Skin Heat on Surface Pro?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro' started by Sit, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Sit

    Sit Member

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    I really like the Decal and the personalization it adds. However, the Pro's back is aluminum and an excellent heat sink for the internals. When I run some simulator apps, I can hear the internal fans start up. So I was wondering if you have come across anything in regard to diminished heat dissipation with the Decal or if it does anything to the warranty? Thanks.
     
  2. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator

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    I can't speak to the difference in heat by adding the decal but I suspect it is minimal. It certainly shouldn't effect the warranty. If the fans are kicking on that is a good thing. The case itself isn't dissipating the heat, it is actively being cooled by the fans. As long as you don't block the vents the decals shouldn't make a difference. Even if the decals do act as an insulator they will just cause the fans to kick on that much sooner which is the primary means of getting rid of heat.
     
  3. tonyz3

    tonyz3 New Member

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    Also MS sells and installs - CHEAP versions of the skins in their retail stores - will even install them for you while you wait. So I suspect they wouldn't if their was any potential issues.
     
  4. Sit

    Sit Member

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    I did not know this, thanks. I really like the decal thing... personalization. The aluminum back (a heat sink) is used for passive thermal cooling just like that on an audio amplifier. Although my fans don't run continuously, they do come on for a little active cooling. This drains the battery quicker and draws dust into the pro. If you have ever taken apart a desktop, it gets loaded with dust all over..... hmmm, now the fan works harder and no way for me to "dust" inside the pro. So, even though the decal probably doesn't make a big difference for the typical user, and the fact my fans start up, I think for now I'll back off on the decal. Thanks for the thoughts.
     
  5. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator

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    I think that is overstating the position but do what makes you happy :) The Surface has a defined thermal envelope and the fans come on when necessary. The dust is gong to be what it is. There is no evidence that the case is designed to act as a heat sync and a skin is unlikely to change that. There is very little contact between the heat sources/cooling system which rests just below the plastic camera strip and the case and you can clearly see most of the cooling is done via large copper radiators infront of the fans (Microsoft Surface Pro Teardown - iFixit). Ambient air temperature is gong to make more of a difference, so if you are using the Surface in a sauna the Mg is going to absorb that heat and actually heat up your Surface rather than cool it.

    Standard environment operating temps: 40-104F (5-40C) (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee947225(v=surface.10).aspx)

    The Surface is not going to be sitting in one place sucking up dust like a desktop. You probably aren't gong to have more than 2-3 years of accumulation either before replacement anyway, which is also unlike desktops which generally accumulate over a longer period with a large more exposed fan sucking things up. Of course being portable you can take it into dusty environments but in that situation you might get more benefit from the skin as protection than having a naked Surface in a dusty environment.

    All I am saying is common sense about the environment you are using your Surface in is probably going to go further to keeping it cool than any worry about a skin retaining heat that the Surface can't dissipate through its fans.
     
  6. Sit

    Sit Member

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    > There is no evidence that the case is designed to act as a heat sync and a skin is unlikely to change that.
    My college education is electronics, worked in the field, mostly digital with a little analog, my whole life and am now retired. I don't need a big sticker saying "heat sink" on the aluminum back:) It is being used as a passive heat dissipation means, no question about it. The decal does impede heat dissipation to a degree. I do agree, probably not a lot.

    Bottom line, do as you choose. My vote, turn this thread back to the cool pictures of the "Pro's" out there.

    PS These things better last more than two or three years.
     
  7. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator

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    Physically yes but that doesn't mean it will have any sort of viable performance compared to devices available 2-3 years from now. For an extra $750 (assuming cost also comes down) would you rather have the Pro now or one with 16GB RAM, 256GB storage, 4K resolution, adjustable angle kickstand and 10 hour battery life ;)
     
  8. Sit

    Sit Member

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    All that would be nice.... if I could swap out the lithium ion for a new one on my own:big smile:
     
  9. souldier

    souldier Active Member

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    Sit I had the same concern and that is was preventing me from putting a skin. Overtime though I just stopped wanting to be so cautious with getting scratches on the vapor mag and covering it with finger prints, so I slapped a skin from sticker boy on it. I haven't run any official tests, but what I can say is I notice no decrease in battery life (which may result from the fans kicking in sooner) and I don't notice my fans coming on when they wouldn't normally start spinning. When I turn off the device, I also notice that it the device cools down just as fast as it would without the skin, but you will not get that nice cold aluminum feel. Overall I think there is no significant difference, and its worth getting the skin if you want one. I must say though I really miss the smooth vapor mg feel, but I also love how my carbon skin is scratch proof and fingerprint proof and has a nice texture and look.
     
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