SP3 Duct 2.0 (Stops thermal throttling!)

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Cothek, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    Ever since I found out that the SP3 throttles I knew I wanted to see if I could unlock the full potential of this awesome machine. My original SP3 Duct (found here) was the beginning of that process and after many iterations and trials I've created a duct that at room temp will prevent thermal throttling.

    If you don't want to read through my blabbing, the second post will have a list of everything needed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is XTU graphs after playing Elite for 20min or so:
    [​IMG]

    Here's an XTU GPU test run for 45min:
    [​IMG]

    And XTU CPU test:
    [​IMG]

    First let me say that this duct is meant to be used for gaming or very CPU/GPU intense work and was designed to keep the SP3 running at max speed. What this means is that it isn't meant to be pretty and it is a little bit loud (about the same loudness as the SP3 fan at max speed), and it requires some soldering but it does it's job really well.
    Here's a video of it running while playing Elite to get an idea of noise levels:


    This time I used a radial notebook fan that produces a much higher CFM rate to really force the air into the SP3 side vents. The downside to this is that the notebook fan uses a very small connector and nobody makes a cable that converts this small connector to USB, so you'll have to make your own. You only need basic soldering skills. All components will be linked in the 2nd post.

    You've probably noticed the big black box on the back side of the duct by now. That's a USB hub. I know from the SP3 Duct that most people didn't want one so I will make two versions of this duct available, one with the USB bracket and one without. Get the one you want. I will say though that the Amazon Basics USB hub is a really great product. It's USB 3.0 and even though the SP3 has a low voltage USB port this thing runs the SP3 USB Duct 2.0, a bluetooth mouse and a HOTAS joystick (for my Elite: Dangerous gaming :) ) all without a hitch. It's a bit expensive but it's a very good hub.

    What you need to do is buy or use an old USB cable you already have (6in of cable length should be plenty but more never hurts), cut off one side (the un-cut end should have the standard USB sonnector - it's the side you'll plug into your SP3 or power brick) and cut away everything but the red and black cables. Strip those two wires so it looks something like this:
    [​IMG]

    Next solder the cables as shown below:
    upload_2015-2-6_16-35-40.png

    I highly recommend getting some heat-shrink to protect your solder joints and exposed wires.

    That's it. Plug in your fan to the connector and align your fan as shown in the pic below then connect the USB cable to your SP3 and it should be hummin!
    0206151402-edited.jpg
    (The right edge of the duct should line up slightly inside the edge of the active LCD area.)

    I hope you guys enjoy it!

    --DISCLAMER--
    I am not claiming any sort of magic or miracle with this duct and you should not expect either of those things. I made this for myself and am sharing it with the community, so please remember that this is not a consumer product that some large corporation has made, just a simple man. Your mileage will vary with this thing. Ambient conditions play a large role in your SP3's performance as well as the effectiveness of this duct. I cannot offer refunds. If the 3D print of your duct is poor, contact shapeways.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
    be77solo, SecretSauce, Rhino and 5 others like this.
  2. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  3. Haldi

    Haldi Member

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    Oh, Cool!
    Two things that come to my mind.
    A: the video about fan noise is hard to comprehend. One would need a reference point to realise how loud it is. Maybe you talking a few words before, or an smartphone with a dbA measurement App.
    B: couldn't you simply solder the two wires together instead of using a 4pin connector ? xD you still plug it with USB connector so its not totally fix.

    But great work! Now just gotta find a way to get it ^^



    Edit:
    Design Question!
    Why is the fan on top of the surface ?
    Wouldn't it be possible to put it on the back of the surface and let the air do a 180° turn ? Shouldn't reduce the performance by that much, would it?
     
  4. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    Thanks Haldi, to answer your questions:
    A: I'll look into the dba app, good idea.
    B: You can definitely do that however the wires on the fan are very small and I was not comfortable stripping them.
    Design Q: Turning the air 180 is very inefficient and I wanted to get the highest velocity I could. I will try it tho and see what happens.
     
  5. bvone21

    bvone21 Member

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    Oh man...I may have to bite on this one.

    How did you arrive at the E6400 fan? Did you already have one or did you test a few different radial fans?
     
  6. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    It's hard finding fans on the interwebs, especially ebay but I knew I wanted a low height radial fan and a cheap one. This one seemed to fit the bill so I bought one and it's worked great. It's a 5V fan and it really blows.
    Haven't wanted to spend the money to test others since this one worked so well.
     
  7. Kamran Samaie

    Kamran Samaie New Member

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    how heavy is entire construction? When holding the SP3 in your hands, do you feel it leaning towards the right side?

    And regarding the price, how much is material cost and how much is your profit? Not trying to be nosy, but since I have access to a 3D printer I wanted to ask if it would be possible to send me the files necessary to print the parts and I just pay you directly what you would earn if I would print it normally
     
  8. vxm

    vxm Active Member

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    Hey Cothek! Ive been following duct and duct 2.0 threads and decided to give it a try, Im waiting for my duct 2.0 delivery scheduled for end of Feb :) Once Ill assemble kit Ill begin testing to see hows performance affected and post here :)
     
  9. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    It's not very heavy, ~1lb? I don't hold my SP3 while the duct is attached so it hasn't been a problem.

    Awesome, please report back!
     
  10. supermaik

    supermaik New Member

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    Cothek, are we to assume the only way to get this is through Shapeways? You don't have the design files somewhere that I'm missing? Not judging at all as you obviously spent a lot of time on this and deserve compensation.
     
  11. Saul

    Saul Member

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    Seriously considering this....
    But with this thing sucking in cool-air at the same time as the internal fan, wouldn't it harm the latter over time?
    It's not like both will have exactly the same CFM/flow-rate/RPM...
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  12. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    The fan is actually blowing air into the internal fan intake, meaning its working with the internal fan and not against it. I've found that if I put the SP3 Duct 2.0 on the internal fan never even turns on. The internal fan is brushless ball bearing so it spinning while off will not harm it.

    Thanks for the question and interest.
     
    Saul likes this.

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