. I will only use this new profile plugged up as I know itd drain battery extra fast. I also have the turbo boost widget from Intel. with these new settings, I just saw my processor in the pro hit 3.3Ghz. the highest ive seen yet. I think 24 and 24 safe numbers. I put the boost time to double, which is 80 seconds. this will be good for gaming or more cpu intensive tasks. thanks for posting this. Turbo boost is essentially intels own built in overclock. base clock is 1.7Ghz. now im hitting 3.3Ghz. sounds like an overclock to me..lol
  18. machistmo

    machistmo New Member

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    You can also use any number of USB to DVI or HDMI converters to add a second monitor and watch your CPU throttle and heat up..

    The real question here should be this: Can you underclock it, maintain good useable experience and extend the battery life signifigantly..? Put that in your pipe and smoke it and let me know what you find with this project... This I would be far more curious about that overclocking the thing.
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  19. demandarin

    demandarin Active Member

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    I agree. im actually more concerned with battery life. but when im plugged in, don't mind the extra power.

    I came across a poster here who linked to a description of a custom power setting plan to maximize battery life. I tested it out and pulled a lil over 6hrs of usuage out of the pro. with no perceived loss in performance or speed. heavy web browsing, streaming vids, using various apps like bento, appy geek, etc... I named this custom plan Battery Max. One of the settings I changed that likely has one of the biggest effects on battery life was the Processor management or cpu speeds. it was stated to put this only on 75% of max. in doing this, the processor never hits turbo boost. therefore staying at lower speeds than turbo boosted and device stays cooler.

    same thing can basically be done with this extreme utility tool. just in a different or more detailed way. with this tool, you can cut back or decrease the voltage during regular boost and short burst boost. also decrease the time the boost runs at or whatever. so its basically doing the opposite of what me and that poster above did. that in itself should extend battery a lot more. then add in other optimization in power settings and I can easily see pulling 7 hours out of the pro with normal usage and brightness not so high. no gaming of course..lol gaming will always drain like crazy.

    I will experiment around in the utility and see if I can make it produce any better results than my battery max custom plan. in that plan, on 75% max cpu speed, it nevers hits turbo boost. so id have to see if the utility would let me go lower than a max base clock of 1.7Ghz. might be possible. but even reduced speeds, from what ive seen, shows no lag or loss in speed at all. The battery can be stretched out a lot more from the software side. that's why im surprised no one has created a thread on this and people share their settings and results.
  20. demandarin

    demandarin Active Member

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    actually I just took a quick look in there again. from Intel own utility, it wont let you go lower than (regular) turbo boost power max 17w and short term power boost 21.250w. the short term is the absolute highest processor will hit but for very short bursts/periods or whatever you set it to. so we cant lower from this way, as far a wattage goes. but you can decrease the time window of the boost. making it available for only a shorter period of time. this will give some savings lowering it.

    but I think more can be gotten out of advanced settings in making custom power plan. like I mentioned earlier I set my plan to 75% of max to never hit boost. well technically you can set that percentage even lower. which in turn will make the cpu hit an even more reduced max speed. someone could set it to 50% or whatever and see what the max cpu speed will be then. so technically that's a form of underclocking through that method.

    very interesting. time to make a battery max extreme one based off my battery max profile but instead I will put the max cpu speed to a lower percentage than 75%. maybe 50 or 50%. maybe even lower. im going to try to make it a mission to pull 7 hrs or more hrs. of battery life. if I can hit a lil over 6hrs at 75% of max cpu speed, im sure a lower % will get me more.

    who knows, I might just be able to squeeze 10hrs. out of this mofo..lol if I do, Microsoft better offer me a job or new surface pro 2..haha.

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