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undervolting, thermal throttling and related topics


New Member

I know this has been asked before but it is not clear to me what is the present status. I have the Surface Pro 3 i5 8GB 256 GB and it is a marvellous device. Since I have it, it's the only device I use, I don't start my PC anymore.
Lately I wanted to play games and the only game I am interested in playing is League of Legends (the most played game in the world - apparently), which runs fine but I have questions mostly because I want to know more about my Surface. My questions are the following:

1. Do you still undervolt your SP3? It is my opinion that undervolting does nothing when you play LoL sessions of 30-45 minutes. You just delay a bit the time when the CPU will start to throttle. Is this correct? Or should I still consider undervolting? The most I undervolted was -69 mv for CPU and Cache and -79 for GPU, seems to be stable in this combination.

2. I tried the "High Performance" and the "Balanced" power profile and with "High Performance" active I get higher fps in LoL (native resolution, medium settings, up to 70 fps) but it is my impression that thermal throttling kicks in faster. Do you guys noticed any difference when putting the SP3 under load? Intel has a list of playable games and they test with Balanced power profile.

Basically my question is, today, with the current SP3 firmware and Intel drivers do you guys still recommend undervolting? Also, does the power profile makes any difference? Keep in mind that I am talking about 30-60 minutes of gaming sessions, not just a short 3D mark test.

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Active Member
I tried enabling high performance mode, but I haven't noticed much difference in performance- tablet was running hotter and CPU was unnecessarily working on higher frequencies. I disabled it and now I only use Intel's drivers instead of what Windows Update suggests.
What really boosts performance for me is external cooling- USB fan placed above air intake does wonders and allows me to play my favourite games in long sessions without FPS drops.


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Active Member
I wouldn't mess with the voltages, as SP3 is already very specialized.

The benchmarks provided by Intel will vary with device - we are seeing this more and more now, with drastic differences in Core M performance, due to the build of the devices.

SP3 is very thin considering the 15W processor it houses, and the thermals are very important. I wouldn't be surprised to see Intel providing benchmarks for the SP3 processors that are higher than the SP3 can achieve in sustained performance.

A fan will work to improve performance. I've noticed a pretty big difference if my SP2 was in front of a good fan when running Civ V.