How is Heat and Fan Noise on i5 Model?

slysy

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I'm considering getting the i5 version of Surface Pro 3. Does this device heat up much (and under what sort of usage)? Also is there much fan noise (and when does it happen)?
 

stephen_az

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I'm considering getting the i5 version of Surface Pro 3. Does this device heat up much (and under what sort of usage)? Also is there much fan noise (and when does it happen)?

It only heats up under a heavy processor load such as working in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom; for the first couple hours after initial setup as various things are configured in the background; and when firmware updates are released by Microsoft. In my experience it is also only warm, not hot, and I have pushed the processor pretty hard. As for fan noise, it is only kicks in to any more than a whisper when pushed and is very quiet. There have been times I have only been aware it is running because my hand has been in the way and it has amplified the noise. Even when at its hottest it is barely more than a slightly high pitched whisper....
 

leo74

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I just got the i5 265Gb version yesterday and the only time when I felt that the tablet got warm (I would not really call it hot) was during the initial setup and installation process.
I did the following back to back after I started it up the first time:
- Setup Windows
- Install all upgrades
- Install the complete office suit
- Install Visual Studio 2013 Community
- Install all other apps I frequently need

I only noticed the fan kick it during the installation of Visual Studio. I noticed it by accident, so it was not really loud in a way that it would be disturbing.
I am using the SP3 pretty much all day today for normal office work and I have not noticed it to get warm or the fan to kick in.

I hope this helps.
 

CliveSinclair

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CPU's get hotter the harder they work. The hardest I work my i7 256gb is with Photoshop/Lightroom CC. The fan hardly comes on. I suspect with the i5 - which naturally would be working harder to do the same job, would reach it's thermal restrictions earlier.

One thing I like, is that if the SP3 gets hot, it's not on your lap (like a traditional laptop). With my Macbook Pro 15" working really hard the fan goes mad and it's almost unbearable to keep on my lap without my X-Pad.
 

bschiav

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I just bought an i7 256gb...and I'm getting the fan on full blast and heat with lightweight games from the app store...I've installed Lightroom, but haven't yet copied over my catalogs and worked in it yet. So I'll see how that goes. I'm expecting fan noise during import/preview rendering and then maybe it'll settle down for editing as that's more start/stop on the cpu.

It's tough researching this online, because there's not a lot of "specifics" to help me determine if what I'm experiencing is a hardware issue, bad programming of the app, or just flat out the way it is and to be expected...

Regarding the OP, I would say go with the i5. And from all indications online, you will only get heat and fan noise with sustained loads. Usage being gaming, video rendering/transcoding, rendering 3d models, things like that. What I can't figure out for the life of me is "what level of gaming" to expect the surface line to run without the fans having to go nuts....with my i7....it seems to be practically any game whatsoever...

Also of note, even with the i7, streaming HD video via the Netflix app resulted in just a whisper quiet fan and the device remained cool (for me).
 

offshell

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I've only had mine a few days but I've only noticed the fan a couple times and usually it was during software installs. Live everyone else said though, if you load the processor in any way, it'll usually come on. Working back and forth between a macbook pro and the SP3, I actually came to appreciate that if you're using it on your lap, it doesn't dump all the heat into your legs.
 

spasell

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Usually mine doesn't heat up (i5 256g) at all. Most of the time I am running Outlook and other Office Apps, Netflix (doesn't ever heat up with Netflix) and really no games but one...NFL Manager. When I run that, it REALLY heats up, battery nose dives, and I have to shut it down. Amazing how a NFL management game causes the processor to work so hard.

However, I have also noticed since the latest firmware update, my battery life in general is MUCH worse than ever before.

I could go 8 hours of moderate use no problem...now, under same circumstances, I am lucky if I can get 4.5 hours out of it. I notice almost a 15% drop each hour and brightness is approx. 30%, so dim that it's not even comfortable to use.

I used to absolutely LOVE this device. I was lucky..no issues out of the box. But firmware after firmware, mine has gotten worse performance.
 

Kevin Harvell

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If you like to browse the web, regardless of the browser, the fan kicks on.

Like watching videos or do video chats on Skype or Google+ Hangouts? The fan kicks on.


We interviewed Brandon Paddock the developer behind Tweetium on our Tech Informist podcast and I could tell he was on a SP3 because of the fan noise. As soon as he dropped off after the guest interview, the fan noise was gone.
 

v0lum3

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If you like to browse the web, regardless of the browser, the fan kicks on.

Like watching videos or do video chats on Skype or Google+ Hangouts? The fan kicks on.


We interviewed Brandon Paddock the developer behind Tweetium on our Tech Informist podcast and I could tell he was on a SP3 because of the fan noise. As soon as he dropped off after the guest interview, the fan noise was gone.

I have a i5/128gb version, and the fan never comes on, only during gaming or intense video editing! If your/his fan comes on dying simple tasks like webbrowsing or Skype calls, I would consider doing a refresh or contacting support, cos that ain't suppose to happen!

I had the same trouble with my SP3 when I first got it and a refresh cured all my WiFi and heat woes! :)
 

anon(9177257)

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The heat is not an problem for the i5 version. You can do what you want with it, expect some heat when you are on gaming. This is because your CPU can clock itself to 2,9 GHZ instead of the default of 1.9 GHZ.

About sound / silence, you dont hear anything. Its really quit i use alot when im working on my desktop and put music on the surface next to me :)
 

Bill Mitchell

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On Windows 8.1 my i5 pretty much runs silently with no fan unless watching long video or gaming. If you don't like fan noise, don't run Windows 10 Preview. Will turn your SP3 into an Easy Bake Oven Leafblower.
 

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