What's new

Do ALL SP2s suffer from hi CPU utilization when idle due to faulty audio drivers?

So I've posted this in a few threads but wanted to call special attention to this problem since my brand new 100% stock replacement SP2 is experiencing the same problem and it was suggested this may be a universal (all SP2s) problem

Frequently, my SP2 with nothing running will idle with 3 core-processes using up 30% of my CPU. This causes the device to get hot and experience battery drain when nothing is running. Capture.JPG

I've spoken to support whose reasoning as to why I should not request another replacement was as follows: This is your second SP2 which still experiences the same problem so please wait for MS to release a patch for this known issue. This leads me to believe that if the support rep has concluded that a further replacement will not fix the issue that this issue is more widespread, perhaps universal to all SP2s. Windows Update shows that it did grab the 1/18/2014 System Firmware Update btw.

I do know that this issue may be due to the Realtek audio drivers and can be remedied by disabling it in Device Manager (not ideal, as you will not have sound) People tend to think this is related to SD cards installed but this is not the case as I get this issue with/without my SD card installed.

So I ask the community here and those experiencing less than ideal battery life to open up task manger when your device is seemingly running warm for no reason and see if System and System Interrupts are chugging away for no apparent reason, thanks.
 
Last edited:

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I've never seen this on any of the 3 Surface Pro 2's I support (Mine, Wife's and Son's) All are original 256/8 models. Mine idles between 0-10% CPU with 42% Memory Utilization.
 

jrapdx

Member
SteveBorough wrote:
...Frequently, my SP2 with nothing running will idle with 3 core-processes using up 30% of my CPU. This causes the device to get hot and experience battery drain when nothing is running. ...
While that taskmgr view looks mighty familiar, in my case, it was associated with startup with the mSD card in the slot. Without the mSD card, it would settle down to near 0% CPU utilization.

I discovered putting the SP2 to sleep and waking it up even half a second later would stop the high CPU use, which dropped to near 0% as expected. Don't know if this "trick" would work in your situation.

The Realtek audio drivers are enabled on my SP2, but don't know it matters that most of the time sound is muted. I also recently saw a post in this forum (somewhere) describing uninstalling/reinstalling Realtek drivers (from the Realtek site) which resolved processor utilization issues. The drivers on my SP2 are version 6.0.1.7038 (2013-09-11). Could be earlier/later ones are problematic.

If you find disabling the driver solves the CPU issue, seems that updating the drivers would be the next thing to try.
 

CreativeLemming

Active Member
I think this is also a general windows problem not specific to the surface. There are several sites out there describing this type of issue (solutions range from modifying registry as the audio driver sometimes keeps polling non existent keys, to disabling enhancements (mobile at the moment so can't paste links)
Have you tried downloading and running ProcMon, it might give a deeper insight to the problem.
 

Dayton

Member
I don't experience this either, System Idle is very quiet unless I'm am doing something. If you are sure it is a the audio driver have you tried a different one? Also I'm tending to believe it is due to a mounted SD card. Since the broken firmware would result in a SP2 not going from sleep to hibernate but would instead wake. The high CPU usage would explain why users with mounted SD cards would experience battery drain over night.
 

Knuck111

New Member
I don't experience this issue. At idle the system and system processes are at 0%. When I run foobar utilizing the Related drivers system interrupt moves up to between 0.1 and 0.2%. I do have a 64gb mSD card installed as well.
 
OP
S

SteveBorough

Member
To be clear, this is not the traditional sleep to hibernate issue, as this has been fixed by the 1/18/2014 firmware update. It appears to be an issue resuming from hibernation/sleep with the SD card installed that causes the CPU utilization. Removing the SD card after has no effect as whenever any sound plays, utilization dips momentarily. I've tried the newest Realtek drivers from their site on my previous SP2 with no success. Can anyone try to replicate resume from hibernation (not sleep) with SD card installed (where you get the new device rediscovery sound and brief progress bar of the SD card being found soon as the system resumes) to see if they experience this issue

Again, my main concern is whether or not I have another lemon and need it replaced. Microsoft support suggests "no" and to wait for another patch which seems absurd on a stock (plus SanDisk Ultra 64GB micro SD) device if the problem is not more widespread.
 

fonzman78

Active Member
I just checked mine. I'm sitting at a Paradise Café sponging off their WiFi. I have a browser open (obviously) and MS Office for emails. Memory is at 28% and CPU is floating between 2-4%.

I have an SD card in the slot. I've always had an SD card in the slot since day one.
 

Dayton

Member
I notice you say "removing the SD card after" has no effect. Don't use the SD card at all, remove the SD card and restart and see how the SP2 behaves.
 
OP
S

SteveBorough

Member
I notice you say "removing the SD card after" has no effect. Don't use the SD card at all, remove the SD card and restart and see how the SP2 behaves.
Yes I can replicate this every time by resuming from hibernation with the SD card installed, CPU does not go up with SD card out on resume from hibernation. Thanks for the insight! So... people with SD cards, force a hibernation "shutdown /h" and resume (power button) with SD card in, do you get high CPU utilization? (22% on Balanced, 30+% on High Performance)

I have a few SD cards of different types and will try them when I get home to see if its a compatibility issue with this specific type of card.
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Have you done anything like moved Modern UI Apps or SkyDrive Sync to your SD Card? Used Sym-Links from C:\Folder to your SD Card? I haven't been able to replicate the error using my Sandisk Ultra 64GB Class 10...
 

CreativeLemming

Active Member
Yes I can replicate this every time by resuming from hibernation with the SD card installed, CPU does not go up with SD card out on resume from hibernation. Thanks for the insight! So... people with SD cards, force a hibernation "shutdown /h" and resume (power button) with SD card in, do you get high CPU utilization? (22% on Balanced, 30+% on High Performance)

I have a few SD cards of different types and will try them when I get home to see if its a compatibility issue with this specific type of card.
See the top issue here: Surface Pro 2 Issue List - Microsoft Community, lots of reports of the same issue, think it's been know about for a while.

Likely compatibility with your SD card, not a dud surface that a replacement would fix so maybe try a different card while wasting for MS to get into gear.

Edit: Spellchecker changed 'waiting' to 'wasting', but sounds appropriate given the circumstances so think I'll keep it as it is :)
 
Last edited:
Search tags for this page
avastar 350n high cpu
cpu on surface pro 2 running at 25 percent when idle
realtek causes high cpu load surface pro 3

reddit microsoft surface pro 2 cpu utilization

sp2s

surface 2 cpu utilization high

surface cpu utilization high when idling
surface pro 2 high cpu hibernate
wifi driver using high cpu surface pro2
win 10 surface pro 2 high cpu usage

Members online

Top