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I beat the heat on the i7 SP3, but at what cost?


New Member
First, I'm not new to the surface line of products. I have the SP1, Sp2 & I am typing this post on my SP3 while it sits comfortably in it's docking station without the fan running! Although I love the Surface Pro line I'm by no means a tech guy. I like to buy tech... I don't necessarily know how to work on them without seriously screwing them up.

When I bought the SP3 about two weeks ago it was clear that it had a pretty aggressive fan and it definitely got warm. But or me and for what I do, it was the fan that was going to be the issue. I didn't want the fan coming on and annoying everyone in the room that had their cheap company issued laptops. I had heard that the i5 and the i3 fans did not come on near as much so after about a week I thought that I was going to have to return it.

I learned quickly that even if I just turned on the tablet in the morning, that the fan would kick on by itself within 2 minutes. Even if I wasn't touching the keyboard or running any programs. So I felt the solution was that I had too many items turning on at Startup... I experimented and that was no it. Eventually, I stumbled upon the Task Manager that showed the CPU usage. I really don't know what the normal amount of usage was but was surprised with an i7 processor that I'd always be between 35 - 45% usage even when I wasn't doing anything. For clarification, my SP3 never turned off by itself, but when I would restart the unit, I'd get the temperature icon and it wouldn't restart. It never failed to turn back on when I hit the power button, so it was more of an inconvenience more than anything else.

Then came the Microsoft announcement.... As much as I love Windows 8.1 & the SP3 the announcement by Microsoft that a small amount of SP3's were showing the temperature warning too early and that they were going to fix that was a total disappointment because it didn't solve my problem that the fan would still be kicking on and running within 2 minutes of turning it on.

I did a little research, experimented and after about 5 days I'm happy to report that I beat the heat. Well, most of it anyway. The fan still kicks on but it hasn't kicked on today. Unless I am downloading something huge, moving pictures around or have a lot of things going at one time the fan does not come on outside of ultra low level that is barely noticeable and it definitely does not kick on within the first 2 minutes. However, I'm afraid that what I've done may effect me long term. I'd love to hear what you guys think.

The solution.... I went into the control panel, clicked on Indexing options, clicked on users, advanced, file types then unchecked everything except the first item listed and One Note. Originally I tried to turn off the Search Indexer which solved the problem temporarily.. but it always came back on within a few minutes. My CPU Usage when resting is now always under 3%. Is this going to come back and bite (byte) me?


Super Moderator
Staff member
I have the i7 and with general surfing, normal activity in word etc. I do not hear the fan. I even spent two hours watching TV programs on the Netflix app the other day... no fan. I haven't touched anything in the indexing at all because i haven't felt I needed to... perhaps I'm lucky. It does get hot and the fan comes on when downloading/syncing online drives (for instance when I first set up dropbox), and when doing stuff I'd expect to be processor intensive though. Not sure this helps you but it does sound like yours may have a particular heat problem which mine is not suffering from. It spend and hour last night doing very processor intensive activity, yes the fan was on full blast and it got hot but I never got the temperature icon....


New Member
I had an overheat auto shut down today :( It was syncing files over wifi but I think the case it was in may be to blame as I've continued working the same way (syncing with work computers) but without the case and it is nowhere near as hot (or even noisy!). I'm hoping it was the case and not the SP3 to blame!