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

chmsfor

New Member
Would you be so kind as to verify once again that this issue is not present on your hardware: SD card in, hibernate computer using "shutdown -h" resume computer and check task manager for the 3 errant processes. Users have confirmed this issue on quite a few machines, (one user tested this at an MS store and every machine had the issue) I just need to know if another device exchange is necessary, thanks.

I have it set to hibernate after 3 hrs and I never get this issue -But I do get it from a cold boot (sometimes) and a restart .

Can you verify that playing an mp3 from the sdcard fixes the problem? It does for me - I am curious if the problem is slightly different in other machines.
 
Again, my main concern is whether or not I have another lemon and need it replaced.

I've seen this on three very different Windows 8.* device I've run. 2 Surface Pro 2, Samsung Ativ 700T. It isn't the computer. If they know about the issue great! I hope they will fix it soon.

I'll note that this CPU utilization is not constant in the sense that you see it all the time. But once it starts it does require a reboot to resolve.
 

jrapdx

Member
I've seen this on three very different Windows 8.* device I've run. 2 Surface Pro 2, Samsung Ativ 700T. It isn't the computer. If they know about the issue great! I hope they will fix it soon.

I'll note that this CPU utilization is not constant in the sense that you see it all the time. But once it starts it does require a reboot to resolve.

My experience with Windows 8/8.1 is limited to the SP2, so I couldn't generalize to other systems. However the issue with abnormally high CPU utilization occurs under specific conditions: (cold boot OR wake from hibernation) AND (an mSD card in the slot AND the Realtek sound driver enabled). When this set of conditions is present, quite reliably the CPU load will be 25% or greater.

Curiously, putting the SP2 into a sleep state, even momentarily, will reliably cause the CPU load to drop to ~1%. These CPU utilization effects have the "feel" of firmware/hardware origin, though could be due to OS component bugs, but not sure what evidence there is for the latter.

Your comment prompts me to wonder if the SP2 behavior I've described occurs among the various combinations of hardware and OS platforms. That is, the SP2 and similar machines running Windows 8.1 or non-Windows OS. If so, we might be begin to determine if the problem domain lies within the OS, the hardware, or some interaction between the two.
 

Seneleron

Active Member
Well, this thread helped me identify and diagnose this exact issue, so I'd say it's on the right track [utilization 25-30% at idle, play music drops utilization to normal until you close the player, then it resumes. Disable audio driver drops utilization to normal until you re-enable. Briefly sleeping resolves the issue]

So, to summarize this, the only way to KEEP this from happening is either to remove the SD card or to disable my audio driver? That's relatively inconvenient. I realize I could just briefly sleep it, but trying to keep track of that is ALSO relatively inconvenient at times.

Does this issue persist with drivers directly from realtek?
 

Dayton

Member
Not known at this time, I just thought it was a wake with a SD card mounted issue until it was noted you could fix it by disabling Realtek Audio.
 

grumpy

Active Member
I just tested this with my replacement unit. It seems to happen on wake from hibernation and it does not seem to occur every time. The first hibernation cycle with the mSD card, there was no issue. The next time it woke from hibernation, it sounded as if the mSD card was unmounted and remounted. Shortly after, I noticed the remaining time was shorter than expected. Sure enough, the system process was running at about 20%. Playing any sound would temporarily reduce the CPU usage. I wonder if this is not directly related to the mSD card but rather the sound event triggered by the unmounting/remounting of the mSD card upon waking from hibernation. It is annoying to say the least. I used to leave the mSD card permanently installed in my SP1, but I am not able to do that with the SP2.

Also, the Realtek driver seems to regularly prevent the SP2 from entering sleep automatically.
 
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SteveBorough

Member
I just tested this with my replacement unit. It seems to happen on wake from hibernation and it does not seem to occur every time. The first hibernation cycle with the mSD card, there was no issue. The next time it woke from hibernation, it sounded as if the mSD card was unmounted and remounted. Shortly after, I noticed the remaining time was shorter than expected. Sure enough, the system process was running at about 20%. Playing any sound would temporarily reduce the CPU usage. I wonder if this is not directly related to the mSD card but rather the sound event triggered by the unmounting/remounting of the mSD card upon waking from hibernation. It is annoying to say the least. I used to leave the mSD card permanently installed in my SP1, but I am not able to do that with the SP2.

Also, the Realtek driver seems to regularly prevent the SP2 from entering sleep automatically.

Your theory of the sound event piqued my curiosity so I removed the 2 related sound events and tested again... still 30%:(
 

grumpy

Active Member
I just created a Windows to go drive and my CPU usage is always 60% while running from the WTG drive. If I disable the audio drivers, then the CPU usage returns to normal. There are three processes that are hogging the CPU:"Client Server Runtime", "System", and "System Interrupts".
 

be77solo

Active Member
Definitely related to mSD card on mine, as this issue was driving me crazy. I've removed the card the last few days... with card installed I get continuous 30% CPU usage randomly both after it wakes or even just while doing random usage/work. If I don't notice in time via task manager, it kills the battery pointlessly.

Have kept card out the last few days with task manager running and it hasn't done it once. Also, battery life is noticeably more stable now.
 

beq

Member
FYI on my own SP2 over the months, I've also noticed different processes consuming CPU utilization when idle (causing the unit to heat up and run the fans), which included:

- Microsoft Windows Search Indexer -- happens periodically, which is normal I suppose, but it seems to always struggle near the end (ie. it would take a long while and spike up the CPU to finish the last few hundred items to be indexed); I'd tried to rebuild the index but the same behavior continues

- Antimalware Service Executable -- also normal I guess, although I've seen it spike CPU even outside scheduled scans (must've been scanning complex items in real-time?)

- Communications Service -- I guess it's related to the Win 8.1 Mail app, which also seemed to struggle a lot, getting stuck updating mailboxes and spiking CPU in the process? Note I was testing with Exchange Online, Outlook.com/Windows Live Domains, and Google Apps for Business accounts all using the same email address on my domain, which I guess can get confusing. Also tested old-school IMAP server accounts with 100+ folders...

- Apple IE DAV -- it's the iCloud bookmark sync to IE, which has had a lot of problems with the Win8.1 IE11 on the SP2 (a known problem?). It often got stuck and spiked CPU a lot but actually failed to sync with IE, whereas the iCloud bookmark sync to Firefox and Chrome (which use browser extensions) are more reliable. I finally got it SEMI-WORKING after deleting all browsers' bookmarks and starting from scratch, and not adding any bookmarks with a long title or weird characters. Except, while IE will now see bookmarks added via Firefox or Chrome, adding bookmarks via IE itself won't be seen by the iCloud sync and thus wouldn't get added to Firefox/Chrome.

- photoshop gpu sniffer (I forget exact name) - always hung and spiked CPU after opening Photoshop CC (though I think Adobe's latest update has fixed the problem?)
 

Seneleron

Active Member
So this morning I was greeted with a "windows updates are available" message on lock screen. 206k "system hardware update". Yea, it could've been anything, but I was feeling optimistic, so I restarted, grabbed my headphones, and low and behold instead of the 5-10 second delay, it instantly switched over! Scarecely believing my eyes, I dusted off my microSD card, plugged it in, and restarted again. I've been testing for an hour or so, and so far, NO 30% CPU UTILIZATION!

Crossing my fingers that this sticks, as I'm now recopying data to the SD card in anticipation of actually being able to use it ; )

Well, looks like I spoke too soon. After half a day of no issues whatsoever, it suddenly just randomly started up again. Sorry for the false alarm :/
 
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